The Top Ten Numbers Between One and Ten
April 22, 2019 8:04 PM   Subscribe

On September 22, 1989, minutes before going onstage, David Letterman had second thoughts about the Top Ten List planned for that evening's show. In "about two minutes," Late Night head writer Steve O'Donnell improvised a new one and dictated it directly to the show's chyron operator. The result was possibly the most surreal bit ever aired on this very surreal show. (SLYT)

From "Top Ten Facts About David Letterman’s Top Ten List, According to Former Head Writer Steve O’Donnell" by Elon Green, The New Republic. The list begins at the 1:30 mark on the video.
posted by How the runs scored (79 comments total) 40 users marked this as a favorite
 
I disagree with this list.
posted by jb at 8:12 PM on April 22 [10 favorites]


Your favorite number between one and ten sucks.
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:15 PM on April 22 [7 favorites]


Any number can be between 1 and 10 if you write them there.

1 87 10
posted by biogeo at 8:26 PM on April 22 [33 favorites]


Letterman is a national treasure, from his beginnings to now.

But I disagree with the "most surreal" part of his show. It's hard to pin down one that's more surreal than another, but Dog Poetry is my favorite. Here is "Summer": A Poem.
posted by not_on_display at 8:26 PM on April 22 [19 favorites]


That list was more fun than humans should be allowed to have.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:27 PM on April 22 [4 favorites]


The youtube user with the Letterman clips is a man named Don Giller (aka the Donz or Donz5 from the old alt.fan.letterman).

He's made it his mission to catalogue and record (or acquire the recordings) of every single letterman late night since the beginning and then some (I used to be his neighbor, the spare room with walls covered with doubled up bookcases of vhs tapes were impressive if not a little worrisome in the event of a fire.)

He recently finished digitizing everything and has been releasing clips of it on his (non-monetized) youtube channel which last I heard is up to over 38 million views. I suspect that part of why he's not been bounced for copyright is that over the years his records were so much better than the show's that the producers knew him and would actually come to him when they needed information on old episodes that they couldn't find themselves.

Here's an article on from the August 25th 1995 village voice: table of contents, first page, second page.

And here's a 2017 New York Times article.
posted by NormieP at 8:29 PM on April 22 [97 favorites]


In fact, after that list I'm tired...but it's a good kind of tired.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:29 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]


You can't possibly put 7 at the bottom of that list. According to this definitive list by Francesca Pallopides on Twitter, it's in the top 5 most random numbers from 1 - 100.

Most Random: 7, 39, 76, 78, 83
9th Tier: 27, 36, 37, 47, 63, 73, 84
8th Tier: 29, 34, 39, 57, 62, 71, 79, 81
7th Tier: 13, 17, 41, 58, 59, 72, 80, 89
6th Tier: 26, 31, 46, 77, 86, 92
5th Tier: 3, 8, 9, 14, 49, 58, 59, 89
4th Tier: 21, 22, 24, 32, 45, 61, 88, 96, 97
3rd Tier: 4, 6, 11, 22, 30, 33, 42, 60, 70, 98
2nd Tier: 5, 10, 12, 20, 25, 40, 66, 69, 75, 90
Least Random: 0, 1, 2, 50, 99, 100

(To be fair to Dave and Steve O'Donnell, it's possible these rankings weren't known in 1989.)
posted by straight at 8:32 PM on April 22 [7 favorites]


Don Giller, who uploads this archived footage, is amazing! This particular show was back when I was in high school or had just graduated. Very nostalgic for my youth,but also since this era of Letterman was basically coming to a close.
posted by JamesBay at 8:34 PM on April 22 [4 favorites]


So you're saying if I need a random number between 1 and 100 I should just use 83?
posted by Mr.Encyclopedia at 8:38 PM on April 22 [5 favorites]


It's a brilliant bit of structuralist commentary on TV, really. As long as you follow the form, the content is not so important.
posted by Nelson at 8:41 PM on April 22 [14 favorites]


I'm just saying that 7 and 3 were robbed. 5,000 years of mystical importance should be worth something.
posted by jb at 8:47 PM on April 22 [10 favorites]


This may be the closest Letterman ever came to Numberwang.
posted by vverse23 at 8:47 PM on April 22 [26 favorites]


So you're saying if I need a random number between 1 and 100 I should just use 83?

