This Morning from CBS News, May 21, 2015

21 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Conan O’Brien tells viewers to watch David Letterman instead.

Thus David Letterman, during his final Late Show on CBS (which ran 20 minutes longer than usual, nearly an hour into Thursday morning), acknowledged that the various national expressions of grief and sanctification concerning his retirement from network talk-show television have been slightly “crazy,” as he put it, and “over the top.” After all, the dude isn’t dead. The last “Late Show with David Letterman” featured comics such as Jerry Seinfeld and Julia Louis-Drefus paired with celebrities such as Barbara Walters and Alec Baldwin.The study, published in Science Translational Medicine, found that prolonged use of acetaminophen, the drug in Tylenol, by a pregnant mother reduced production of testosterone in her unborn son.Though David Letterman was dry-eyed throughout his final episode of the Late Show, the montage that played during Foo Fighters performance of “Everlong” ensured that no one in the audience was.“You know what I’m going to devote the rest of my life to?” David Letterman said on his last night as the host of “Late Show” on CBS. “Social media.” Mr.

The guests roasted Letterman in his final “Top 10” list, a long-running segment of the “Late Show.” The topic was “The top 10 things I’ve always wanted to say to Dave.” Rock said, “I’m just glad your show is being given to another white guy,” while Tina Fey said, “Thanks for finally proving men can be funny.” As Letterman delivered his final monologue, he kept to his signature ironic brand of comedy, saying lines such as “I’m going to be honest with you, it’s beginning to look like I’m not going to get ‘The Tonight Show.’” Though many know her first for her gently trilling soprano voice, activism is as much a part of Baez’s identity as the sound that led LIFE to declare her, in 1962, “the best folk singer of them all.” From her performance at the landmark civil rights march from Selma to Montgomery in 1965 to her advocacy for migrant farm workers and gay rights to her denunciation of torture and the death penalty, Baez has championed human rights both on- and offstage.

Letterman, who is retiring after a late-night career spanning three-and-a-half decades, will be handing the reins over to Stephen Colbert, the comedian, writer and former host of Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report. The song, which Letterman has previously declared a favorite, played over a video of highlights spanning the late-night host’s 33-year career, which included myriad stunts, countless interviews with celebrities and politicians and, most of all, lots of laughs.

Letterman ended his 33-year career in late-night on Wednesday as he had started it — with the irreverence, self-mockery and mischief that made him such an iconoclastic talk-show host. For a quintuple bypass survivor of 68, he’s a fine physical specimen, trim and energetic even if his hairline is gray and receding—still game to run his ritual 20-yard dash across the stage at the beginning of his Late Show swan song Wednesday night. After one day of exposure to the drug there was no effect on testosterone production, but after seven days the amount of testosterone was down by 45 percent. “We would advise that pregnant women should follow current guidance that the painkiller be taken at the lowest effective dose for the shortest possible time,” said Rod Mitchell, one of the authors of the study from the University of Edinburgh. Letterman said he was “very excited” to see Colbert host the show, telling viewers: “I wish Stephen and his staff and crew nothing but the greatest success.”

His farewell was much better than the usual mawkish television send-off: He mixed favorite segments like his Top 10 list with clips of classic skits and a few restrained fillips of sincerity and humility. After discussing how David Letterman impacted his own career, Conan told his viewers to change the channel just as Letterman’s final show aired for his goodbye after 33 years.

