Join 3,497 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)


Have you seen the size of the saxophone on that guy?
June 14, 2013 6:32 PM   Subscribe

David Letterman wants to know if those are your drums.
posted by EXISTENZ IS PAUSED (44 comments total) 21 users marked this as a favorite

 
That was one of the strangest things I've ever seen. Good on Reynold, too.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:36 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


I thoroughly enjoyed that. David Letterman in the long con.
posted by grog at 6:42 PM on June 14, 2013 [9 favorites]


Hilarious. I never even clued in that he does that.
posted by chococat at 6:44 PM on June 14, 2013


I have always thought that TV show gigs are probably really strange and hard to play for bands. Rented drums would make the experience even worse; drummers do not like to play on someone else's kit, in general.
posted by thelonius at 6:44 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Letterman's been mostly phoning it in for the past few years, but when he puts in effort, he's so much funnier than Stewart or O'Brien or anyone else on late night. He has this charm for making pointless small talk hilarious. Best laugh I've had all week. Thanks for posting this.
posted by riruro at 6:50 PM on June 14, 2013 [5 favorites]


It makes me want (more than I did before) to play on Letterman. Our drummer has really cool pink sparkly drums.
posted by The World Famous at 6:50 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


Thank you, this is thoroughly delightful! Thoroughly! I'm delighted!
posted by FelliniBlank at 6:53 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


That dude is so rad.
posted by ph00dz at 7:13 PM on June 14, 2013


...as anton fig looks on from the sidelines, wondering why dave never comments on his kit...
posted by not_on_display at 7:21 PM on June 14, 2013 [9 favorites]


Couple of things:

1. Dave's idol Johnny Carson was also a drummer. Maybe it starts from there.

b) On any other show, the host comes out, shakes hands with lead singer, and maybe the closest guitarist, probably no one else. Maybe waves at the drummer. Dave wades right into the band and starts at the back. That's a Clinton level move. What difference what he actually says to them? It's win-win, and it's nice to see the drummer get some.

In some ways, a band is like a dogsled team: the guys in the back have pretty much the same view for the whole trip.
 
posted by Herodios at 7:54 PM on June 14, 2013 [20 favorites]


Was this post inspired by the TOFOP episode with Jake Johanssen?

Anyway, I love this stuff. I wonder if there are other long-running jokes like this?
posted by mullacc at 8:02 PM on June 14, 2013


This is on an official CBC YouTube channel. That's weird, right? Letterman has nothing to do with the CBC.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:08 PM on June 14, 2013


I watched Dave faithfully for 30+ years, then a few years ago it got to the point where the only thing I enjoyed was the short segment after the monologue when he'd tell a story about some encounter he had with a plumber on the weekend. Then I just stopped watching completely. The magic's gone for me now, but did he ever entertain me over the years.
posted by davebush at 8:12 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


That's a Clinton level move.

Granted, Letterman does have a history of making Clinton-level moves. But these are not them.
posted by The World Famous at 8:14 PM on June 14, 2013 [2 favorites]


On THAT note, here's Chris Rock busting Dave's balls from back when his affair with that staffer went public. These dudes are two comedy pros: Chris Rock is one of the very few guests who could make fun of Letterman to his face and get away with it, and Letterman is one of the few TV hosts who is smooth enough to roll with it.
posted by riruro at 8:34 PM on June 14, 2013 [9 favorites]


He has this charm for making pointless small talk hilarious.

Oh, man - one of the most esoteric and funniest things I have ever seen on Letterman was one night when he and Paul, out of nowhere and off the cuff, had a whole two-minute conversation in which they did a deep literary analysis of the lyrics to "All The Young Dudes" by Mott the Hoople. Primarily they were trying to ascertain whether the line "All the young dudes/carry the news" was a statement of fact about dudes, or a command to the dudes. As well there was Letterman's insistence that Ian Hunter hollering "Hey! DUDES!" was one of the highwater marks of rock and roll history.

It was totally unscripted, one of those things where Dave went off on a tangent and Paul just sort of riffed with it, it came out of nowhere, and I have been looking for a transcript of that moment ever since.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 8:51 PM on June 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


Has this drum bit been (relatively) common knowledge over the years or did someone just recently notice?


He has this charm for making pointless small talk hilarious.

Arnold Schwarzenegger tells Dave what his last name means in German, and after a few false starts asks the obvious follow-up question.

