Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Letterman's Last Stand

Tonight will be David Letterman's last live appearance on The Late Show on CBS, the show hosted by him for the past 33 years. A string of his favourite guests have graced his show for the past week or two. Of Letterman’s final show, tonight, CBS hints that it will be an hour "filled with surprises and memorable highlights".

We've watched The Late Show intermittently during my years in the USA. Though Johnny Carson was husband's true favourite late show host, Letterman seems to have been, for him, the next best thing.

As Letterman's show tonight will be filled with "memorable highlights", might as well link to three posts of mine featuring David Letterman which will have to stand in for Letterman's "highlights" on this humble blog.

Letterman and Guess Who (2007)
Letterman's Unfunny Palin Jokes (2009)
Letterman etc. (2009)

It appears Letterman's successor, Stephen Colbert, will not be taking over the show until September, until then I don't know what's to happen; guest presenters perhaps, and/or lots and lots of repeats.


mike said...

I remember Steve Allen and Jack Paar hosting "The Tonight Show" prior to Johnny Carson, though I was about 12 years old when Carson took the show. My parents were devastated by Paar's departure, but quickly adapted to Carson, as did America. Letterman's "Late Night" followed Carson's, and most viewers loved the irreverent folly provided by Letterman. Carson retired, the show went to Jay Leno, and Letterman went to CBS. I stayed with "The Tonight Show" and Jay Leno.

Maybe each country has their own special show host, but the USA seems to have an alter ego with these agents of late night talk shows. When Allen and Paar each retired, it was like a national hero had passed. Not so much with Leno and I'm not detecting it with Letterman, either.

I won't be able to watch Letterman's last show, as I don't receive CBS (or NBC) over the airwaves. I'm straight-up ABC now and it's the station I least prefer. I don't particularly care for Kimmel or Fallon...the magic is gone for me.

Twilight said...

mike ~ As far as I recall during my UK years, there was no daily(5-days a week) late show comparable with Letterman's, Leno's etc. We had a weekly chat shows of various stripes, but not of the same ilk as the US Late Shows. Consequently those affectionate/national hero feelings didn't emerge in the same way. The most comparable thing to those feelings, nationally, I can come up with would be, perhaps relating to retirement or death of daily radio show hosts and DJs who had been presenting their programmes for many years, and had seemed to become as friends to their listeners. I can think of two or three of those.

I'm not a great fan of the Late Shows' formats - the humour gets more strained and lame as years go by. All comedy writers seem to have lost their mojos these days. I'd prefer a simple chat show without the forced, fake jollity - at that time of night, anyway.

Sonny G said...

Since tweenhood I watched "Johnny" with my Dad..we simply would'nt miss it~! When I moved out my Dad would call several nights a week and we'd be on the phone during the opening monologue, laughing out loud, then say Good Night.. I went on to marry and have a baby so the called ended but we'd usually catch up on the weekend with the highlights.. My Dad died in 1981 and it wasnt long before our Beloved Johnny retired.. That was the end of late night talk shows for me..
I wish Leno and Letterman the best and the others too.

Twilight said...

Sonny ~ What precious memories of your Dad those must be!

The love for Johnny Carson seems almost universal among those of a certain age. It's hard for me to fully appreciate him from videos, clips and DVDs of some of his shows. I guess it's one of those things where "you really had to be there" at that time. He was, very obviously, a man just right for his times.