TV Review:  The Late Show with David Letterman Last Episode (May 20th 2015)

Posted: June 1, 2015 in TV

Late night tv show host David Letterman celebrates his last show with special guests, a final top ten list, and musical group the Foo Fighters.

This last episode wasn’t really a retrospective. Although it had some old clips, and it wasn’t nearly long enough for me, I would have liked to have seen a big 2 hour look back at his show.  I know that is made more difficult by Dave switching networks, and the bad blood that ensued thereafter, but this show was not nearly the tribute to Dave Letterman that I wanted.  I’ve been watching David Letterman since 1982, I watched his morning show sporadically, but he was ill-suited for a daytime show.  At 12:30 Letterman found his niche, he was to me what Carson was to many of Carson’s generation. His comedy was groundbreaking to me.  Viewer mail, stupid pet tricks, stupid human tricks, the top ten list, Larry “Bud” Melman, throwing objects off the roof, the Alka Selzer suit, the potato chip suit. Many of the hijinks that viewers have taken for granted now on late night tv, had their genesis on Late Night and The Late Show with Lettermen.

There wasn’t enough of the older sketches on this last episode, only a bit of Larry Bud Melman, played by the late great Calvert DeForest, no sketches featuring Chris Elliot, the “Fugitive Guy” and “The Guy Under the Seats” no General Electric handshake,  no clip of Tina Turner using a product called the Tuna Turner, those bits taught me what comedy should be. I liked Letterman’s interviewing style too, he made pompous, self-absorbed movie stars feel uncomfortable, and I liked that most about him.  They had a clip of Cher calling him an unprintable expletive, but the Natassja Kinski interview is much funnier, Google it.  They had to have a Top Ten List, and it was pretty funny featuring a who’s who of American comedy, Bill Murray, Steve Martin, Jerry Seinfeld, Julia Louis Dreyfus, Tina Fey, Chris Rock, Jim Carrey plus Barbara Walters, Alec Baldwin, and Peyton Manning.  The opening footage with George HW Bush, Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama, all making the same joke about Letterman was pretty funny, and pretty impressive. There were some funny moments with him and children and one extremely funny sketch featuring Letterman working at a drive thru at a Taco Bell. The closing montage featuring the song “Everlast” from the Foo Fighters was fantastic.  The fact that Dave liked the Foo Fighters made me like him all the more.

One more thing of note, my one and only brush with fame happened when I won a Top Ten List joke contest, about 12 years ago, with an Al Gore joke, and won a Late Show mousepad. I know David Letterman never saw my joke, but at least some of his writers saw it, and liked it.  That was good enough for me. Or maybe it was an intern, but I made someone laugh, and that was proof positive that I was funny.

Late Night and The Late Show with David Letterman:  This Letterman lettered in comedy and it was an A+.

Here’s the closing montage:


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