David Letterman and Bill Murray; the end of a classic talk show pairing

19 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Ben Schwartz, Jay Pharoah and more reflect on David Letterman’s late night career.

It was kind of a stunning quote that David Letterman made to during his interview with CBS Sunday Morning‘s Jane Pauley yesterday (May 17). A chapter in late-night TV history closes this week as influential host David Letterman rides off into the sunset (er, his home in upstate Connecticut) after 33 years.

After just over two months on the air, the British host and his executive producers, Rob Crabbe and Ben Winston, checked in with the press Monday during CBS’ summer press day. “I feel very, very proud of the way that people have responded to the show.“The Late Late Show With James Corden” is the new kid on the block when it comes to after-midnight TV, but the British-born host says he couldn’t do the program he does if it hadn’t been for the groundbreaking style of David Letterman.As David Letterman’s long run as host of CBS’ Late Show comes to a close, fellow comedians, friends, and co-workers discuss a few of their favorite moments in this retrospective look back on Letterman’s 33 years in the business. It just feels like something might be happening,” said Corden, who acknowledged that some of his initial nerves about the show had been replacement by excitement.

Murray’s 44th and final appearance Tuesday, May 19, 2015, will mark the end of late-night television’s most unique and enduring host-guest relationships. With a mix of old footage and sit-down interviews, Ben Schwartz, Jay Pharoah, Eric Andre and more reflect on their favorite bits, guest appearances, and hosting moments from Letterman as he prepares to take his final bow on May 20. Letterman’s final Late Show broadcast will be this Wednesday (May 20). “I don’t think I’ll ever be back in this building again,” he said. “Honestly. His first-ever guest, Bill Murray, will also be his final guest, during an hour that according to CBS will be “filled with surprises [and] memorable highlights.”

He’s still just shocked that he’s on in the time slot after Letterman. “If somebody told me that in 2006 that [would happen], I wouldn’t believe them. There have been a lot great things to celebrate, there have been a lot of arguments [here], and nearly fistfights and nearly every emotion that people can share over 20 years.

Earlier this week the Dallas Morning News looked at some best Texas politician moments on Letterman, including appearances by some of the state’s most powerful names. I just don’t want to come back and see other people living our lives.” “I’m not looking forward to it at all,” he said. “I don’t want to go to a party, I recognize that it’s good, cathartic perhaps, for all of us to be together, because it’s not been easy on anybody who has been here any length of time, for this to end. Then-governor Rick Perry came onto the show in Nov. 2011 to poke fun at his recent debate foible with a Top Ten list, and just before taking presidential office in 2001, George W.

Corden would watch Letterman when he was in New York for a play about a decade ago, and that was when he realized “the power of late-night hosts.” He added: “That stopped being a time when I felt like I had to ring my parents. … It felt like I was checking in with a friend.” Joked Corden of the former: “We very much have always tried to make the show for a Japanese audience. Without seeing how bold and brave he was, I don’t know if we would have tried certain things — getting out of the studio, going out talking to people, doing the show from someone’s house in week two, delivering our mystery pizza boxes.

But holy crap. [mimicking a waiter/waitress] ‘Care for a shrimp puff?’ I don’t want a shrimp puff.” He also mentioned ambivalence about keeping the desk that he’s sat behind for decades: “Somebody said to me, ‘Well, jeez, do you want the desk?’ And I thought, ‘Really? Murray, the former “Saturday Night Live” player turned movie star, guested on Letterman’s first “Late Night” on Feb. 1, 1982, and on the Aug. 30, 1993, debut of CBS “Late Show.” Others have appeared with Letterman more times — Marv Albert, Regis Philbin, Tom Brokaw and a few more — but none as indelibly as Murray. Before the first of Letterman’s 6,028 nights as host, Murray came to a meeting and mentioned spoofing Olivia Newton-John’s hit song, said Paul Shaffer, Letterman’s bandleader.

Zindler was there to talk about his connection to the film version of “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas” which was about to be released into theaters. When Tomlinson was on The X Factor and joined the group, his mom wrote Corden an email asking him to look after her son — so he’d invite Tomlinson over for pizza and PlayStation.

Meanwhile, Winston was separately involved with the band on the management side, having produced their last two movies and directed their past seven music videos. “I’m not a comedian and I never have been,” he said. “I’ve just written and been in things that are comedies, but I’ve never done the, ‘Where you from? Back in late March, Houston soul band The Suffers made its national TV debut on “The Late Show” performing the single “Gwan” and won over the host in the process. We talk about fun before funny.” He has said from the beginning that he and his wife plan to rent their house in America until he has more job security — though he admits that he and his family do love the West Coast. “I’ve adjusted well so far, but it’s still very much in the back of my mind that we’re going to be canceled at any point,” he said, adding: “It’s network TV!”

Then he pretended to remember leaving something behind, took a box-cutter to rip up the carpet and a drill to tear up the floor and “discover” a time capsule. The deadpan absurdity of the exercise made it priceless. “He comes across as silly and disheveled, but there’s a very smart, very sophisticated guy under there who understands comedy at the highest level,” Burnett said. “Bill, like Dave, never latches onto the most obvious take. Kinky Friedman made his one and only appearance on Nov. 3, 2006, days before he took just over 12 percent of the popular vote in the Texas governor’s race. Another idea was that Murray, in his “lounge singer” mode, would declare that “there’s not enough love in the world.” On the show, he grabbed a camera, dubbed it “Bill Murray’s love cam” and stalked into the audience. Texas music mainstay Lyle Lovett has graced the Letterman stage nearly 30 times solo and with various friends, like Nelson, John Hiatt, and others across the NBC and CBS days.

Will Ferrell can approach him in the physical comedy, but Murray worked on all levels. “You know how they say you can learn a lot from your defeats?'” he said once when things weren’t going as well as he’d hoped. “Then this appearance will be very educational for me.” “There’s only a small handful of people that can have a conversation with Dave on a certain level, who are really his equal,” he said. “To see Dave and Bill Murray, two comedy icons who share a mutual respect and genuinely like each other … hang back and have a conversation is in some ways better than anything we can prepare.” Houston heartthrob Patrick Swayze appeared in June 1990 promoting the film “Ghost” and returned eight years later for his starring vehicle “Black Dog.” A strange visit from giggly Texas native Farrah Fawcett in 1997 to publicize her second “Playboy issue” routinely makes the list when people rank Letterman’s most peculiar guest appearances over the years.

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