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October 2, 2007 5:18 AM   Subscribe


 
heheh 'cum'
posted by Henry C. Mabuse at 5:23 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


hilton should've done to dave what he did to crispin glover. he was such an ass and it wasn't remotely funny.
posted by andywolf at 5:27 AM on October 2, 2007


hilton should've done to dave what he did to crispin glover. he was such an ass and it wasn't remotely funny.

Oh, why won't they just leave poor Paris alone!

/runs away sobbing
posted by thanotopsis at 5:38 AM on October 2, 2007


Rrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrreal fuckin' high.
posted by GooseOnTheLoose at 5:42 AM on October 2, 2007


It was remotely funny for the first few seconds after he asked her what it was like in jail. My favourite detail: her tendency to look to someone who was on stage left (her publicist?) for help.

She had to know it was going to come up.
posted by chuckdarwin at 5:43 AM on October 2, 2007


God, Letterman is such a dick. And that is why he is the absolute best.
posted by billysumday at 5:51 AM on October 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Letterman is 10x smarter than most of his guests and he's pretty damn funny, but now that I'm used to Daily Show and Colbert I have to wonder why he doesn't use his powers for good.
posted by DU at 5:59 AM on October 2, 2007 [4 favorites]


Letterman was clearly off his game with Hilton. It was funny until Paris said "I don't think I'm going to talk about that any more" and Letterman continued to hound her about it -- at which point Letterman came off as being mean instead of funny, and achieved the rather remarkable result of making Paris Hilton look classy by comparison.
posted by localroger at 6:00 AM on October 2, 2007


Anyone remember the Mandonna interview? It was so filled with profanities that next night's Top 10 was the benefits of hosting Madonna, and number 1, iirc, was "You can sit back and let the bleep button do the work."
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:05 AM on October 2, 2007


Letterman was clearly off his game with Hilton. It was funny until Paris said "I don't think I'm going to talk about that any more" and Letterman continued to hound her about it -- at which point Letterman came off as being mean instead of funny, and achieved the rather remarkable result of making Paris Hilton look classy by comparison.

Only to people prone to thinking that way about classiness.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:06 AM on October 2, 2007


Letterman was clearly off his game with Hilton. It was funny until Paris said "I don't think I'm going to talk about that any more" and Letterman continued to hound her about it

You're right that it didn't seem to be going anywhere but then, serendipitously, that guy in the audience shouted "I love you Paris" which perfectly set Letterman up for the "do you know him from jail?" line. Which was hilarious.
posted by billysumday at 6:11 AM on October 2, 2007


DU is correct. I remember him talking about planes once with a pilot (Travolta?) and being almost frightened by his depth on knowledge on the subject. It was like he accidentally pulled back the curtain and let us see the real Dave (behind the TV Boy facade).

He could easily try and push an agenda. I guess it's his decision if he'd rather not.
posted by chuckdarwin at 6:11 AM on October 2, 2007


That Alka-Seltzer gag would have been better if they'd dunked him all the way in.

And now I'm off to coat myself with baking soda and jump into a tub full of vinegar!
posted by The Card Cheat at 6:11 AM on October 2, 2007


Crispin Glover came back in 1990. So was he on drugs or was in schtick in 1987?
posted by punkfloyd at 6:15 AM on October 2, 2007


It is nearly impossible to come off as mean when making fun of Paris Hilton. Few people deserve it quite so much... And indeed, she may desperately try to give off an air of class, but it's just destroyed when she opens her mouth, sulks and pouts.

The leg kicking when she was getting upset was astounding. Adults just don't behave like that!
posted by opsin at 6:15 AM on October 2, 2007


My Favourite Letterman moment
posted by mattoxic at 6:19 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


That Kinison clip is fantastic. I'd almost forgotten how good he was when he first started out.
posted by Optamystic at 6:20 AM on October 2, 2007


Eh. The lady's clearly fragile, not terribly bright, and has serious emotional baggage. I'm finding it hard to understand how inviting such a person on national TV so that you can use your well-honed wit as a means of a constant barrage of putting her down to not be "mean" or "classless". And then continuing to press her on exactly the issue that she clearly

Is it because she wants to be famous? Is that why it's not mean?

Is it because she is famous? Is that why it's not mean?

Is it because she's famous for no good reason? Is that why it's not mean?

The girl is mentally and emotionally fucked up, and that was clear well before this interview. If Letterman thinks she shouldn't get the attention she gets (about which I would agree), the answer should be to stop giving it to her, not to contribute to the destruction of her fragile mental state in a hugely popular forum.
posted by Flunkie at 6:24 AM on October 2, 2007 [4 favorites]


Y'know whose appearances on the show always seemed extraordinary to me? Julia Roberts, even though I don't much care for her. There seemed to be a genuine warmth and affection between the two of them, and it almost made me like her.

