While I can't say that I was an avid viewer of The Late Show with David Letterman, I can definitely remember watching the show fairly regularly growing up. I can't say it was a staple in my life, but I do remember many funny bits including The Top 10 lists, Stupid Human and Pet tricks and of course they rolled out Paul Schaffer and the late night band.
As Dave's career came to an end last night, it was inevitable to not hear about all of the shows leading up to the grand finale. Along the way, actors, comedians, and many other guests were expressing their gratitude to Dave for the style of comedy he introduced. He was constantly being recognized as a pioneer for this whole new style, because Dave inspired so many successful guys in the industry like Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Norm McDonald... Shall I continue?
What he did for those guys is what the best people in their industries do. They break ground, they lead, and they inspire. It's easy to imagine what a successful career can be, but not everyone has the courage to follow through. Dave did exactly that, he followed through even during times of adversity (being passed over for Jay Leno). I'm sure it wasn't easy, but he faced the challenge, stepped up and became the best at his craft.
Success shouldn't be measured by what we achieve, but perhaps by what we overcome. Every single one of us has a challenge or challenges that will present themselves as we journey through life. If you walk away from such challenges then you will never know what you could have achieved. If you face them straight on, you may discover what you're capable of and perhaps inspire a few or a whole drove of people along the way. Just think about what would be different in late night entertainment if Dave Letterman would have called it quits when NBC passed him over. Does it now make sense as to why it's important to face challenges as opposed to shying away from them?
To finish, all I need to say is "Thank You, Dave" for always being you and never compromising. Your boldness is to be admired and your career is something to strive for. Although my career path isn't towards the late night route, it is certainly inspiring to practice your craft for 33 years. Thanks for the memories and may others follow in your footsteps.