Oh, no. You only need one of top tier if you have to have an exceptionally random number. 31 or 58 would do fine for most random number needs.
posted by straight at 8:48 PM on April 22 [16 favorites]


Letterman did tons of great stuff. I still marvel at the Meg Parsont gag, which he ran for, what? 3 years or something? Covering how many hours total?

Her 30th birthday present was awesome.
posted by dobbs at 8:50 PM on April 22 [16 favorites]




I remember the night this aired. I laughed harder than at any other Top Ten list (possible exception: words that sound good when read by James Earl Jones).
posted by pmurray63 at 9:24 PM on April 22 [6 favorites]


Interesting to know that even if 87 might be between 1 and 10, it's not a random number at all.
posted by biogeo at 9:37 PM on April 22


No one here for π? I'm not sure I even know you any more, MetaFilter.
posted by Halloween Jack at 9:46 PM on April 22 [3 favorites]


My high point of Dave surrealism was the 360 degree episode.
posted by Chrysostom at 9:49 PM on April 22 [5 favorites]


I suppose it makes sense that zero is the least random number between 1 and 100.
posted by Slarty Bartfast at 10:04 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]


I miss how punchy and surreal Late Night used to get.  His burning hatred of GE may have made him unhappy at NBC, but it made the funniest damn late night television.   Thanks to this show, for years the random catchphrase between friends and me whenever we had a moment of stupid was, "Them bats is smart. They use radar."  Sadly, a perfunctory search didn't show the original bit, just a followup clip.   Oh well, I'm sure 95% of its humor was situational anyway.

I basically excised television from my life not too long after that bit aired, mainly due to being out on the town all the time, but that random moment of his show has stuck with me for decades.
posted by los pantalones del muerte at 10:50 PM on April 22 [2 favorites]


I stumbled across a video with all instances involving Meg Parsont recently. I had never seen the show but found it amazing as this unfolded.
posted by greenhornet at 10:53 PM on April 22 [1 favorite]


As an Australian, I am fully convinced that the rich and storied history of US television's cloth-headed mangling and despoliation of every British series it has ever attempted to adapt is connected in very deep ways with my total failure to understand why anybody thinks Letterman was ever funny.
posted by flabdablet at 10:57 PM on April 22 [11 favorites]


Hey, flabdablet, what a relief to hear that! I have the same reaction to Letterman (sure it's well produced, but it's not fantastic or risky in any way) and I'm in Europe. USA is really a strange continent sometimes. Bill Hicks, on the other hand, I understand him immediately ...
posted by Termite at 12:03 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


It’s some kind of bizarre, long-running prank they’re playing on the rest of us, I think.
posted by Bloxworth Snout at 12:59 AM on April 23 [4 favorites]


Metafilter: some kind of bizarre, long-running prank they’re playing on the rest of us, I think.
posted by blakewest at 3:28 AM on April 23 [9 favorites]


God, I miss that show.


God, I miss being able to stay up that late to watch that show
posted by Thorzdad at 3:56 AM on April 23 [10 favorites]


Ladies and gentlemen, I give you...the velcro suit
posted by kokaku at 4:01 AM on April 23 [12 favorites]


That was great. I never really watched him much once he went to CBS but Late Night on NBC was such a staple of my college life in the 80s.
posted by octothorpe at 4:03 AM on April 23


...my total failure to understand why anybody thinks Letterman was ever funny.

When you realize that he rose to popularity with a primary audience of stoned undergraduates in the Reagan 80s (where counterculture had disappeared in the mass media), it makes a little more sense.
posted by jeremias at 4:08 AM on April 23 [11 favorites]


the 80s were short on the surreal (unless you count the real)
posted by kokaku at 4:12 AM on April 23 [5 favorites]


my total failure to understand why anybody thinks Letterman was ever funny.

I feel the same way about Monty Python, the wit of which (or whom) I find, for the most part, to be insipid and puerile. There is something dark at the heart of humor - meanness in the case of Letterman, contemptuousness in re: the Pythons. I think. Don't hurt me.
posted by Chitownfats at 4:18 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


I came in here to cite the velcro suit. I also remember him throwing a dozen eggs at a big electric fan. Even if you didn't think he was funny, it was difficult not to concede that he was interesting in a weird way, IMO. At the very least, he was doing stuff nobody else was doing where I could see them.