Almost.
posted by mr_crash_davis at 6:24 AM on October 2, 2007


"Letterman tried to cheer the heiress up by joking, 'I'll buy you a parakeet!'"

Well, he got four out of her five favorite words right.
posted by hermitosis at 6:24 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Talk about off his game, anybody watch the Pee Wee Herman clip yet? Letterman just really didn't know what to do with that. Couldn't come up with one single funny quip, nothing.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 6:27 AM on October 2, 2007


Does anybody remember the first and best season, in which he had great guests like Jerzy Kozinsky, David Mamet and Brother Theodore, among others?
posted by zorro astor at 6:27 AM on October 2, 2007


Anyone remember the Mandonna interview? It was so filled with profanities that next night's Top 10 was the benefits of hosting Madonna, and number 1, iirc, was "You can sit back and let the bleep button do the work."

Actually, #1 was a "your mom" joke. Well, sort of.

Any time I'm tempted to think Letterman is off his game or overrated, I switch on Leno. What a sack of unfunny.
posted by Terminal Verbosity at 6:31 AM on October 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


My favorite Letterman moment, bar none, was when Sonny & Cher reunited on his show and sang "I Got You Babe."

Yeah, I get teary-eyed whenever I watch it. Wanna make something of it?
posted by davidmsc at 6:37 AM on October 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Flunkie, it is mean. But for most people who pay attention to all this, that's why it's acceptable and even funny. Because she's mean. Everyone know's she's mean. If they were her cameras and her stage, what do you think she'd be saying about Dave? That he was old and ugly, and that no one she knows watches his show or thinks he's funny. So depending on the depth of your cosmology, this is all just cosmic justice.
posted by hermitosis at 6:38 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Wanna make something of it?

Yeah, OK, my SECOND favourite letterman moment again involved Earl Scruggs, Steve Martin, and many, many Banjos (probably posted a million times before)
posted by mattoxic at 6:44 AM on October 2, 2007 [5 favorites]


I wish I could find this, it was on one of the very early seasons. At the start of the show, he asked the audience, "Should we have the normal NYC backdrop tonight, or a throbbing amoeba? Should we use the regular chairs, or dentist chairs? Should we use regular voices, or make it sound like everyone is breathing helium?" Very strange stuff, I'm almost certain I didn't dream it.
posted by Meatbomb at 6:44 AM on October 2, 2007


Love watching Sandra Bernhardt flirt with him and make him uncomfortable.

Brother Theodore--awesome.

The best ever, was Dave firing some old man for letting something break. He must have done that 10 times.
posted by Ironmouth at 6:44 AM on October 2, 2007


Everyone know's she's mean. If they were her cameras and her stage, what do you think she'd be saying about Dave? That he was old and ugly, and that no one she knows watches his show or thinks he's funny.
  1. I actually don't know that she's mean. I assume that you have paid more attention to her than I have, so I have no real reason to doubt you, but I just wanted to make it clear that not everyone knows she's mean.
  2. Dave would be able to take it. That's the fundamental difference.
posted by Flunkie at 6:49 AM on October 2, 2007


The interview with a very fucked up Harmony Korine is very funny.
posted by four panels at 6:51 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


I actually don't know that she's mean.

May I suggest you watch a couple of episodes of The Simple Life? Then again, don't. It's not worth it.
posted by Optamystic at 6:57 AM on October 2, 2007


1. Yeah, I guess I have. And yeah, she is.

2. A great time for her to learn that time-honored adage, "Don't dish it out if you can't take it." If she was capable of learning anything. Time will tell.
posted by hermitosis at 6:58 AM on October 2, 2007


These are lazy, obvious choices that don't even come close to showing Dave at his best. It's his throwaway jokes (like last night's "How much you paying them mice?") that make the show worthwhile for me. They never seem to go over that well with the studio audience, but I'm sometimes laughing right through the next commercial.
posted by davebush at 7:13 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


I don't get it. How can you hate on Paris and David squaring off eachother. That was a stellar interview. Playing "the game" - clearly Dave felt going into it that she had been trained to give certain static answers, and he tries to throw her off by creating the context that she is inside a tight, 20-inch-thick glass jar, which she essentially is anyway. Plus she is dumb as a rock. And he did a great job dancing around this issue without being confrontational.

