Master entertainers Bill Murray and Jimmy Kimmel wax poetic over late-night legend David Letterman in a newly released video from the Kennedy Center, which last month awarded Letterman the coveted Mark Twain Prize for Humor.
The footage—taped ahead of the star-studded award ceremony set to air later this month—spends the better part of seven minutes with Bill and Jimmy talking about Letterman while the two sign autographs.
The Stern Show veterans share several funny stories about the TV icon while also trying to nail down Letterman’s precise comedic genius. Bill, for his part, revealed he loves it when Dave improvised while interviewing celebrities, which he thought was a real treat for “Late Show” guests.
“If you can get off without any of [his previously prepared] questions being asked, then you’ve really won,” Bill said in the video (above).
Bill and Jimmy also agreed working with Dave means always having to be on your toes. “In the early days, you really had to be on. You really had to be rolling,” Bill explained. “You had to come in with one in the chamber. You couldn’t come in cold. Because you’ve seen him just … he would just cut people. He would kill people. If they were bad or vain—which is one of the fatal flaws—he would just say, ‘Jimmy Kimmel ladies and gentlemen. Thanks for coming.’ And that was it he went to the commercial.”
Kimmel concurred, adding that Dave’s opinion of Hollywood stars often helped shaped his own. “When I watched the show, I’d decide which celebrities I thought were good and which were bad based on Dave’s reaction to them,” he said.
Dave of course stopped by the Stern Show in August, reuniting with Howard for an incredible interview that touched upon everything from his "Late Show" retirement to his personal relationships with other celebrities to everything in between. Listen to a clip from the sit-down (below) and check out the full interview here.
Watch David Letterman receive the Kennedy Center Mark Twain Prize when the award ceremony airs Nov. 20 on PBS.