Over the past weeks, the outpouring of love and adoration for David Letterman has been pretty astounding. He truly was and remains a powerhouse in the field of late night talk show comedy for the past 33 years. That’s a pretty long time; maybe even…”Everlong”…? (I’m the Gene Shallit of story teasers, you guys.)
For Letterman’s final The Late Show with David Letterman Wednesday night, Letterman’s favorite band, Foo Fighters, played his favorite song, “Everlong,” to send Dave into his retirement in rocking style. Foo Fighters appeared on the show in 2000 for Dave’s first show back after double bypass heart surgery (wowzers, that was 15 years ago; I remember it very vividly) and played that very song. At that time, Dave had already hosted The Late Show for seven years, which in retrospect seems like hardly any time at all, especially considering he’d do more than twice that after his surgery.
The song was clearly significant to the late night host, and over it played a behemoth slide show of images from his whole talk show career, beginning with NBC’s Late Night which he hosted for 11 years prior to moving to CBS (if you don’t know the Letterman/Leno/Tonight Show scandal from 1993, it really is worth looking up), and then a barrage of images from his CBS days. Both eras’ clips are heralded by the appearance of Bud Melman, who was a staple of both shows until his death in 2007.
Letterman, on both of his shows, was always a proponent of new and cutting edge music, regardless of genre, and has had some truly killer performances. Foo Fighters appeared on the show over 20 times in the past 20 years dating all the way back to August 14, 1995.
The above montage is a very fitting, touching, and funny tribute to someone who truly revolutionized a format that had been around long enough to get stodgy. But Dave never did.
Share your favorite Letterman musical moments below!