I mean, critics make it sound like they know how the interview could've gone better. What, maybe if Dave gave more of a shit? Or was more sympathetic? Please. That question "Did you know what you did?" - even Paris couldn't not laugh. She was watching Letterman at that point. Stellar performance.
posted by phaedon at 7:20 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Someone shoot the pair of them, they're as crap as each other.
posted by pompomtom at 7:22 AM on October 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


Alka-Seltzer? Let me know when he takes a Tab bath while wearing a Mentos suit.
posted by Kirth Gerson at 7:25 AM on October 2, 2007


Man, one day Dick Cavett, the next David Letterman.

Letterman's significance and genius are immeasurable. He's an amazing master of his craft, and while there's less craziness than there was fifteen years ago on his show, he's as funny as ever.
posted by YoungAmerican at 7:29 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


DU writes "Letterman is 10x smarter than most of his guests and he's pretty damn funny, but now that I'm used to Daily Show and Colbert I have to wonder why he doesn't use his powers for good."

Because Letterman has always been about being in broadcasting, not in politics. His dream was to do what he's doing now, not host a satirical talk show with a character based on a conservative blowhard. I do love what Stewart and Colbert are doing, but it's a completely different concept, and I imagine Letterman's show will last longer than Colbert's, when all is said and done. It's not that Colbert isn't good enough, but that it's too locked into its own time period to last decades.
posted by krinklyfig at 7:36 AM on October 2, 2007 [2 favorites]


I wish I could find a clip of Chris Elliott on Letterman doing his Marlon Brando and singing "du, duh, du, duh, DA, DUH..BANANAS!"

This clip is good...but I want bananas!
posted by punkfloyd at 7:47 AM on October 2, 2007


I can't believe they didn't include Dave spraying Richard Simmons with a fire extinguisher after his junk fell out of those tiny shorts.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:49 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Letterman is great, but the format of his show is so dull now that it drives me to tears. Two or three seasons ago I can remember him just staring into the camera with a "what is this crap you're feeding me?" look, and things changed for a bit after that, but overall, it's one David Letterman cliché followed by another. Yawn.
posted by furtive at 7:50 AM on October 2, 2007


A few years back I was in the hospital for my lower back. I had a terribly painful ruptured L4 and had to be put on a morphine drip for the pain although I could control the dosage to a certain point. The T.V. was tuned to "Simple Life" and I was so fucking high I couldn't find the remote to change the channel. I layed there, dosing myself and watched. I was overcome with an urge to kill myself after watching how Paris treated people, it was that depressing and soul-destroying. Once my dose stated to wear off, I hit it again and started to get all these crazy/awesome fantasies about how Paris would meet her end ie., sliding under a moving bus, OD, head chopped off. I started feeling good again.

Classy? Julia Roberts was classy. Hell even Sandra Bernhardt and Madonna were classy. Paris? She is a vile, mean-spirited, narcissistic little twat who happens to have a fuck-ton of money. She lives her life being classless, vapid and utterly worthless to the American subconscious. She deserves every bit that Dave gives her and then some. She should thank her lucky stars that Dave wasn't on a morphine drip.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:50 AM on October 2, 2007 [5 favorites]


What about Harvey Pekar's final appearance?
posted by Poolio at 7:51 AM on October 2, 2007


Letterman is great, but the format of his show is so dull now that it drives me to tears. Two or three seasons ago I can remember him just staring into the camera with a "what is this crap you're feeding me?" look, and things changed for a bit after that, but overall, it's one David Letterman cliché followed by another. Yawn.

Hey look on the bright side - at least he's not doing Buttafuco jokes like that big slack-jawed, Dorito-shilling fuckhead Leno!
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:53 AM on October 2, 2007


What, no Farrah Fawcett craziness? That's a must-see.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:54 AM on October 2, 2007


"They Pelted Us With Rocks and Garbage."
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 7:54 AM on October 2, 2007


He was always great with Terri Garr too. They were cute together.
posted by miss lynnster at 8:03 AM on October 2, 2007


Youtube is barfing for me right now, but Letterman's greatest moment is that few seconds while the pantyhose filled with mayonnaise (or was it lard?) fall to their doom. Their telegenic, splatty doom.
posted by ROU_Xenophobe at 8:07 AM on October 2, 2007


zorro astor writes "Does anybody remember the first and best season, in which he had great guests like Jerzy Kozinsky, David Mamet and Brother Theodore, among others?"

Yeah, Brother Theodore was great. Watching the show that year was like discovering some unknown territory where you never knew what would happen or who would show up. I also miss Chris Elliot's bits.
posted by krinklyfig at 8:19 AM on October 2, 2007


I happened to see a later interview with Cher on Letterman. He asked her something like, "So, Cher, we've been after you for years and years, and you haven't been willing to come on the show. Can I ask you why?" (but he was kind of mean and adversarial about it, trying to put her on the spot.)

