Letterman Signs Off

Sometimes you don't know what you got till it's gone. That's how I feel about David Letterman. I didn't watch him often, but when I did, I enjoyed him and his show, and I'm sorry he's leaving.

His quirkiness and unpredictability were unique for late night TV. He'll be missed.

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    Yes, he will be missed. (none / 0) (#1)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 21, 2015 at 04:21:01 AM EST
    David Letterman was one of my TV staples in college. There was an edgy disdain and sarcastic irreverence for the establishment in his work, and while he could certainly push the envelope on occasion, his humor never devolved into the realm of mean-spirited. He was a consummate professional. The New York Times has a nice article about his last show.

    The only time I remember him getting truly annoyed with a guest was back in 1993, when Rush Limbaugh -- who had earlier compared Chelsea Clinton, a then-gawky 13-year-old with braces, to the hood ornament of a car -- made some terribly cruel comments about Hillary Clinton's weight, to the obvious consternation of the studio audience, which began to boo him.

    Letterman quickly seized control of the situation by silencing Limbaugh with his own cutting remark, "You know, you can say that because you are the finest looking human specimen on the planet." The crowd cheered, and Limbaugh likely learned a big lesson that night, which was that his was a face made for radio.

    I'm looking forward to seeing Stephen Colbert as host of "The Late Show," once he assumes the role in September. But I also hope that Letterman won't just disappear after tonight's final sign-off, the way Johnny Carson did after his last show in 1992, and that he will make an occasional appearance in his old haunts for old times' sake, just to let his many fans know how he's doing.


    Letterman was absolutely right to shut down (none / 0) (#3)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 21, 2015 at 10:37:25 AM EST
    Limbaugh. But let's don't forget this:

    Letterman, in his monologue Monday night, noted that the 2008 Republican vice presidential candidate attended a Yankees game during a trip to New York City, where she was honored by a special needs group. Letterman referred to Palin, Alaska's governor, as having the style of a "slutty flight attendant."

    The "Late Show" host also took a shot Palin's daughter, while poking fun at the Yankees' third baseman.

    "One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game," Letterman said, "during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.

    He finally apologized after several days.

    That is if you consider this an apology.

    Letterman claims the joke was aimed at 18-year-old Bristol, who recently gave birth to a son. However Palin's 14-year-old daughter, Willow, attended the game.

    So comparing a woman to a "slutty flight attendent" and quipping about her daughter getting "knocked up" is a joke?

    Are you kidding me???

    And the network kept him on.


    He's a comedian Jim... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Thu May 21, 2015 at 11:50:39 AM EST
    not a journalist or news broadcaster. Show me a comedian who doesn't cross the line from time to time, and I'll show you a lousy comedian.

    lentinel had a similar gripe in regards to jokes aimed at the Clintons.  I think you're both confused about what the man did for a living.  

    You're free to be offended and not watch and all, but c'mon man lighten up.  


    that is wrong (none / 0) (#8)
    by nyjets on Thu May 21, 2015 at 12:28:27 PM EST
    There are lines that comedians and people in general should not cross. period. And Letterman crossed the line with those jokes.

    Sorry, but you don't get to ... (none / 0) (#18)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 21, 2015 at 04:10:34 PM EST
    ... impose your personal tastes in entertainment upon everyone else, any more than I do. If you don't like it, then change the channel and don't watch. But please don't be telling us what we can and cannot like.

    I am not advocating censorship (none / 0) (#20)
    by nyjets on Thu May 21, 2015 at 06:48:30 PM EST
    I am in no way shape or form advocating censorships. What I am saying is that Letterman jokes crossed a line.

    The thing is (5.00 / 1) (#21)
    by CaptHowdy on Thu May 21, 2015 at 07:10:31 PM EST
    if there is an attempt to establish "a line" it will instantly become the mission in life of many to cross it.  Welcome to free speech.

    Personally I think there are lines.  I also think they are highly subjective.  Those jokes did not cross my personal line.   Lines may vary.


    you are not wrong (none / 0) (#25)
    by nyjets on Thu May 21, 2015 at 09:57:30 PM EST
    You are not wrong. Some/ most lines are subjective. However I do think some lines are not quite as subjective as other are.

    keeping turning over rocks (none / 0) (#23)
    by Chuck0 on Thu May 21, 2015 at 08:04:04 PM EST
    Maybe you'll find your sense of humor.

