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David Letterman

Jimmy Kimmel took a moment to discuss the importance of David Letterman and Late Show during the opening portion of a recent Jimmy Kimmel Live episode. Jimmy talks about the time David went to the Just Shades store as a skit, and I still remember it so clearly.

See? All the tears are coming out from people. And Jimmy still manages to tell people not to watch his show tonight, but to watch David’s instead.

Jimmy takes some time to pay tribute to Late Show host David Letterman and wish him well on his retirement.

“I want to take a minute to talk about David Letterman, who I’m sure everyone here knows will be retiring after 33 years of innovation, fun and just plain weirdness—but mostly fun,” he said. “I, like many of you, grew up watching Dave. Everybody did. I mean, if you saw somebody throw watermelons off a roof and you go, ‘Oh my gosh. Adults get paid for doing that?’ That type of stuff had never been done on TV before. This is at 12:30. This is after The Tonight Show. All you had was Johnny Carson, so this is kind of like unexplored space. This is like the Wild, Wild West. I think this show and what late-night has become is a result of him playing with the genre and experimenting and exploring and doing that stuff. I, like every kid who grew up watching him, will miss him.”

Fallon then pulled out his eighth grade yearbook.

“At the end, my teacher makes predictions about what her students were going to go on to do…It says, ‘James Fallon will replaced David Letterman on the Late Night show.’ I want to go to the racetrack with this teacher in two weeks. It’s pretty close. It’s so weird because I never thought I was going to do a job like this…so when they offered me to do the Late Night show before this show, and I was like, ‘God.’ I talked to my wife and I go, ‘I don’t know. Should I do this thing?’ And she goes, ‘Yeah! You’d be great.’ She goes, ‘Take a chance. If anything, the list is short. There’s only two other people who’ve done it before you: Conan O’Brien and David Letterman. So even if you fail, it’s still a good list to be on.'”

The very first Top 10 List? “Things that almost rhyme with peas.” You can watch it before. Speaking of the list, Letterman’s fictional Top 10 Office has been located in 11 different cities. The first was Milwaukee, followed by Lebanon, Pa.; Lincoln, Neb.; Oklahoma City; Omaha, Neb.; Scottsdale, Ariz.; Tahlequah, Okla.; Oneonta, N.Y. (the last Late Night home office); Sioux City, Iowa (the first Late Show home office); Grand Rapids, Mich.; and the current city, Wahoo, Neb. Incidentally, Nebraska has hosted the most home offices, with a total of three.

“This week, [insert celebrity introductions here], will be competing against [insert other team name here] on… THE RIDDLERS! With your host, David Letterman!”

This is a bizarre pilot in which five celebrities played against five contestants.

Five celebrities played against five contestants of the same occupation, hobby, etc. in a game of asking & answering riddles. At the start of a team’s first turn, host Letterman read a riddle to the first player, and a correct answer allowed that player to read a riddle to his/her partner, who then a read a riddle to the next player, and so on and so forth. As soon as a team got five correct answers, progress went the other way. When a player missed a riddle, control went over to the other team. The first team to answer nine riddles correctly won the game and $500.

The winning team went on to play a bonus game called “Crazy Quotes” for some extra money. Players on the winning team arranged themselves around in “intellectual ability”. Letterman read five quotes supposedly said by famous people. Each correct answer won more money and they increase in difficulty. The first four questions were worth $100, $200, $300, & $400, and the last question was worth $1,000, for a maximum total of $2,000.

But who cares, really? IT WAS HOSTED BY DAVID LETTERMAN!

I never knew if the stupider things we did or the more traditional things we did would work. I didn’t know if the stupid stuff would alienate people. I didn’t know if the traditional stuff would be more appealing. And then, when I look back on it now, of course the answer is, you want to do the weird thing.
– David Letterman, on his late-night innovations, New York Times