From the writing desk of Christine Mazurk
David Letterman is retiring tonight after hosting over 6000 late-night talk shows in a span of 33 years.
After losing out to Jay Leno to replace Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show in 1992, Letterman moved to CBS; that after a decade with NBC. Now, he's saying good-bye. What made Letterman so special? He genuinely wanted to know about other people, which he demonstrated often over the years by speaking to and asking questions of his audience members.
His questions to celebrity guests ranged from hotel rooms to body weight, including asking Paris Hilton about her time behind bars. When she didn't comment, he pushed, "See, this is all I want to talk about. Did you make any friends when you were in prison?"
His fans reminisce that the most memorable shows were the ones where Dave shared a few private-life moments, something he didn't do often, from discussing his 2000 bypass surgery, declaring NYC the greatest city in the world after the tragic 9/11 attacks, to sharing a picture of his new born son in 2003.
Will the final weeks trump the previously favored shows?
His final weeks welcomed a galaxy of A-list stars and I'm guessing the buzz will continue for years:
Tina Fey and her Spanx. Tom Hanks using the selfie stick. George Clooney handcuffing himself to Dave. Julia Roberts recalling her first interview.
Adam Sandler's Ode to Dave, and Bill Murray leading the "crowd chant" - "More, more, more." "We just want you to stay!"
Leslie Moonves, CBS CEO, says, "David's influence (to late night) was phenomenal. Whenever there was something important going on in America, you turned on David Letterman. He was the conscience of America, he was a bit of a social commentator, he was our local curmudgeon."
Stephen Colbert is set to replace Dave in September, but as of tonight, it's time to bid David Letterman a FOND FAREWELL as the lights fade on the stage one last time.