    Come on Kdog RL is as much a (none / 0) (#22)
    by coast on Thu May 21, 2015 at 07:15:20 PM EST
    Journalist and/or news broadcaster as Jon Stewart or Al Sharpton.  They are all entertainers.

    I agree... (none / 0) (#28)
    by kdog on Fri May 22, 2015 at 08:43:40 AM EST
    I don't recall asking for shock jock Rush Limbaugh to be taken off the air, or calling him a journalist.  I'm not fond of his brand of humor, so I don't listen to his show.  Jon Stewart and David Letterman I like...Reverend Al I can take or leave.

    I'm as anti-censorship as the come my friend, perhaps I was not clear.  I did not mean to imply that Letterman and Limbaugh are in different businesses...it most definitely is all entertainment, television journalism borders on an oxymoron, with a few exceptions.


    In the vernacular of the peasantry (none / 0) (#6)
    by jondee on Thu May 21, 2015 at 12:00:21 PM EST
    because no one gives a sh*t what anyone says about the Palins; publicly or in private.

    And mainly because sorry substitutes for homo sapiens like Limbaugh promote them.


    The network kept him on.. (none / 0) (#11)
    by jondee on Thu May 21, 2015 at 12:51:08 PM EST
    just as Limbaugh's always been "kept on", no matter what noxious emissions issued from his mouth.

    Are you kidding me???

    And Sarah got a job playing a semi-articulate slutty flight attendant doing political commentary on Fox.


    Well, if Rush Limbaugh's network could ... (none / 0) (#14)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 21, 2015 at 03:52:10 PM EST
    ... keep him on the air after calling 13-year-old Chelsea Clinton "the White House dog," only one month prior to comparing her to the aforementioned hood ornament, and for which he has NEVER apologized, why would you hold NBC to a double standard for firing Letterman 15 years later?

    Adult comedy is supposed to be edgy and it's often provocative. And when entertainers cross the line, the audience will likely let them know immediately by their reaction. Besides, nobody is going to stay up until midnight to watch "The Late Show," if the best they can hope for is the equivalent of "knock-knock" jokes. If you don't like what you're seeing, well, then do what I do and change the channel. That's why the Good Lord blessed us with the invention of the TV remote.

    Dave's joke about Sarah Palin was funny, because that's exactly how she has dressed on any number of occasions and that's why he got a lot of laughs. But the crack about her daughter getting knocked up at a Yankees game was grotesque, because the daughter in question at Yankee Stadium was then-8-year-old Willow, and not the pregnant 18-year-old Bristol as he had first thought. He was absolutely right to apologize for that, once it was called to his attention and he realized what he had done. Politicians are fair game for comedians and talk show hosts; their minor children are not.



    Oops. (none / 0) (#15)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 21, 2015 at 03:55:09 PM EST
    Second paragraph, end of last sentence should read "NOT firing Letterman 15 years later." My bad.

    It took him days to apologize (none / 0) (#24)
    by jimakaPPJ on Thu May 21, 2015 at 08:11:47 PM EST
    And his attack on Palin was an attack on all women, especially flight attendants who have a very important and very difficult job.

    And I noted I agreed with shutting down Limbaugh.

    But, that didn't give him a license to do what he did any more than a cop arresting a robber gets to break the law.


    And Limbaugh NEVER apologized. (none / 0) (#26)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Fri May 22, 2015 at 02:03:24 AM EST
    So what's your point in comparing Letterman's noxious remark to a robber? The guy has retired, and America as you know it is now safe. Stop belaboring the issue, and let it go already.

    I agree that Limbaugh (2.00 / 1) (#27)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 22, 2015 at 07:43:29 AM EST
    is an overstuffed sh*t. Didn't say otherwise.

    But what does that have to do with anything??? Let me think. One of Donald's favs has his clay feet pointed out so Donald wants to talk about Limbaugh... as if two wrongs make a right.

