The tributes are coming fast and furious this week, which makes sense: Letterman’s swan song is tonight, easily the biggest talk show event since Carson’s retirement over twenty years ago.
Two of the most moving I’ve seen so far are from other, younger comedians who grew up idolizing Letterman.
The first was from Norm MacDonald, who was on Letterman a couple nights ago to do a final standup set there. He’s funny, but he gets real towards then end as he talks about seeing a young Dave as a standup comic when he was a teenager in Toronto.
The second is from Jimmy Kimmel last night, who is no less choked up at the prospect of Letterman’s retirement. He talks openly of watching Late Night as a teen, just as everyone in our generation of a certain bent did.
He closes with something kind of awesome: he announced that tonight’s show will be a rerun, and that all his viewers should watch Dave’s final show instead.
The final bit of Kimmel’s tribute includes a segment from early in Dave’s career that I remember quite clearly, though my memory doesn’t have tracking problems.