By Baynan Ryan
On May 20th, David Letterman, host of the Late Show for the past 33 years, gave his final goodbyes to his loyal fans as his run on the show finally came to a close. At the end of his final episode, he gave his gratitude to his staff, his family and friends, and to the viewers watching at home. The episode ran an extra twenty minutes past its usual hour long runtime.
The Foo Fighters, Letterman’s personal favorite band, was able to play their song “Everlong” for the finale, which they played back in 2000 to help welcome back the host after his heart bypass surgery. It was also revealed at the end of the show that they were supposed to go on tour in South America, but they canceled the entire thing just to guest star on Letterman’s final show and play his favorite song.
And this is only one of several major star cameos that this episode contained. In fact, the first thirty seconds of the episode is just back-to-back clips of every U.S. president from Nixon to Obama all saying “Our long national nightmare is over.” The montage ends with Letterman walking up to Obama and asking “You’re just kidding, right?”
The show later had appearances by celebrities including Alec Baldwin, Jerry Seinfeld, Tina Fey, Jim Carrey, Chris Rock, and many others for a special top ten list titled “Top 10 Things I’ve Always Wanted to Say to David Letterman.” The list ends with Bill Murray saying, “David…I will never have the money I owe you.”
This final moment for Letterman’s carrier was heartbreaking for many of his fans, whether they thought his run on the show ended perfectly or not. It was the end of an era for many people, and felt like a true goodbye to what people now know as the Late Show. That is the most important thing to keep in mind when making a series finale, after all. There is even a joke made about it during the top ten list, when Julia Louis-Dreyfus told David “Thanks for letting me take part in another hugely disappointing series finale,” referring to the final episode of the TV-sitcom “Seinfeld”.
When asked about what their favorite show is and if the ending was fulfilling enough for them, senior Danny Suing said the ending to his favorite show ‘House’ was, but also said that what made the show so good in the first place was how it kept going. Doctor White, Head of security said that he hadn’t seen the last episode of his favorite show, ‘Leave it to Beaver’ (“Back when life was simple,” as he put it), but he believes that the best way that show could have ended was with “a message sent to kids to respect their elders, and their elders to respect them.” But he also says that if the show were to end differently, it wouldn’t bother him if the episode is still good.
It seems as though even if a show ends the way you want it to, saying goodbye to a series you enjoy so much is never an easy thing to do. But even if that is the case, it’s important that we all remember that nothing lasts forever, and instead of feeling upset that something you love is gone, feel happy that it was around in the first place. Whether or not Letterman ended his run on television the way many people wish he should have, he was still loved by all of his fans, and it’s important that we all wish him the best of luck with whatever comes next in his life.