Bob Dylan sang The Night We Called It a Day on David Letterman's next-to-last Late Show episode. This was the third time he appeared on Letterman show. He played at the 10th Anniversary show in 1992 backed by an all-star band assembled by Dylan fan Paul Shaffer. But perhaps the most significant was in 1984, when Dylan's star was at a low ebb. He played three songs accompanied by LA Latino punk band The Plugz, Don't Stop Talking (Sonny Boy Williamson cover), and two tracks off Dylan's album Infidels, License to Kill and Jokerman. Two videos from the rehearsal also exist, featuring songs Treat Her Right (Roy Head cover) and I Once Knew a Man, which is probably a Dylan original, but nobody knows for sure. New York Magazine's Vulture blog interviewed The Plugz and told the story of the performance.
Norm MacDonald performed his last standup routine on The Late Show with David Letterman last night. It was astounding. (slyt)
David Letterman's coming retirement after 6,000 episodes has prompted a look back at some of his best bits, including many of his writers reflecting on the greatest jokes that never made it on air (with comments from David himself). Splitsider has a year-by-year video breakdown of the best material (including John Malkovitch at his creepiest and an amazing bit with Elaine Stritch). The New York Times weighs in with their favorites, while Rolling Stone lists his favorite guests, tensest interviews, best musical numbers (some are very good!), and asks if the famously grumpy Letterman is happy at last.
"I had Dave’s voice all analyzed and figured out, because not only did I live with him, but I was preoccupied with creating a show that would please him. Nowadays we call that sort of thing “co-dependence.” But in those days I simply called it “being head writer.”.Mike Sacks' [previously] extended interview with Late Night‘s original head writer, Merrill Markoe.
In 1985, multinational conglomerate Majesco Industries changed its name to MJI. To publicize this change to its employees, subsidiaries, shareholders and partners, it commissioned an industrial video... [more inside]
Father John Misty performs "Bored In the USA" on Letterman with laugh track accompaniment. [more inside]
Stephen Colbert will take over for David Letterman as host of The Late Show. Just weeks after coming under fire for an out-of-context tweet, the former Daily Show correspondent and host of The Colbert Report will enter network late night. Will he drop the character? Would his fans embrace the real Colbert? Bonus footage: a young Colbert as a reporter for Good Morning America.
It's official: David Letterman, the bridge between Johnny Carson and today's viral-video-driven talk shows, is hanging up his desk at the end of his current contract next year. The news was broken by, of all people, REM's Mike Mills via Twitter. Letterman surpassed Carson's record for hosting longevity last year, and many thought that his latest extension would in fact be the last. [more inside]
Last night, the synthpop band Future Islands (previously on MF) previewed their new LP performing “Seasons (Waiting On You)” on Late Show with David Letterman. Singer Samuel T. Herring’s performance is always something to behold, but his gravely shouts and epic dance moves had a particular effect on Letterman, who seemed even more jazzed than usual.
This year marks the 25th anniversary of 1989 Batman movie, which is remembered for everything from the logo "that helped set the course for superhero movies" to the ways the movie was true to the comics, or was really a "noir" update to the 1960s Adam West Batman. While preparing yourself for what may come in the lead-up to the June 23 anniversary date, enjoy Batman: The Making of a Hero documentary, a rare 25 minutes behind-the-scenes look at the making of the film, from the folks at 1989 Batman, a fansite dedicated to the movie, and its sequel, Batman Returns. [more inside]
After several years out of the mainstream music scene Lily Allen returned last week covering Keane's "Somewhere only we know" in this year's John Lewis Christmas TV ad. However, today Lily released her latest video which is ... somewhat different in tone and nature. [more inside]
In 1994, Tony Randall and Mandy Patinkin's car broke down outside David Letterman's studio and they needed a place to rehearse. Did Dave mind if they used the stage? Great take it away Mandy! [more inside]
David Letterman, Indianapolis native, racing fan and Indy Car team co-owner, sat down for an interview about the history of the Indianapolis 500, and its effect on him since childhood. No jokes, no snark, just a knowledgeable and passionate discussion about something he cares for tremendously. Parts one, two, three, and four.
Late Night Political Zingers. The best of Leno, Letterman, Fallon, Maher et al for those of us who don't have the time to watch. e.g. "New Rule: Stop asking Miss USA contestants if they believe in evolution. It's not their field. It's like asking Stephen Hawking if he believes in hair scrunchies. Here's what they know about: spray tans, fake boobs and baton twirling. Here's what they don't know about: everything else. If I cared about the uninformed opinions of some ditsy beauty queen, I'd join the Tea Party." –Bill Maher [more inside]
"Maybe that's the purpose of television. You just turn it on and watch it whether you want to or not." - David Letterman
After getting his start as a DJ on Ball State's WAGO-FM, David Letterman spent most of the 1970s appearing in a lot of cheesy television, exhaustively chronicled here. Whether kayaking on the Battle of the Network Stars, appearing on an ill-fated variety show with Mary Tyler Moore, working as a panelist on The Love Experts, or hosting a game-show pilot for The Riddlers (part 1, 2, and 3), Letterman more than paid his dues. [more inside]
How the Letterman-Oprah-Leno Super Bowl Ad Came Together (video and article)
The 12 Memorable Moments From The Late Show With David Letterman. Inspired by his recent interview with everyone's favorite socialite cum ex-convict, Paris Hilton, here are is a YouTube link dump of some of Dave's crazier moments over the years, including, the Alka-Seltzer suit, Borat, Pee Wee Herman, Drew Barrymore, Jerry Lawler slapping Andy Kaufman, Sam Kinison, Cher, and the incomparable Crispin Glover. [Previously]
“I Have The Feeling About 60% Of What You Say Is Crap.” David Letterman, the usually apolitical host who's generally much more concerned with making his guests look good, loses it when guest Bill O'Reilly takes Cindy Sheehan to task on his show. You may remember O'Reilly having a similarly awkward encounter with Jon Stewart earlier this year.
George W. Bush Invigorating Ameria's Youth On Monday David Letterman aired video footage [Real] of an "obviously bored silly" 14-year-old kid goofing off while standing on stage behind the president during a speech. [more inside]
Leno is for elephants (NYT link), Letterman is for donkeys. When did Late Night TV get so political?
David Sedaris on tour Go see him in your town! Anybody see David Sedaris on Letterman last night? He read a new piece about a portable colostomy bag. Mr. Sedaris is a regular contributor to This American Life on NPR. If you haven't read or heard David Sedaris, you are really missing out.
Another decade, another network jump for Letterman? Dave is very seriously considering an offer from ABC for its 11:35 slot, for reasons not unlike the ones he gave for jumping to CBS from NBC in the first place: little network support. More distressingly, the article strongly implies that Nightline is doomed in its present form regardless of whether Dave decides to join ABC or stay at CBS.
Letterman makes like Rodney Dangerfield and goes "Back to School." David Letterman will be a special guest speaker in the journalism class that Al Gore is teaching. On a side note, does anyone else find it ironic that a class on journalism is being taught "off the record"?