Norm MacDonald Pays Tribute To David Letterman & Proves The 'Late Show' Host Was A Huge Influence On Comedy

It's almost the end of an era, folks — legendary comedian and talk show host David Letterman is about to take his final bow on his CBS late night show The Late Show With David Letterman on Monday night. In the past week, lots of celebs have been making their way to his show to say their goodbyes to the long-time host, including Saturday Night Live alum Norm MacDonald, who appeared on Friday night. During his stand-up set on The Late Show , MacDonald paid an emotional tribute to Letterman and told his favorite joke by the comedian, which he heard when he was just 13 years old. If there's anything that proves that Letterman has had a profound influence on comedians and stand-up comedy, it's this appearance.

The former Weekend Update anchor started off the stand-up slot with usual jokes, but by the end of it he acknowledged that it was Dave's final days as host of the show. "We all know that David Letterman was the greatest talk show host who ever lived," he said on the show, which sparked a lively round of applause. "I remember Dave differently, though, because the first time I saw him was when I was 13 years old." This is where MacDonald begins to get choked up for a few seconds and even laughs a little, perhaps shocked at himself at how emotional he's getting. (It's OK, Norm. We feel ya.)

MacDonald regains his composure and finishes the story about how he saw the host perform at a comedy talk show in Toronto, where Letterman was performing stand-up. And it was there that MacDonald had heard not only his favorite Letterman joke of all time, but his favorite stand-up comedy joke ever. "David Letterman did this joke and I told everybody this joke," he said. "I love this joke."

So, what's the joke? Here are some clues: It deals with garbage trucks, plays on words, and a meddling bureaucracy. Get the whole joke in the video below.

MacDonald concludes his appearance by telling Dave, "I love you" while tearing up, which Letterman seems very deeply touched by. Aww!

Images: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS