David Letterman is ending his late-night television career with a heartfelt “good night” and goodbye to his viewers after 33 years.
“The only thing I have left to do for the last time on a television program… thank you and good night,” Letterman said.
The 68-year-old host thanked the audience who gave him a long standing ovation at the New York’s Ed Sullivan Theater, saying, “See — now what happens is we don’t have time for the giving gifts to the audience segment.”
According to CBS News, the end of the Letterman era began with a clip of the late President Gerald Ford’s famous quote from his speech after taking the oath of office to succeed Richard Nixon in the wake of the Watergate scandal in 1974: “Our long national nightmare is over.” That was followed by Presidents George H.W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and finally, President Obama saying the same thing. Mr. Obama then added with a smile, “David Letterman is retiring.”
Nine stars and one very famous quarterback were on hand to deliver Letterman’s final “Top 10” list, which was the “Top 10 Things I’ve Always Wanted to Say to Dave.”
The list started with Alec Baldwin saying: “Of all the talk shows, yours was the most geographically convenient to my home,” and ended with Bill Murray – who appeared on his first show – saying, “Dave, I’ll never have the money I owe you.”
The others were Barbara Walters, Steve Martin, Jerry Seinfeld, Jim Carrey, Chris Rock, Julia Louis-Dreyfus and Tina Fey. The quarterback was Peyton Manning.
In the end, Letterman had an array of thank yous, saving a special one for longtime band leader Paul Shaffer, calling him “as good a friend as you could have on television and as good a friend as you could have in life,” and a “musical genius.”
He introduced his wife, Regina, and son, Harry. to a loud applause and he then thanked his viewers, saying:
“You’ve given me everything. There’s nothing I could do to ever repay you.”
Source: CBS News