My mom was born and raised in New York. She and her parents and siblings instilled a deep and abiding love of New York in my sisters and I as we grew up. I don’t know if it was intentional, but it stuck. Along the way, there are a few things I’ve come to consider quintessentially New York: black & white cookies, bagels with cream cheese, Broadway, pizza, and David Letterman.
I wish that I could stay up to watch Dave’s last show tonight, but I know that I’ll regret it in the morning, when Ian is running around like a crazy person and I’m nodding off next to him. So instead, I’m sitting here mulling over why I’m feeling kind of emotional about Dave’s retirement. Admittedly, I haven’t watched The Late Show since college, when my friends and I became devoted members of the Colbert Nation. Even so, thinking about Dave & his show fills me with warmth and nostalgia I just can’t shake.
Growing up in my home, my dad enforced strict rules about what media we were and were not allowed to watch, so I remember that it felt like a small victory when I was allowed stay up late enough to watch The Late Show. My dad is an early-to-bed, early-to-rise sort, and so it was just me and my mom, and occasionally Nanny or my younger sister. We would curl up on the couch, under our blankets, and settle in to watch Dave.
I remember Top 10 lists and Will It Float? I remember chucking watermelons off the roof and Dave touching his toes. I remember getting excited when our favorite movie stars were the guests, and I remember (though I can’t quite describe) the exact face my mom made when Dave said something a little too inappropriate. I remember being anxious to see what Dave would make poor Rupert G do next.
But mostly? I remember laughing.
For the rest of my life, I’ll fondly remember and treasure laughing on the couch next to my mom. I’ll recall how the next day at dinner, we’d try to recount the jokes and antics to my dad, but we could never quite deliver it the way Dave did. You just had to watch it.
So, thanks for the laughs, Dave. Thanks for the memories. I hope you enjoy every minute at home with your wife and son. We’ll miss you.