It's my favorite Letterman thing of all time.
posted by Room 641-A at 8:57 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


they did a deep literary analysis of the lyrics to "All The Young Dudes"

Oh! He also did that with Steve Martin, about "Horse With No Name" by America, specifically the line "'Cause there ain't no one for to give you no pain." I think Steve Martin in particular was hung up on the "for". I've never found that one either, but now I wonder if there are more of those.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:07 PM on June 14, 2013


The magic's gone for me now, but did he ever entertain me over the years.

Back in the 1980's, when I was in high school, he was the television show to watch. With Chris Elliott.

I wonder if it's worth my time to pull old Chris Elliott / Letterman clips together for a YouTube post...
posted by KokuRyu at 9:08 PM on June 14, 2013 [6 favorites]


Dave will always remind me of my fellow Hoosier dad, so I will always feel warm and fuzzy whenever I watch him.
posted by whitneyarner at 9:09 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


That was beautiful. Oh, and there's this:

Paul: It's a reporting. It's a narrating that young dudes are carrying the news. I take it that way.

Dave: No, no, i see the young dudes as they carry the news.

Dave: In addition to that we're alerting dudes by hey, dudes.

Paul: That line does that.

Dave: They're being put on notice.

Paul: That's correct.

posted by Lorin at 10:09 PM on June 14, 2013 [9 favorites]


That's a Clinton level move.

I disagree. A bizarre long-term pattern of behaviour executed so naturally that it's invisible until someone calls your attention to it (after which you can't stop seeing it)? That's a Riker level move.
posted by justsomebodythatyouusedtoknow at 11:19 PM on June 14, 2013 [16 favorites]


Peaboy!
posted by Hoopo at 11:26 PM on June 14, 2013 [1 favorite]


Herodios: “On any other show, the host comes out, shakes hands with lead singer, and maybe the closest guitarist, probably no one else. Maybe waves at the drummer. Dave wades right into the band and starts at the back. That's a Clinton level move. What difference what he actually says to them? It's win-win, and it's nice to see the drummer get some. ”
Precisely. Except that I think I would classify it as a Carson level move.
posted by ob1quixote at 11:51 PM on June 14, 2013 [4 favorites]


This is on an official CBC YouTube channel. That's weird, right? Letterman has nothing to do with the CBC.

Yeah, it's a bit weird just being attributed to the faceless CBC Music. Maybe it makes more sense to know that it was compiled by Dave Shumka, who produces/hosts things for CBC music. He's probably better known for co-hosting the (not-CBC) Stop Podcasting Yourself podcast.

Here's the original blog post (such as it is) associated with it.
posted by mumkin at 1:01 AM on June 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


At first I thought hey, cool, Letterman can spot a good set of drums. I thought he was actually making note of handsome kits, probably with an eye toward vintage ones. But after a while one realizes he just says that about any old kit, so it's revealed to be, well, just a meaningless schtick. A thing he does in that kind of *phoning it in* manner that someone mentioned upthread.

But aside from having my initial conception about Letterman being an actual vintage drum enthusiast dashed on the rocks of a hollow show biz schtick, I do still agree, I guess, that it's nice to see the drummer get some. Be nicer if he actually meant something real by it, though, and used it only in cases where he genuinely spotted a really nice and noteworthy kit.

"All The Young Dudes" by Mott the Hoople.

That was the band's one big hit, I do believe, and the song was written by none other than David Bowie.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 1:35 AM on June 15, 2013


Two classic running gags. "It's Gurnee, Dave" and The Guy Under the Seats.

Also remember the never ending handshakes?

posted by HyperBlue at 2:56 AM on June 15, 2013


That was the band's one big hit, I do believe, and the song was written by none other than David Bowie.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 9:35 AM on June 15


They had rather more than one big hit in the UK.
posted by Decani at 3:22 AM on June 15, 2013


Paul: It's a reporting. It's a narrating that young dudes are carrying the news. I take it that way.

WHERE DID YOU FIND THAT
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 4:34 AM on June 15, 2013


I watched Dave faithfully for 30+ years, then a few years ago it got to the point where the only thing I enjoyed was the short segment after the monologue when he'd tell a story about some encounter he had with a plumber on the weekend. Then I just stopped watching completely. The magic's gone for me now, but did he ever entertain me over the years.

He was suffering from some depression for a while. I think he is more or less back. He has loosened back up a little. One of the things that I noticed about the show is that he is doing the show for the studio audience, and the TV viewers are secondary. I'm not sure if this is new or it's always been like that, but that's why you'll get repeated bits and monologue jokes throughout a week.

