Jimmy Kimmel can barely make it through his tribute to David Letterman

21 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

As David Letterman signs off, celebrities flock to pay tribute (VIDEOS).

The actor was Dave’s first guest back in 1982 when he hosted NBC’s Late Night, and he was his first guest again in 1993 when he became the host of CBS’ Late Show. From Tina Fey’s strip show to Bill Murray’s sweet surprise, comedy’s biggest stars have been lining up over the past month to send off David Letterman with a bang.Introduced as “the greatest songwriter of modern times”, Dylan performed the appropriately-titled “The Night We Called It A Day” from his latest album, Shadows in the Night.

Tuesday marked Letterman’s second last show before his retirement from “The Late Show,” and Bill Murray marked the occasion by jumping out of a giant cake.”If you watched it without paying attention, it was a lot like The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, with guests and an audience and a band, but it was weird,” said Kimmel. “Even though it looked like every other talk show, it wasn’t.

On a mild August day almost 22 years ago, the stretch of Broadway outside of the Ed Sullivan Theater was jam packed, crowded by reporters and media teams from across the country.Foo Fighters, David Letterman’s favorite band, will serve as the final musical guest when the late-night host bids farewell to Late Show on Wednesday night. Throughout this 33-year span, Bill visited his late-night pal many times, but Tuesday’s show (Dave’s second-to-last one before retirement) was extra special.

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 12:30 a.m. time slot — and thus, a late-night TV legend was born.” There was no doubt that the legend was, well, legendary. Wearing what Letterman called “protective cake goggles,” Murray offered bits of cake to band and audience members before sitting down in one of the seats next to Letterman’s desk—covered with cake. The satellites from television stations mingled with the tape recorders of newspaper and magazine writers — not to mention the mob of fans — everyone gathered for one man who brought with him the promise of laughs, celebrities and late night fun. Meanwhile over on ABC, Jimmy Kimmel, took part of the monologue on his show to talk about falling in love with Letterman’s brand of comedy when he was a teenager.

On Tuesday night, Letterman talked with Murray about the 35th anniversary of the iconic movie “Caddyshack” – in which Murray played groundskeeper Carl Spackler. And little did I know that many years and many pounds later, that watching the show was a great education for me,” he said, as ABC hired him for his own late-night gig after seeing him as Letterman’s guest. “We will have a show tomorrow night, it’ll be a rerun — please do not watch it, especially if you’re a young person who doesn’t understand what all the fuss is about,” stressed Kimmel, asking viewers to tune into Letterman’s farewell show instead. “Dave is the best, and you should see him.” Jimmy Kimmel Live! bandleader Cleto Escobedo then said of his counterpart Paul Shaffer, “Any of us that are fortunate enough to have a job like this owe a lot to Paul. They were there, of course, for the first taping and airing of The Late Show with David Letterman, a television fixture that has remained popular and well-received since its debut that night. In addition to frequenting the program, Foo Fighters also staged a weeklong residency on Late Show in October 2014 to celebrate their new album/HBO travelogue Sonic Highways.

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. Kimmel recounted on last night’s Jimmy Kimmel Live how big an impact Letterman has had on his life (we mean, his first car had “Late Night” vanity plates). On his final appearance on the show, Bill Murray gave his old pal a raucous send off, leaping from a cake with “Goodbye Dave” written on it and then smearing Dave with fistfuls of frosting.

With his transfer from 12:35 A.M. on NBC to 11:35 P.M. on CBS — a transfer that doubled the host’s yearly salary to $14 million and cost the network an estimated total $140 million in studio renovations and staff and band costs — Letterman marked a new era for light night, an era that would be characterized by ridiculous tricks, hilarious jokes, revealing and blunt interviews and an epic rivalry between himself and Jay Leno. After being sidelined for five weeks, the host asked Foo Fighters to appear on his first post-surgery show to perform “Everlong,” their single that was instrumental in the host’s recovery. That said, Dave’s not really looking forward to throwing down. “I’m not looking forward to it at all,” he told CBS Sunday Morning’s Jane Pauley earlier this week. “I don’t want to go to a party. Introducing the Foo Fighters for that performance, Letterman said “my favorite band playing my favorite song.” “When he had his open-heart surgery, he was gone for a while and when he came back he requested the Foo Fighters be the first band to perform for his first week back because he wanted to hear the song ‘Everlong,’” Grohl told the Orange County Register. “Ever since that day, we’ve been in love. 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.

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 6,000 shows.’ And he said, [high-pitched child’s voice] ‘That’s creepy.’ And I thought, well, in a way, he’s right. But watching Late Night, not only did I learn how to do everything from Dave, the reason I have this show is because the executives at ABC saw me when I was a guest on Dave’s show and hired me to host this show. In a cheeky moment reminiscent of Drew Barrymore’s notorious flashing moment on Letterman in 1995, Tina Fey capped her appearance on May 7 by stripping off her dress to reveal a pair of Spanx and a black leotard emblazoned with the words “Bye Dave” on the front.

