Norm Macdonald appeared on Friday’s edition of The Late Show with David Letterman to perform stand-up one last time before the show goes off the air on May 20. After his routine — which included some great zingers about World War II and technology — Macdonald got serious and recalled how much Letterman meant to him.
“Mr. Letterman is not for the mawkish, and he has no truck for the sentimental,” an emotional Macdonald said. “If something is true, it is not sentimental. And I say in truth, I love you.”
Read Macdonald’s stirring tribute below. Watch his stand-up routine above.
This will be my last time on the David Letterman show, I understand. We all know that David Letterman was the greatest talk-show host who ever lived. But I remember Dave differently. The first time I saw him, I was 13 years old. I was living in Toronto, Canada, and I went to a talk show they have there, and David Letterman was the stand-up comedian on the show. I loved stand-up. David Letterman did this joke that I told everybody. I love this joke. It still stays with me as my favorite stand-up joke ever. I’d like to do it for you, if you’d like to hear.
He goes, “I was on the street the other day and I saw a garbage truck, and on the back of the garbage truck there was a small sign that said, ‘Please do not follow too closely.’ Another of life’s simple pleasures ruined by meddling bureaucracy, ladies and gentleman. Remember the old days, when dad would pile the kids in a station wagon and we’d all go and follow a garbage truck.”
Mr. Letterman is not for the mawkish, and he has no truck for the sentimental. If something is true, it is not sentimental. And I say in truth, I love you.