David Letterman started off his 6,028th and final late-night broadcast last night with an admission: "It's beginning to look like I'm not going to get The Tonight Show." He kept up his trademark self-deprecating tone throughout his final Late Show episode, joined by plenty of celebrities and old friends from the last 33 years. Some highlights, per the AP, Mediaite, and the Washington Post:
- In a pre-recorded segment at the start of the broadcast, four presidents—George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama—echoed Gerald Ford saying, "Our long national nightmare is over."
- The 68-year-old Letterman kept the retirement jokes coming, with lines like "Next week I'll be Googling foods that improve prostate health" and "I hope to become the new face of Scientology."
- The final Top 10 list—"Top 10 Things I've Always Wanted to Say to Dave"—was read by 10 celebrities, including Chris Rock, Jerry Seinfeld, Peyton Manning, and Barbara Walters. "I'll never have the money I owe you," quipped Bill Murray, while Julia Louis-Dreyfus thanked him for letting her "take part in another hugely disappointing series finale." (See the Top 10 list in full.)
- Letterman thanked CBS, his family, the writers, the band, all kinds of staff members who "have put up with my nonsense" night after night, and finally, the fans. "The people who watch this show, there's nothing I can do to ever repay you," he said. "Thank you for everything. You've given me everything."
- As a tribute, Jimmy Kimmel aired a rerun to not "distract viewers" from Letterman's final show. Conan O'Brien went ahead with his show, the New York Daily News reports, but his opening monologue was a tribute to how Letterman rescued his career in 1993. At 11:35pm, he urged viewers to switch over to Letterman and the words "Turn on Dave" flashed on the screen.
Click to see how celebrities said goodbye to Dave on social media
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