    My point was that instead of all the fawning over him it would have been more appropriate to note his good points and his bad points and let him wander off into that good night.

    Until we can start doing that then the much ballyhooed bipartisanship isn't going to happen.


    I'm just wondering how Letterman (5.00 / 1) (#31)
    by jondee on Fri May 22, 2015 at 02:40:13 PM EST
    got that scoop that it was A-Rod.

    Word on the street is it could have been any of the Yankees, or even Girardi, the equipment manager or the ball boys..


    jondee (none / 0) (#33)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 22, 2015 at 05:39:49 PM EST
    I have a very very nasty come back but I'll your imagination fill in the blanks.

    My imagination (5.00 / 1) (#37)
    by jondee on Tue May 26, 2015 at 01:50:32 PM EST
    still tells me it could have been any of them.

    During that long fourth inning Yankee at bat, I'm guessing.


    Well, the one thing you could use in your comments (none / 0) (#36)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Sun May 24, 2015 at 10:19:12 PM EST
    here would be imagination.

    Um, Limbaugh has said much worse things (none / 0) (#29)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Fri May 22, 2015 at 08:48:21 AM EST
    Than the Palin joke, likewhen he accused Sandra Fluke of allegations so disgusting i won't repeat them here.

    But you approve of (none / 0) (#32)
    by jimakaPPJ on Fri May 22, 2015 at 05:38:26 PM EST
    Letterman's attack on a very young woman and flight attendants....

    Okie dokie. No surprise there.

    BTW - You're not going to get me into defending The Big Guy.


    When did I say that? (none / 0) (#34)
    by Mordiggian 88 on Fri May 22, 2015 at 09:59:01 PM EST
    What ever the joke Letterman made, the Childish One mad comments on Sandra a Fluke was dishonest, disgusting, and unsupportable by any standard of decency.  If what Letterman did was wrong, then Limbaughs' distortions of facts and attempted slut-shaming of Sandra Fluke are far worse.

    Of course you're not going to defend The Big Guy, by you'll keep listening to him anyway.


    The Big Guy.. (none / 0) (#38)
    by jondee on Tue May 26, 2015 at 01:53:57 PM EST
    as his friends call him..

    I love it.

    Mr Big. Mr Indispensable.


    I am old enough to have watched (none / 0) (#19)
    by caseyOR on Thu May 21, 2015 at 04:16:25 PM EST
    every host of a late night talk show. Steve Allen, Jack Paar, Johnny Carson, all great hosts. I never took to Leno. Just do not care for him. And the current crop, the Jimmys and Seth and James, well, they do rather fawn over their guests, IMO.

    David never fawned over a guest, was never all that impressed by celebrity or power, politicians never got a softball from David,  and had a quick and sharp wit that I loved. In the post-Johnny era Letterman was the best.

    He wasn't good every night. The material could be brilliant, or lame, but there was always a note of skepticism and irony that I found imminently relatable.

    I will miss Letterman.


    When I could stay up late enough (none / 0) (#35)
    by jbindc on Sun May 24, 2015 at 06:53:19 AM EST
    In college - and if I was around - I usually watched Leno.  Found him much funnier than Letterman.  I'm happy he had a nice career, but frankly, I was always surprised he was on the air so long because his humor just seemed like it was to amuse himself and not really funny.

    I don't (none / 0) (#2)
    by lentinel on Thu May 21, 2015 at 05:02:11 AM EST
    really like to go against the tide, but Letterman was not a good interviewer in my opinion.

    As an example of what I mean, in a video retrospective, they put out an interview he did with Hillary Clinton in 2003 - and the manner in which Letterman kept bringing up Monica Lewinski made me very uncomfortable. Clinton was cool. As cool as could be expected. But it made my flesh crawl and I couldn't bring myself to watch the other excerpts.

    I can't say that I will miss Letterman.

    I am, however, looking forward with great anticipation to Stephen Colbert.

    Why? (none / 0) (#9)
    by Dadler on Thu May 21, 2015 at 12:36:11 PM EST
    When Colbert was not doing his faux right-wing schtick he's as harmless as harmless gets.

