Watch David Letterman’s finest 8 minutes

20 May 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

After 22 years, the Letterman era will end tonight.

In this photo provided by CBS, actor Bill Murray, left, talks with host David Letterman after emerging from a cake to say goodbye, on the set of the Late Show with David Letterman on Tuesday. (John Paul Filo/CBS via The Associated Press) Murray jumped out of a cake to the delight of the Late Show with David Letterman audience at the Ed Sullivan Theatre, smearing some on select audience members as well as the host. David Letterman is retiring on Wednesday, after 33 years on late-night TV, starting on NBC then, after getting passed over for The Tonight Show, launching a late-night juggernaut at CBS. He’s had a lot of great moments, transformed late-night TV into something more fun and unpredictable, and made a lot of people laugh and feel less alone. 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.

Seinfeld had just made a deal to do a sitcom for NBC, and he buttonholed Letterman in the corner of the restaurant and asked him for advice. “He said, ‘Just make sure if you fail, you did what you wanted to do,’” Seinfeld recalled in a recent interview. “I took that to heart. Murray also welcomed Letterman in his first show after moving to CBS in 1993. “We just want more, Dave,” Murray said, ending the segment outside on the New York streets singing with fans to the tune of Give Peace a Chance, substituting the end of the chorus with “Worldwide Pants,” a reference to Letterman’s production company. On Tuesday night, Letterman talked with Murray about the 35th anniversary of the iconic movie “Caddyshack” – in which Murray played groundskeeper Carl Spackler. I said, ‘OK, then that’s what I’m going to do.’” It was “pivotal and potent” advice, Seinfeld said, because it came from an entertainer who had transformed the sleepy late-night television format. Bob Dylan, who last appeared on a Letterman show over two decades ago, performed The Night We Called It a Day from his most recent release, Shadows in the Night.

Late night’s two Jimmys, NBC’s Fallon and ABC’s Kimmel – the very guys hastening Letterman’s departure – have gone out of their way to pay their respects to their rival at CBS. Longtime bandleader Paul Shaffer from Thunder Bay, Ont., drew his own laughs setting up the segment with a jab at Letterman’s long-time rival, attributing “I’m bored with it all” to Jay Leno instead of Winston Churchill.

His influence has been substantial: He breathed new life into the talk show, taking it beyond the traditional desk-and-sofa interview sessions with an array of innovative, often outlandish antics; he gave birth to many careers; he became a role model for a generation of comedians, including most of the current late-night roster; and he turned signature segments like Stupid Pet Tricks and his Top 10 list into American cultural institutions. Nearly everyone hosting a late-night show these days – not just the Jimmys, but Conan O’Brien and Jon Stewart and Seth Meyers and Letterman’s pending replacement, Stephen Colbert – owe a tremendous debt to the guy from Indiana with the gap-toothed smile and the irrepressible ability to turn everything into a joke. He was also front and center for memorable noncomedic moments, whether hosting the first late-night show after the Sept. 11 attacks, turning his 2000 heart surgery into a narrative on his show or castigating John McCain after he canceled an appearance before the 2008 presidential election.

He returned to work, Letterman said, because Mayor Rudy Giuliani had “implored us to go back to our lives, go on living, continue trying to make New York City the place that it should be.” (It was Giuliani’s finest hours, too.) Then he said this: There is only one requirement for any of us, and that is to be courageous. Only Letterman’s mentor, Johnny Carson, who hosted “The Tonight Show” on NBC from 1962 to 1992 and forged the late-night talk show into an American institution, was as meaningful to the genre. “I think he is as important as Carson,” said Ross Brown, who teaches at Dodge College of Film and Media Arts at Chapman University in Orange. “They are different in what they contributed. The song appeared in his recent pop standards studio album “Shadows in the Night.” When Philbin suggested that he should appear on Letterman’s last show on Wednesday night, Letterman replied: “Last show booked solid, sorry. The CBS promo promised “an hour filled with surprises and memorable highlights.” The 68-year-old host gave an indication as to his plans after the final curtain goes up on the show: “Tonight it’s Bill Murray, next week I’ll be Googling foods that improve prostate health.”

