How The Late Night Game Will Change Post Letterman

19 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Countdown Is On, David Letterman Begins Final Week On The Late Show.

After 33 years in late night, David Letterman — oh, “retires” seems like a wrong-headed word — let’s just say Letterman leaves the building tomorrow (at 11:35 p.m. on WBZ, Ch. 4). With his off-kilter sensibility (Stupid Pet Tricks?) and his penchant for the oddball (what other host runs across the stage in silhouette before starting a show, or strikes up a telephone relationship with a woman who works in an office across the street?), David Letterman has left everyone who enjoys latenight television in stitches.There has been plenty written about how David Letterman changed comedy, changed late night television and changed the sleeping patterns of millions of people who spent years staying up too late to watch how show. Who wouldn’t miss the most ideal job in the world, working for the greatest guy in the world, David Letterman,” Paul Shaffer said. “He’s been good for business.

When Letterman signs off CBS’ “Late Show”for the last time early Thursday morning, he will deprive TV of its last direct link to Johnny Carson and an era when just one, then two, hosts could dominate the period. The arrivals of Jimmy Kimmel at ABC, then Jimmy Fallon at NBC, and, soon, Stephen Colbert at CBS have given rise to talk of a third generation of late-night talent (if Carson, not Jack Paar or Steve Allen, is to be seen as the root of this particular tree). Tom Barlow, an artist from Astoria, has been outside the marquee painting a picture for over a-week-and-a-half in hopes it will end up in Letterman’s hands. Bill Murray, Letterman’s first guest on NBC’s “Late Night” in 1982 and his first guest on “Late Show” in 1993, drops by for his 44th and last time tonight, the penultimate show. The pretense was that hosts invited the audience to a nightly party with selected “guests” who would let their hair down, reveal a bit of themselves, tell a story and usually promote a project.

Letterman was the first late-night host to go back to work after the 9/11 attacks, and he was frank with his anguish and, in doing so, helped viewers cope with their own grief. Simply put, by jumping to CBS from NBC after being passed over for the Carson job on “Tonight” – and tweaking the antics from “Late Night” for a broader audience at 11:30 p.m. – Letterman signaled the TV business that anyone could make a go of it around midnight. Long-time hosts, who convened the party, brought their individual brand to the event: gabby intimacy (Jack Paar), conversational ease and an aw-shucks manner (Johnny Carson), relentless inoffensiveness (Jay Leno). And so we have not only Seth Meyers hanging out in Letterman’s old roost, but James Corden stirring things up with a new “Late Late Show” on CBS that has the vibe of a raucous house party.

I can imagine Letterman can afford any parental tools, opportunities and help, and still – he will never catch up. 9) “I was telling my son, ‘Now I’ll be able to spend more time with you because I won’t be at work’ … And my son says, ‘Well I’d like to spend more time at school.’” Letterman said he is retiring because he wants to spend more time with his family. At the close of Joaquin Phoenix’s bizarre performance art appearance in 2009, Letterman quipped, “Joaquin, I’m sorry you couldn’t be here tonight.” As he said to Jane Pauley on “CBS Sunday Morning,” “I can tell you the kind of feelings and emotions that I hope will come of this. Time Warner has backed Conan O’Brien since he separated from NBC over the direction of “Tonight.” Comedy Central has fared extremely well by launching “The Daily Show,” “The Colbert Report” and “@midnight,” though its success will continue to be tested by transition and Jon Stewart’s departure in weeks to come. And all of that doesn’t take into account the many hopefuls who have wrestled their own large or small piece of the end-of-day crowd over the years: Chelsea Handler; Joan Rivers; Pat Sajak; Chevy Chase; Arsenio Hall; Joan Rivers; Phil Cowan and Paul Robin of Fox’s “The Wilton-North Report”; Craig Kilborn; Craig Ferguson; Pete Holmes; and George Lopez.

