Thursday, February 01, 2007

All Hail The Debut Of A Late Night Legend

Twenty-Five years ago tomorrow night (or tonight, depending on when you read this), the landscape of late night television changed, for the better. Haven’t figured what it was yet? Well, I could give you the top ten reasons why, but I did post a picture of him so I guess it rather takes away all the suspense (sorry). On February 2, 1982, David Letterman hosted the first episode of Late Night with David Letterman, his NBC talk show that aired right after Johnny Carson. Is this a blogworthy event? If you have ever read my blogger profile then you know this anniversary is a big deal for me.

Oh can I remember fondly the times growing up where I would watch Letterman on a Friday night and just giggle incessantly like a twelve-year old schoolgirl. I am probably one of the few people alive who thought he was funny as the host of the Oscars (which was the only Oscar broadcast I have ever, and probably will ever, watch from start to finish). Does anyone remember the movie ‘Cabin Boy’ with Chris Elliot? It was Letterman’s first movie. For weeks after seeing it, I would quote his big line and go around asking anyone if they wanted to buy a monkey (I can’t believe I just admitted that publicly). I normally do not dress up for Halloween but broke with tradition in my sophomore year of high school. I colored black crayon in between my two front teeth, put on tennis shoes, jeans, a sport coat and tie and went as David Letterman, complete with my own Top Ten List. Geesh, as I read this I sound a little fanatical. It’s not like I’ve ever tried to break into his house or anything and I now only reference canned hams twice a week, I swear.

See, I’m not fanatical, even though I did tell people when we graduated from high school that my goal was to host a late night talk show. Hmmm, after driving home from my monochrome office cubicle tonight, I think I fell just a little short of that goal…

In school, whenever I was at a boring event that students are often forced to endure, I would write my own Top Ten Lists about the event and distribute them to my friends. The only reason I ran for office in high school was so that I could read the morning announcements. Somehow, I persuaded school administration to allow me to read a Top Ten List every Friday. I would try writing similar lists for my blog nowadays, but don’t want to infringe on any established legal ground (translation: I don’t have the money to be sued). Therefore, I can announce here that in honor of Letterman’s 25th year in late night television, beginning this Friday I am going to try a new weekly installment called the Top Ten and a Half List. Look for it every Friday until I figure out that no one is reading it. Therefore, I can also announce here that most likely this Friday’s first installment of my Top Ten and a Half List will probably be my last.

I really can’t think of how to properly praise someone who has inspired me to want to be funny as much as David Letterman has. Maybe the best praise is to reiterate the fact that it has long been rumored that Johnny Carson had hoped Letterman would be his hand picked successor. Can there be a bigger compliment than that? In fact, after Carson’s death it came to light that Carson would write jokes for Letterman’s monologue after he retired and Dave would use them. Having Johnny Carson as a ghostwriter for you must be pretty cool. I don’t know that Jay Leno or anyone else can claim the same honor.

Whether it’s Stupid Pet Tricks, The CBS Mail Bag, The Top Ten List, Oprah-Uma, reuniting Sonny and Cher or any of the other hilarious things we have been treated to by David Letterman, he has consistently been a pleasure for me to watch. After all, this was the first man who got back onto TV to try to bring a smile to our broken and shattered country after September 11, 2001.

Maybe I’ll even be able to stay awake long enough to watch him on February 2nd in honor of this anniversary. David Letterman deserves at least that much from me. Although, I do have TiVo…

5 comments:

Odat said...

Very cool! I'll look forward to your Top Ten and a Half List....and it's ok to admit what you did....after all this is blog world...you can say anything here.....lol....
Peace

p.s. fried spaghetti is delicious!

captain corky said...

I'm looking forward to your top 10 list too. Ya gotta admire the man that reunited Sonny and Cher, don't you?

mist1 said...

Carson ghost writes for me.

SGT DUB said...

Looking forward to the list.

Natalie said...

List sounds great I can't wait! What a good guy to look up to.