Wednesday, January 26, 2005

The Cover of This Week’s EW

So, it seems like Letterman is going to spend the week in mourning, which is to be expected and I can wholeheartedly respect. To tell the truth, though, I can’t wait for him to come back, just to hear what he’ll say. (I purposefully missed Leno’s tribute, and from the sounds of it, what they did is what I’d love for Letterman to do, but probably won’t get to.)

I liked Carson, he was a nice buffer between the local news and Letterman when I was growing up. Even if his humor skewed to an earlier generation (in other words, I kinda got what was going on), there was a genuine sense of just how cool this guy was, particularly during his interviews. Even if the person he was interviewing was a freak, ol’ JC wouldn’t necessarily be either offended, put out, or wholly uncomfortable…not that it didn’t happen, but it was usually handled with an aplomb that is still missing from his heirs apparent.

(I still wonder how Johnny would’ve handled Crispin “I can kick, I’ve got muscles” Glover when he was pimping for Ruben and Ed.)

Frankly, I just wanted to get to Letterman. I’d watch Night Court or Soap reruns, get to Carson just to wait for the Thrill Cam, Marlon Brando (“bananas!”), and that ol’ snarky je ne sais quoi Dave used to have with his enterprise.

Understandably temperamental to the point of alienating guests (beyond the oft-recalled Madonna and Cher incidents during his years at NBC, a favorite memory of mine was when he essentially kicked the then big headed Gary Oldman off of the show, after Oldman made some derogatory comments about his ex: Long time Letterman crush Isabella Rosellini), Dave just wouldn’t put up with any shit, from anyone, and would not hesitate to call it on the air.

I’m sure the mullahs loved being called “executive weasels” on a continual basis. Probably what cost him his coveted job.

Despite all of that, it was obvious, at the time of his retirement, that Carson wanted to hand the job off to Letterman. The fact that the executive weasels at NBC would not honor this desire, and snubbed Letterman—despite his earning the spot and his swearing that he would tone his shtick down—is the primary reason that keeps me from watching a second of Leno’s show.

I mean, I remember Leno when he was moderately funny (before Tonight Show and his shilling for Doritos), but his unwillingness to do the honorable thing by his mentor and colleague (Jay and Dave used to be pal-ly, once upon a time) was just terminally off-putting for me. Never mind the ensuing crapification of the Tonight Show, and the “Talk Show Wars” instigated by Leno’s manager. Never mind the “intellectual property” bullshit from the aforementioned weasels.


Anyway, come back, Dave! No one else on the air is qualified to provide closure in saying goodbye to the old man.

And Mr. Carson: Thank you.


At 3:34 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

good post, tbo. megan.


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