In the mid-1990s, after his ratings began to slide, his well-known tendency to self-flagellate turned literal one night when he viciously beat up a David Letterman dummy on stage. —Peter Weber They spend 14 hours a day eating bamboo, but panda bears actually have an incredibly difficult time digesting fibrous plants, researchers have discovered.

But Dave really broke through and found a style that has become much more of what’s happening today.” For all of his innovation, though, trends in television are pushing Letterman, 68, off the “Late Show” stage just as surely as his desire to retire. 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.

Researchers with the unenviable job of studying panda poo found that their gut is mostly covered with bacteria like Streptococcus, which are usually found in meat eaters. In a study published Tuesday in the journal mBio, the authors wrote that 7 million years ago, ancient pandas ate meat and began to eat bamboo, and about 2 million years ago, switched entirely to bamboo.

Kimmel, whose “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” started from scratch 12 years ago, is in a virtual tie with Letterman for total viewers but outstrips him by 20 percent among the advertiser-preferred demographic of adults younger than 50. In 1980, Letterman started hosting the Emmy Award-winning morning comedy-variety program, “The David Letterman Show,” which ran for three months on NBC. Seth Meyers opened his show with a shot-by-shot (approximate) recreation of Late Night’s opening credits in 1982, when Letterman launched the post-Tonight Show program. While doing a genetic analysis of the gut bacteria found in the fecal samples, the researchers found that pandas can only digest about 17 percent of the bamboo they eat, and bacteria is different in the late fall, when there aren’t any young bamboo shoots to eat.

Dave!” The run has included a prime-time special and energetic appearances from favorite guests like Seinfeld, Tina Fey, Julia Roberts, Tom Hanks and Bill Murray. Catherine Garcia Four charities that claimed to be helping cancer patients were actually lining the pockets of their executives, the Federal Trade Commission said in a complaint filed against the Cancer Fund of America, Children’s Cancer Fund of America, the Breast Cancer Society, and Cancer Support Services.

Before Letterman joined the network in 1993 after 11 years at NBC, CBS had little to no footprint in late night. “It’s been substantial, the revenue and the profits over these 20 years,” Leslie Moonves, the chief executive of CBS, said in an interview Monday. “Previously we were rerunning bad dramas. But if it’s fair to say Letterman might not be leaving if Fallon weren’t around, it’s also fair to say that Fallon’s show might not exist without Letterman. They said the money went to pay for chemotherapy treatments, hospice care, and medicine, but in reality it went toward elaborate vacations, concert tickets, and college tuition, the complaint stated. “The defendants’ egregious scheme effectively deprived legitimate cancer charities and cancer patients of much-needed funds and support,” said Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer Protection. “I’m pleased that the FTC and our state partners are acting to end this appalling scheme.” The complaint states that the organizations, which hired family members and friends and gave them high salaries, solicited funds through the Combined Federal Campaign, which collects donations from federal workers for nonprofits. An astute student of comedy, he reached back to the 1950s to borrow bits from Steve Allen and Ernie Kovacs, then buffed them up with a post-modern gloss.

Even then, Letterman had already established one of his lasting legacies: He was a hard-to-please interviewer. “I was afraid to go on that show,” she said. “When it came to pass that I was going to come on, I watched with a different point of view, and it seemed all the more real to me when he would just surgically dissect these young actors and leave them quivering.” Letterman’s occasional moodiness with guests reflected the ambivalence he felt toward show business overall. He was hosting a talk show while somehow standing apart from it and saying, “Isn’t this kind of silly?” He was simultaneously a teenager too cool for school and a 10-year-old boy driving Dad’s car around the parking lot. Notably, where Carson would engage celebrity guests and trade friendly banter, Letterman was just as likely to provoke them by saying something inappropriate – if it seemed funny. Letterman almost immediately signed a deal with CBS to create the rival “Late Show.” Leno and Letterman engaged in a back-and-forth battle for ratings until Leno retired last year.

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