David Letterman will appear for the final time as the host of The Late Show on CBS Wednesday, and it's undoubtedly going to be one emotional farewell. Stephen Colbert is taking over Letterman's legendary desk at the Ed Sullivan Theater beginning in September 2015, and though exactly how much of The Late Show will change when Colbert takes the reigns is currently unknown, we do know that Letterman isn't the only one to leave the series: His right-hand man, Paul Shaffer, will also be leaving The Late Show. As Shaffer commented in an interview with The New York Times, when contemplating leaving The Late Show , he "thought initially, what am I going to do with myself every day?... The only appropriate emotion is gratitude. And I am so grateful. And that is where I have stood for quite a while on it." It's a jarring realization: So much has been made of Letterman leaving the show — and rightfully so — but with his departure also comes the departure of other cast, crew members, and writers.
Throughout his tenure at The Late Show, Dave has shared the spotlight with his announcer, his stage manager, and his favorite deli owner. We've met a bevy of hilarious, everyday people, who, when put in front of a camera, are instantly hilarious because they're simply not meant to be there. In fact, that's what I always loved about Letterman: he was mischievous, wry, and went against the grain for more than 30 years on late night television.
While it is known that Colbert is going to be bringing along members of his own crew from The Colbert Report, the fate of some of The Late Show's favorite folks are still up in the air. If Colbert does do a total revamp of the show, these are the people other than Letterman and Shaffer that I'm really going to miss:
Rupert Jee Of The Hello Deli
The poor guy was lovingly tortured for years... just for having a deli right outside of the studio.
Best. Stage. Manager. Ever. Never take those headphones off, dear Biff.
Oh, I will miss their fake rivalries.
The Poor, Poor Interns
It's the best/worst unpaid job in the world!
If that's not hilariously endearing, I don't know what is.
The Painfully Awkward Audience Members
Letterman's silly games were always a highlight — and they were always even more amazing when they involved the audience.
Pat and Kenny
When grumpy prop masters and grizzly stage hands get together, it's pure gold.