    And, lest we forget, after that brilliant and unprecedented Correspondent's Dinner speech, ripping Dubya as big a new a-hole as any leader has ever experienced, he talked about how he tried to call Dubya afterwards and asy "No hard feelings."

    Are you phucking kidding me???

    That is the ESSENCE of America these days. Even supposedly great satirists cannot understand what satire really is.


    Colbert as Colbert is nothing. And boringly so.


    Different take... (none / 0) (#39)
    by lentinel on Tue May 26, 2015 at 06:23:15 PM EST
    Colbert as Colbert is nothing. And boringly so.

    I have seen Colbert interviewed - as himself - and found him to be highly intelligent, articulate and compassionate.

    So I look forward to his show.

    Letterman - I found to be very self-involved, and lacking in compassion.

    As I mentioned, his interview with HRC in 2003 was an exercise in disguised sadism.

    This is just my opinion.

    I do agree with you about Colbert's skewering of Bush. His apology was really uncalled for - and unfortunate. But maybe he came to fear for his life...

    In any case, I do look forward to his program.

    I will let you know if I find it as boring as you predict it will be...


    Two words (none / 0) (#4)
    by Uncle Chip on Thu May 21, 2015 at 10:51:39 AM EST
    that I will take away from last night's show as I down an take out order of Taco Bell:

    Accidents Happen


    "Our Long National Nightmare (none / 0) (#7)
    by KeysDan on Thu May 21, 2015 at 12:13:33 PM EST
    is Over," President Gerald Ford's reference to Nixon's vacating the presidency, was echoed by former Presidents GHW Bush, Clinton, and GW Bush and ended with President Obama.   A presidential tribute to David Letterman's retirement--a typical self-effacing Letterman joke.  

    Not Missed... (none / 0) (#10)
    by ScottW714 on Thu May 21, 2015 at 12:36:41 PM EST
    ...in that I haven't watched him regularly for a decade at least.  I used to love Late Night, but there was a point in which the only good thing was the opening monologue or bits without the guests.  

    Maybe it's just me, but the interviews have become so mandatory that I don't find the guest parts interesting at all, on any night talk show.

    HERE is tribute to one of the funniest guys that was on the TV.  Dave before he was Dave, but still the same funny guy.

    Last night I noticed he had his wife and kid in the front row and said 'I Love You Both and Really Nothing Else Matters, Does It?'  That is really nice, but I did not know David Letterman had a son.

    Yes, I tried to watch from t ime (5.00 / 1) (#12)
    by ruffian on Thu May 21, 2015 at 02:59:51 PM EST
    to time, but the truly funny stuff was buried amongst so many ads and boring stuff I never kept it up. And I really am not a Paul Schaffer fan, so as he got more prominent in the show I really checked out.

    His son is eleven now. (none / 0) (#17)
    by caseyOR on Thu May 21, 2015 at 04:08:43 PM EST
    David is a late-in-life dad. He and Regina had their son, who is named Harry after David's father, not long after David's heart bypass surgery. I have often thought that his close brush with death made David reevaluate his feelings about having children.

    Of course, as David does not confide in me, I am basing that on my thoughts only.


    What I'm going to miss most... (none / 0) (#13)
    by MileHi Hawkeye on Thu May 21, 2015 at 03:24:11 PM EST
    is the music.  So much great stuff over the years - from REM's (sober - a rarity that that time) network debut to Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires' haunting cover of Warren Zevon's "Mutineer", played at Dave's request.  


    And of course, ... (5.00 / 1) (#16)
    by Donald from Hawaii on Thu May 21, 2015 at 04:03:44 PM EST
    ... it was never really Christmas for me until I could get my annual fix of Darlene Love, bringing down the house on Dave's show.

    Wrong Thread (none / 0) (#30)
    by ScottW714 on Fri May 22, 2015 at 09:31:00 AM EST
    But I wanted to post this for Jeralyn before I leave for the weekend.

    Bon Jovi gives Rutgers grads their own song, 'Start Your Own Revolution'

    Enjoy the weekend everyone, if it doesn't rain, I will be shingling a shed.  If it does, I will be drinking and wishing the rain stops.