Wednesday, May 20, 2015

A Change in Subject (A homage to the Late Night king)

Letterman in 1982

After 33 years, 6,028 shows and almost 20,000 guests, comedic legend David Letterman retired from television this Wednesday. While this blog has strictly covered sports in Miami, there was not a chance that I would pass up the chance to honor the late night king. Born in Indiana, Letterman rose through the ranks of comedy shortly after his graduation from Ball State University, garnering appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Eventually, NBC offered Letterman the chance to have a morning comedy show, carrying a similar format to The Tonight Show.

Unfortunately, this show received poor ratings and got cancelled shortly after its 1980 inception. However, it all played well for Dave, as he was given the 12;30 time slot after Carson. There, Letterman thrived, displaying his original and Midwestern personality, not changed by show business. With the likes of close friend and musical conductor Paul Shaffer, the duo were able to succeed after Carson, until Johnny's retirement in 1982. Many thought that Letterman would become Carson's replacement, however NBC decided to go with stand up comedian Jay Leno as their guy, shocking Letterman, Carson, and America. He decided to move to CBS, where he started The Late Show with David Letterman, starting The Top Ten List and other fixtures on the show.

 Dave's appearance as a late night figure has always rivaled others, as he wears thick glasses and has gapped teeth. However, some have credited his imperfections as part of his glamour, as he never seems to fake emotions nor feelings on the show. Dave has undergone many stressful events throughout his time in Late Night, most notably receiving a quintuple bypass, causing him to miss the show for six weeks. Also, he was the first late night host to address the nation after the 9/11 terrorist attacks, demonstrating the grief that had embedded the population. However, Letterman has also made some mistakes, becoming engaged in an affair with several prominent women in the media, including Kathie Lee Gifford from the Today Show. Anyways, when its all said and done, David Letterman will be remembered as possibly the best host in Late Night history besides Johnny Carson.
The Tope Ten List eventually came synonymous with Dave.
 Despite being constantly beaten in the ratings by Jay Leno, Letterman's consistent following led many to declare his supremacy. On Letterman's last show, about 15 million viewers saw celebrities such as Bill Murray, Jerry Seinfeld, Barbara Walters and Tina Fey among others appear on the last Top Ten List. Letterman addressed the viewers one last time, before thanking his entire crew. His favorite band, The Foo Fighters would go on to sing his favorite song, Everlong, as highlights of his time in Late Night were remembered up to 17 minutes after the scheduled end time for the finale, with CBS refusing to cut it at any point.

Letterman's final goodbye.


  1. As this is the last comment for the year, I would like to thank you for never giving us any less than what was expected. This story just adds to your portfolio of greatly written stories. David Letterman should serve as an inspiration to us all.

  2. Great article, i can't believe that Mr. Letterman is leaving us. Thank you for all of your blogs.

  3. Great post!
    I can't believe that Mr.Letterman is leaving!!
    You should keep on writing!
    Great blog