Jimmy Fallon paid homage to David Letterman last night, calling the departing host an inspiration and trailblazer.
Fallon’s tribute was both personal and universal. He credited Letterman with inspiring him as a youngster and — later on — to do comedy that is both smart and stupid at the same time.
In a deeper moment, he reminded us all of Letterman’s presence in post 9/11 New York City and his role in making a nation laugh again.
It was a classy move and a good reminder of Letterman’s influence on the industry. While the similarities between he and Fallon don’t exactly jump out, there are plenty there once you get past the surface.