59 thoughts on “No More Dave?”

  1. I have watched Dave for years…
    He is the closest thing we have to Johnny Carson…
    I am going to watch tonight…

  2. Carson was bland and his humor was juvenile.

    Letterman was always much funnier but his humor was darker and more sophisticated, so he never got Carson’s job.

  3. Letterman changed after his heart thingy. The edge moved a little after he faced a reality of life – it can and does end.

    The continuum of late night entertainment is wonderful. The wonderful brilliance of Ernie Kovacs exploring and expanding the earlier years of black and white television technology fed into the shows of those following him. Steve-o-rino, Jack Parr, Johnny Carson were my early life favorites when babysitting. When I was on midnights Johnny Carson was important to get the shift going.

    Ferguson and his “partner” (for those who do not enjoy insomnia the “partner” is a skeleton) often has a cutting edge the others do not have. Conan had the same feel, before the Tonight show change. I have not watched Fallon on his version, yet, but from his previous gig, his soft humour was not for me.

    The late night genre is something difficult to get right. Carson explained it as providing entertainment to the bottom of feet with toes sticking out (or something like that), in other words people in a chair or bed, going to sleep, looking through their feet at the television. His job was to keep them awake but not upset or turning off the tv.

  4. I’ll miss him awful but good for him. Hopefully we’ll see him schlepping around the island with his family more. His home is in a beautiful spot- in fact many snowy owls were spotted out there this winter- doubt he had the time to see them.

  5. Remember Mr. Letterman’s morning show on nbc (1980)? Now the truth can be told:I was part of the group that bombarded that network with requests to keep it on air. It was different, edgy – & way too smart to be on that time of day. In my heart I realized this; my head though craved this one speck of intelligent tv in the morning. A lost cause that in the end worked out right when the gentleman moved to after hours.
    Hello Chris Elliott! The late night show on nbc brought a cast of memorable characters, headed by Bob Elliott’s son. One word, three syllables: ba•NA•nas. That period was truly inspired television.
    Whatever the backstabbing shenanigans that happened at nbc (something that network excels at) the move to cbs brought a return to smooth sophistication a la Johnny Carson. A great legacy, a welcome respite for the weary brain. Thank you, David Letterman, for the laughs & the gift of making us think.

  6. blue bronc,

    ernie kovacs and steve allen not in same category as those who came after.
    more than an apples and oranges thingy. more like comparing da vinci with edison or amadeus with dolly.
    there’s class and there’s crass.

  7. Craig and anyone else who has watched Letterman… sorry it’ll be ending for you.

    As a typical early to bed and early to rise country gal, I don’t watch late night tv except for the occasional replay of Stewart and Colbert the day after.
    But I did enjoy the replay of Dave’s top ten.

  8. patd,

    The early, 1950’s entertainers, brought television out of the curiousity stage, demonstrating, exploring and expanding the medium. They were the bridge from vaudville to the 1960’s. The 1960’s, and the reality of the Space Age juxtapositioned with firefights in Vietnam, needed a different end of the day.

    That different person was Johnny Carson. He used his sense of humour and comedic timing to give the time to Americans to wind down they needed each night. That era finished long ago. It is unfair to conpare the late night shows of 2014 to those of the 1990’s, 1980’s and 1970’s. Just as it is to compare the 1950’s to the 1960’s and later.

    But the pedigree of all late night television is from what started sixty years ago as a way to end the night before the channels went off the air.

  9. meanwhile back in the not-so-real real world
    from bbc

    Two journalists working for the Associated Press news agency have been shot by a police officer in eastern Afghanistan, officials say.

    One of the women, Anja Niedringhaus, died in the attack. Her colleague, Kathy Gannon, is reported to be stable.

    The attack took place in the town of Khost near the border with Pakistan.

