I promised myself I wouldn't do it. No way, no how. But as the days become shorter and the departure of David Letterman from America's idiot box becomes closer and closer, I can't help myself. I am already feeling the loss of a man I have watched on TV for over 30 years. Let me say before I get too far into this farewell to Dave thing, I am and always will be a Johnny Carson fan. He was and always will be the "King of Late Night". Every joke or quick-witted comeback I have ever used in my life has had it's genesis in Johnny Carson's monologue or a comeback he made to a dickhead guest who was only there to sale a sitcom or try and out-funny the host.


Of course, that's what late night shows are for. To talk about an upcoming movie or TV show and, with Johnny anyway, hawk a book sometimes. There are very few authors on late night anymore, there just isn't time. But for 20 years or more, Johnny Carson had a 90-minute show to produce and he had plenty of airtime to fill. For some, me included, this was the best part of the show. It was the last thirty minutes when most kids were in bed that the censors lightened up and let Johnny get away with many bawdy comebacks and jokes. If they loosened up on Carson after midnight, you can only imagine what they let Letterman get away with in the wee hours of the morning and he and his writers took full advantage of it.

I began watching Carson when I was old enough to crawl down the stairs at night and sneak a peek while my parents watched. I was was the happiest man on earth when some company invented the DVR so I could tape both Johnny and Dave to watch the next day. When Bette Midler sang Johnny off the air on his final show, I sat in my chair and cried like a two-year old. I doubt I cry over Dave, but I might. He has given me so much pleasure and full throated laughs over the last 30 years that he deserves all the hullabaloo that is going on around him.

With me, it was his irreverent humor, actually going out on the streets and screwing with people with the Hello Deli guy. You couldn't go to bed early on Dave either, because most of the time he had a kick-ass rock band ready to close the show. Some famous, some only famous the next day after debuting on his stage. His love of Rock & Roll is legendary. He had on every band that mattered during the 33 years he and  Paul Shaffer and his band were on, and Paul's band plays the Hall of Fame gig every year. Like Carson, many young comedians got their start on Letterman. Comedian Norm McDonald actually broke down and cried on his farewell show last week. Dave made late night "cool" for the in-crowd and the hippies, and if you came onto his show just to shill a movie and had no sense of humor about it, he would cut into you like a Shinzo knife cuts into a steak and leave you at the mercy of the audience.

I will miss Dave. Yes, I call him Dave. Only his Mother calls him David and like the midwestern kid he is, he made sure she was part of the show for all these years, even sending her to the 94' Winter Olympics to give us the latest updates. Stupid Pet Tricks? Don't get me started. Stupid Human Tricks? Oh Vey. Then there was the Top 10 List, a list that he made so popular that there isn't a magazine or newspaper anywhere that doesn't use it from time to time. Dave, much like Carson, was and is a private man and I believe, like Carson, you won't be seeing much of Dave when he departs. That's how it should be. No one should keep themselves in the spotlight when their time is at an end, not even "a monkey on a rock", right Dave? So long my man, long may you run~~

Views: 193

Comment by JMac1949 Memories on May 20, 2015 at 1:23pm

If for nothing else Letterman deserves recognition for putting Bill Hicks on TV:

Comment by James Mark Emmerling on May 20, 2015 at 1:26pm

Came as a hell of a shock, Margaret's old mom telling me Dylan was gonna be on last night.

Amid the festivity Murray provided he snuck in there and did something incongruous, as you might expect. Warbled out a Sinatra cover. 'The Night We Called it A Day'. Maybe it fit. Dave calling it a day.

The moon went down stars were gone
But the sun didn't rise with the dawn
There wasn't a thing left to say
The night we called it a day
There wasn't a thing left to say
The night we called it a day

A light goes out and we notice it, that's a good thing. Making much of a man who exposed his raw magnificent nervous wreck

of a personality nightly..

but yknow I am with you...I prefer the confidence of a Carson,

or a Dylan, or

a Frank.

Guys who, uh, 'did it their way'.

I am afraid I will not like Colbert as much as I loathe but sort of respect that howling spidermonkey Jimmy Kimmel.

An apt successor to the traitor Leno.

Leno was on Letterman last night.

