President Obama and some of the seven award recipients were targets of comedians' jokes Sunday night at the Kennedy Center Honors program in Washington.
Ray Romano riffed off the President Obama's lackluster first campaign debate.
"Do you quit when you are down 1 to 0 in the World Series? No, you keep going," Romano said. "Do you quit when you are down 1 to nothing in the debates? No you keep going, you become the president!"
"It's very surreal that I am talking to the president and first lady ... .I really wish I had voted," he said.
"I lost my virginity to the first 2 minutes of 'Stairway to Heaven,'" Romano said, referring to the long-running Zepplin song. "I apologized for the next 11."
Jimmy Kimmel called Letterman a "hero to every one of us in this room with the possible exception of those who came to see the ballerina."
"When I was a teenager, Dave was my Justin Bieber," Kimmel said.
Alec Baldwin and Tina Fey also feted Letterman, Baldwin with a Top 10 list -- a Letterman staple -- and Fey saying as a kid she couldn't figure out if Letterman was "a parody of a talk show host ... or a Midwestern goon that was just a little bit off."
Foo Fighters, Lenny Kravitz and Kid Rock performed musical tributes and Marakova was honored by dance performances.