Letterman became the story many times

21 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

10 most cringe-worthy moments in David Letterman’s Late Show career.

Tonight marks the end of a truly remarkable run. will air his final episode of The Late Show and will step aside from the late night talk gig for good.David has been interviewing celebrities left, right and centre since 1982 and now he’s about to enjoy a well-earned rest and let Stephen Colbert behind his desk.

In honor of the final Late Show With David Letterman Wednesday night, we surveyed a number of cultural figures on their favorite Letterman memories, both on and off the show. “Stupid Pet Tricks” and Chris Elliott’s man under the stairs were crowd favorites, while some couldn’t pick just one, choosing instead to reflect on his legacy. While O’Donnell promoted Murray’s appearance, the camera cut to the actor, who tried to sit on a raised chair but leaned too far back, causing it to topple over and send Murray crashing to the floor.

After a commercial break, the actor said, “I just did the Letterman show, then I went to dinner and had oysters, rose wine, red wine, duck, grass-fed hanger steak, and then rushed here to do your show just because Jim said that you wanted (me) to come on the show..” Murray then began slurring his speech and struggling to form sentences, saying, “Your girls here… those brutal… I don’t know where you get these women that push people around… they pushed me in a chair and the chair was not balanced properly and I went down and hurt myself properly.” Over the years Letterman offered plenty of air time to stars of the college football world, with the Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York offering some of the best of the best to stop by for an interview or to read a top ten list. We all know now that Joaquin Phoenix was playing a random-hobo-rapper-wannabe version of himself in Casey Affleck’s 2009 ‘documentary’ I’m Still Here, but at the time everyone thought the actor was just plain gaga. You can see some of Letterman’s notable sports moments on the show as selected by the Sports Talk writers, and be sure to check out Joe Posnanski‘s terrific feature on Letterman, the five-tool host. I’ve met a lot of celebrities, but every now and then you meet someone who’s had a real impact on the culture, and that’s a different experience.

They definitely didn’t take out the moment David sucks on a strand of Jennifer Aniston’s hair back in 1998 when she was promoting her film Object Of My Affection. However the screenwriter was banned from the show, during a time when he was addicted to crack and heroin, because Letterman caught him looking through Meryl Streep’s purse. That’s when we were on the front cover of Time magazine as “The Rotting of the Big Apple.” That’s when, remember, Johnny Carson moved The Tonight Show to California. So what happened was, he’d tell an odd joke, you’d think it was hilarious, the audience in the studio would have a weird reaction, and then he’d look directly into the camera, like you’d think he was saying, You and I know this is funny, and the people here don’t get it.

I was telling him about how I worked for a knife company, Cutco Knives, and they were like, “You have to sell it to your friends and family.” And the first person that I tried to sell it to was my best friend’s mother, but I couldn’t stop crying during it. But for some reason, Bill Scheft, a comedy writer and friend of his, at the show, said to me, “He wants to come see you in the David Mamet play November.” I said “Well, great.” He said, “Yeah, I’ll let you know when, it’ll be a last-minute thing.” And so he calls and says, “We’re gonna come Wednesday night.” And I said, “Oh, don’t come Wednesday night. David Letterman is coming!” So we start the play, and we always knew how the play was going to go by the opening lines, which was me saying to him, “We’re losing points in the polls and we don’t have enough money for something,” and I say, “Why is all this happening?” and he would say, “Because you’ve fucked up everything you’ve touched.” So if people didn’t laugh, we knew we had a long night ahead of us. We just sort of sat in my dressing room for about five, ten minutes and chatted and then he finally said, “Well, I’m sure you want to rinse out a few things before you go.” And then he left. And the interview went something like this. “So, Billy, you got a big hit record.” “Yep.” “So, how are you enjoying the United States?” “Pretty nice.” “Yep.” “Nope.” So, I got on the next night, and I think David was pretty concerned about the pace of the interview, so we went back and forth pretty fast.

So on my bedroom wall—and this was in the age of Teen Beat and Tiger Beat or whatever—I had Harrison Ford, this great picture of David Letterman, I think from GQ, and Pee-wee Herman. In his original show, when Gene Shalit is sitting in the seat and being interviewed, and Letterman says something like, “Cut the giant hammers,” and they cut to two crew guys in the back and they say, “Did he just say, ‘Cut the giant hammers?’ I think he did!” and they cut a rope and two giant hammers go smack into Gene Shalit’s head. My favorite Letterman moment was when he did a Stupid Pet Trick where there was a guy who had a dog, and he put money in a paper bag, and the dog went and bought beer for the guy. The first thing I started doing when I was a kid was I would pretend I was David Letterman and do school assemblies where I would basically just steal his top-ten lists and read them to the class. Paul McCartney’s really funny, and Letterman was like, “Why haven’t you ever done my show?” And he was like [high British accent], “Because I don’t like your show.” It was just the way he said it that made me laugh, and it’s fun to watch Letterman because he’s been doing it forever, so it’s nice to see him not care.

And this is my teen humor, I was like, “Dave, I know that’s not a real skyline behind you.” And then we’d do a musical number together, outside with the real New York skyline. And he really went there in terms of like having on wrestlers and, I mean, he had so many clips that I think were never even aired, where Crispin Glover punched him in the face.

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