Bill Murray pops out of cake, leads singing mob for Letterman to stay

21 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

David Letterman Bids Farewell To ‘Late Night,’ Leaves Behind TV Legacy.

David Letterman’s 33-year tenure in late-night television draws to a close Wednesday night, so it’s time to wax nostalgic about his first-ever interview, with none other than Bill Murray.There goes my hero: The Foo Fighters will be David Letterman’s last musical act as he concludes “The Late Show with David Letterman” on Wednesday night. The interview took place in 1982 on NBC’s Late Night, which Letterman hosted for 11 years before moving to CBS’ Late Show. (Murray was also Letterman’s first guest on that show.) In this clip, the two hilariously tease each other, then Murray talks about pandas and sings Olivia Newton John’s “Physical.” It cemented a host-guest bond which would span decades.

Here, for your enjoyment, are 10 of them in order of date, a mix of what Dave did best: Remote segments, absurdist stunts, celebrity lunacy, and desk sincerity. (Watch the clips above) 1. 1984 Oh sure, the Velcro suit was aces. No matter how much moral outrage his defenders can muster — no matter how many column inches were filled by writers who said America should like him more — Letterman is the man who couldn’t beat Jay Leno, and sometimes couldn’t beat Leno’s replacement. “He was a former weatherman and a failed morning-show host who perfected a sort of snide, irreverent attitude towards showbiz types,” Rolling Stone wrote after Letterman announced his retirement last year. “After getting noticed by Johnny Carson and making a fan out of NBC bigwig Fred Silverman, however, David Letterman found himself taking his goofy antics to a 12.30am time slot — and thus, a late-night TV legend was born.” There was no doubt that the legend was, well, legendary. Or rode his horse down Broadway, that was probably my favorite,” said fan Loretta Retzback, of Philadelphia. “It was around Christmas time and Letterman was on a go-cart and he drove the go-cart into the tree and the tree fell down,” recalled fan Victor Camuso, of Carle Place. “He introduced his wife and his three children and they all came out and they acted like this was a regular Christmas special — sentimental and emotional, and of course really none of those people were related to him in any way whatsoever,” Bushman said.

Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants, was a producer of the show “Sonic Highways,” in which they traveled the country interviewing music legends and recording their own album. He invented the “Top 10″ list; he invented “Stupid Pet Tricks”; he poked a hole in the absurd, celebrity-fueled gas bag that was late-night television. But while he’s famous for laughs, Letterman’s most impactful moments might have been his serious ones, like his first show after the Sept. 11 terror attacks, Macedo reported. As Dave warned a few times, “Don’t try this at home.” Don’t worry. 2. 1986 Letterman had feisty relationships with a number of women in show business. Both Bushman and all the fans who spoke with Macedo said it really boils down to this: whether he was serious, funny, flirty or moody, they felt Letterman was real.

It took her four and a half years to agree to be on the show, and his opening move was to tell her she smelled “terrific.” Perfect. “I thought that I would never want to do this show with you,” she tells him. People admire the New York Yankees, but not because they lost to the Boston Red Sox in the 2004 American League Championship Series. “I’m awash in melancholia,” he told the paper of tonight’s exit. “Over the weekend, I was talking to my son, and I said, ‘Harry, we’ve done like over 6000 shows.’ And he said, [high-pitched child’s voice] ‘That’s creepy.’ And I thought, well, in a way, he’s right. It is creepy.” “It is creepy”: Not exactly the note any showman should want to go out with while comparing retirement to “a good, solid punch to the head.” Contrast this to Leno’s first act after he retired the first time: He stole back his own show from Conan O’Brien and, after his second retirement, won a Mark Twain prize and leaped back on to the stand-up comedy circuit. They hugged and kissed and then Cher reminded him, “You’re still an a-shole.” 3. 1986 A viewer named Colleen Boyle wrote to Letterman, “What’s the deal with the sneakers?” So of course, he had to go visit her in Hicksville, N.Y., and answer her in person.

