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WATCH: Darlene Love performs ‘Christmas’ for final time on ‘Late Show’

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Posted at 1:42 PM, Dec 21, 2014
and last updated 2014-12-21 13:42:46-05

The “Late Show” with David Letterman rang in the holidays one final time when musician Darlene Love returned for the show’s annual holiday broadcast on Friday.

Legendary singer Darlene Love performed her classic “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” on the broadcast, backed as always by”Late Show” musical director Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra.

Love, who first performed the song for Letterman on “Late Night” Dec. 16, 1986, marked the 21st time in 28 years that she has sung this on the show. In recent interviews, Love has stated that her final “Late Show” performance of the classic holiday song will be the last time she will sing it on television.

In another favorite”Late Show” holiday, tradition, Jay Thomas returns to participate in the show’s final holiday quarterback challenge, where he and Letterman take turns throwing footballs at the”Late Show” Christmas tree to try and knock off the giant meatball perched at the top.

This tradition started on Dec. 30, 1998, when former New York Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde was on the broadcast. He and Letterman tried unsuccessfully to knock the meatball off the tree, so Thomas, also a guest on the show that night, came on stage, took a throw and hit the meatball off the tree immediately. Thomas will also recount his hilarious encounter with “Lone Ranger” star Clayton Moore, one of Letterman’s favorite stories, which Thomas recounts each year during his holiday visit.