    It comes as Afghanistan intensifies security ahead of presidential elections on Saturday, in response to threats of violence by the Taliban.

    add that to this list from committee to protect journalists
    1053 Journalists Killed since 1992

  10. blue bronc,

    my snide snark was more about comparing the individuals. allen especially. a real renaissance man of many talents.
    agree that carson et al had their moments and did much for awakening the national psyche.

  11. “Is this the end of irony on late night TV?” Great question & observation. I think Kimmel understands and uses irony. I vaguely remember Jack Paar and saw just enough of Kovacs to have a feel for his humor. Carson is the first late night host I actually remember. (Cut off your Slosson). I believe his genius was having enough edge to appeal to kids like me and to adults like my parents. I still miss the characters he brought to the tube. I don’t really try to rank them since I’ve laughed at all of them – lots. The one that tends to get lost from the discussion is Conan O’Brien, and that’s a shame. He ended up on tier 2 after NBC screwed him over. I’m sure he’s doing well enough, but his competition is Jon Stewart and the local news at 11 followed by Tonight, Letterman and Colbert. Tough by any standard

  12. “But the pedigree of all late night television is from what started sixty years ago as a way to end the night before the channels went off the air.” But now they never sign off.

  13. pogo, I haven’t watched a lot of Kimmel but he seems kinda phony compared to Letterman. Most nights I catch Dave’s opening monologue at least, great way to drift off.

  14. None of the newbies are as inventive as Letterman has been. The first time I saw him, he had a daytime show on NBC & he set off fireworks in the studio.
    His NBC night show was amazing. He dissed Nastasia Kinski’s hair, right to her face…and then she agreed with him. Who gets away with that?

    I spent many nights in college, sitting on the floor, under my hanging bed and listening to wonderful & interesting people:
    Larry Bud Melman-
    Some guy who was filming an on-going horror flick that he pronounced KO-VIN instead of Coven-
    Harvey Pekar-
    The woman in the office across the street he would call on the phone-

    Things changed when he moved to the Ed Sullivan Theatre, but it was an invigorating move; it was a good change.
    Sirajul & Mujibar, Rupert Gee at the deli, throwing stuff off of the roof…

    This will surely suck some attention from Fallon (who is good, but I can see everything I’m interested in on a couple of 3-minute YouTube clips every other day).

    Never cared for Conan, and not a Kimmel fan, either, although he is at least funny. I do not get Conan O’Brien.

    Craig Ferguson is great an deserves a chance to fill the spot, but nobody can replace Dave.

    I will miss Dave, but Stupid Human Tricks will live on forever in politics.

  15. patd,

    Yes, Ernie & Steve invented almost everything, but when you are the first kids to get to take the toy out of the box…

  16. pogo,

    Yep, the good, days when Carson was an hour and a half, then there was an anti-litter commercial, the national anthem and electronic snow until morning.

    My grandmother let me stay up until midnight, even in grade school, because she worked at a restaurant and got home late. I just couldn’t complain about getting up for school in the morning.

  17. Poobah, Kimmel is no Letterman, but he’s a smartass who likes to find dumbasses, and I can appreciate that. I haven’t really warmed up to Fallon in the late night talk show format yet. He did get off to a good start and didn’t make jokes that he had to stand and wait for the audience to get, but what I’ve seen since strikes me as a guy who’s trying a little to hard, but don’t take this a harsh criticism – I think he’s a really funny guy who used to do the writing and now is reading others’ joke writing. I think he’ll get there. I caught Seth Meyers a couple of times, and I think there’s promise there. Making the SNL to late night show jump has to be hard, but he was never really huge into the ensemble performance part of the show, which might explain why he seems pretty natural in the new format. Strikes me as the same guy I thought was so good on Weekend Update. I hate to see Dave go but I will have no problem filling my nightly laugh quota as I drift off to sleep, so all is good.

  18. late night show hosts? you want star power? you want talent? heeeeeere”s kermie….

