Jimmy Fallon said his farewell to David Letterman last night on The Tonight Show and thanked the longtime host for his influence. “I think this show and what late night has become is a result of him playing with the genre and experimenting and exploring and doing that stuff, and I, like every kid who grew up watching him, will miss him,” he said.
He also shared a page from his eighth-grade yearbook and one very prescient statement from his teacher.
“He taught us how to do something smart and stupid for comedy,” Fallon said. “He just wants to have fun and be goofy and I’ll always remember that.”
Fallon noted that Letterman was “always just there when you need him,” including after 9/11. On his first show after the attacks, Letterman said, “There is only one requirement for any of us and that is to be courageous, because courage, as you know, defines all other human behavior.”
For Fallon, that was a seminal moment.
“David Letterman is courageous.”
David Letterman’s final show airs Wednesday.