By Christopher Rosen
Updated May 09, 2015 at 12:00 PM EDT

David Letterman’s farewell tour took an emotional pitstop on Friday night when Ray Romano stopped by The Late Show. Romano has long credited his 1995 stand-up appearance on Letterman as the launching pad for his career (Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants Inc., produced Romano’s hit show Everybody Loves Raymond). “I’m not here if that doesn’t happen,” Romano said, before getting choked up while recalling John Mayer’s recent performance of “American Pie” on The Late Show.

“I just saw him at that spot where my life changed, right there — my family’s life …” Romano said, trailing off. “Aw, son of a bitch, it’s happening.”

Watch Romano’s heartfelt tribute to Letterman below.