Canadian musician and Late Show band leader Paul Shaffer, 65, has been along for the long ride as Letterman's sidekick from even before his days on CBS. When the boy from small-town Indiana got his first late-night hosting gig with rival network NBC, Shaffer was there.
At many points throughout his final monologue, Letterman reminisced with Shaffer on the many experiences they shared on the show together, calling Shaffer a dear friend. He also called him a "musical genius" and "partner in comedy."
Letterman likened his relationship with Shaffer to the magic act and animal exploits of Las Veagas stalwarts Siegfried and Roy, and he joked that he and Shaffer could next be seen at Caesar's Palace with their own white tigers.
Many of us grew up with Letterman's late-night shenanigans, and he and Shaffer were our constant companions these last 33 years.
They will be missed.