After 33 years (that’s a third of a century) of burning the almost-midnight oil, David Letterman’s run as the host of “Late Show” has come to an end. Cue the endless wave of nostalgic feels because, c’mon. This is Dave we’re talking about here. Dave.
*Pause for flaily sobs.*
The New York icon’s last hurrah episode aired Wednesday night (May 20) and is sure to be a farewell fit for THE king of late night TV. Because joining in on all the triumph trumpeting was an absolute onslaught of his favorite famous friends.
We’re sure going to miss all of Dave’s top ten-ing and stupid pet tricks and take-no-guff interview style. But for now, one last time, we’re just gonna relive (over and over) each and every second of Dave’s very last night night punnying up the tube.
Better grab your best hanky now because it’s gonna be working overtime on this one.
First, all the prezzies joined up to bust his chops.
Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama may come from very different schools of political thought, but tonight they could all agree on one thing: The Mt. Rushmore 2.0 brigade video-archived in to give Dave a hard goodbye, saying “our long national nightmare is over" in response to his retirement news. Well, har.
And this was his very last entrance.
Of course Dave got a full standing O with incessant "Dave, Dave, Dave" chantage for the start of his 6028th broadcast. Of course he did.
Heartbroken yet? Well, just wait. There's more.
Dave had jokes.
For his very last opening monologue, Dave put a big target sign right above his own head -- and his "great friend, best friend" Paul Shaffer too, of course. And he answered all of our most pressing questions like so:
On what he's going to do now that he's retired: "I hope to become the new face of Scientology."
On the pits of not being the host anymore: "When I screw up now, and lord knows I’ll be screwing up, I have to go on somebody else’s show to apologize. That’s the problem."
On his humble beginnings: "When we started the show, there were mixed responses. On the one hand, some people said that this show didn't have a chance. Half of the people said that show doesn't have a chance. On the other half, people said that show doesn't have a prayer."
On the next Dave-Paul collaboration: "Paul and I will be debuting our new act at Caesar’s Palace with our white tigers."
The LAST Top Ten happened. And it was spectacular.
The category for Dave’s final Top Ten List was “Top Ten Things I've Always Wanted To Say To Dave.” Which, YES because that basically meant that Dave hosted his own quick roast with a bevy of his besties who came in to dole our their last round of lashings.
10. Alec Baldwin: Of all the talk shows, yours is most geographically convenient to my home.
9. Barbara Walters: Okay. Dave, did you know that you wear the same cologne as Muammar Gaddafi?
8. Steve Martin: Your extensive plastic surgery was a necessity. And a mistake.
7. Jerry Seinfeld: Dave, I have no idea what I’ll do when you go off the air. You know, I just thought of something. I’ll be fine.
6. Jim Carrey: Honestly, Dave, I’ve always found you to be a bit of an overactor.
5. Chris Rock: I’m just glad your show is being given to another white guy.
4. Julia Louis-Dreyfus: Thanks for letting me take part in another hugely disappointing series finale.
3. Peyton Manning: Dave, you are to comedy what I am to comedy.
2. Tina Fey: Thanks for finally proving men can be funny.
1. Bill Murray: Dave, I’ll never have the money I owe you.
Plus, all the tributes were tear-jerkers.
Dave might've claimed his fame and fortune in funny business, but he sweetly celebrated all his people tonight -- from memorable guests young and old to his behind-the-scenes crew who've been go-go-go-ing like mad for 33 years, and even down to the people who retooled the Ed Sullivan Theater from its (his words) rat-infested beginnings.
The thing he’ll miss most about doing the show, he said, is hearing the CBS band do their thing.
“What tremendous music that this place has housed over the years,” he said, in a tearful nod. “It’s so obvious every night -- and again tonight -- that they are so much better at their job than I am at mine.”
Sob. It’s just too much.
Then Foo Fighters played "Everlong" to close the show because our heartstrings were just right there for the tugging.
OK, now you’re definitely going to need tissues because this is the sob-worthiest thing you’ll hear about all night.
The Foo Fighters came on to help bid adieu to Dave, too, of course, because he has long declared them his favorite band. And guess what? They played his favorite song, “Evermore,” which just so happens to be the same one they jammed on 15 years ago for Dave’s return from major emergency heart surgery.
“And I wonder if everything could ever feel this real forever. If anything could ever be this good again.”
Crushed. We’re officially just crushed.
One thing’s for SURE. Incoming host Stephen Colbert might want to talk to a surgeon about some possible toe implants because he has got some big shoes to fill.
(But Dave made sure to wish him well, too. "I'm very excited," Dave said of his upcoming replacement. "I think he’s going to do a wonderful job. And I wish Stephen and his staff and crew nothing but the greatest success.")
All class til the end.
Thank you and good night.