Also, while watching that top ten list I found myself thinking 'where's the big CGI intro? Where's the rotating logo? I require a rotating logo.'
posted by Sing Or Swim at 4:26 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


my total failure to understand why anybody thinks Letterman was ever funny

The aliens watching us already know that the pinnacle of human achievement was when Letterman chucked pantyhose filled with lard off the five-story tower.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 4:28 AM on April 23 [6 favorites]


Termite: "Hey, flabdablet, what a relief to hear that! I have the same reaction to Letterman (sure it's well produced, but it's not fantastic or risky in any way) and I'm in Europe. USA is really a strange continent sometimes. Bill Hicks, on the other hand, I understand him immediately ..."

I loved Letterman and never got Hicks in the slightest. He just seemed angry and mean. Interestingly, his wikipedia page says that he was mostly popular in the UK so maybe it's just a cultural thing.
posted by octothorpe at 4:29 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


What man, woman, or child among us doesn’t enjoy a lovely set of numbers?
posted by octobersurprise at 4:58 AM on April 23 [6 favorites]


I would like to watch a show about the joining of metals.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 5:29 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]




My favorite of his bits were always the recurring people who were just a little... off. Harvey Pekar, Crispin Glover, Harmony Korine, Bill O'Reilly, and of course Trump.
posted by dobbs at 5:59 AM on April 23 [4 favorites]


When you realize that he rose to popularity with a primary audience of stoned undergraduates in the Reagan 80s (where counterculture had disappeared in the mass media), it makes a little more sense.

His giving a platform to the young REM, Harvey Pekar, Pere Ubu, Crispin Glover, etc., etc. was one of the earliest indications to me that there might be a culture out there beyond the mostly dull exurban DC one that I grew up with. I think Late Night and our local, somewhat anarchic vampire-hosted midnight movie show primed me for punk rock years before I actually encountered it.
posted by ryanshepard at 6:00 AM on April 23 [9 favorites]


The aliens watching us already know that the pinnacle of human achievement was when Letterman chucked pantyhose filled with lard off the five-story tower.

iirc, the throwing things out the window schtick came about during the writer's strike. That was scab lard.
posted by thelonius at 6:19 AM on April 23 [8 favorites]


I miss that show and David Letterman so. much. Many thanks for the tip NormieP on Don Giller. I shall indulge.
posted by yoga at 6:24 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


I think Letterman was throwing things off a five-story tower during his 1980 daytime show, but he was certainly doing so years before the writer's strike.
posted by plastic_animals at 6:43 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


Pi is too easy a joke. E is too obscure. Would have appreciated "square root of two"
posted by notsnot at 6:48 AM on April 23 [6 favorites]


Oh man, the Letterman daytime show. Flabdablet, you think you didn't get him?
posted by Naberius at 6:54 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


That was scab lard.

No, Scab Lard was a punk band out of Delaware. I saw them open for Black Flag in ‘86.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 6:57 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


His law school recommendation letter for Robert Render of Lexington, Kentucky (later in that clip) appears to have worked!
posted by AgentRocket at 7:16 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


And of course, Andy Kaufman.
posted by dobbs at 7:26 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


iirc, the throwing things out the window schtick came about during the writer's strike

On google, this was July of 1984, the same night they chucked surgical gloves filled with butterscotch pudding.
posted by GCU Sweet and Full of Grace at 7:27 AM on April 23 [4 favorites]


my total failure to understand why anybody thinks Letterman was ever funny

Generic white cis american here, his show certainly had moments, it became familiar and comfortable being long running, the significance and fond memory has certainly grown with nostalgia and limited rerun access.
posted by sammyo at 7:38 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


If you do not think a giant doorknob is funny, then you are not an American.
posted by JamesBay at 7:57 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


In a just world, his original partner in crime and more nuanced and subtly skilled practitioner of comedic subversion, Merrill Markoe, would be the Queen of Late Night. If they were chocolate (and why shouldn't they be, for pete's sake) she is Godiva compared to his Hershey.

If Markoe, a lifetime dog lover (e. g. Bob, Stan and of course Dave) was given a pack of robot dogs, indeed unprecedented comedy and terror would ensue.
posted by zaixfeep at 8:05 AM on April 23 [6 favorites]


The morning show was *way* more surreal than Late Night. Who can forget Edie McClurg as Mrs. Marv Mendelhall?
posted by JoeZydeco at 8:10 AM on April 23 [2 favorites]


As mentioned above, the Merrill Markoe years were super funny. After her departure, Markoe's influence remained, but Dave had settled into a predictable schtick that was enjoyable. I think that after 1990, though, the show wasn't that enjoyable, as Letterman became increasingly embittered and negative. The move to CBS was the nail in the coffin.

