Saying Goodbye to a Legend: David Letterman Takes His Final Bow

kim kardashian

The end of an era for television comes with the permanent signing off of one of America’s most beloved late night hosts, David Letterman.

He seemed to usher in a new wave of comedic ingenuity, one that stressed self-deprecating comedy and a ‘hermit’ attitude that Letterman so eagerly gave off, but in the most humorous way possible. Highly regarded by the countless celebrities who have appeared on his show throughout his 33 year reign as “The only host who needled his guests and made them feel uncomfortable,” it was exactly this quality of his character that transformed him into one of the most beloved late night hosts on prime time television.

Unlike his late night predecessors, like Jay Leno, or Johnny Carson, Letterman refused to project a falsified ‘star struck’ attitude with a number of his popular guests, and is renowned for scrapping the accepted late night format, and making it his own.

Where other hosts would engage in superfluous banter with guests, Letterman would arrive out of right field with a gimmick or a funny game, actually seeking to engage the guests as well as the audience and viewers.

This is an alternately cropped version of File...
This is an alternately cropped version of File:David Letterman 2.jpg. This version has been edited to provide appropriate visual context to make this picture of Dave both nicer to look at, and more historically important. (The following is the original image’s description as of the time of this writing.) David Letterman during an interview on the Late Show in New York City on June 13, 2011. DoD photo by Mass Communication Specialist 1st Class Chad J. McNeeley/Released) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Some of his famous games/sketches throughout the years were:

Will It Float?: Where an item is dropped into a tank of water by two models nicknamed “The Hi-Ho girls,” while in jest, Letterman cites positive feedback from educators, clergymen, and parents about the game.

Stump the Band: A pre-selected audience member requests an obscure song from Paul Shaffer (Letterman’s musical director and sidekick on the show) and the CBS orchestra, to which they preform a humorous inaccurate betrayal of the song, only to be told by the audience member that it’s incorrect, even while Paul Shaffer insists that they’ve played it correctly.

Hello Deli Games: A camera crew is sent to Rupert Jee, owner of the ‘Hello Deli’ neighboring the studio, where potential players are randomly selected outside by Rupert Jee, and are subjected to a series of random games, all filmed inside the deli. The most popular of the games is titled “Beat the Clock”, where confused contestants hopelessly attempt to stop a clock counting down from zero, and regardless of if they win or lose receive a ‘Hello Deli’ platter by the Hi Ho girls.

Letterman abandoned the conformity of late night television, and sought to leave an authentic mark on the way we’re entertained. He was able to mock the veracity of his own show as well as himself, and that’s what made him so distinctly great to watch.

David Letterman is a pioneer for all entertainers alike, and his absence in late night will be palpable to millions across America who have watched his show for years.

Letterman’s last show was broadcast on Wednesday, May 20th at 11:35 p.m. (ET). His last musical guest were The Foo Fighters; and the last episode was filled with messages from the last 4 presidents, A-list celebrities, and flashbacks.

Thank you for 33 years of pure genius.

Photo Via Flickr/gi-gi_nyc



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