And she looked at him straight in the face, and said, "Because you're an asshole, Dave."

Cher permanently went into the List of People I Like after that. :)
posted by Malor at 9:10 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


I remember his morning show and when he was on Mork & Mindy with Morgan Fairchild.
posted by kirkaracha at 9:12 AM on October 2, 2007


The Andy Kaufman thing kind of freaked me out because it actually looked authentic, and not put-on. Was there any follow-up to that?
posted by psmealey at 9:48 AM on October 2, 2007


It's dumb, but I remember the "Can A Bear Get A Hug in New York?" sketch quite fondly.

And yes, a bear can in fact get a hug in New York.
posted by LionIndex at 10:10 AM on October 2, 2007


The Andy Kaufman thing kind of freaked me out because it actually looked authentic, and not put-on. Was there any follow-up to that?

Assuming you're not joking, there's a whole (sort of) documentary about it called I'm From Hollywood.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 10:12 AM on October 2, 2007


I'm not.... but I guess I'm only half-curious. At least I couldn't stomach more than 5 minutes of Andy Kaufman to find out what happened, and if it was real or just more of his tired shenanigans.
posted by psmealey at 10:17 AM on October 2, 2007


It is continually mystifying to me how many people feel bad for Paris Hilton.

I have met Paris Hilton. You'll have to trust me that you would not ever feel bad for her ever again if you had to interact with her professionally.
posted by thehmsbeagle at 10:30 AM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'm with you hmsbeagle. People are acting like he's so mean to poor little Paris. And if you ask me? Uhh, no. No he's not. Personally, I think he held back.
posted by miss lynnster at 10:52 AM on October 2, 2007


I wish I could find a clip of Chris Elliott on Letterman doing his Marlon Brando and singing "du, duh, du, duh, DA, DUH..BANANAS!"

Any time you get those two nuts together, I laugh 'til I vomit.

What I liked most about the Letterman/Hilton interview is that he humanized her. Hilton's run rampant with her fame and wealth to the dismay (and expense) of damn near everyone around her, and you never hear about her parents. She's created this surreal facade that makes her seem more like a concept that an actual person. But next to Dave, she seemed like a scared, confused little girl. He didn't care about her toilet water or her projects, but he didn't mock them explicitly either. He just wanted to get inside her head, and let reveal how inexperienced she is herself.

He's a very dangerous man.
posted by aftermarketradio at 11:04 AM on October 2, 2007


Oh, yeah. As long as we are listing Letterman's highlights, we can't forget his sparring matches with Bill O'Reilly.
posted by aftermarketradio at 11:08 AM on October 2, 2007


Let's send Tito Puente up the ladder!

I wish this clip had more of Cosby's interview, the whole thing was hysterical. By the time the ladder came out, the whole show had completely come off the rails, but in a good way. It seemed like they were genuinely having fun.
posted by billyfleetwood at 11:11 AM on October 2, 2007


we can't forget his sparring matches with Bill O'Reilly.

What Letterman does, he does very well, but in my humble opinion, he really seemed weak when coming at O'Reilly. He just lacked the facility to do it well. Contrast that with Steven Colbert, who made O'Reilly look like an utter fool (probably harder than you think, given O'Reilly's broadcasting skills). Bill was trying to play along, but it was pretty clear he wasn't keeping up with the jabs Colbert was landing.
posted by psmealey at 11:20 AM on October 2, 2007


Beefheart on Letterman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nQs8dka52H4
posted by AJaffe at 11:21 AM on October 2, 2007


I loved Letterman back in the day. But after the Bill Hicks fiasco, I pretty much tuned him out. Anyone willing to sacrifice Bill for the antichoice theocrat zealots, pretty much guarantees that I'm not the target demographic he's seeking.
posted by Peecabu at 11:25 AM on October 2, 2007


what, no grace jones beating him up?
posted by elle.jeezy at 11:32 AM on October 2, 2007


I liked Trump or Monkey.
posted by juiceCake at 11:37 AM on October 2, 2007


The Bill Murray appearances are classics as well. Then there's Teri Garr taking a shower in Dave's office. Sending Rupert out into NYC on "interviews". The two Indian guys down the street. Biff's various expeditions to small towns and sporting events. Alec Baldwin snowmobiling on the roof of the theater. And of course, Larry "Bud" Melman! The level of insanity on Letterman has been unparalleled.
posted by Ber at 11:37 AM on October 2, 2007


There was nothing funnier on TV than NBC-era, "Late Night with David Letterman"

There is nothing unfunnier on TV than CBS-era "Late Show with David Letterman"

And I say that as someone who has personally recorded, collected and watched hundreds of hours of both shows since 1987.
posted by melorama at 11:47 AM on October 2, 2007


Chris Elliot's appearances on LNWDL were almost always comedy genius.