But I love the genre of repeated gags. It's easy to be funny, not so easy to be funny with the same gag over and over. "Is that a rental?" is one of my favorites.
posted by gjc at 4:35 AM on June 15, 2013


They had rather more than one big hit in the UK.

I stand informed.

And I really should've known better, cause former member Morgan Fisher is my good friend and frequent musical collaborator of mine here in Tokyo. But I never had much interest in the band. Now I'll do a little delving into those links.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:47 AM on June 15, 2013


I'm not sure if this is new or it's always been like that, but that's why you'll get repeated bits and monologue jokes throughout a week.

I realized I could live without the same Lindsay Lohan joke five nights in a row. No, it wasn't always like that.
posted by davebush at 5:20 AM on June 15, 2013


Acess to Letterman in the UK is sporadic. I love it to bits. A lot of home grown late night chat shows come across as poor and lazy imitations.
posted by BenPens at 5:44 AM on June 15, 2013


Letterman plays drums, more or less.
posted by pjenks at 7:42 AM on June 15, 2013


Letterman plays drums , more or less.

Hey, he's better than Richard Pryor.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 7:49 AM on June 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


Hey, he's better than Richard Pryor .

Whoa, he certainly is. Richard was dragging that out as long as possible to avoid the inevitable. Won it back at the end, though, by being "fired on national TV".
posted by pjenks at 7:59 AM on June 15, 2013


"Letterman plays drums, more or less."

Wow, that was really weird. flapjax at midnite, do you have any thoughts? To my eye, his grip is terrible. His playing is much better than his grip implies. But it's still weird, some things are awkward and then other things are much better than the previous awkwardness.

Carson was pretty good. I remember when I was in high school and made a point of watching when Buddy Rich was a guest and then boggling at Carson and Rich doing dueling drums.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 8:38 AM on June 15, 2013


It never got better than when Dave would have on Brother Theodore.
posted by dbiedny at 9:28 AM on June 15, 2013 [1 favorite]



I wonder if it's worth my time to pull old Chris Elliott / Letterman clips together for a YouTube post...

Would you like to buy a monkey?
posted by maryr at 10:25 AM on June 15, 2013 [2 favorites]


He was really doing a lot of challenging things when he started. Chris Elliot, Brother Theodore, Harvey Pekar, Larry "Bud" Melman...that was pretty subversive stuff compared to Pink Lady and Jeff.

Back around 1984-ish I went to see Larry "Bud" Melman at the Improv in L.A. I remember it being funny but also slightly uncomfortable because people weren't totally sure how much was an act (which was the point, of course) and no on knew anything about him except what we saw on Letterman. (How did we know things before the internet??)






I miss Linda Ellerbee.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:40 AM on June 15, 2013 [3 favorites]


Dave must have played in marching band. That would explain the basic competence and the failure to play the kick with a crash.

Also, Anton plays with tree trunks. And it's fun to think that my Late-Nite drummer is on KISS' Destroyer album. Or Alive II. Whatever.

Jimminy K. Crispix though that guy's good. In a three-piece suit and at a hundred years old even. Man o mighty. (Sorry for the slight derail but you go along in life forgetting how good Buddy Rich is and then blammo - Internets!)
posted by petebest at 2:58 PM on June 15, 2013


I had no idea Dave could play the drums at all!

Also, it looked like the sticks he was using were comically large. Was that an optical illusion?

(Johnny Carson drumming. Never make a woodwind player laugh!
posted by gjc at 10:45 PM on June 15, 2013


No surprise that someone who's been on TV most nights for over 30 years would repeat himself, but that's an odd verbal tic indeed. What does surprise me is that anybody would perform on national TV with an unfamiliar (i.e., rented) drum kit.

p.s. Maybe all late night guys yearn to play the drums. Anyway, Craig is a lot better than Dave.
posted by LeLiLo at 12:08 AM on June 16, 2013


Herodios: Couple of things:

1. Dave's idol Johnny Carson was also a drummer. Maybe it starts from there.

b) On any other show, the host comes out, shakes hands with lead singer, and maybe the closest guitarist, probably no one else. Maybe waves at the drummer. Dave wades right into the band and starts at the back. That's a Clinton level move. What difference what he actually says to them? It's win-win, and it's nice to see the drummer get some.

In some ways, a band is like a dogsled team: the guys in the back have pretty much the same view for the whole trip.
 
Wow.

REALLY good point.
posted by IAmBroom at 2:56 AM on June 16, 2013


« Older Amadeus is a chihuahua who likes to play ball. On ...  |  Ryan Hansen celebrates his ret... Newer »


This thread has been archived and is closed to new comments