Last updated on October 24, 2017
David Letterman has retired after 33 years and more than 6,000 shows. His retirement show was filled with presidential declarations as well as a celebrity Top Ten 10 list.
Presidents Barack Obama and former Presidents George Bush, Bill Clinton and George W. Bush referenced President Gerald Ford’s declaration to the country when he took office following the 1974 resignation of Richard Nixon, declaring “our long national nightmare is over”.
Top celebrity stars from Julia-Louis Dreyfus to Steve Martin had their turn at last digs through a final Top Ten List of “things I’ve always wanted to say to Dave.” With Jerry Seinfeld standing nearby, Louis-Dreyfus had the line of the night saying, “Thanks for letting me take part in another hugely disappointing series finale.”
The 68-year-old Letterman said his goodbyes and parted ways with the Ed Sullivan building after 33 years and 6,028 broadcasts of his late-night shows on CBS and NBC. The final show ran 17 minutes over its usual hour in length, however, CBS did not cut the show short.
Letterman’s career was dotted with Top Ten lists, unforgettable interviews, ironic humor staples and stupid pet tricks that influenced a generation of performers.
Letterman’s wife and son were in the audience to enjoy the live serenade at the end by Foo Fighters as they sang “Everlong”, the same song they played when Letterman returned to the show after heart surgery in 2000.
“You want to know what I’m going to do now that I’m retired?” he said. “By God, I hope to become the new face of Scientology.”
He will be replaced by Stephen Colbert in September.
“Top 10 Things I’ve Always Wanted to Say to Dave”
10. Alec Baldwin:“Of all the talk shows, yours is most geographically convenient to my home.”
9. Barbara Walters:“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: “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 over-actor.”
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: “You are to comedy, what I am to comedy.”
2. Tina Fey: “Thanks for finally proving men can be funny.”
1. Bill Murray: “I’ll never have the money I owe you.”