Anyway, what made Late Night so great in the 1980s was the same thing that would make the Simpsons a ground-breaking show in 1989: sitcoms.

Most of the television in the 1980s was insipid trash, and Late Night was the polar opposite of that.
posted by JamesBay at 8:23 AM on April 23 [1 favorite]


I had mostly seen Letterman in what was apparently two decades of coasting, but I'll admit that Top Ten Numbers Between One and Ten is a great idea for a bit. I think I prefer the more modern YouTube version linked upthread, where there's an additional joke beyond the subversion.
posted by Merus at 8:34 AM on April 23


As an Australian, I am fully convinced that the rich and storied history of US television's cloth-headed mangling and despoliation of every British series it has ever attempted to adapt yt is connected in very deep ways with my total failure to understand why anybody thinks Letterman was ever funny.

If there is any relationship between those things, it's that Letterman's work often felt like an ironic criticism of the banality of pre-millennial US TV. A few times he did a segment where he'd just interrupt another show taping in the same building, usually the news (and he was a former weatherman).

For some reason, though, Letterman's schtick from this period still holds up really well for me.

I feel the same way about Monty Python, the wit of which (or whom) I find, for the most part, to be insipid and puerile. There is something dark at the heart of humor - meanness in the case of Letterman, contemptuousness in re: the Pythons. I think. Don't hurt me.

A vast amount of humor ties a pretty bow around various forms of misanthropy. I'm not saying that's a good or a bad thing in general. I've been listening to comedy central radio a lot on sirius the last few months, which for most of the day consists of standup excerpts. I'm starting to feel that there's a lot of anger, frustration, shame and sadness sitting just past the punchlines. It can be therapeutic and socially critical when it's done right, or a blast of negative human experience when done wrong. Or both, most of the time.

So I totally agree that Letterman was mean and Python was contemptuous. Still love em.

I still enjoy Monty Python, but a lot of fans forget all the jokes that fell flat. There was plenty of puerile humor in there and not all of it worked.
posted by Edgewise at 9:35 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


... and of course the band breaks into "One is the Loneliest Number" at the end of the bit. Well played, Paul.
posted by mrmcsurly at 9:56 AM on April 23 [4 favorites]


When the show found that tower in New Jersey, it was delightful. Destruction just for the sake of surreal entertainment. I'll never forget it. Or Dave discovering stores in NYC that sold just one particular item (i.e., lamp shades) and then calling to ask if they had something related but unlikely to be in stock.
posted by Ber at 10:21 AM on April 23 [3 favorites]


Interesting to know that even if 87 might be between 1 and 10, it's not a random number at all.

Yeah, it's interesting. Some numbers like 22, 58, 59, and 89 vary in how random they are while others, like 87, as well as 16, 18, and 46, contain no randomness whatsoever. If you have 46 of something, there's always a reason. Mathematicians don't know why.
posted by straight at 10:24 AM on April 23 [4 favorites]


In a just world, his original partner in crime and more nuanced and subtly skilled practitioner of comedic subversion, Merrill Markoe , would be the Queen of Late Night.

Oh my gosh, zaixfeep, thank you for that youtube link -- that is a deliciously uncomfortable interview
posted by ook at 10:31 AM on April 23


I am always happy when anyone brings Merrill Markoe to the public's attention, given how little credit she gets for Letterman's early success. She was definitely the Marcia to his George Lucas.
posted by seasparrow at 11:16 AM on April 23


Paul had hair!
posted by numaner at 12:09 PM on April 23


Oh, we don't get to see the Tony Randall guest spot. He was always a great guest. In retrospect that seemed to be his whole career, just being a guest on talk shows. And long enough after the end of The Odd Couple that few of the viewers would had even seen it.
posted by CaseyB at 1:54 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


see the Tony Randall guest spot

I love the running gag with Randall and Mandy P, which also includes the best version of Brother, Can You Spare a Dime? that I've ever heard.
posted by dobbs at 2:38 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


The morning show was more subtle, but more daring in its own way--particularly since it was being broadcast nationwide, mid-morning, on NBC, right after the Brokaw/Pauley era Today show, competing with soap operas, game shows and cartoons. And, nobody knew who Letterman was yet.

