There’s been a flurry of posts, replacement choices, and news on the Internet concerning the retirement of David Letterman, which he announced yesterday. I’ve written David Letterman’s obituary in my head half a dozen times over the years, but I never thought about what it might be like to lose Letterman to retirement. It smarts. It’s getting a ton of play on the Internet, because many of the critics and writers who currently hold positions on the Internet are of the generation that decidedly grew up on Letterman, so it’s been a very nostalgic trip for us.
Much (though not all) of the response on the Internet to many of those pieces, as I have seen, has been reverential but kind of non-plussed. Dave is 67. He’s of another generation. The Internet has moved on to Fallon, and Stewart, and Colbert, and Kimmel, and Meyers. I get it. It’s how I felt when Johnny Carson retired. But man alive: You should’ve seen Dave in the 80s. He was a comedy God. I love Fallon, but the old Letterman show, when he was on Late Night? That will remain the golden era of late night television to me, forever.
Anyway, Seth Meyers — who took over Letterman’s old show after Conan and Fallon ascended to The Tonight Show — understands. He pays proper respect to the man who transformed late-night into what it is today for most everyone (save for Fallon, who really is much more of a Carson than a Dave).