Our Top 10 Favorite Moments From David Letterman

Our Top 10 Favorite Moments From David Letterman

What an incredible ride it has been for David Letterman!

Mary Murphy, of USC Annenberg School of Journalism said, "He's leaving in the way Carson did and Leno. He's leaving with dignity. He knows his time is up and he's decided to go."

During his 22 years as host of the Late Show, Letterman made memorable television.

Here's a look at his top 10 greatest moments, starting with his very first show in 1993 and first guest, Bill Murray. In 1994 Letterman's well-known feud with Madonna began when she uttered the F-word 12 times.

In 1995, Drew Barrymore shocked everyone when she jumped on top of Letterman's desk and flashed him.

Letterman was also a player in presidential politics. At the height of the 2008 election, Republican candidate John McCain cancelled at the last minute. Letterman fumed on air.

Who could forget Joaquin Phoenix's bizarre appearance in 2009. Phoenix's strange behavior had Letterman scratching his head. Two years later, Phoenix returned clean-shaven and apologized, claiming it was all a spoof.

Letterman has toughed out several personal crises over the years. In the late 1980s, he was tormented by a notorious stalker, Margaret Ray. In 2000, Letterman had to have open heart surgery.  His return to the show after an absence of five weeks in recovery was a moment that will live in TV history.

In 2003, Letterman proudly showed the first photos of his only son, Harry. In 2009, a television producer tried extort Letterman by threatening to reveal that the talk show titan had a relationship with a staffer. That led Dave to make an extraordinary on-air admission where he said, "I have had sex with women who work for me on this show."

Murphy told INSIDE EDITION, "It's interesting because Letterman has gone through more personal things during his reign than almost anybody else."

And here's our number one most memorable moment. His heartfelt return to the airwaves following the terror attacks of 9/11, where he stated, "The men and women, the fire fighters and the police department who are lost are going to be missed by this city for a very, very long time."

So there you have it, David Letterman's 10 greatest moments ever. Thanks for the memories, Dave!