“I’ve spoken a lot over the years about how much I love Dave [Letterman]—about the impact he’s had on me as a comedian and a talk show host,” Jimmy Kimmel said at the top of his show Tuesday night. “And Dave is here tonight to ask me to stop doing that. He’s getting uncomfortable with it.”
Yes, for Kimmel’s second consecutive show broadcasting out of Brooklyn, New York, he welcomed his hero, David Letterman, to the Jimmy Kimmel Live! couch. And Kimmel wasn’t exaggerating. He grew up worshipping Letterman—he joked about losing his virginity on a bed with Late Night with David Letterman sheets— and has consistently sung his praises while taking shots at his rival, Jay Leno, for the big-headed comic’s shady behind-the-scenes machinations concerning both Letterman and Conan O’Brien.
Letterman, after discussing how Howard Stern apologized to him after years of ribbing, allowing the two to eventually become pals, opened up about his considerably closer friendship with NBA superstar Kevin Durant. The athlete and funnyman have appeared on each other’s shows, with Letterman famously pestering Durant during a press conference for his Netflix series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction.
“You spend enough time talking to somebody about a wide variety of things, and a closeness develops… and I felt that way about Kevin,” said Letterman. “Kevin is an amazing athlete, an amazing human, and fascinating. And he’s always high.”
“He told me that the first thing he does when he gets out of bed is he lights a joint, and then he’s in business. And I thought, wow, it’s like I have a twin,” added the comic.
According to Letterman, after the two talked on his show about a year ago, he sensed “this warmth, this connection, this gratitude of a relationship here,” so the comedian went up to Durant and said, “I want us to stay friends—because I think we can be friends.” And Durant said, “Yep, I agree.” And then, as Letterman recounted, the two hugged.
He then recalled the time he texted Durant before the Brooklyn Nets’ season opener against the Celtics:
“Before tip-off—because I have his text number—I text him, ‘Kevin, Dave… Good luck and have a great game, and congratulations on everything.’ And after the game is over I get a text back there and I go, oh, it’s Kevin Durant! And he says, ‘Thanks, bro.’ I haven’t heard from him since!”