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Web Catch: Jimmy Fallon's heartfelt tribute to David Letterman

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As the curtain call on David Letterman's 22 years on "Late Show" draws ever closer, Jimmy Fallon reflected on the iconic host's career.

"I, like every kid who grew up watching him, will miss him," Fallon said during Monday's "Tonight Show."

Fallon shared a timeline of sorts, musing on everything from his own eighth-grade teacher's prediction – "James Fallon will take over for Dave Letterman on the Late Show" – to Letterman's indisputable role as a late night talk show trailblazer.

Perhaps most poignant was Fallon's recall of Letterman's steadfast presence when audiences needed him most. "I remember after 9/11, we needed somebody," he said. "We wanted to see what Dave had to say, and we looked to him to say something." Fallon continued, "[Dave] said, 'There is only one requirement for any of us, and that is to be courageous. Because courage, as you might know, defines all other human behavior.'"

An emotional Fallon closed, "David Letterman is courageous – have a nice retirement, Dave."

Letterman will hang up his "Late Show" hat on Wednesday.

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