David Letterman's Final 'Late Show': Stars, Staffers, Politicians Share Memories
President Barack Obama, Betty White, Jennifer Lawrence, Demi Moore, Jessica Chastain and former writers Craig Thomas and Eric and Justin Stangel reminisced about their time with the retiring host.
On Wednesday, as David Letterman taped his final Late Show, Hollywood continued its long goodbye to the longtime late-night host.
Stars took to social media to remember their experiences as guests on Letterman's CBS show or to share what the host's work on both that series and his earlier Late Night NBC series meant to them. Some kept it brief, posting a few remarks and maybe a photo from an appearance on the show.
Others, like Adam Scott, Dan Harmon and former Late Show writer turned How I Met Your Mother co-showrunner Craig Thomas, posted extended reflections on the impact Letterman had on them.
Former longtime Late Show head writers Eric and Justin Stangel also paid tribute to Letterman on social media, both sharing several photos from their days of working on the show, while executive producer Barbara Gaines wrote: "Everything I own, I owe to Dave Letterman."
Even politicians took time to mark the end of Letterman's 33-year late-night career, with President Barack Obama tweeting a photo of one of his own Late Show appearances with the message "TV won't be the same without Dave." The New York City mayor's office posted a vine of Bill de Blasio signing a proclamation officially declaring Wednesday, May 20, "Late Show With David Letterman Day." And New York governor Andrew Cuomo released the following statement, bidding farewell to the host whose shows called New York home.
"For more than 30 years, we’ve all stayed up later than we should to watch the comedic genius of David Michael Letterman. From his 'Stupid Pet Tricks' and 'Top Ten' lists to always keeping guests on their toes — New Yorkers and Americans alike have happily traded rest for reveling in the Late Show’s best moments. The Letterman approach to late night gave us something we could relate to and will always appreciate, as the stars of his show were often everyday New Yorkers. In the wake of 9/11, he helped us heal and brought us together with his strength, compassion and inspiration. Night in and night out, throughout thousands of tapings and guests from around the world, Dave made it clear that he felt lucky to be in the middle of New York City. Together with his stalwart sidekick, Paul Shaffer, he ushered in a new generation of late-night comedy that has both inspired and influenced countless comedians and hosts. After tonight, we will all feel a little lost without our late-night legend — but also a little relieved that we no longer have to worry about objects flying off the roof of the Ed Sullivan Theater. Last year, I was honored to appear on the Late Show to reveal the ‘Top 10 Ways New York State Is Better Than Ever.' When Dave announced his retirement, we created our own Top Ten list in his honor. Today, on behalf of all New Yorkers, we have a new No. 1: Thank you Dave — we’ll miss you."
Read on to see how Hollywood is commemorating Letterman's final Late Show.
If you care about comedy watch #Letterman tonight, and pay your respects. If you're with someone under 25 explain how funny he is.— Bill Lawrence (@VDOOZER) May 20, 2015
Well, here we are at the last show. Everything I own I owe to Dave Letterman. Thank you for 35 years.— Barbara Gaines (@barbara_gaines1) May 20, 2015
Some last words from Late Show's David Letterman: "If you do good things for people it will never stop making you feel good about yourself."— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) May 20, 2015
This is a contrarian opinion but I love old Letterman more than young Letterman— B.J. Novak (@bjnovak) May 20, 2015
If Andy Kaufman's still alive, the final David Letterman show would be the time & place to reveal it.— Patton Oswalt (@pattonoswalt) May 20, 2015
WOW! David Letterman is saying goodbye...33 years of superb invention on his part and laughter on ours. That went so fast! I loved it!!— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) May 20, 2015
