Watch Jimmy Fallon's Tribute to David Letterman: "Innovation, Fun and Just Plain Weirdness" (Video)

"I think he taught us how to do something smart and stupid for comedy," Fallon said. "He just wanted to have fun and be goofy, and he's always just there when you need him."
NBC/Screenshot
Jimmy Fallon

Jimmy Fallon paid tribute to departing Late Show host David Letterman on Monday night "after 33 years of innovation, fun and just plain weirdness, but mostly fun."

Fallon first thanked him "for playing with the genre, experimenting and exploring, and I, like every kid who grew up watching him, will miss him," Fallon said, mentioning that his middle school teacher predicted he'd join Letterman in the late-night space. The Tonight Show host also recalled Letterman's lightheartedness whenever he'd appear on the Late Show, where he described the backstage area as "a hospital — not the worst one, but not the greatest one."

"I think he taught us how to do something smart and stupid for comedy.... He just wanted to have fun and be goofy, and he's always just there when you need him," Fallon continued, then quoting Letterman's words after 9/11. " 'There's only one requirement of any of us, and that is to be courageous. Because courage, as you might know, defines all other human behavior.' David Letterman is courageous — have a nice retirement, Dave."

Watch the video below.

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