"I got a whole new respect for President Clinton.  Whole new respect for President Clinton.  You know, for years and years I made fun of the guy - I now have the utmost, ultimate respect for this guy.  I spent a half an hour with Hillary - look what happened to me!"
-David Letterman, 2/21/00, on his first show since having heart surgery

With a sharp new haircut, and spiffy new scar on his chest, Dave walked on the stage for the first time in five weeks, looking great, and acting even better.  After minutes of wild applause, Dave started in with the comedy right away by telling the audience, "wait 'til you hear what happened to me!"  After moving through what is sure to become the most famous monologue to hit late night TV, Dave went to his desk, popped off a few jokes, and proceeded to introduce the doctors and nurses that fixed him up.  Dave's trademark sarcastic comedy quickly turned heartfelt (excuse the pun) when he became teary eyed while thanking the people who saved his life.  Dave's guests were Jerry Seinfeld, Regis Philbin, Robin Williams and the Foo Fighters.  Dave seemed genuinely appreciative of each of his guest's appearances, and had a lot of fun being back on television.  His enthusiasm was contagious, and everyone seemed to be having a really good time; including the audience . . . even those of us who were sitting in recliners watching it on TV.  Being something of a late night fanatic (thanks to odd hours and lots of insomnia), I have been watching these shows for years, and, in my opinion, Dave's epic return beat out Johnny's classic farewell (that's no small feat). Thanks, Dave, for the best hour of late night television, ever.  It's great to have you back!

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