The annual Kennedy Center Honors were held last night at the White House, with President Barack Obama and a bunch of celebrities paying tribute to the year’s honorees, a group that included David Letterman and some other people (Led Zeppelin, blues musician Buddy Guy, ballerina Natalia Makarova, and Dustin Hoffman). The show will be broadcast December 26 on CBS. On the red carpet, Letterman told the press he was excited to win the award and for the trip to the White House, saying, “It supersedes everything, honestly. I haven’t won that many awards.”
Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, Jimmy Kimmel, and Ray Romano were on hand to honor Letterman. Fey reminisced about watching Letterman with her mother as a child, recalling, “Who was this Dave Letterman guy? Was he a brilliant, subtle passive-aggressive parody of a talk show host? Or just some Midwestern goon who was a little bit off? Time has proven that there’s just really no way of knowing.” Obama also had nice stuff to say about the late night host: “Earlier this year, Dave celebrated his 30th anniversary in late night television – the only person to reach that milestone besides Johnny Carson. Now, Dave will be the first to tell you that he’s no Carson, that all his years on television have only made him appreciate even more how unique Johnny was. But that’s a good thing, because if he were more like Johnny, he’d be less like Dave.” David Letterman is the second-ever late night host to receive the prestigious Kennedy Center award - after Johnny Carson, of course. It’s pretty surprising Jay Leno didn’t try to find some way to steal the award from him.