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Discussion in 'TV Show Talk' started by fluffybear, Mar 3, 2013.
I like Alan Alda more than Howard Stern. Not saying he'd be a good late night show host.
Not for me. Letterman doesn't lull me to sleep, he increasingly p*sses me off.
Letterman for well over ten years just seems tired of HIMSELF. He projects boredom and even some hostility about having to do the same old crap endlessly, night after tedious night. Take the pension, Dave!
It's too late for letterman to go out on top. Let's hope he has the decency to retire before he hits rock bottom.
Winning a Kennedy Center Honor is a good point.
Yes, that was significant recognition. Carson got one in 1993.
On the other hand, my better half gave up on Letterman a few years ago.
I loved Letterman when he started out. I met him at a friend's comedy club, he asked me how his set went. Very nice, slightly insecure guy. His early stuff was fresh and edgy and he was a big fave of the college crowd. But that was like...a million years ago!
I agree completely with every point here, but there is a good reason that Letterman is still around, and that is that his show is a money machine for CBS. $200 mil in pure profit times 30+ years is not an insignificant number; only a handful of top movie stars have starred in films over their careers that have cumulatively topped 6 billion-with-a-B dollars. And there seems to be no falloff in that number attributable to Dave.
Many forget that there is a very sharp distinction between Leno and Letterman; people tune into Jay for the monologue and the guests; they are not there to see Jay be Jay, they are there to see what the guests have to say to him. Jay's numbers reflect that; up for good guests, down for not-so-good guests, and severe tuneout after the monologue.
Letterman is different; people do not tune into Letterman to see what the guests say, they tune in to see what Dave says to the guests. Leno is just the emcee, while Letterman is a true unique talent with a point of view that people find interesting. He is naturally funny, while Jay is good at telling scripted jokes as a standup. Dave is not everyone's cup of tea (and the lower but steadier numbers prove that as well), but then neither are you, and neither am I. If he were, he would only be less interesting.
My personal opinion is that while possibly more bored and jaded, Dave is still Dave, and is still the same exact fascinating character he was in 1982. The show was better in 1982, but a lot of that is that Dave was the anti-Carson then, and since 1993 he has been mainstream, and that is because what is new and fresh and different eventually becomes mainstream if it is successful and has longevity. He invented that form of hosting, let's not forget, and no one has been able to host from the anti-Carson position more effectively than him for over 30 years.
What has deteriorated is the quality of the writing, the bits, and the musical guests (99 times out of a hundred I delete the show 12 bars into the musical guest). Maybe that says something about Dave no longer driving that. Nothing has been as funny as the monkey cam or the trampoline jump onto a velcro wall since coming to CBS, sadly. He is obviously phoning it in, but even in that mode he still runs rings around Jay as far as an interviewer and as a totally unique and interesting talent. I think he is a national treasure, and so does the Kennedy Center, apparently.
Here is the most ironic thing: The unquestionably best guest on Late Night with David Letterman back in the 80's? Jay Leno. Whatever happened to that guy?
I think 30+ years as a top network talent might have earned him the right to an agenda. At least he is finally passionate about something, and that was a quality missing even back in the NBC years.
Do you remember the old joke "The definition of an a**hole is anyone on the freeway that wants to drive faster than you do, or slower than you do." Maybe the underlying principle there applies here; point of view is everything.
Sam, I hope you will forgive me for attempting to read between the lines, but just because someone does not agree with your personal political views (which you are entitled to) does not make that something to judge their level of talent on. To me, Letterman and Stewart are two of the three funniest people on earth (and don't even get me started on Howard), but they probably seem funnier to me because I often agree with their political opinions. That said, they are still just as funny to me when I don't.
Dennis Miller is a great example; one that I may be as guilty of judging as anyone. I though he was the most-talented comic ever, back in the day of him having a show on HBO (first show I ever saw in HD). Then 911 happened, and something about that changed him, and greatly changed his political views. Now I don't find him funny at all; he just seems like that tired old man yelling at kids to get off of his lawn. It's like someone let go of the baloon and all the funny leaked out.
