Bill Murray, Amy Schumer and Steve Martin all had kind words for the talk show host.
David Letterman was the well deserved recipient of the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor last week, for his thirty-plus years as the country's most respected late night talk-show host. Comedians and supporters turned out in their droves to praise him at the official ceremony.
David Letterman at the Peabody Awards
Presented by John Mulaney, the prize ceremony took place at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts in Washington on Sunday (October 22nd 2017). The ever-gracious former 'Late Show' host delivered a 10 minute speech in acceptance of the prestigious award, but not after his comedic pals took turns to speak about him.
'Dave has always had excellent instincts. What better time than now to choose to look like a Confederate war general', Steve Martin joked, in regards to the 70-year-old's decision to grow a beard. Meanwhile, last year's Mark Twain Prize winner Bill Murray told him: 'You're not exactly a god, but you're way up there', while Amy Schumer joked about his reserved personality, noting that she was pleased that he 'was no longer totally indifferent' to her by her third appearance on his show.
After 33 years of 'The Late Show with David Letterman' and 6,000 episodes in total, David looks back with fondness at his illustrious career. But his last comment was with regards to the bigger picture. 'There are millions of quotes from Mark Twain. I'm going to wrap this up with a quote, and it has to do with patriotism', he said during his speech. 'Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.'
On a less serious note, however, presenter Mulvaney summed up Letterman's career with this comparison. 'The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson said to people: Hey, take a break from your weird life and watch these fancy people make show business', he said. 'But David Letterman's shows said to people: Your weird life is just as funny as show business.'