Consider the fact that 42 million people tuned in to see Carson’s final turn on “Tonight” in 1992 and just 14.6 million watched Jay Leno’s second adieu to the program in 2014. National Geographic Channel has already lined up astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson for a second season of a weekly run of his “Star Talk” podcast and radio show, which examines the ways in which science mixes with popular culture. MTV is preparing two late-night concepts: “Girl Code Live,” which features three female comediennes mixing sketch comedy and celebrity chatter, and “Middle of the Night Show,” which will force an unsuspecting celebrity to host a late-night program on the spot from his or her home. When Jerry Seinfeld was on the show, kept asking about Seinfeld’s 12-year-old, seeking a coming attraction of what is in store for his own son, Harry. Conan O’Brien is also pushing into new frontiers, readying a series of road trips that will feature him mixing it up with interesting people in sundry locales, much as he did during a recent sojourn to Cuba.

When he would introduce Bob Hope, and Chris Elliott would pop his head up from a hole under the seats, conversing as if he were Hope, or when he had the less-than-cogent Larry “Bud” Melman regularly perform announcing chores, or when, in his later CBS incarnation, he visited with the nearby souvenir-shop owners, Mujibur and Sirajul, he was taking dead aim on every puffed-up celebrity who had ever sat in a talk show seat. Chelsea Handler’s coming format experiment on Netflix, which she has said will play like a hipper, faster version of “60 Minutes,” will likely draw interest, just like the investigative humor John Oliver has burnished on HBO’s “Last Week Tonight.” And Time Warner’s TBS could get into the game in a big way when it launches a new program featuring former “Daily Show” contributor Samantha Bee. None of it would be possible without David Letterman, who bravely left a sure thing – at one moment his “Late Night” was the coolest thing on TV – for an uncertain one, and pulled it off.

Kids are the common denominator that so many can talk about, a reason so many parents’ social groups revolve around people met through their kids’ soccer and Girl Scout events. Now, as TV viewing continues to fragment, advertisers say they are placing more emphasis on audiences that demonstrate true passion, not necessarily the shows that always draw the biggest crowds. Letterman might have thrived if he continued (particularly if he proved able to maintain the new energy he has mustered in his current program’s last weeks). By the time the kid’s out stealing cars, you know, Dad will be dead a few years.” I suppose this is one of the benefits of having kids later than many contemporaries. He has won notice for the most candid chatter in the time slot and is seen by many as the leading voice in bringing the nation back from tragedy after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

As Dave later said, “All the problems will be for the stepfather.” 6) “For the first time since Harry’s been alive, our summer schedule will not be dictated by me. One of his most memorable routines was the simple act of going to a store named “Just Bulbs” and peppering the salesman with requests for something other than light bulbs. Or going into various dry cleaners, restaurants or even garages that displayed old autographed celebrity photos on the wall and asking about the encounters with those famous people. All we can do is hope they grow into good taste. 4) “Believe me, I’m not the first person to have a kid, but I’ll tell you what got my attention.

Fans wait outside the Ed Sullivan Theater for tickets to the first “Late Show with David Letterman” to air after Letterman’s production company struck a deal with members of the Writers Guild of America in New York, January 2, 2008. There is nothing more enjoyable than parenthood and nothing more terrifying than the prospect of getting it wrong. 2) Letterman’s wife was nervous about going skiing with him and his son. “Then Regina says, ‘Is it slippery?’ And then Harry and I laughed so hard, we were just at it – ‘The snow, on the mountain?

It’ll be just fine.’ So that was good and now it’s something that we all get to do in the wintertime.” When my daughter puts a Tupperware lid on her head, looks at me and starts laughing, it is consistently the funniest thing I have ever seen in my lifetime. A shared laugh with a child, a growing sense of humor, an inside joke about snow – I look forward to each of these consistently being the funniest things I will see in my life. 1) “I don’t know anything about babies.

I’ve got to find a place for it to stay and my girlfriend is having the child, Regina, bless her heart, but I just don’t want one of those kids that’s always taking a dump in its pants. I’m too old for any of this, but especially that…Maybe it’s just me being a ninny, but for the last six months I just wake up like this – OH MY GOD, WHAT HAVE I DONE?!

You say goodbye to that laser vision of his that saw through the whole enterprise of late night TV while everyone else was, and is, busy deflecting our attention from the absurdity.

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