But I will admit, Dennis is probably still a very talented guy; I just can't see that anymore. And maybe part of that is that my views no longer coincide with his.
So I am not condemning you or your opinions; I just think that viewing things in this way is due to human nature, and we all probably have an inclination to react the same way to that.
Jay Leno has been talking to the media for years about ending his Tonight Show gig...so I suspect this is a mutual decision that "the time has come". Not really any surprise.
I also don't believe ANY replacement or schedule change will return late night TV viewing to where it once was...the audiences and viewing habits have changed over the years, and the overall late night TV viewing numbers in total have diminished.
Had DVRs not come along to allow folks to watch these late night shows at viewer convenient times...things may even be lower in terms of folks following them.
Those interested in this thread should read "The War For Late Night" by Bill Carter, which details the entire Leno/Conan fiasco from top to bottom. Carter apparently had unprecedented access to the real deets of this misadventure; it is as if he were in the room during every meeting. It is the best non-fiction book I have read other than the Walter Isaacson biography of Steve Jobs.
And, I believe the late night show is going to be around for a while, and will certainly outlast Leno and Letterman. Who should they get to replace Letterman, or Fallon if he jumps up to The Tonight Show?
I agree 100% with your comment about Letterman. He has turned into a partisan, bitter, left-wing hack, and this pushed me away. I can take making fun of the Right or the Left, but when it's completely one-sided like Letterman has become, and in a bitter manner, then I no longer find it funny or entertaining. (Never mind the fact that Letterman is just plain ignorant when it comes to political facts.)
I tune in to Letterman once per year, and that's the annual Christmas show where Darlene Love performs. It's a simple tradition that I enjoy.
It's a known fact that Jon Stewart is a liberal, yet I find him funny and his show entertaining. I don't find Letterman that funny anymore or entertaining, yet he's liberal. There is a difference between the two. Stewart doesn't hesitate to rip those on the Left, while Letterman rarely, if ever, does. Dave's just a bitter, old coot now.
Letterman vs Leno ... Letterman for me, though lately I'm liking Kimmel. Also record Conan. Gotta give those Genie tuners a workout each night. It's nice to pick and choose from the 4 shows at the end of the week and catch the highlights. Can't say that I've ever paid any attention to any political aspects of it, just looking for a good laugh and interesting guests.
That may indeed be the case now, but in 2004 when they announced that Conan would take over in 2009, he did not make a public stink about it, but the reports are that he saw that as a full-on slap in the face from NBC. He felt that NBC tried to push him out, and I see no reason why he should not continue to feel that way after recent events. For him to change that view in the last 4 years is what would be surprising.
But then Jay should not have been surprised, either; Johnny did not want out; he was pushed out by NBC to make room for...who again? Jay. Johnny wanted 30 years, but got only 29. If you count the daytime show, Letterman has 32.
I know that the infamous biting "Carsenio" routine from SNL, which Johnny got excised from all repeats and syndicated repeats of SNL, really hit home. It also probably helped kill Dana Carvey's career just from how pissed Johnny was. I wonder if that is even on YouTube?
It is on NBC's SNL site:
Guess I'm done with Dave after last night. (And I would think maybe too maybe a few [food and/or beverage producing] sponsors.)
As far as Jay goes, I haven't watched much in the last few years, but will tune in usually based on a personality or musical guest (not very often).
It became more evident to me (after he got the TBS gig) that the Tonight Show was simply too big for Conan, and that where he is now seems a much better "fit" for him.
Since I don't watch Letterman anymore, I didn't see last night's show. What happened that made you post your above comments?
The large beverage hating mayor of NY was a guest.
Don't tell me. Dave was praising him and agreeing with the mayor's attempt to run people's lives.