A few weeks ago, Boyle appeared in the “Late Show” audience. 4. 1988 Letterman and Sandra Bernhard had a special relationship for years; he was the perfect Midwestern foil for her gonzo downtown New York club humor. They wore matching outfits, joked about how Sandra slept with Sean Penn, and made teasing allusions to their own rumored love affair. 5. 1993 Letterman worked at the drive-through window at McDonalds where, through the speaker, he sassed the customers. People just liked watching his show more than they liked watching my show.” “As Leno prepares for his final few Tonight Shows, he finds himself in a unique position: More widely watched than any of his competitors, yet widely reviled by the majority of his peers,” EW wrote last year. The mantra was improvised by Murray on the set of “Meatballs,” a movie that was showing on HBO around the time Letterman’s morning show was dying: “It just doesn’t matter.” Whatever happened, you’d never lose your cool.

Farrah Fawcett showed up to promote her photo spread in Playboy, and she appeared to be disoriented and, possibly, intoxicated, as she lapsed in and out of sense. Dave handled it well, with amused but not predatory responses. 7. 2000 Dave returned from quintuple bypass surgery in good humor, but with a new sense of gratitude and sincerity. Toss that up here!” And if the ball came back at you twice as fast and crashed right through another window, you’d just go, “Thank you!” On the morning show and “Late Night,” Letterman pioneered something completely new and intoxicating: Anti-comedy that was funnier than the real thing. His opening line: “Wait til you hear what happened to me.” It was a lovely comeback, with a surprise visit from Jerry Seinfeld, who says, “I thought you were dead.” He made a point of distinguishing between bypass surgery and a bypass: “A bypass is what happened to me when I didn’t get the ‘Tonight Show.’” 8. 2001 Letterman was known for his sarcasm, but he handled the tragedy of 9/11 with grace and heart. And he fessed up to an extramarital affair in 2009. “I want to be the person I always thought I was and probably was pretending I was,” he told Oprah Winfrey in 2013. “I hurt a lot of people … I’m not looking to blame anybody.

There’s something wrong with us, something very, very wrong with us.” Letterman was the antidote to the lame, showbizzy, let-me-entertain-you style of comedy I associated with Las Vegas, tuxedos and “The Tonight Show With Johnny Carson.” I couldn’t believe it when I heard Letterman worshipped Johnny. In response, Letterman devoted an entire hour to Zevon, who was both direct and jokey as he told Dave about his post-diagnosis life. “You’re reminded to enjoy every sandwich,” Zevon said, using his famous phrase. As the ABC 7 explained: “I was delighted by everything that happened — except you losing your job,” Letterman told O’Brien on The Late Show in a May 2012 interview, during which both TV hosts did a mock imitation of Leno.” If Letterman wanted to use a 20-year-old feud for laughs or simply remind his audience the feud existed, such comments seemed irrelevant.

Johnny was this smug, self-adoring relic who’d have on Don Rickles or Phyllis Diller or Jerry Lewis to mug desperately, pull faces, shout — anything but be funny. Before singing three songs, he also paid tribute to Letterman: “Dave’s the best friend my music has ever had.” 10. 2009 “I have little story I’d like to tell you,” Dave began, as he described the blackmail attempt and the fact that he’d had sex with women who work for his show. One such anti-guest, Larry “Bud” Melman (actually Calvert DeForest) was so hilariously inept it wasn’t clear whether you were laughing at or with him. The winner was, “They pelted us with rocks and garbage.” Instead of sucking up to celebrities, Letterman did things like dropping stuff off buildings.

Once, in 1991, when an interviewee was being amazingly boring, Letterman said something like, “This is one of those nights when I just pray for a slow gas leak.” When Letterman got a new job at CBS in 1993, it was even better. Suddenly, everyone had a perfectly polished, self-deprecating anecdote — invariably meant to prove the utter fiction that Celebrities Are Just Like Us — that sounded suspiciously crafted by a team of writers. Suddenly, each episode had as many as three celebrities, with Letterman being unctuous and insufferable and fake-laughing his way through every minute.

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