Craig Kilborn walks away

A lot of people can't fathom why Craig Kilborn would walk away from the rarest of prizes: a late-night talk show on a major network.

He isn't one of them. "I'm proud of what we've accomplished. We have a unique, small, intimate show," says the host of The Late, Late Show With Craig Kilborn, whose last show is tonight. But "I've done all I could do with this particular show."

"Friends of the show" planning to drop by tonight include Will Ferrell, Marlee Matlin, Martin Mull and Adam West, along with Wayne Newton via satellite from Las Vegas. After the finale, the show will be in reruns for three weeks, with guest hosts to follow as CBS and David Letterman's Worldwide Pants, the show's producer, search for a new host, informs USA Today.

He has said it was simply time to do something else and returned to that theme Friday.

"It's one of the happiest days of my life, and I'll tell you why," he said. "I got to do a dream job ... My job is done here. It's time for me to move on. I dreamed of early retirement and that's probably what I got."

Kilborn had drawn solid ratings for CBS since he took the time slot over from Tom Snyder. Since 1999, the audience for the hour that follows the "Late Show with David Letterman" had grown 34 percent to this season's average of 1.7 million viewers.

"I'm going to miss you," Kilborn said. "Maybe I'll see you down the road." Kilborn was the original host of Comedy Central's "Daily Show" and had a role in the 2003 film "Old School.", reports ABC News.

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