What tree do I show this to?
posted by melorama at 11:51 AM on October 2, 2007


elle.jeezy, what about the time George Best turned up blind drunk?
posted by MinPin at 12:21 PM on October 2, 2007


So THIS is where Chris Elliot came from. I remember seeing him what with the Cabin Boy and general "Uncomfortable Leering Guy" schtick years ago saying wth..? Who signed this guy? Who's brother is he?

Now it all makes sense, he actually had talent! WOooo!

That Fawcett interview is pretty weird.
posted by cavalier at 12:38 PM on October 2, 2007


The Bill Murray appearances are classics as well.
This brief clip doesn't capture the awesomeness of the most recent visit. There was a huge build-up to the moment shown that helps explain why the audience (and me) was laughing so hard. Bill browbeats Dave into calling the head of CBS for him to score superbowl tickets.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:49 PM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


I miss Kinison. Had he lived, I don't think his screaming shtick would have survived two decades, but he seemed clever enough to have evolved.

Pity.
posted by quin at 1:11 PM on October 2, 2007


There was nothing funnier on TV than NBC-era, "Late Night with David Letterman"

There is nothing unfunnier on TV than CBS-era "Late Show with David Letterman"

And I say that as someone who has personally recorded, collected and watched hundreds of hours of both shows since 1987.


Wouldn't watching other shows qualify that opinion a little better?
posted by Mach3avelli at 1:13 PM on October 2, 2007


Oh whoops, I misread what you said. Stricken from the record!
posted by Mach3avelli at 1:14 PM on October 2, 2007


Dave and Steve's Gay Vacation goes beyond classic.
posted by tkchrist at 1:58 PM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


Not that I don't love Dave... but didn't Conan's show more or less take over the demographic and audience from Dave almost at the moment of his installation? Not that Conan was necessarily a better interviewer (still not), but having a show where you could see Superchunk, the Fastbacks and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog was definitely much closer to my own generation's (and personal) tastes than what Dave was doing (recycling old bits from the 80s).
posted by psmealey at 2:18 PM on October 2, 2007


What!? No dropping things from a five story tower?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XbjQwe_WojM
posted by zzazazz at 3:23 PM on October 2, 2007


Where did Chris Elliot come from? You never heard of Bob and Ray (Bob Elliot and Ray Goulding) a mostly radio comedy act?
posted by Cranberry at 3:27 PM on October 2, 2007


I haven't watched much NBC Letterman aside from those few stray friday nights here and there where the family would stay up late in front of Friend Television. I like him much more than CBS Letterman.

I don't remember seeing the monkeys, though. Holy christ; I peed.
posted by maus at 3:31 PM on October 2, 2007


I miss real tv.
posted by blacklite at 5:25 PM on October 2, 2007


The show where the camera did one slow 360-degree rotation during the entire show.

The show that was completely dubbed by other people.

And now...the boredom, it burns!
posted by hexatron at 5:29 PM on October 2, 2007


Actually, Dave did entertain me a bit when he set Richard Simmons' steamer on fire.

And did we already link to the interview where Madonna calls him a sick fuck and orders him to smell her underpants?
posted by miss lynnster at 7:24 PM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


One of my favorites is when Letterman has Van Damme on. Van Damme is trying to tell this story of how he had no self-esteem as a kid, and took up martial arts, or something like that. We'll never know exactly because Letterman had no intention of letting him tell this story, so he kept interrupting him with jokes and changing the subject.

You see Van Damme getting madder and madder, even though he's trying to hold it in. "You know, I'm trying to tell this story!" Dave suddenly realizes just how mad he is and moves his chair back and says something like "I think he's going to hit me! I really think he's going to hit me!"

Although he doesn't deny it, you can see Van Damme trying his best to tone down his anger. But Dave makes sure to keep his eye on him for the rest of the interview.
posted by eye of newt at 8:53 PM on October 2, 2007


Very strange stuff, I'm almost certain I didn't dream it.

You didn't dream it. That was from the "Make Your Own Show" episodes. I think they won an emmy for that one. They did at least two back in the NBC days.

Since Ber already mentioned Dave cajoling Teri Garr into taking a shower in his office (their finest moment together, IMO), I will submit the "Late Night Christmas Show."

It was a Big Crosby-style variety show mixed in with the regular interviews. It featured Dave and his 'family' - his perky blonde wife, his spoiled rotten daughter, and his two sons - one cute and naive, the other *extremely* feminine.

