I discovered David Letterman when I was just a kid. I remember my brother and I, home for the summer, turning on the TV one morning and finding a talk show host with a level of irreverence and dry wit (before we were old enough to know what 'dry wit' was), and being instantly hooked. We loved Dave, we watched him all summer, and even though that show didn't last, it was the beginning of my 30+ year TV-relationship with the man. Through his cranky years, Velcro suits, working the drive-through at a Taco Bell (lady ordering from her car: "I'd like a medium Coke..." Dave on the head-set: "'Medium... relative to what?"), heart surgery, scandals, and everything in between, I was there, and tonight, Dave was there for me. Well, for me and about 450 other people who were lucky enough to get a ticket to see him being interviewed by Susan Morrison.
They say don't meet your heroes because you will be disappointed, but Dave was everything I ever wanted him to be. He was funny and smart, he was kind and self-deprecating, he called Donald Trump (whom he referred to as "Trumpy" over and over again) a "badly damaged human being," and there was something about him... a generosity of spirit -- in the way he listened so intently to Susan's questions and participated so fully in her discussion, and also in he way he interacted with the audience during the Q&A, asking each person who stepped up to the microphone their name and where they were from -- that made me appreciate him even more. Maybe a talk show host/comedian isn't the loftiest person to have as a hero, but for over 30 years, watching Dave made me happy, and some days, that's almost the same as saving someone from a burning building.