The appearance, which will air at 11:35 p.m. Monday, was taped earlier in the day.
Letterman: “What the hell happened?”
Charles: “What an intro!” (audience laughs)
Letterman: “You got killed off!”
Charles: “That’s what you gotta do to get on the Letterman show. I had to do that, I had to get killed off to get on your show.”
Letterman: “Now, you knew this was going to happen?”
Charles: “Yeah, we’ve known this since last year. It’s been one of the greatest gigs for me in my entire career, but at the end of last year, my contract was up and I was just ready to kind of move on…”
Letterman: “That’s a very courageous thing to do.”
Charles: “Ah, you know – “
Letterman: “In show business, don’t you think?”
Charles: “It might be. Yeah, I guess it is. It is tough to leave stability and leave sort of structure…”
Letterman: “Yes, but moves like this always pay off. I think they’re always for the better.”
Charles: “Well, I could just tell you that I think what we decided last year was to come back and do these 15 this year, which I think really was great for the show and also was a really proper goodbye to the character, so that was special.”
Letterman: “What has been the reaction of fans, friends, family to this? It was all secretive, right? You couldn’t tell anybody.”
Charles: “It is kind of amazing. We’ve been able to keep it a secret for an entire year…Yeah, I told some family members that I know could keep a secret, which is a very
Letterman: “Yeah. What about neighbors and people on the street?”
Charles: “Uh, no, you know, there’s the neighbors – today, I will say this. When I went out to – I went downstairs, and I saw by our mailbox, the neighbors across the street, who I don’t even know, had left my wife and I a really beautiful note just saying that we feel like a family member had died and we know this is just a TV show and all that. But it was, I have to say, I was very touched by it. A lot of the, you know, the response on Twitter has been much the same and I just want to say to the fans that, you know, I really appreciate all of your comments.” (searches to look directly into camera) “I don’t know where I’m looking, but I just want to tell them that I really appreciate that. Sorry, Dave.” (Charles, audience laugh)
Letterman: “That’s all right.”
Charles: “But I really do. It’s meant a lot. I get invested in characters in TV shows, too, so. Everything’s going to be ok! I’ll call your mom later.” (Letterman, audience laugh)
Letterman: “Do you have, in the back of your head, a plan – you must have a plan of things you want to do now?”
Charles: “Oh, I have no plan.” (audience laughs)
But in fact, Charles has all kinds of projects that he's involved in.
Stop back later after the show, and I'll talk about those.