Letterman’s Last Laugh

I guess if it could happen with Johnny Carson, it was inevitable for David Letterman.  It sucks but retirement happens.  No one in the history of the medium (not even Johnny) has so influenced talk shows.  Not just late night talk shows but all talk shows. He changed the entire landscape first with his antics and gags and later by bolting NBC for CBS which singlehandedly gave future jobs to Conan O’Brien, Jimmy Kimmel, Jimmy Fallon, Ellen Degenerous, Bill Maher, Jon Stewart and of course Stephen Colbert.  When he proved that other networks could challenge the former institution of The Tonight Show and win, they jumped on it and the talk-show boom began.  Dave started on Late Night when I was 6-years old and when he retires in 2015, I will be in my 40th year.  That is a long time and I have no recollection of life before Letterman. He has literally been around as far back as my memories go and I was lucky enough to be in New York at a taping of The Late Show in January 1995.  For other die-hard fans of Dave who know and love him as much as I do, here are a few of my favorite moments over the past 34 years:

  • Entire show shot from his home while “waiting for the cable guy” (NBC)
  • Dave wears a suit made from cereal and jumps into a giant bowl of milk (NBC)
  • Dave and Paul figure skating at Rockefeller (NBC)
  • Schwartzenegger interview showing clips from Hercules in New York (NBC)
  • Carson brings his own desk to the interview (NBC)
  • Final week of Late Night in June 1993 (NBC)
  • Dave’s first show on CBS in August 1993 (CBS)
  • Mujibur and Sirijul tour America (CBS)
  • Dave’s mom goes to the winter Olympics in Lillehammer (CBS)
  • Dave’s first show post-heart surgery (CBS)
  • Dave’s first show post-9/11 (CBS)
  • Jay Thomas throwing footballs at the Christmas tree (CBS)
  • Dave remembers Carson after he passes away (CBS)
  • Dave takes on the would-be blackmailer (CBS)

I could go on for hours and if I had looked back through my hundreds of hours of recorded material, I could have come up with ten pages of specific moments but I think you get the gist.
Thanks Dave for making an impression on me for over thirty years.  There has never been and never will be another comedian as brilliant and with as much staying power as you. Looking forward to this final year.  Goodnight everybody!

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