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When Jimmy Kimmel turned 18, he blew the candles out on a cake that had frosted on it the letters “L8 Nite.” The license plate on his first car bore the same characters. And when on Wednesday night, he finally got to show old photos of those memories to David Letterman, the man who both the cake and the car were meant to honor, his hero cracked, “Did your parents step in when they saw? I mean, these are warning signs, Jimmy.”
Letterman, Kimmel’s childhood hero, appeared on a special Brooklyn-based broadcast of the ABC host’s show, sitting down for his first long late night TV interview in many years. There was a sense of excitable kid and curmudgeonly vet, one looking for friendship and approval and the other cracking wise whenever he could. But it was also a sort of passing-of-the-torch moment; though Letterman has no plans to retire, Kimmel’s show will soon move to 11:30 pm, becoming a direct competitor to Letterman’s Late Show on CBS.
The pair traded anecdotes, stories about kids, fly fishing tales and all sorts of small talk. But to Kimmel, it was huge.
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