On Wednesday night, after 33 years on the air, David Letterman plans to say goodbye to late night.
In anticipation of his retirement from CBS’s “The Late Show,” Letterman has invited a string of notable guests to join him on set over the last few weeks, including President Obama, George Clooney and Tina Fey.
The show has kept a pretty close secret about what’s in store for the final episode. But, in the Letterman tradition, we’ve compiled our top 10 favorite celebrity tributes — which range from the heartfelt to the downright silly — below.
The actor made a fitting guest for the penultimate episode, since he was the first guest on “The Late Show” back in 1993. Murray began Tuesday’s segment by emerging from a giant cake and rubbing frosting in Letterman’s hair.
The stand-up comic and long-time “Saturday Night Live” regular gave Letterman a teary send-off, calling him “the greatest talk show host who ever lived.”
Letterman and Obama talked retirement during the President’s May 5 visit, joking about hanging out at Starbucks and playing dominoes together. Obama had some kind parting words for the host, saying, “You’re a part of all of us. You’ve given us a great gift and we love you.”
Clooney did his best to prevent the late-night host from going off the air by handcuffing Letterman’s wrist to his own, telling him, “You’re not going anywhere.”
Fey is tired of donning fancy dresses to make her frequent appearances on Letterman’s show. Saying she’ll no longer dress up for a late night show now that he’s retiring, she stripped down onstage to reveal elaborate undergarments that read, “Bye Dave/#lastdressever.”
The former President talked to Letterman about Hillary’s presidential campaign and their grandkids. When asked for the percentage chance he’ll move back to the White House, Clinton responded, “If she wins the election, the chances are 100 percent I’ll move back — if I’m asked.”
Hanks taught Letterman to use a selfie stick during his appearance, snapping a photo and encouraging the host to bring one with him on his retirement vacation. “When you, in a couple weeks, head down to — I’m just going to guess what you’re going to be up to — Space Camp, take one of these bad boys with you.”
Roberts reminisced with Letterman about her many past appearances on the show and their ongoing for-the-cameras flirtation. Before leaving, she gave Letterman one last kiss.
The comic, who said she was on the show 34 times since 2001, sang a medley in honor of Letterman’s departure. She told him he’d be missed, and was “a New York staple…like scaffolding.”
Martin created a special farewell video for his long-time friend, envisioning Letterman’s life in retirement. According to the comic, Letterman can look forward to a future of playing penny slots at casinos and eating early-bird specials at the Golden Corral.