An impressive list of celebrities literally lined up to say goodbye to David Letterman Wednesday night as they read the final Late Show Top 10 list. Working with the topic “Things I’ve Always Wanted to Say to Dave,” Bill Murray, Tina Fey, Chris Rock, Peyton Manning, Julia Louis-Dreyfus, Jim Carrey, Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Martin, Barbara Walters and Alec Baldwin all gave the long-running late-night host a gentle ribbing.
One of the funniest was Rock’s: “I’m just glad your show is being given to another white guy.” As the guests and audience laughed, Letterman rejoined, “You know, I had nothing to do with that,” referencing his previous statement that he had no input on his successor. “I thought, well, maybe this will be a good opportunity to put a black person on, and it would be a good opportunity to put a woman on,” Letterman told The New York Times in April. CBS decided it would be Stephen Colbert, who will start in September.
The other major standout was delivered by Louis-Dreyfus, who not only teased Letterman but also another one of the Top 10 readers with her entry: “Thanks for letting me take part in another hugely disappointing series finale.” As Carrey and Martin burst into laughter behind her, the man between them – Jerry Seinfeld – looked taken aback and said, “Really?” to his former cast mate. He then shortly broke a smile. “I had nothing to do with that either,” Letterman joked.
Carrey used his time to fluff his hair and roll his eyes after calling Letterman an over-actor, Fey flipped the script on humor, thanking Dave for proving “men can be funny” before sidling back next to Manning, and Murray – who somehow got all the cake off him from the night before – delivered the Number One entry: “I’ll never have the money I owe you.” It all made for a fun, mawkish-free way of saying goodbye.
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After more than three decades hosting late-night shows, last night’s Late Show was Letterman’s farewell, filled with archival clips, behind-the-scenes montages and several earnest thank yous from the man of the hour. Letterman, of course, had the best joke of the night, one which would have fit perfectly in the Top 10. “It’s beginning to look like I’m not getting The Tonight Show,” Letterman said in his opening monologue.