He joined Letterman to look back at a 1994 skit in which Jee went around to restaurants and outdoor cafes and annoyed customers and staff – reciting lines that Letterman fed him through a two-way radio. He then took his son skiing in the mountains of Montana, and on the last day of the trip, their ski instructor filmed Letterman and his son skiing down the mountain. Howard Stern wanted one thing from Dave when he appeared as a guest for the last time on May 12-a big kiss. “Kiss me now!” the radio host shouted, as the two tussled by Paul Shaffer’s orchestra. He’s become a regular sunbeam. … The new king of late-night comedy, he has ascended to the swivel throne.” The New Yorker, 10/18/1993 “David Letterman initiated a fierce war for nocturnal ratings with the Monday premiere of his new Late Show. … But will he be able to win the ratings war against his principal rivals — Leno’s Tonight Show and Koppel’s Nightline … ?” — Chicago Tribune, 8/31/1993

The video arrived on a DVD weeks later, and the song the instructor used as a musical bed was Foo Fighters’ In Your Honor cut “Miracle.” “This is the second song of theirs that will always have great, great meaning for me for the rest of my life,” Letterman said. Kalter described Letterman as a “very complex human being, a perfectionist, a funnyman, he’s every man and he sets the chemistry that we’ve all lived by for these years.” It’s been a star-studded goodbye to Letterman over the last few weeks, but his final guest has not been revealed. Mad Max will roar back out of the apocalypse while Mad Men rides off into the sunset, rock’s Antichrist Superstar and hip-hop’s Yeezus will rise again.

Adam Sandler bid farewell on May 12 with a funny and profane song that alternately honored Dave and zinged him about things like his age and his rivalry with Jay Leno. “He won’t have to pick up the phone anymore when Les Moonves calls him up / He’ll finally have time to take Jay Leno out for coffee, then secretly pee in his cup,” Sandler sang. Telling Dave his decision to retire was “a good call,” Caray/Ferrell quipped, “I could tell you were losing a little mustard off the heater.” Eddie Vedder didn’t have to think too hard about what song to serenade Letterman with Monday evening, teaming up with Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra for a rollicking rendition of Pearl Jam’s 1994 “Better Man.” After months of escalating protests and grassroots organizing in response to the police killings of Michael Brown and Eric Garner, police reformers have issued many demands. In 1980, Letterman started hosting the Emmy Award-winning morning comedy-variety program, “The David Letterman Show,” which ran for three months on NBC. The moderates in this debate typically qualify their rhetoric with “We all know we need police, but…” It’s a familiar refrain to those of us who’ve spent years in the streets and the barrios organizing around police violence, only to be confronted by officers who snarl, “But who’ll help you if you get robbed?” We can put a man on the moon, but we’re still lacking creativity down here on Earth.

While law enforcers have existed in one form or another for centuries, the modern police have their roots in the relatively recent rise of modern property relations 200 years ago, and the “disorderly conduct” of the urban poor. 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. Like every structure we’ve known all our lives, it seems that the policing paradigm is inescapable and everlasting, and the only thing keeping us from the precipice of a dystopic Wild West scenario. Rather than be scared of our impending Road Warrior future, check out just a few of the practicable, real-world alternatives to the modern system known as policing: Unarmed but trained people, often formerly violent offenders themselves, patrolling their neighborhoods to curb violence right where it starts. Stop believing that police are heroes because they are the only ones willing to get in the way of knives or guns – so are the members of groups like Cure Violence, who were the subject of the 2012 documentary The Interrupters.

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 are also feminist models that specifically organize patrols of local women, who reduce everything from cat-calling and partner violence to gang murders in places like Brooklyn. While police forces have benefited from military-grade weapons and equipment, some of the most violent neighborhoods have found success through peace rather than war. As 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.

Violent offenses count for a fraction of the 11 to 14 million arrests every year, and yet there is no real conversation about what constitutes a crime and what permits society to put a person in chains and a cage. Decriminalization doesn’t work on its own: The cannabis trade that used to employ poor Blacks, Latinos, indigenous and poor whites in its distribution is now starting to be monopolized by already-rich landowners. To quote investigative journalist Christian Parenti’s remarks on criminal justice reform in his book Lockdown America, what we really need most of all is “less.” Also known as reparative or transformative justice, these models represent an alternative to courts and jails. From hippie communes to the IRA and anti-Apartheid South African guerrillas to even some U.S. cities like Philadelphia’s experiment with community courts, spaces are created where accountability is understood as a community issue and the entire community, along with the so-called perpetrator and the victim of a given offense, try to restore and even transform everyone in the process.

Communities that have tools to engage with each other about problems and disputes don’t have to consider what to do after anti-social behaviors are exhibited in the first place. Obviously these could become police themselves and then be subject to the same abuses, but as a temporary solution they have been making a real impact. In New York, Rikers Island jails as many people with mental illnesses “as all 24 psychiatric hospitals in New York State combined,” which is reportedly 40% of the people jailed at Rikers. We have created a tremendous amount of mental illness, and in the real debt and austerity dystopia we’re living in, we have refused to treat each other for our physical and mental wounds.

Mental health has often been a trapdoor for other forms of institutionalized social control as bad as any prison, but shifting toward preventative, supportive and independent living care can help keep those most impacted from ending up in handcuffs or dead on the street.

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