David Letterman Morning Show out on the street -1980
posted by gimonca at 4:17 PM on April 23 [1 favorite]


So nobody found the vox-pop sequence they used for the Letterman pilot in 1982 or whenever? I remember when A&E got a full set of Letterman re-runs, and they started with episode one. It filled in time by showing clips of them interviewing the public what they wanted to see on late-night television and they all said they wanted to see a show about joining metals. Then you'd get a shot of the people building the show's set with subtitles naming the welding and soldering techniques being used.

Episode two still makes me smile when i remember the guy who said he could levitate over a tank of water. Letterman let him try it, and when he inevitably plunged straight in, Dave looked to the camera and announced that they had that moment "through the magic of instant replay..."

I feel like it was very much a decades of decline thing. he had two good episodes in him, and then it was over.
posted by rum-soaked space hobo at 2:39 AM on April 24


a show about joining metals

Oh man, I'd forgotten that!

When Letterman's morning show was on, my work schedule was noon-9pm, so I was able to stay up to watch Carson, then get up in time to watch Letterman before heading to work (I still remember Steve Martin coming onstage in bed). By the time Letterman moved to late night I was taping both shows over the course of the week so I could binge-watch (and, significantly, FF through all the damn commercials). I still enjoyed watching the show up until Letterman went in for heart surgery; after he got back it felt like he'd lost most of the fire and snark and weirdness and I lost interest. I think he retired about 15 years too late. Even so I still
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:51 AM on April 24


...miss the show.

(sorry, not sure what happened there)
posted by Greg_Ace at 9:03 AM on April 24


(sorry, not sure what happened there)

At this point you're supposed to do an uncomfortable mug for the camera, and then throw a card through the fake backdrop for the glass breaking sound.

I was a big Letterman fan back in the day (late 80s/early 90s); I think what stuck out for me was the fact that so much of what the show did felt like it had a "what the fuck - let's try this and see if it gets a laugh" approach, along with a willingness to milk uncomfortable moments that resulted. It felt a little reckless and unsafe compared with what else was out there. Phoning a random office worker across the street (and I don't know how "random" that was - he obviously had a list of numbers that they got from somewhere, though I think that Meg Parsont had no real idea what was going on with the first call) - that could have been nothing, but it turned into years worth of bits. I have a sense that if I sat down with a bunch of Letterman tapes there would be a whole series of bits that got tried once or twice and then never used again.

And many times the bits & stunts were banal, and sometimes it fell apart and didn't work, and Dave was sometimes downright hostile and mean to his guests (I seem to remember slowly gaining a feeling of Dave being more hostile to female guests; he also tormented Richard Simmons mercilessly, but I had a sense that Richard loved their back and forth); but compared to other late night TV of the time, it felt more real and genuine. Even when it was banal and insipid, Dave's comments and mugging for the camera would make it clear that it was banal and insipid and that was part of the joke; we were all in on it and it was ok to laugh.
posted by nubs at 10:59 AM on April 24 [2 favorites]


Dave had his moments of pure id-driven weird. In an earlier thread I talked about seeing him and Paul once distract themselves with a good minute or so's worth back-and-forth of literary breakdown on the lyrics to the song "All The Young Dudes", and how i was fascinated by it. Lorin found a site with a transcript (the link no longer works) and shared an excerpt:
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.
I've also been fascinated by the moments when, for all his meanness, Dave could be really decent. There was that scandal in 1995 when Hugh Grant got arrested for getting caught with a prostitute right when the publicity for one of his movies was gearing up, risking his career and ending his engagement to Liz Hurley in the process, and began each of his film press junket appearances on all the talk shows with a grovelling apology.

In most cases, discussion of His Scandal dominated the conversation (Jay Leno opened his interview, before Hugh even had a chance to speak, with a mocking "what were you THINKING?"). But Dave made a point of opening the interview with a question about his movie - which Hugh answered, before going into the usual round of apologetics. But Dave responded to that by saying something to the effect that well, okay, but look, we all make mistakes. You can choose to use this as a chance to learn and grow, and it looks like that's what you're choosing to do, so it's not anyone else's place to judge. This is a thing that happened, you're dealing with it, the end, let's get back to the movie.

