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Letterman?

 
 
flushd
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 06:30 pm
Steven Wright is dead?
That is a pity.

That guy helped me endure a very long plane trip. He happened to be on the comedy station on board and had me laughing for a long time.
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2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 06:34 pm
Does anyone have some info on Wrights death?

Not finding anything.


Edit: http://www.deadoraliveinfo.com/dead.nsf/wnames-nf/Wright+Steven
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Stray Cat
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 06:41 pm
I still like ol' Dave. Yes, he peaked years ago and he isn't as edgy as he once was. He used to do great stuff! I liked that Rupert guy that Dave would send out to annoy people!

He isn't what he used to be, but I still have a soft, mushy place in my heart for him. Besides, there is always that feeling about him that he might just explode any minute. Hopefully, if he ever does, he'll do it on his show...
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 06:43 pm
This gives a bit of the flavor of old-school Letterman, from Wikipedia:

Quote:
Late Night

NBC kept Letterman under contract and tried again in a different time slot; in 1982, Late Night with David Letterman debuted on the network. Letterman's show, which ran weeknights at 12:30 am eastern time, immediately following The Tonight Show, quickly established a reputation as being edgy and unpredictable, and soon developed a cult following (particularly among college students). The show was markedly different than the soft-sell talk-show competition (including his own lead-in); Letterman as an interviewer could be sarcastic and antagonistic to the point that a number of celebrities have even stated that they were afraid of appearing on the show. Letterman's reputation as an acerbic interviewer was born out of moments like his verbal sparring matches with Cher, Shirley MacLaine and most notably, Madonna (see Madonna on Letterman).

The show often included quirky, genre-mocking regular features, including "Stupid Pet Tricks", throwing things off the roof, the Top 10 List, and a facetious letter-answering segment on Thursdays ("Viewer Mail" moved to Fridays in 1987 when a fifth night was added to the program's weekly broadcast schedule). Other memorable moments included Letterman using a bullhorn to interrupt The Today Show TV program, which was on the air conducting a live interview at the time, announcing that he was not wearing any pants; interrupting Al Roker on the Live at Five live local news by walking into the studio; and the outrageous appearances by comedian Andy Kaufman, Late Night writer Chris Elliott and comic book writer Harvey Pekar. In one highly publicized appearance, Kaufman appeared to be slapped and knocked to the ground by professional wrestler Jerry Lawler. (Lawler and Kaufman's friend Bob Zmuda later revealed that the event was staged.) Actor Crispin Glover once aimed a kick at Letterman's head; the host immediately left the set. When the show returned after a commercial break, Glover had disappeared. A guest shot by writer Hunter S. Thompson was cut short, apparently after Thompson offered to shoot off fireworks on the studio floor.


It was kind of anarchic and envelope-pushing in a way that has been done to death by now but was actually fresh at the time.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 06:43 pm
geez - I didn't think steven wright had died!
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 06:44 pm
He didn't!

Click on 2Packs' link...
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edgarblythe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 06:47 pm
Many years ago, when the Letterman show was relatively new, my brother told me how cool it was. Since we generally like the same things, I tuned in one night. After a few minutes, I said, "What?" And changed the channel. Haven't watched him since. Don't care for leno either.
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 06:47 pm
No... yeah... I did. Firt I read that he had and then that he hadn't.... I guess you couldn't hear the tone of that post.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 06:48 pm
Ah, I get it now. (I was just going by this page, oops.)
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Stray Cat
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 07:02 pm
Oh, I remember that time Crispin Glover tried to kick Dave. He was really a weird guy!

Does anybody remember the anniversary show Dave did several years ago? Bob Dylan showed up and sang -- if you could call it that. It was obvious Dylan was totally wasted. I heard that Dave was pretty upset about that.
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2PacksAday
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 07:14 pm
I remember Glover and his wild kick with the giant 70's style platform shoes...defiantly weird.

The first thing I remember about Letterman..had to be very early 80s, he spent an entire show leading up to this big technical trick they were going to preform...inverted something or other. Basically they just flipped the image that we normally see on the screen from left to right, took about 5 seconds to do it, but he spent an hour leading up to it.

I did watch him at one time...in highschool mostly.
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Lash
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 07:18 pm
sozobe wrote:
Do you know when the show you saw originally aired?

Old school Letterman is cool. I'd say that goes from, I dunno, mid-80's to early-mid-90's. He had some amazing writers and in context -- what else was going on on TV at the time -- was doing incredible, ground-breaking stuff.