Every comedy bit in that episode was howlingly funny.
posted by Dirjy at 8:57 PM on October 2, 2007


The show done entirely with a dentist. The show that was entirely done with helium-filled-sounding voices.
posted by raysmj at 8:59 PM on October 2, 2007 [1 favorite]


And "Camping with Barry White Night."
posted by raysmj at 9:00 PM on October 2, 2007


I want to cast votes for a couple of "classy" Dave moments:

1) his first show back after heart surgery. He had the entire surgical team on the air to offer his thanks. He seemed humbled and re-energized. He had left to undergo surgery after a long campaign to get Hillary Clinton to appear on his show (that in itself was cute - when she finally DID appear, he asked her, almost as an aside, while the applause was dying, "Are you nervous?" She said she was, and he said "me too" - iirc). His opening joke on his return was something along the lines of "I have newfound respect for Bill Clinton. Look what happened to me after I spent only 15 minutes with Hillary!"

2) His first post-9/11 show. He seemed scared, uncertain, sad, angry - in short, extremely honest. There was no music, precious few jokes - just Dave trying his best to cope. I haven't watched it in awhile, so perhaps with time it will appear self-serving. But at the time I thought it was spot-on.
posted by fingers_of_fire at 9:27 PM on October 2, 2007


There was this early NBC episode where Nastasia Kinski came out with her hair all spiky. The next guess was John Candyand he came out with his hair the same way.

James Caan all coked up.

"The Strong Man, The Fat Man, and The Genius".
posted by neuron at 9:30 PM on October 2, 2007


Ah, I take it no one remembers Letterman's previous interview with Hilton. It's why I was so confused when I saw this, since I remembered it as snarkless. This was after the sex tape thing, and he gushed about her and defended her ridiculously. Looking back, he must have felt like a fool. Watching this clip, I instantly knew I was watching a different interview, because his tone was so different, so cold.

Chris Elliot's appearances on LNWDL were almost always comedy genius

This has got to be nostalgia talking. Genius is The Man Under The Stairs??
posted by dreamsign at 10:03 PM on October 2, 2007


Can someone please explain the Paris hate? I think she's worthless as a celebrity, though she's at least pretty to look at, but I can't wrap my head around the vile, dripping hatred that people seem to obsess over. I guess it's the sex tapes.

Letterman was funny at first...then became an ass. I thought Paris--amazingly--took the upper hand when she said she wasn't going to talk about it anymore and Dave just kept at it, milking the situation for more laughs. It was cheap, mean, and unfunny, and I think made Paris look rather classy.

Letterman jumped the shark when he moved to CBS
posted by zardoz at 10:44 PM on October 2, 2007


I guess it's the sex tapes.

Oh please. If it would do your heart any better, I may be one of a handful of males on planet earth who hasn't seen her infamous performance. Show me a Penelope Cruz tape though and you're on to something.

I loved Dave's tone with Paris. He was ruthless and refused to teabag her like Leno would have. Oh sure he felt a little bad and let up off the gas but by that time her empty little head was spinning. She wanted to come on to pimp yet another shit perfume (Can-Can? LOL), her singing AND acting skills but not talk about her jail time? That would be like having the Pope as a guest and talking about the Cubs chances in the playoffs.

Bill Hicks said it best when he said "I'm tired of all these fevered egos tainting our collective subconscious." I guess I feel the same way. Not that I would expect to have any power over what the masses want to enjoy but damn it sure feels great to see a tainted icon get taken down a notch.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 11:04 PM on October 2, 2007


He was ruthless and refused to teabag her like Leno would have

Ha. Seriously, dig up his previous interview with her. Fawning.
posted by dreamsign at 11:07 PM on October 2, 2007


I have an idea for a TV show: Paris Hilton meets the Marquis de Sade and Fred West. I think it's a winner.
posted by ninthart at 1:30 AM on October 3, 2007


I loved Dave's tone with Paris. He was ruthless and refused to teabag her like Leno would have. Oh sure he felt a little bad and let up off the gas but by that time her empty little head was spinning. She wanted to come on to pimp yet another shit perfume (Can-Can? LOL), her singing AND acting skills but not talk about her jail time?

Ok, this is the Paris hate I'm talking about. Why do you hate her so much? I think she's utterly without talent, but I can't even fake being angry with her. With others it comes spewing out. What causes such anger towards this chick? Ok, maybe not the sex tapes...because she's filthy rich and spoiled? She's not so bright? Really, can someone nail it down?

