Conan O’Brien Told His Viewers to Watch David Letterman Instead

22 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Conan O’Brien Told His Viewers to Watch David Letterman Instead.

Overt self-deprecation was the theme from the opening riff, during which the last four U.S. presidents successively said, “Our long national nightmare is over.” Stephen Hawking called to say his 6,028 shows had generated eight minutes of laughter, he deadpanned. “Wheel of Fortune” spelled out “Good Riddance to David Letterman.” Dave himself, before he ran down a long list of gracious thanks to pretty much everyone he ever worked with, added, “We’ve done more than 6,000 shows, and I can tell you a pretty high percentage absolutely sucked.” Wednesday he just had a more concentrated pack of famous guests to confirm that he long ago established the “Late Show” as a place where famous people could come away with a little more cool than they had when they entered.David Letterman’s last show was like (almost) all the rest of them: funny, wry, quietly wistful and oddly egoless for a show in which a man whose name was in the title stared right into the camera and talked extemporaneously about whatever was on his mind.Thank the television gods for Peyton Manning, who, on Wednesday night provided an almost-last chance for David Letterman to broadcast on the ironic frequency of the comedy spectrum that he essentially discovered, introduced to the American audience, and mastered over 33 years and 6,028 shows. “Did you notice me standing next to Peyton Manning?” Letterman said to Paul Shaffer after the Broncos quarterback made a cameo on the Top 10 list on Letterman’s final Late Show before his long-simmering retirement became official at about 12:35 A.M., “It’s like we’re twins.” It was a tossed aside gag, sure, but also Dave at his quietly absurd best. Major appearances were made from celebrities like Chris Rock, Tina Fey, Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Barbara Walters, Bill Murray and many others as they recited Letterman’s last Top Ten List.

But for all his self-professed insecurity, which seems curiously endemic to much of the incredibly successful world, Dave was confident enough to spend six or seven of his last 80 minutes on a walk through a typical day of show prep, which was as mundane as the show itself can be lively. There were skits, homages and spoofs referencing Letterman’s impact ion other cultural staples like “The Simpsons” and former presidents of the United States. Earlier in the day, as guests arrived at the Ed Sullivan Theater, and were duly catalogued on Instagram and Twitter, it seemed for a hot second as if Uncle Dave might have gone maudlin on us in his final hour. That was when he told everyone to change the channel. “I’m going to let you know the exact moment when Dave’s show is starting,” he said, telling viewers to record his show so they could switch over to watch Letterman. “You cannot miss out,” he said.

Seinfeld: “I’ll be fine.” Peyton: “You are to comedy what I am to comedy.” Dreyfus: “Thanks for letting me take part in another hugely disappointing series finale.” Dave was tickled. Leading up to the final episode, other late-night host shared their stories on how Letterman influenced them as well as innovated the late-night genre. It’s been a strange look for a man who made a 33-year television career out of the act of holding nothing—least of all himself—sacred. “Do me a favor, save a little for my funeral,” he said on Wednesday, making clear he’d noticed. Sure, Fey’s delightfully IDGAF strip show may go down as the last transgressive act on late night. (Jimmy’s like my brother, she said of Fallon, auguring . . . something.) But Howard Stern’s attempts to get old Dave back on his heels last week seemed a little forced. And even Murray, whose long road to folk-hero status probably started with his appearance on Letterman’s first Late Night in 1982, was downright subdued on his final proper appearance on Tuesday night.

Dubya was only on the show once and was a target of Letterman’s mockery for more than a decade, including this hilarious montage of Dubya … well, being our Dubya. Remember the time Dave worked the Taco Bell drive through and some misbegotten, but only slightly off-the-money soccer mom from Bayonne or Rahway mistook him for Howard? Four of the five living Presidents coming together to make a joke about perhaps the most shameful moment in Presidential history, in tribute a comedian. There didn’t even appear to be any tears in the audience from Letterman’s wife, Regina, and 11-year-old son, Harry, who had brought along a tween buddy. “Tommy Roboto,” Letterman intoned with great joy, cracking himself up and vibrating up that spectrum one last time now, really. “Tommy right there!

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