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David Letterman farewells from Jon Stewart and Tom Waits

Jon Stewart talks with Dave about his new film
Jon Stewart talks with Dave about his new film "Rosewater" on the Late Show with David Letterman, Thursday Nov. 13, 2014.

As David Letterman's tenure on "Late Show" comes to a close, everyone's lining up to pay tribute to the late night legend. Two who paid their tributes Thursday night: Jon Stewart and Tom Waits.

Jon Stewart closed "The Daily Show" on Thursday with a special David Letterman "Moment of Zen," noting that the show would be off next week when Dave signs off from his show. Stewart said that he was honored to have appeared on Letterman.

"He was, for me — and I think many comics in my generation — an incredible epiphany of how a talk show, or how entertainment, or how television could — for God's sakes, the man put a camera on a monkey!"

Letterman's monkey cam

Stewart said that he'd watched Letterman since the early 1980s and loved the sense of joy the show brought to the late night landscape.

"There are so few people that can innovate that format, and then to have the kind of longevity — to be an innovator with longevity, is, I mean, damn. The list is, I think, Dave."

Behind the scenes, Stewart said that Lorne Michaels was an innovator in that way, but that Letterman held the title when it comes to being a performer. Whether Stewart's former late night compatriot Stephen Colbert can fill this shoes when he takes Dave's "Late Show" chair remains to be seen.

Finally, Stewart closed with a story of how Letterman cheered him up personally when he appeared as a guest on the last episode of "The Jon Stewart Show," a short-lived talk show that aired on MTV and in syndication.

"He single-handedly turned what was a funereal atmosphere into a celebration; just by his presence, he lifted all of our spirits, and he said to me, I'll never forget, 'Do not confuse cancellation with failure.' And I thank him for all the amazing years of television, and for that wonderful piece of advice."

Stewart wished Letterman the best and cut to a Moment of Zen from that final episode, with Letterman copping to screwing up the Academy Awards, and how he moved from shame to happiness about doing just that. You can watch the whole Moment of Zen above, or watch the full show, which featured that episode-long interview with Letterman below:

Letterman on the Jon Stewart Show

Another notable farewell: Tom Waits revealed a brand new song on Thursday night's Letterman that was perfectly appropriate for the moment. He dedicated it to Letterman, and debuted "Take One Last Look."

The song plays to themes of saying goodbye, with a chorus urging "take one last look at the place that you are leaving." Watch the performance below:

Tom Waits plays Take One Last Look

Waits also sat for an interview with Letterman — and George Clooney, who handcuffed himself to the host.

Tom Waits on the Late Show

We'll have more on Letterman leaving late night on The Frame next week.

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