Long haired counterculturists who could maybe change society someday but as with all in that Generation

of Boomers, the transcendent ego crowd trying to transcend their egos with drugs and eastern gobbledy gook mysticism-lite.

That f.ing Dalai Lama.

'Live for happiness'

Fuck that. At least Letterman caught on to the absurdist command of society to ENJOY ENJOY ENJOY

CONSUME CONSUME.

Comment by Gerald Andersen on May 20, 2015 at 1:29pm
Great tribute to a great comedian who never bailed on the Big Apple to go to LaLa land, my one complaint about JC. Thanks for the memories.
Comment by James Mark Emmerling on May 20, 2015 at 1:34pm

but as with all in that Generation

of Boomers, the transcendent ego crowd trying to transcend their egos with drugs and eastern gobbledy gook mysticism-lite,

they leave in grand flaming dispersal to tend their own private gardens and live in bubbles

canopied with emblems of fame and significance

that will not stand the test of time for too long unless I am underestimating the smarts

of the mutant adhd multisensory multi tasking generation

they spawned

to introduce us to the invioalable chaos of infinite choice

where true choice

is now impossible.

No wonder, this nostalgia craze.

Reboot the tried and true, reach for no new heights. Stuck in here, this media spawned universe,

'there must be some way out of here'...

Morrison said we don't get out alive and he died.

Dylan might have gotten out alive, but now he is an avatar for past art.

keeping history alive is gonna be tough in ten yrs.

when the Boomers go back to dust.

Comment by alsoknownas on May 20, 2015 at 1:37pm

I saw maybe 2 dozen shows over the years, a monologue here and there. Never connected to his persona.

The new guys are like funny college sophomores. Take 'em or leave 'em.

Carson ? I agree with you entirely.

Comment by James Mark Emmerling on May 20, 2015 at 1:38pm

Tine is fluid as hell, we are in no way trapped in it, that is the Big Lie.

We can with vudu, the ancient Caribbean way of summoning the divine presence,find a way out.

Summon the god.

Beware: there are pseudo gods.

Fame and Riches.

'up on housing project hill its either fortune or fame/tho neither of them are to be what they claim'

vudu

Comment by Jerry DeNuccio on May 20, 2015 at 1:55pm

I'll miss his ironic brand of humor.  It unsettles expectations, tumbles assumptions, questions taken-for granted pieties.  We need humor that does that.  I'm not saying all humor should do that, only that it broadens perspectives.  You get the impression that, unlike his rival Kimmel, he has no need to be liked.  I'm looking forward to Colbert continuing that tradition.

Comment by Kenneth Sibbett on May 20, 2015 at 2:26pm

mac, ain't that the truth. I saw his documentary on Netflix and almost cried. As funny as he was, there was something...,something far off I think.

Jim, I didn't like Dylan last night, and it's not because of his voice, I'm used to it now. Maybe the song. I like "The Night We Called it a Day" which would have fit just as well. But, Bob does it Bob's way, so, what can you do?

also, Carson was the man. As Letterman said when he died, he was the "Gold-Standard"~

Jerry, I only know Colbert from his O'Reilly impression. Have you seen him do stand up. I may head to YouTube to see if I can find any~Thanks buddy~~

Gerald, I didn't like the move either. But, on the bright side, we got Letterman in New York and he would have flopped anywhere else, I think~

Comment by koshersalaami on May 20, 2015 at 3:26pm
I like Dave and Norm does a great impression of him, but I agree that nobody is Carson. Carson was at his best when his jokes were bombing because he could make that really funny. Not easy.

Paul Schaffer has played with just about everyone now.
Comment by nerd cred on May 20, 2015 at 3:26pm

When I was 18 or 19 I hated Carson for all the double entendre humor. I can't think of the word I want to use, of course, but that will do. "Hypocrite!" I huffed like an 18 or 19 year old and changed the channel. I never did share the worship of him, though. He always seemed a little slippery.

Love Letterman, will miss him. I read he has a ranch in Montana and is very interested in his bison herd. How about that? I wouldn't have thought. The same article said he was jealous of Seinfield, I think it is, doing "comedians in cars," I think it is, and wants to do "comedians on horses" on his ranch. That may have been a joke, what do I know.

I wonder if that means his kid will be home schooled or boarding schooled or what?

Can't wait to see what Colbert will do with the show and I expect it to be good.

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