David Letterman's final show last night was a tribute to the comedian who, as my colleague Todd VanDerWerff wrote last night, "blew up what we thought late-night television could be" and "tore down the hierarchy of stardom."
Perhaps that was why Letterman decided to give four of America's living presidents an opportunity to achieve their dreams of late-night comedy stardom.
In the segment, Presidents Obama, Clinton, Bush, and Dubya Bush all excitedly told Letterman that "our long national nightmare is over" because he is finally retiring.
As with most presidential comedic outings, what they lacked in actual comic timing or particularly clever jokes they made up in clench-jawed dedication to the task at hand. The former presidents appeared to be under the impression that comedy meant placing heavy emphasis on random words in their short lines.
President Obama, on the other hand, seemed to be gunning for a second career as the Insult Comic President, once again displaying the no-I-really-am-this-mean persona that he has used to great effect on Between Two Ferns and The Colbert Report.