David Letterman Signs Off from the Late Show with Perfect Final Episode

Farewell, Dave!

It’s really over, isn’t it? It feels almost impossible to imagine television without David Letterman, but after 33 years as the host of The Late Show, the legendary funny man signed off on Wednesday night. The series finale of The Late Show was a star-studded, hilarious, and decidedly unsentimental yet sweet trip down memory lane. And quite frankly, it was the perfect send-off. It’s awfully difficult to sum up a landmark show and career that’s unfolded over the course of 6,000 episodes, but Letterman’s series finale found the right balance of nostalgia, wit, and gratitude. There’s a reason why #ThanksDave was trending, and it’s because so much of us grew up with Letterman and were inspired by his brand of comedy.

Dave wouldn’t be Dave if he wasn’t being self-deprecating, which is exactly how he kicked things off. President Barack Obama, along with former Presidents Bill Clinton, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush all declared, “Our long national nightmare is over.”

The first minute was posted online earlier in the day, but I still got goosebumps watching the host enter and take his mark to the chants of “Dave” and a wildly deserved standing ovation from that very lucky audience. The opening monologue was peppered with hilarious zingers (“It’s beginning to look like I’m not going to get The Tonight Show“), segments like “Comedy We Would Have Done Tomorrow,” and Dave saying goodbye to his staffers via hologram. It all felt like quintessential Dave. The guy was going out swinging.

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