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Paul Shaffer says he'll stay with Letterman 'as long as show goes on'

Oct. 15, 2012 at 11:56 AM ET

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Paul Shaffer.

Updated Oct. 16, 8:25 a.m. ET: Paul Shaffer has clarified his comments to TV Guide Canada about possibly leaving "Late Show" when his contract expires. He said in a prepared statement, "In an interview with a reporter, I made two unrelated points which, joined together, seem to say something that isn’t true. It’s true that the show was recently extended for two years, and yes, someday when it’s all over, I will most likely take a nap. But I hope that day never comes. As long as the show goes on, I will be there for as long as Dave wants me on it."

Original story: It's hard to imagine David Letterman without Paul Shaffer by his side, but the late-night host's longtime sidekick and musical director says he might be ready to call it a day when his "Late Show" contract expires.

“We’ve been on 30 years so now we’ve got another two years … I’m going to be certainly ready to lie down after that, take a nap,” he told TV Guide Canada over the weekend.

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Still, he admitted that nothing is set in stone just yet.

"Life is nutty -- anything can happen," he added. "I’ve been so lucky and blessed to be working this long in show business. And whatever happens now is just gravy to me.”

Shaffer, 62, got his start in entertainment as the musical director for the Toronto production of "Godspell" and went on to become a member of the "Saturday Night Live" house band. He also released two solo albums and co-wrote and co-produced the 1984 hit song "It's Raining Men."

Shaffer joined up with Letterman in 1982 for the launch of "Late Night With David Letterman" on NBC, leading the World's Most Dangerous Band. In 1993, he made the move with Letterman to CBS for "Late Show," where he leads the CBS Orchestra, after NBC passed Letterman over for the "Tonight Show" hosting job in favor of Jay Leno.

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Shaffer earns a reported $5 million for his "Late Show" gig.

Despite the fact that he's considering leaving his longtime cohort, he has nothing but praise for Letterman, calling him the "quickest guy in show business."

Reps for "Late Show" have yet to comment.

Do you think the show will suffer without the longtime bandleader? Share your thoughts on our Facebook page.

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