Is it just because she's popular at...being Paris Hilton? I reserve my hate for slimy fucking politicians and, y'know, murderers and such. Air-headed blondes who are accidental superstars, not so much.
posted by zardoz at 2:01 AM on October 3, 2007


She's on record (and on camera) making racist and anti-semitic comments. Ditto with making incredibly cruel remarks in public about people she had recently been friends with. Ditto with being revealed to be completely uneducated and oblivious to the most basic current events. Her entire television program is devoted to her making fun of people less fortunate than her, whom she's supposed to be learning something from.

All of this is indisputable. And it's all anyone would need in order to feel genuine disgust and even rage at the extent to which she is allowed to prance before our eyes. Air-headed is one thing, we can still love air-headed people. Malevolent, vindictive, condescending people who have nothing but contempt for life as it is lived by everyone less fortunate than they are? Hate in healthy doses can actually just be a sanity-check.
posted by hermitosis at 5:21 AM on October 3, 2007


Yep, it's indesputible... see for yourself and check out the narcissistic joy that is this, this and this. Do you still find her bearable? Racist rants and narcsissm aside, what about part 2 where she starts singing about the desperate and ugly and poor? Also interesting to me is how her friend with the camera keeps calling her "Penis" and she doesn't even notice. (I guarantee you that most decent women wouldn't miss that kind of insult, even when drunk.)

I read Conrad Hilton's biography once. He worked his ASS off to create a hotel chain by himself. The man started out in New Mexico with nothing (I remember him going on about how his horse Chiquita was his prized possession). He bought his first hotel when he was 31 or so & built a dynasty that he then handed down to his descendants. I admired him a great deal after reading his words, and I hate Paris for how little respect she has for what he worked so hard to give her. She's singlehandedly shamed his name.
posted by miss lynnster at 7:05 AM on October 3, 2007


Ok, this is the Paris hate I'm talking about. Why do you hate her so much? I think she's utterly without talent, but I can't even fake being angry with her. With others it comes spewing out. What causes such anger towards this chick? Ok, maybe not the sex tapes...because she's filthy rich and spoiled? She's not so bright? Really, can someone nail it down?

Is it just because she's popular at...being Paris Hilton? I reserve my hate for slimy fucking politicians and, y'know, murderers and such. Air-headed blondes who are accidental superstars, not so much.


You do know it is possible to hate murderers, slimy fucking politicians AND Paris Hilton at the same time, correct? I have enough hate to go around, believe me but since part of the post was about, you know, Paris Hilton and David Letterman, I thought I'd try to stay on topic. That is unless you have a post about slimy politicians, murderers up your sleeve. Let me know and I'm there.
posted by KevinSkomsvold at 8:32 AM on October 3, 2007


There was this early NBC episode where Nastasia Kinski came out with her hair all spiky. The next guess was John Candyand he came out with his hair the same way.

I remember this! She had all of her hair in what I would call a "shampoo horn", only without the shampoo. Anyone remember when he went to a store in NYC called "Just Shades" where all they sold was lamp shades? Dave kept badgering the saleswoman, "No, really. What else do you sell?" "Just. Shades." "What if I wanted to buy a light bulb?" "Then you'd have to find a store called Just Bulbs." (Of course he found one.)
posted by Oriole Adams at 10:19 AM on October 3, 2007


I can't believe this whole thread has gone by without a mention of Warren Zevon's final interview, which I can't seem to find at the moment, but I did find the performance of Roland The Headless Thompson Gunner from that night.
posted by sparkletone at 11:27 AM on October 3, 2007


You do know it is possible to hate murderers, slimy fucking politicians AND Paris Hilton at the same time, correct? I have enough hate to go around, believe me but since part of the post was about, you know, Paris Hilton and David Letterman, I thought I'd try to stay on topic. That is unless you have a post about slimy politicians, murderers up your sleeve. Let me know and I'm there.
posted by KevinSkomsvold 8 hours ago


Well, thanks for that. Actually, I was making my own point that I don't understand all the Paris hate. You are apparently unable to answer my questions so you attack part and conveniently avoid the bulk of my post. Bravo.
posted by zardoz at 5:06 PM on October 3, 2007


And it's all anyone would need in order to feel genuine disgust and even rage at the extent to which she is allowed to prance before our eyes. Air-headed is one thing, we can still love air-headed people. Malevolent, vindictive, condescending people who have nothing but contempt for life as it is lived by everyone less fortunate than they are? Hate in healthy doses can actually just be a sanity-check

Really? Cause I think most of us just don't care. She's probably a horrible person, but she has almost zero influence on the world (given that most people either dislike her or don't care). Aside from people who are already like her, I don't think she's influencing people to behave that way. I could be wrong about this.

I can't muster hate for every person who has despicable views, or most of my time would be spent hating people. Lots of people do that, but it seems an unhappy life to me.

