Over the last few weeks, Jimmy Kimmel has done nothing to hide is love for David Letterman. Kimmel wrote Letterman a tribute for TIME and announced that Jimmy Kimmel Live! will air a rerun during Letterman’s final show on Wednesday night. On Tuesday, Kimmel brought his Letterman affection to television, taking more than six minutes bid farewell to the host who shaped his young life.
“Even though it looked like every other talk show — it wasn’t. It was totally original, primarily because of the host of the show – who, a lot of time – seemed embarrassed to be there. He was a part of show business,” Kimmel said of his first encounter with Letterman’s Late Night. “He was uncomfortable — he never pretended to be excited, and his way of saying things was so subtle that a lot of the time, the people he was talking to didn’t know he was joking.”
It quickly turned into an all-out obsession — his 16th birthday cake was Late Night-themed. He had a Letterman letterman jacket and a L8NITE vanity plate on his first car. “I watched the show every night. I never missed it.”
“We had no VCR, so I would have David Letterman viewing parties at my house in the middle of the night,” he said. “And little did I know that many years — and many pounds later — that watching that show was a great education for me. I learned almost nothing in college – but watching Late Night… not only did I learn how to do everything from Dave. The reason I have this show is because the executives at ABC saw me when I was a guest on Dave’s show — and hired me to host this show.”
“We will not have a show on [Wednesday] night – a rerun – but please do not watch it,” he continued. “Especially if you’re a young person who doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about. Dave is the best and you should see him.”
Watch the tribute below.
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