Thursday, May 21, 2015

Remembering Late Nights with David Letterman

As I watched the finale of "The Late Show with David Letterman" last night I couldn't help but remember how much a part of my life the man was and is. Now I have to be honest, I haven't really paid all that much attention to Letterman since he moved over to CBS, but I did watch both "Late Night" and "The David Letterman Show" which aired on weekday mornings in the early 1980s.

As far as the morning show went, I remember laughing out loud at it, and my mother thinking I was weird because she couldn't figure out what was so funny. I also recall when "Late Night with David Letterman" came along he would refer to that morning show as 'way back in the late fifties.' Before this of course I knew Letterman from his stand-up comedy and guest-hosting on "The Tonight Show."

I remember that Philadelphia came to "Late Night" late (pardon the pun), not airing the show until a few months after it had begun. However, back in the analog day of pre-digital cable, I could precariously hold the dial between Philadelphia NBC affiliate channel 3 and NYC affiliate channel 4, and get a reasonable broadcast of "Late Night" from New York.

This is the way I first met Larry 'Bud' Melman, Chris Elliott, and Stupid Pet Tricks, the most memorable (and disturbing) of which had a dog drinking milk from his owner's mouth. I remember frequent guests Sandra Bernhard, future frenemy Jay Leno, and fellow only-New Yorker (at least at the time) Howard Stern. I was much happier when I could see the show on channel 3 finally, and remember seeing great acts of the day like R.E.M. and Indigo Girls.

Still, even though I hadn't watched much of "The Late Show," I'm sad to see Dave go. Last night's viewing only cemented the reasons that I should have been watching. Have a great retirement, Dave, come back and visit some time.

1 comment:

  1. When Jay Leno was announced as Johnny Carson's replacement instead of Letterman, it was abundantly obvious on Letterman's later-night program that Dave's enthusiasm had waned and that the laughs suffered for it. Once he moved to CBS, he was back to his former enthusiasm, and the programs were once again fun to watch.

    For this viewer, Jay Leno, on the other hand, lost the edge he once had as a stand-up comedy guest on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.

    Nobody did it better than Carson, or probably ever will, but Letterman came the closest.