And yet, like Mark Twain’s beloved scamp Tom Sawyer, this “boy from a small town in Indiana,” as Late Show announcer Alan Kalter introduced his boss for the last time to a riotous audience, has enjoyed the rare privilege over the past several weeks of being present for all the adoring eulogies. “Dave! Now, in honor of her award, LIFE revisits photographer Ralph Crane’s early-1960s portraits of Baez near her home in Carmel, Calif. “Standing on the shore,” the caption read, “she evokes the same wistful intensity that goes into her rare but luminous recordings of sweet laments.” Some of them were sweet laments, to be sure, but half a century later it’s clear that her music has been so much more. Dave!” the crowd in the Ed Sullivan Theater chanted and clapped, having leapt to its feet for a sustained standing ovation, prompting a bashfully smiling Letterman to warn, after several unsuccessful attempts to get them to take their seats, “See, now what happens is we don’t have time for the giving-gifts-to-the-audience segment.” Letterman, sporting clear-plastic spectacles, was dressed for the occasion in a sleek black suit, crisp white shirt and blue-patterned tie—less funereal than businesslike. Letterman’s retirement has gotten an extraordinary amount of focus — a frenzied outpouring of fan devotion, celebrity tributes and nonstop media attention — perhaps because he was so important to the last generation of viewers who grew up watching shows on a television set, and not on a smartphone. The audience, by the way, included Letterman’s wife Regina Lasko and their 11-year-old son Harry, who looked less than ecstatic and possibly embarrassed, understandably, when his dad proudly pointed him out to the crowd.

As his legions of mourners have repeatedly declared, Letterman was the groundbreaking entertainer who reinvented the late-night talk-show form that had been established by his putative mentor and idol, the Tonight Show’s Johnny Carson. Letterman’s crack about younger performers who use Twitter and Facebook was a shout-out to the talk-show host’s core audience, the late-night viewers who decades ago defined themselves as the insurgents who preferred Mr. Letterman, who hosted a mis-scheduled morning show that NBC canceled after four months in 1980, and in 1982 launched his wildly successful Late Night 12:30 a.m. program that followed Tonight before jumping to CBS in 1993, replaced standard joke-telling (never his strong suit) with lightning wit and searing irony. Yet he didn’t turn up his nose at the sheer slapstick joy of a stupid pet trick, a goofball grin, a monkey-cam or an exploding TV set (hurled to the sidewalk from a Manhattan rooftop, natch).—Letterman and his loyal bandleader and sidekick, Paul Shaffer, pioneered new territory in subversive comedy and satire—puncturing pretensions, calling out bullshit, and treating celebrity guests like the flawed but fun and talented human beings they were. (Some of these celebrities were baffled or even frightened by Letterman’s zany and unpredictable hosting behavior; they were initially reluctant to join in, having been sent by their publicists, after all, not to expose themselves to a potentially scary situation in front of millions of viewers, but simply to shill for their various movies, sitcoms and albums.) Still, the recent eruption of near-universal acclaim for Letterman has come from his once-apprehensive showbiz peers, pop-cultural critics and just-plain fans—including a couple of presidents of the United States, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama, who sat beside him and bantered as equals as his 35-year career has drawn to a close.

He then showed a clip of one of his more famous pranks when he posed as a server at a drive-through Taco Bell and tormented customers with terrible service. The elder Bush, at 90, looked and sounded a tad frail, and the overall effect of the comic conceit was less humorous than Mount Rushmore-ish, yet it underscored the importance of Letterman’s body of work—more than 6,000 shows on NBC and CBS—and the poignancy of his departure. The latter was the sort of real-world comedy that was once a reliable staple in Letterman’s bag of laughs, but something he seldom if ever risked in recent years as he entered his sixties and increasingly stayed behind his desk. Meanwhile, as the Foo Fighters performed their hit “Everlong,” one of Letterman’s favorite tunes, a breathlessly-paced photo and video montage demonstrated that Letterman had interacted with just about every significant pop-culture figure on planet Earth. And for fans of the old NBC show, frequent video appearances by the late Calvert DeForest, who played the endearingly incompetent recurring character Larry “Bud” Melman, had to be deeply satisfying.

By contrast, Letterman seemed serene and lighthearted, by all appearances happy with his decision, looking forward to his next phase in life—and gratified that, whatever else can be said, he outlasted Jay Leno. Letterman never lost his arch, ironical self-awareness; he did not sink into the easy, quid pro quo conventions of late-night talk shows, he kept defying them. On Wednesday, he described all the encomia as “over-the-top” and said he found it “flattering, embarrassing and gratifying.” Mixed feelings make sense in a comedian who was always paradoxical – a winning, witty and supremely confident performer who offstage was practically a hermit and riven by self-doubt.

He brought his medical team onto his show after his 2000 quintuple bypass, and he even described his affairs with women in his office as “creepy” in an unnerving mea culpa in 2009.

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