33 years, 6,028 shows, 19,932 guests. That’s how long (and how much) David Letterman hosted the “Late Show.”
People were quick to point out how the final episode of the iconic talk show chose to bring more laughter than tears, as it had been doing over the three decades it was on air. The star-studded offering honored guests and, of course, Letterman himself, his perseverance and his accomplishments.
The entire Ed Sullivan Theater in Manhattan welcomed Letterman with a standing ovation. The host performed his usual duties: welcoming the guests and making them laugh with his monologues.
“It’s beginning to look like I’m not going to get the ‘Tonight’ show,” he joked at one point.
And who can forget his famous Top 10 lists? For years, the show provided lists and lists of anything under the sun. To fit the finale, writers went for something nostalgic.
“Things I’ve Always Wanted to Say to Dave” did not involve Letterman himself reading the list. A-list celebrities were in on the joke, and one by one, they contributed hilarious one-liners.
Alec Baldwin began at number 10. “Of all the talk shows, yours is the most geographically convenient to my home.”
Other famous names like Barbara Walters, Steve Martin, Jim Carrey and Tina Fey had their say, but it was Bill Murray himself who landed at number 1.
“Dave, I’ll never have the money I owe you.”
Before the finale, Jimmy Kimmel on Tuesday showered praises over Letterman and narrated how the late night host inspired him in many ways.
“We had no VCR, so I would have David Letterman viewing parties at my house in the middle of the night,” he said.
“My friends who also loved the show would come over – my parents would be asleep – at midnight and we would drink soda and watch the show. Looking back, I figured out why none of the girls at school wanted to have sex with me.”
CBS has already announced that Stephen Colbert will replace Letterman for the late night slot.