    Kermit The Frog guest hosts The Tonight Show (1979)
    beware, it’s 1:28:20 long

  19. Another vote for the other Craig.

    Craig and Craig could make people forget Johnny and Ed.

    Mr. Outrageous & Mr. Laidback.

  20. I’ll remember Dave for his wacky stunts. The velcro suit, the suit of Alka Selter etc…Not too forget the segments “Is This Anything?” and “Will It Float?’. Julia and I joked a lot about those segments! Carson was always a treat to watch on Friday nights. Maybe because that was the only night I was allowed to stay up and watch him? :) But, yeah, Carson was great at reacting to a joke that bombed. :) The first time I went to L.A. I saw a Ralph’s grocery store and said, “That’s the grocery store Johnny Carson always tells jokes about!

  21. At the time I was disappointed that Joan Rivers did not get a real chance but seeing her today maybe not so much

  22. And, make the show 1 1/2 hours like the old Tonight show. The typical show charges a fee from guests, who then promo their crappy books, movies, and egos. More time talking to actual people would be nice.

  23. Ms Cracker, I agree about Joan Rivers, but she probably wouldn’t have gone unfunny if she’d gotten a chance to host the show. I think the snub soured her.

    Besides, I think Leno is too stiff, careful, and predictable.

  24. X-R

    For sure she is not funny now. I hope her daughter is getting a load of cash for the show they have together because it is a total embarrassment.

  25. I have to agree with Blue Bronc:

    Ferguson is hilarious and has much more of an “edge” than anyone else….

    except Chelsea Handler.

    If you haven’t seen her show, you should.

    Check out some of her youtube clips.

  26. According to reports, Stephen Colbert is CBS’ top choice to replace Letterman.

  27. One of my favorite ongoing Letterman bits, “The Guy Under the Seats.”


  28. top ten late night talk show hosts:

    Ted Koppel
    Joey Bishop
    Merv Griffin
    Dick Cavett
    Pat Sajak
    David Letterman
    Johnny Carson

    fuckin’ letterman……

  29. sturge, yeah, cavett. forgot all about his time at the wheel. another terrific talent. still is.

  30. shields and brooks last night on pbs newshour re campaign donors influence
    MARK SHIELDS [….] And Joe Scarborough had this to say.

    “The lobbying over China most favored nation trading status was disgusting. There’s no way in hell that MFN would have passed in ’95, ’96, ’97, ’98, ’99, 2000 if all these companies hadn’t come in flooding and making campaign contributions and ask for people’s support. That drove the debate. Every year was the allure of corporate dollars flooding into members’ bank accounts.”

    And that’s — quite bluntly, I mean, that’s it.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: And this is a Republican conservative.

    MARK SHIELDS: I saw — I saw money change votes is what Joe — I mean, they just seem unaware of this, that money is something — if they want to see the appearance of corruption, all they had to do was look in Las Vegas last weekend.

    You had five Republican governors, former governors showing up at Sheldon Adelson to genuflect, to beg for his support, to seek his — they were sycophants. John Kasich was — debased themselves.

    JUDY WOODRUFF: The governor of Ohio.

    MARK SHIELDS: Governor of Ohio.

    MARK SHIELDS: You know, Sheldon, thank you for inviting me. God bless you for what you’re doing? For $93 million?

    DAVID BROOKS: Well, I agree. I mean, I don’t have anything to read, but I have got studies.

  31. from bbc

    A Chinese ship searching for the missing Malaysia Airlines plane in the southern Indian Ocean has picked up a pulse signal, Chinese media say.

    They say the signal has a frequency of 37.5kHz per second – the same as those emitted by the flight recorders.
    The Chinese search ship Haixun 01 on Saturday picked up the signal at about 25 degrees south latitude and 101 degrees east longitude, the state-run Xinhua news agency said.

