A true gem in the comedy world and a real stand-up guy. That's the final feeling David Letterman left audiences with in his final episode of The Late Show. The episode was a beautiful mix of emotion and hilarity as Letterman said goodbye to his loyal viewers and his loving staff. After providing the final Top 10 List of the show, showing viewers what happens behind-the-scenes of his show, cracking a few more memorable jokes at his own expense and sharing that great chemistry he always has with Paul Schaffer, Letterman began his final speech to the audience with so much love, gratitude and heart. By the time the Foo Fighters began their performance to end the series (which also featured a montage of some of The Late Show's best moments), there wasn't a dry eye in the house.
Letterman started his final address to the audience with a heartfelt thank you to every single staffer and department he could remember. He even made a joke about having never stepped foot in the control room, introduced the control room staff to the audience, and then introduced himself to the staff. He continued by thanking each and every member as well as a beautiful note of gratitude to Schaffer whom Letterman called the best friend on television and the best friend in life. He stated time and time again that without his staff and without the band (who "are so much better at their job than I am at my job" he said), this show and he would be nowhere.
Letterman then thanked his family: His wife Regina and their son Harry, both of whom received a standing ovation. "Thank you for being my family," Letterman said. "I love you both, and really nothing else matters does it?" Letterman then followed with a fun moment by explaining that Harry also wanted Letterman to introduce his friend Tommy. And finally Letterman thanked his audience, especially those who have watched him loyally since he was first on the air in the morning. To them he would jokingly ask "Have you thought about a complete psychological work up?" Letterman then got serious and explained to all of his viewers "There's nothing I can do to repay you. Thank you for everything. You have given me everything."
So why were The Foo Fighters the final musical guest for Letterman's last show? 15 years ago when Letterman had open heart surgery, he had to miss being on the show for a good five to six weeks. His producer asked him if he wanted anything special music-wise for his first show back and after a little while of narrowing choices down, Letterman asked about The Foo Fighters as they had been the show at that point four or five times. Unfortunately they were on tour at the time. But apparently they cancelled the tour two days later and came back to New York to perform for Letterman and play the song he requested as it had a special place in his heart from when he was struggling with his health.
Letterman explained, "Happily ever since, we've been joined at the hip." So for the "last thing I have left to do on a television program," Letterman stated, he introduced his final musical performance. The episode ended with a montage of hilarious and sweet Late Show moments throughout its 33-year run and made me realize that no matter what, David Letterman will be in our hearts as a true television and comedy icon forever.
Images: Jeffrey R. Staab/CBS (3)