David Letterman's farewell last night after 33 years on television was packed with tributes from the likes of Tina Fey, Bill Murray, Peyton Manning and the Foo Fighters. While the Simpsons apparently weren't able to appear in person on the Late Show -- hey, Beavis and Butthead pulled it off in 1996 -- they did send along a clip that pokes fun both at Letterman and their own long-running series.
As Homer laughs hysterically at the animated Letterman's breaking-window schtick, Marge reminisces about the talk-show host's three-decade run: "Back then, Bart and Lisa were kids, and Maggie was still a baby!" (Note that Maggie's blocks spell out "Worldwide Pants," the name of Letterman's production company.)
However, the tributes weren't limited to the show itself: There was an outpouring on social media, where Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige honored the comedian with only his third actual tweet since joining Twitter in 2009: a shot of the cover of 1983's Avengers #239, which marked Letterman's comic-book debut.
Brian Cronin of Comics Should Be Good recently wrote about that undeniably strange issue, which was part Marvel's "Assistant Editor's Month" event/gimmick. It was one of my earliest introductions to the Avengers, as it kicked off a subscription to the series purchased for me by my grandmother after I'd stumbled across a couple of random issues at a convenience store. I was at least passingly familiar with the team's regular lineup -- which at the time included Captain America, She-Hulk, Starfox, Captain Marvel/Monica Rambeau, Scarlet Witch and the Wasp -- but The Avengers #239 presented a rather offbeat cast of characters that I recall wishing had stuck around (later flea-market finds allowed me to follow the developing Odd Couple-like friendship between the Beast and Wonder Woman).
I already knew who Letterman was from summers and holiday breaks when I could stay up as late as I wanted, but I found his inclusion in the comic incredibly weird (to say nothing of his characterization). Still, the moment when he discovers Hawkeye had read the questions ahead of time (to try to compensate for his hearing loss) remains pretty funny, all these years later.
— Kevin Feige (@Kevfeige) May 20, 2015