Then he got a bit too complacent and it just started regurgitating. It's like, he wasn't challenged and he wasn't into it but he couldn't quite bring himself to give up the lifestyle, so he stuck with it.

Anyway, for people who started watching when he was still way cool, the loyalty is there, plus there are tons of in-jokes/ references. Like, even if that new bit isn't funny in a vaccuum, it refers to something old that was funny...

(As you can probably tell, I stopped watching in the mid-90's or so. Can't stand Jay Leno though. Conan has his moments. Jon Stewart is by far my favorite of the bunch.)

True. Dave was groundbreaking and the most sardonic humorist in public view twenty five or so years ago.

I remember looking at my husband ten years ago and saying, "Why the hell are we still watching him?"

Now, it's Chappelle and Ferguson, with a dash of Conan.

Letterman has been over for a decade. Nobody told him.
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sozobe
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 07:23 pm
We had almost that exact moment. We LIKE him -- I still like him -- and we were sitting there with half-smiles, just anticipation, and nothing was actually pushing them into full smiles, much less chuckles or anything else, and that went on for pretty much the whole show, with the anticipatory smiles fading as stuff fell flat, and then an hour had passed with nary a grin, and we were like, why do we still watch...?

I do like him, though, built-up good will or something.
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Gala
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 07:59 pm
I lived in the Midwest for a while and when I saw him do his "dumb" guy routine during his monologue I understood where he got it from.

He was a great observer, before he became formulaic-- and he translated that into goofy comedy. At one point it was great stuff.
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nimh
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 08:09 pm
I dont know from when the shows were Ive seen ... they started broadcasting it in Holland, I dunno, five or ten years ago? Definitely not longer... him and Leno, but I dont think either got much of a foothold. They both suck, and seem to do pretty much the same thing, except Letterman also just comes across as a sincerely unsympathetic person.

The worst (and perhaps that is a European sensitivity) is the whole braggodocio thing about something that isnt, in the first place, very funny anyway ... god its so slow! Lots of chest-thumping pooha, but the jokes come four times as slow as on the Beeb ... its like:

"hey folks! Ha ha ha yeah i'm funny! Yeah you're great too! <applause, whistling, screaming> Yeah, and, anyway, so, in about two minutes I'm gonna tell a joke! Oh YEAH! I am ! Cause I'm funny. Yeah, I love you too, folks! So ... here comes ... now watch it, this is gonna be funny ... cause you know I'm the MAN, yeah, so ... ***[[joke]]*** [and not a very funny one]. <roar from audience> oh yeah I told a joke! Let me make all kinds of pseudo-deadpan or funny faces to congratulate myself on how funny I just was! WHOO I have to suddenly talk REALLy loud to come over alla yours whooping! Funny, huh, funny! And in about two more minutes, there'll be another joke, but first I'm gonna have to look self-congratulatory for a bit more and perhaps have the band do something sorta funny to add to my glory!

Yeeeegggghhh ... I must admit, too - I think Jon Stewart is pretty damn funny, but even he does this whole chest-thumping MAKING CLEAR I JUST MADE A JOKE to all those viewers who werent paying attention or are just too dimwitted to understand anything thats not bolded and underlined thing ...

younno, perhaps part of the whole difference is that here, someone who's really funny doesnt laugh at his own jokes, he doesnt need to, he lets the others laugh about it and himself just tries to jump as soon as possible to the next joke? I mean, as a generalisation, anyway? I dunno.

Interesting, tho.

Hey I saw this (animated/live)docupic about this underground cartoonist, who was a guest on Letterman's a bunch of times but eventually walked off in an angry rage? That came back in the film too ... wait, lemme look up what I'm talking about ...yeah, film was called American Splendor, guy is Harvey Pekar. Anyone know what I'm talking about?
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littlek
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 08:10 pm
See, nimh, Letterman was funny in the era of Carson. By the time Leno got into Carson's seat, Letterman was already dull.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 08:10 pm
Letterman is from Indiana.
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Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 08:11 pm
Letterman is a putz.
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Stray Cat
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 08:14 pm
Quote:
why do we still watch...?


I still think we're all anticipating his eventual meltdown, and that he'll do a "I'm mad as hell and I'm not gonna take it anymore," moment.
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LionTamerX
 
  1  
Reply Sat 25 Mar, 2006 08:17 pm
nimh,
Yeah, Harvey Pekar is fantastic. I saw that picture last year. I've been a fan of American Splendor for years.
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