  32. oh my money in politics I’m shocked

    are the pols just learning something the rest of us have known our entire lives

  33. kgc, this week’s new yorker gives us stunning example

    The state has become a standard-bearer for pro-business, limited-government conservatism. The day before the chemical spill, the governor, Earl Ray Tomblin, delivered his State of the State address, criticizing federal environmental regulators and vowing, “I will never back down from the E.P.A., because of its misguided policies on coal.” Tomblin, a conservative Democrat elected in 2011, cut corporate taxes and denounced the federal government for overstepping its authority. To balance the budget, he tapped other government funds and called for broad cuts, including reducing agency spending by seventy million dollars. For the second consecutive year, West Virginia’s Department of Environmental Protection would take a 7.5-per-cent cut in state funds, dropping to its lowest level since 2008.

  34. The spirit and fun went out of Letterman’s shows after his affair collapsed around him. I’ve time shifted other programs into his slot—too depressing.

    Jimmy Fallon has a tremendous amount of energy, but his show is shallow. Does he wear codpiece trousers?

    I guess I’ll just have to dvr the stuff and wait for someone to give a review.

    Late night is made for jazz

  35. Bologna is back. After her third vet visit, her meds were changed. The vet was baffled she wasn’t responding as she is in early congestive heart failure and healthy otherwise. Kudos to the vet for tinkering…we thought she was going to die.

    The baby boom generation has been shown the door. Expect more retirements from the first born of the generation. The new generations favor their entertainment to be digital and mobile and they like to enjoy a la carte without dedication to time slot. They can enjoy anytime. The umbilical cord to tv is being cut.

  36. BW

    So glad to hear Bologna is doing better

    Shown the door? More like kicked to the curb…

  37. Now don’t claim you haven’t had this fantasy…

    According to an article in Today’s “Bangor Daily News,” due to a “software coding error” a Portland, Maine man received over $37,000 when he tried to make a $140 withdrawal from an ATM machine.

    Actually, I have this fantasy every single time I use an ATM, but so far…no luck.

  38. Nash 2.5,

    I’ve never used an ATM.

    Did the next paragraph in your news article mention that the man was instantly surrounded by members of Portland’s finest, placed in the prone position, handcuffed, then tossed into the Paddy wagon.

    Meanwhile, the bank froze all his accounts and put liens on his house and automobile. His credit is shot and he is now on the no-fly list. The neighbors are shunning him and his family and the real estate people decline appeals to list their house.

  39. Well, at least we have Kimmel. I think he has some of the vein of wit Letterman embodies. I like Jimmy Fallon as a person and an actor, but his hosting needs another, more serious, gear. His constant grinning and giggling is sometimes tiresome.
    I remember the first joke I ever heard Letterman tell on Carson…”You know those little hardened globs of toothpaste you find around your sink? Here’s a tip, you can scrape those up and use them for after dinner mints.”

  40. Blonde Wino,

    BW, Great news on Bologna!

    The boomers are maturing nicely. They hold doors for me, but they do tend to be combative at checkout counters. Most aren’t yet qualified to shop at Publix. Some of the unattached women are terrible flirts.

  41. A recent Facebook posting by a female undergraduate at a small college in northern Maine…

    “If you don’t want to wake up with “Harley Davidson” tattooed on your ass, don’t get drunk on spring break.”

    There was a “selfie” photo, also.

  42. Flatus:

    Ironic as it may sound, the lucky guy at the ATM was a homeless man. He was seen filling up a shopping bag with cash

    And yes, a passerby called the cops, and he was busted.

    However, that’s one of those cases that you can’t really put in front of a jury because…well, think about it.

    Who among us wouldn’t have done EXACTLY the same thing?

  43. I imagine that the “Who among us wouldn’t have done exactly the same thing?” rule also applies to spring break tattoos.

  44. Ms Wino,

    I hope that Bologna gives you many more years of trouble free loving.

  45. With rippers running the House and Senate in ’01, not many bribes were necessary to assure the Chi-coms of most favored neighbor status.

    They aren’t called reds for nothing.

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