Someone like, maybe Rush Limbaugh, who is also a despicable person but arguably does affect people's behavior and outlook on life, is probably more deserving of hate.
posted by wildcrdj at 5:29 PM on October 3, 2007


I was a nightly watcher back in the 80s and early 90s -- ever since Chris Elliott was the guy under the stairs. Not so much since for a variety of reasons. Nevertheless I missed the classic Madonna show. I did see Cher calling him an "ass(bleep)". I did see Crispin Glover.

But the loopiest interview he ever did, I thought, was Gloria, Princess of Thurn und Taxis (nicknamed "TNT"). She was a cocktail waitress who married an aging gay prince, the Anna Nicole Smith of her day, and notorious for her pink "punk" hair and party-hearty lifestyle. Well, she was looped on something when she appeared on Dave's show, and Dave would ask her one thing and she would answer with a stream-of-consciousness performance. (Vanity Fair says she was "barking like a dog", but I don't remember that. And nobody else seems to remember it.) I swear that this also happened: After she became completely incoherent they cut the appearance short, and she came back a week or so later ... and Dave asked the same presumably agreed-on questions ... and she was just as loopy.

If that would show up on YouTube and confirm my memory, I could die happy.
posted by dhartung at 5:37 PM on October 3, 2007


If you watch Letterman with any regularity and you DON'T do this, try watching a few interviews and play this mental exercise: Who's The Heavy?

Who comes on stage armed with a bunch of jokes or gags, and who is along for the ride? I wouldn't recommend doing this with any of Richard Simmons' appearances unless you've been at this for awhile. That's not for beginners. Bill Murray, Robin Williams, and other comedians already have gags that will work if David asks the right questions, and often times Dave will be happy to oblige if he agrees the jokes have a good chance of entertaining the audience. If he doesn't think they'll work, he either tries to steer his guest to something that will work, or he'll use the guest's lack of good material AS material and that makes his guest look bad, but Dave's gotta get funny out of his guest somehow.

Compare Paris Hilton's appearance to Pee Wee Herman's appearance when he dressed up as a devil. Letterman had to pretend to be a deer caught in headlights, to make Paul Reubens schtick look funnier. He could play straight because he could count on Reubens being funny.

With Hilton though, David had to be funny, because unfunny people only know how to play play the 'heavy,' or the one who gets the cream pie in their face.

Any guest coming on Dave's talk show to push their latest dramatic role or their latest line of clothes or whatever is not aware of what Dave's aware of - if you don't make your audience laugh every so often, they're gonna push a button on their remote and switch to Leno.

The point where Hilton tells Letterman she wants to talk about something else, and then Letterman counters with how the jail thing is all he wants to talk about? He's speaking for his audience. No one cares about her latest line of perfume. That's not funny. However, he knew she'd insist on talking about it, so he had to find a way to MAKE it funny, so he had the prop guys rig up the perfume so at the end he could drink it. I would not be surprised if the guy who yelled out that he loved Paris Hilton... was a plant.

He used her to make his show funny. That's his job, and if he doesn't do his job, if he handles a person like Hilton with kid gloves and lets her turn his show into the home shopping network? He loses us to Leno.

The entire routine was staged. He knew exactly what he was going to do with her before she came out on stage. He even timed it so she could talk about her movie and her line of perfume, and her talking about the perfume helped him set up the physical humor of drinking her perfume.

Admittedly he coulda let her in on the gags, but then he wouldn't get that deer in headlights look that she had, which was priceless. If an inexperienced talent was let in on the joke, they'd try to be the funny one, and they'd ruin the gag.

Letterman put a proverbial banana peel on his stage, and we watched Paris Hilton trip on it. Repeatedly. That's why Letterman has a late night talk show five days a week, and for all her money and fame, Hilton has an occasional reality show and a line of perfume.

This is perhaps also why he doesn't do this sort of thing as often as he used to... It's not as easy as it looks to rig a banana peel for a Paris Hilton type, and Dave ain't as young as he used to be.
posted by ZachsMind at 3:55 AM on October 4, 2007 [3 favorites]


That's a good analysis ZachsMind. It certainly explains the Van Damme episode I talked about earlier.

In fact I once read an interview with Dave Letterman where he talks about how angry he gets when he's talking with a comic and they have no material for him to work off of--kind of like they are trying to get a free ride. It matches up with what you said.
posted by eye of newt at 8:00 AM on October 4, 2007


Wow, bottom of the 9th and ZachMind hits a grand slam homerun!

*marks as best answer* oh, wait, what?
posted by zardoz at 5:58 PM on October 4, 2007


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