David Letterman signed off the air on his last late night show on Wednesday, May 20. Letterman said goodbye after 33 years and 6,028 broadcasts on CBS and NBC. The final Late Show with David Letterman broadcast ran long, about 17 minutes over its usual time, and CBS let the show air without cutting it, according to Billboard.
Letterman’s last show began with a video tape of four presidents. President Barack Obama and former Presidents George Bush, Bill Clinton, and George W. Bush wished Letterman well in their own way.
Letterman gave his last monologue that included retirement jokes. As has been the case for many years, the Top 10 list was a highlight. The last Top Ten list was delivered by Dave’s frequent guests and was called “Things I’ve Always Wanted to Say to Dave.” The list was read by Alec Baldwin, Barbara Walters, Steve Martin, Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Carrey, Chris Rock, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Peyton Manning, Tina Fey, and Bill Murray.
The middle of the show was a look back at Letterman’s long television career. To end the show, Letterman brought out his favorite band, The Foo Fighters, to play his favorite song, Everlong, the same song the rock band played when Letterman returned following heart surgery in February, 2000.
USA Today thought the finale was a little disappointing.
“Avoiding tears, but displaying a sentimentality he’s only shown flashes of throughout the years, David Letterman, the late-night host who was a television icon to an entire generation, said goodbye to late night on Wednesday in a touching, often funny, but ultimately underwhelming, finale.”
Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel paid tribute to Letterman on their own shows that air at the same time as Letterman’s show. Fallon opened his Wednesday night monologue by paying tribute to David Letterman.
“I want to thank you for watching this on your DVR after you watched Letterman.”
Jimmy Kimmel gave an emotional tribute to Letterman on Tuesday night. He encouraged his viewers to watch Letterman’s final show on Wednesday night instead of his own.
Several audience members left the theater after the show with tears in their eyes. Letterman seems to have kept it together during his last show. When it was over, he gave his final words.
“All right, that’s pretty much all I got. The only thing I have left to do, for the last time on a television program: Thank you and good night.”
[Image via Getty Images]