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Seth Meyers hails the original ‘Late Night’, from the opening credits to a sit-down with Letterman himself

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NBC/Lloyd Bishop

On Tuesday’s Late Night with Seth Meyers, Seth commemorated the 40th anniversary of David Letterman‘s first episode of Late Night.

The tribute began from the drop, with a recreation of the opening to Letterman’s vintage series, and continued with a sit down with the man himself, who was on hand to share memories of his time on the groundbreaking series. 

Dave and Seth reminisced about classic bits on the show, which are now available on YouTube, including “Elevator Races,” and a week-long segment Letterman had done with the “World’s Largest Vase.”

While admonishing Meyers for not having “an animal guy” on the show, a chat show staple for decades, Letterman remembered Jack Hanna‘s many appearances on Late Night. “We realized two or three shows in that Jack doesn’t know anything about animals,” Letterman joked. He also remembered a beaver they had on the show that bit Hannah so badly that Hanna walked himself to the emergency room — where he was mistaken for a gunshot victim. 

Making matters worse, Hanna caught flak from the cops for having an “illegal beaver” within New York City limits, recalled Dave, now the host of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction on Netflix.

Later, Adam Duritz from Counting Crows performed a solo version of “Long December,” a favorite song of Letterman’s.

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