Wearing a Late Night with David Letterman jacket, a 16-year-old Jimmy Kimmel blew out the candles on his “L8 Nite” cake, only to purchase personalized license plates with that same insignia for his first car.
In other words, to say that David Letterman was Jimmy Kimmel’s idol would be an understatement.
“I wanted to be an artist as a kid,” began Kimmel in his opening monologue (watch above). “I loved to draw. Every night after my parents went to bed I would sit at my desk in my room and draw, until it was very late, and while I was doing that I would watch a television show that is very important to me as you can tell [chokes up]. It was called Late Night with David Letterman.”
Jimmy went on to explain that what attracted him to the show was that “it was weird.” Even though it looked like every other talk show, it wasn’t. It was totally original.”
Kimmel choked up a few times as he bid farewell to Letterman. He then asked his audience of millions to not watch his own episode tonight; instead, he said, he’d prefer everyone tune into the final episode of The Late Show with David Letterman.