A good 80% of why I wanted to do any of this was to one day sit on Letterman's couch.— Adam Scott (@mradamscott) May 20, 2015
As a kid, the only tv in the house was a 5" black & white one with 3 channels I had in my room, next to my bed.— Adam Scott (@mradamscott) May 20, 2015
I'd watch whatever was on tv every night, alone, until sign-off. I loved it.— Adam Scott (@mradamscott) May 20, 2015
In the summer of 85 I discovered Late Night with David Letterman by accident and it blew my 12 yr old mind.— Adam Scott (@mradamscott) May 20, 2015
Without fail I watched every night & felt like I was the only person in the world still awake, that this insane show was made just for me.— Adam Scott (@mradamscott) May 20, 2015
It changed the way I thought about TV, defined what I found funny, and helped shape how I look at the world— Adam Scott (@mradamscott) May 20, 2015
14-year old me thanks #DavidLetterman and his Late Night staff/crew/writers for giving me a place to escape during hard times...— Craig Thomas (@HimymCraig) May 20, 2015
22-year old me thanks #DavidLetterman for giving me my first job as a professional comedy writer...— Craig Thomas (@HimymCraig) May 20, 2015
...and teaching me to always try to be better, dig deeper, find the extra twist that makes a piece of writing even better...#DavidLetterman— Craig Thomas (@HimymCraig) May 20, 2015
And current-day me will miss the comfort of knowing #DavidLetterman is on TV every night, making the world a little weirder and smarter.— Craig Thomas (@HimymCraig) May 20, 2015
.@Letterman you were like a father growing up. I even had bath time interviews with an imaginary YOU involving shampoo bottles and our...— sia (@Sia) May 20, 2015
me and dave - all the best - rosie o https://t.co/Gkk8D6xzqz— Rosie (@Rosie) May 20, 2015
TV won't be the same without Dave. pic.twitter.com/9q5NHTf3b5— Barack Obama (@BarackObama) May 20, 2015
Congratulations to David Letterman, who I now believe is beginning his third career in show business.— Steve Martin (@SteveMartinToGo) May 20, 2015
.@Letterman Not a long national nightmare! A long national dream!— Rita Wilson (@RitaWilson) May 21, 2015
Thank you Mr. Letterman for decades of laughs & inspiration (and for saying “hi” in the hall once). —David Wain, “Late Night” intern (1990)— David Wain (@davidwain) May 21, 2015
That was top to bottom a perfect Letterman finale. I'll miss Dave being on my television very much.— Colin Jost (@TheColinJost) May 21, 2015
Ok Dave this feels like the right time to admit I stole some stuff from the set. Just mugs! I take great care of them! So sorry. I love you.— olivia wilde (@oliviawilde) May 21, 2015
LOVED Dave's goodbye!!!! AMAZING!!! just the right note!!!! He is perfect.— Andy Cohen (@Andy) May 21, 2015
Now there's even less chance I'll get to marry Dave Letterman and his lovely wife Regina— mia farrow (@MiaFarrow) May 21, 2015
As a kid, I repeated Carson jokes to impress grownups.. I never got the jokes. Comedy was repeating sounds I memorized that got laughs on TV— Dan Harmon (@danharmon) May 21, 2015
And then Letterman appears. Dress pants and sneakers. Toast on a stick. Jokes I started getting. Comedy became a real thing. He was our dad.— Dan Harmon (@danharmon) May 21, 2015
I was heartbroken in my 20s when he didn't get Carson's seat. I stopped watching all of it. Comedy was bullshit again. I went all edgy.— Dan Harmon (@danharmon) May 21, 2015
Later Mr. Show came out to that edge and made me want to be funny again. But Letterman was dad. I hope my dad's not on twitter. #ThanksDave— Dan Harmon (@danharmon) May 21, 2015
Dave sent me this after I was on once and it's one of my most prized possessions. Was always my favorite show to do. pic.twitter.com/ShGtddbvr5— Seth Rogen (@Sethrogen) May 21, 2015
First time I was on TV: guest on Letterman. He kept it moving and cracked jokes and made clear he would not let me fail. #alreadymissdave— Ira Glass (@iraglass) May 21, 2015
I already miss David Letterman... #legendary— Neil Patrick Harris (@ActuallyNPH) May 21, 2015
He hasn't said a word and I'm crying. #ThanksDave— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) May 21, 2015