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David Letterman on 'Jimmy Kimmel': gracious and a bit eccentric

David Letterman hosts ?Late Show with David Letterman.?

David Letterman hosts ?Late Show with David Letterman.? Credit: AP

If there was any bright note in this miserable week, it may have been that one struck on TV Wednesday night in Brooklyn. There he was, David Letterman, the king of late-night TV, and there he was -- Jimmy Kimmel, the newish guy, who had transported his program to New York for one week only -- and what a week, too.

"God bless you for coming here at this time," Letterman told Kimmel, who looked as if the pope himself had just conferred a benediction.

"Not only is my first guest tonight the main reason I got into television, but the main reason I got a television," Kimmel had said moments earlier.

And these two are rivals?

Not really. You don't need to know much about late-night TV to understand that late-night hosts typically don't like one another -- though that rule hardly applies to the Kimmel/Letterman bond. Kimmel worships Letterman -- and has appeared on "Late Show" eight times over the years to prove it -- while Wednesday was Letterman's first trip to Kimmel's couch.

One of the "precepts" of show biz, according to Letterman, is that "you're not supposed to be nice to someone," but "Jimmy has broken that precept. He's been nothing but generous and courteous and kind and [I thought] why is he sucking up to me? When I was persuaded there was some measure of [mental] stability, I realized it was genuine."
And then, Kimmel, whose ABC show will air opposite Letterman's starting early next year, got this parting benediction: "I want to wish you the best of luck ... I couldn't be happier you're in the running."

Here's the last part of last night's interview:

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