An era ends tonight with David Letterman’s final episode of The Late Show. Letterman is an institution on TV of course, and he’s also about as old as we are, in a way. Heavy Metal‘s first issue came out in 1977; Letterman at that time was a nationally-known standup comedian, and in 1978 proved himself a viable talk show host as Johnny Carson’s regular fill-in on The Tonight Show. It took NBC another couple years to figure out how to use Dave’s talents, but eventually he got his signature show, Late Night With David Letterman. Letterman back in the day brought an irreverence and sense of risk to late-night programming that we—and we suspect, our readers—could really dig. You just didn’t know what would happen, and there were plenty of “what did I just see?” moments as well.