01:27 AM EDT 12/18/2014

Add PEOPLE News

Chris Elliott

Credit: CBS/AP
The Top 10 Things We Wouldn't Have Without David Letterman

The Top 10 Things We Wouldn't Have Without David Letterman

Originally posted 04/05/2014 10:00AM

Over more than 30 years on the air, David Letterman went from the class clown of late night to one of its most respected icons.

In the '80s, Letterman's Midwestern snark and ironic sensibilities were considered groundbreaking in the comparatively staid world of Johnny Carson and Tom Snyder; now they've provided the groundwork for many of today's mainstream comedy trends. (Check out Letterman's 9 Most Unforgettable Late Show Moments.)

As Letterman prepares to step away from the desk for good in 2015, here's a look back at the 10 (could it have been any other number?) best things Letterman gave us:

Read More

From Our Partners