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David Letterman Final Show: Conan Tells Viewers ‘Switch to Dave’ (Video)

”He’s been the north star for me and every comic of my generation,“ O’Brien says

Conan O’Brien opened his TBS talk show on Wednesday with a heartfelt tribute to retiring “Late Show” host David Letterman, encouraging his viewers to “switch to Dave.”

“He’s been the north star for me and every comic of my generation,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien then related a story about how he was brought in to host “Late Night” in 1993 after Letterman moved to CBS. “I was utterly and totally unprepared for that enormous job,” O’Brien said.

O’Brien was bashed by critics and ratings sagged during his early days on the air, but after four months he learned that Letterman wanted to come onto the show as a guest.

It was like the Beatles asking Maury Povich if they could stop by and sing a couple of tunes,” O’Brien said. “It was easily one of the happiest nights of my professional life.”

O’Brien then played a clip from his interview with Letterman from all those years ago. “I looked like a melting Girl Scout,” he joked.

But the interview provided O’Brien and his staff with the shot in the arm they needed, and his late-night career continued. “I truly believe that simple act of kindness turned everything around and made all the difference,” O’Brien said.

Watch the video below.