Jimmy Kimmel won't air a new episode the night of Letterman's final show because he has 'too much respect for Dave'

On Wednesday, May 20, David Letterman will bring a 33 year career in late night to a close as his tenure on “The Late Show” comes to an end.

A lot has changed since Letterman first took the “Late Night” chair in 1982. Today, there is a lot more competition, both on television and on the web with viral videos. But Jimmy Kimmel, who competes directly with Letterman in the 11:35 pm spot, has decided to show a rerun instead of a new episode as Letterman’s final episode airs.

Kimmel told The New York Times that it didn’t feel right to compete with his idol.

“I have too much respect for Dave to do anything that would distract viewers from watching his final show,” Kimmel told The New York Times. “Plus, I’ll probably be crying all day, which makes it hard to work.”

Kimmel has made it no secret that he is a life-long Letterman superfan, claiming that Letterman is the main reason he got into television in the first place.

Jimmy Kimmel David LettermanABC/’Jimmy Kimmel Live!’Kimmel’s ‘Late Night’ birthday cake

When he was growing up, Kimmel’s car had a licence plate that said “L8 Nite” on it. When Kimmel turned 18, he was given a “Late Night”-themed birthday cake.

Jimmy Kimmel David LettermanABC/’Jimmy Kimmel Live!’Kimmel’s ‘Late Night’ car

“His show was just so weird and different,” Kimmeltold Rolling Stone back in 2013. “I’d never seen anything like it. I didn’t know anyone who had a sense of humour like that.”

As a kid, Kimmel felt like Letterman was doing his show “specifically for [him].” And now, to return the favour, Kimmel won’t do his show, specifically for Letterman.

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