I was incredibly impressed by that.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 11:37 AM on April 24 [7 favorites]


I'd never seen the Meg Parsont stuff before, but it's pretty great. She's remarkably quick at responding to Dave's banter for someone just picked randomly, and even gives as good as she gets sometimes. I wonder if she has some sort of association with the number 46.
posted by biogeo at 11:58 AM on April 24


...miss the show.

(sorry, not sure what happened there)


I been hyp-mo-tized!
posted by Greg_Ace at 1:00 PM on April 24 [6 favorites]


If you do not think a giant doorknob is funny, then you are not an American.

I think that's my point.
posted by flabdablet at 10:20 PM on April 24 [1 favorite]


I find it easy to draw a line between Dave's now-well-documented basic discomfort -- what we might now call social anxiety -- and his apparent "mean" behavior on TV. It's a distancing tactic, or a defense mechanism against the fundamentally public nature of his profession. I never read it as truly mean, or truly a reflection of his actual self; if we had, I don't think he would've had the career he did. (Or the encomiums he got from others in the industry when he retired, especially other comics.)

Instead, it was moments like the one EmpressCallipygos mentions that seemed to give a window into the "true" Dave, and there were lots of them -- more than we got with the sphinxlike Carson, for sure.

It's been a while since I watched it, but for me Dave's comments after 9/11 are really second only to Jon Stewart's. (Letterman's bit really gets strongest about 3 minutes in.)

(Also, wow, remember when we thought kind things about Rudy Giuliani? Weird.)
posted by uberchet at 7:15 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


Uberchet reminds me - just prior to 9/11, the intro to the show always had some other "nickname" for New York City - "Live from New York, the hot dog capital/the world where rats are king" or what have you. But after 9/11, it was always "Live from New York, the greatest city in the world".
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:21 AM on April 25 [1 favorite]


my total failure to understand why anybody thinks Letterman was ever funny
Conversely, I've never seen a single Australian comedy series that didn't have me cringing, so maybe it's just the whole "separated by a common language" thing. (I thought We Can be Heroes was initially promising, then it fully jumped the shark).

Do you also not understand why Kids in the Hall was funny? How about SCTV?

I always sorta liked both Letterman and Bill Hicks. It wasn't always that Letterman was funny exactly . . .
posted by aspersioncast at 10:14 AM on April 25


I'm always amazed that people don't point out there were two Lettermans. Specifically, the before and the after. Before quintuple-bypass and sobriety, and after.

Before was the 80's. That was the edgy, nervous, self-hating Dave:

Once, when Terri Garr was a guest on Late Night with David Letterman, she tried to make small talk with her host during a commercial break. The World’s Most Dangerous Band was playing too loudly to allow for conversation, but Garr managed to ask Dave how he was doing.

Rather than attempt to shout over the music, Dave scribbled a note on a piece of paper and pushed it across the desk to her.

“I hate myself,” it read.

Garr assured Dave that that was silly, that he was a very talented man and a famous celebrity.

Dave took the note back from her and scribbled some more before giving it back.

"I hate myself,” it read.


I remember when Teri Garr told the story she said he tapped the note with his pencil to emphasize the point. Always with the pencils. Heh.

Then there was the quintuple bypass at 52. Sometime around that, he got sober, and some time after that he became a dad. And somewhere in that he became The Good Dave. He wasn't mean for the sake of it, and he wasn't angry at the world in the same way. Paul and the band were always there. It was a beautiful fuckin' thing, man.

But it must also be remembered that "Late Night TV" was a thing and that thing doesn't exist anymore, no matter how many times we try and duplicate it. It's gone, and it was gone for the last decade or so while we still had Letterman. Now he's gone, and it's really gone now. He was it, man. Steve Allen, Carson, Lettterman. (Okay okay Conan - ya punks).

So ... uh, is that a Ban-Lon™ shirt?
posted by petebest at 12:24 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


remember when we thought kind things about Rudy Giuliani?

I remember distinctly the nausea I felt after the towers fell on seeing Mr. Broken Fucking Windows Fucking Guiliani somehow managing to be fucking everywhere the cameras were, shamelessly milking the thing for all it was worth; and the dread I felt as, almost instantly and exactly as was the case with W, half the planet seemed to have forgotten who these pieces a shit actually were.
posted by flabdablet at 7:01 PM on April 25 [1 favorite]


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