David Letterman came on “Live with Regis and Kelly” Wednesday to help the show celebrate Regis’ farewell.
So what did Dave contribute? Well, a couple of things, including telling a story about his broken toilet, which inconvenienced him Wednesday morning when he had to “take a leak” (his words, not ours). He praised Regis, of course, even kissed him kind of passionately, but also managed, somehow, to work in a dig at Jay Leno.
The Leno remark came during a speech Dave made about Regis and Regis’ place in the pantheon of legendary TV talk-show personalities.
Dave made the point that, once upon a time, the undisputed top TV personality was Johnny Carson. And Dave said, after Johnny retired, everyone wanted to know: “Who’s the guy” now?
“It’s not me,” Dave said, “and it’s certainly not Leno — we’ve established that!”
Of course, Dave was leading up to naming Regis “the guy” — the one who really inherits the Carson mantle, due to his longevity and success in the talk-show game.
The Letterman appearance on Wednesday’s “Live” — Regis’ third-to-last show — was billed as a “rare” appearance for Dave on any show other than his own “Late Show” on CBS. And that’s true: Dave doesn’t appear much anywhere else. But he has been on “Live” quite a few times, as one clip retrospective — a “Late Show”-inspired countdown of Dave’s “Top Ten” moments on the show — revealed.
“If you leave, what the hell am I going to watch when I’m hung over?” Dave quipped.
Elsewhere on Wednesday’s “Farewell” show, clip montages were shown of the show’s many celebrity guests over the years — grouped as “actors” (introduced by Kelsey Grammer), “newsmakers” (introduced by Diane Sawyer), and “comedians” (introduced by Carrot Top. Yes, Carrot Top).
And these retrospectives included everyone you could possibly name — from Robert De Niro to George Clooney (actors), from Laura Bush to George W. Bush (newsmakers), and Joan Rivers to Tina Fey (comedians).
In fact, Vice President Joe Biden did a surprise walk-on to personally wish Regis well. On videotape, we saw farewells from Bernadette Peters, Jane Lynch, Will Ferrell, Kevin Bacon and Emma Watson.
Rocker Bret Michaels even came on to sing for Regis. Who knew Regis was friends with Bret Michaels?
Thursdays farewell guest on “Live”: Kathie Lee Gifford. And on Thursday night, Regis will be on Letterman’s “Late Show.”