Friday, May 29, 2015

Part 5: Timmy's Top Ten Letterman Related Moments (2 & 1)

I've finally had some time to reflect. This week I'll be sharing my favourite David Letterman moments. Enjoy. Check out PARTS FOUR, THREE, TWO, ONE


2 - Drew Barrymore's "Appearance" (1995)

The April 12th 1995 appearance of Drew Barrymore on the Late Show was simply...the breast. I mean breasts. I mean best...plural.

Disclaimer: She was a 20 year old female who happened to be pretty darn cute. I was a 21 year old male who happened to be...a 21 year old male.

Drew was absolutely giddy that night and I'm pretty sure I was as well. Quite frankly, for a hot-blooded young man, a giggling, playful Drew Barrymore made for great TV. In fact, had the interview ended without incident it still would have been discussed in length the following day. But it didn't end without incident...and, as a result, is still being discussed 20 years later.

When Barrymore got up on Letterman's desk no one imagined what was about to happen.

When, with her back to the camera, Drew gave Dave a birthday present...no one believed what just happened.

What did happen? A dime a dozen episode became one in a million...in a flash!


I always wanted to be David Letterman, but on THAT night...more than ever!

1. Saying Goodbye with My Kids (2015)

Over the last year few years my regular routine was to record The Late Show and watch it during breakfast. Partly because I could, partly because I hate commercials...

Book comedian Timmy Boyle for your next function. Visit upstandingcomedy.ca for details.

...and partly because 11:30pm is way passed my bedtime.

Every once in a while my kids, both of whom stay up later than me, would join me for Dave & Eggs. Nothing made me happier because, as a father, there are three things I believe every child should do:

- play with a yo-yo
- learn how to score bowling
- watch Letterman

I pity the "Dave-less" Generation that is about to be raised.

Throughout my lifetime, I've witnessed the sunset walk of Hawkeye, Alex P. Keaton, Carson, Dick Loudon, "May Day" Malone, Kramer, Frasier & Rachel.

The M*A*S*H* finale ('83) was a legendary tear-jerker, Carson's goodbye ('92) was beautifully intimate & Newhart ('90) orchestrated the best sitcom-ending twist ever. However, the only finale I anticipated more than Cheers ('93) was the one about to air.

Wednesday, May 20th, 2015 - 11:30pm

There are "must-see" television moments and then there are those that you "must-see live". I was going to stay up for this one...and so were my kids.

I didn't force them to watch but I did make it clear that this was going to be a historic moment. I told them a once-in-a-generation personality, who radically changed the face of television, was about to sign-off and they may never see someone like David Letterman again. I actually don't think it was a hard sell.

There was only one rule. No cell phones or computers. There would be no distractions. I wanted my kids to see the history. I wanted my kids to see the present. I wanted my kids to feel what I was feeling. The loss of a legend.

We had a great time. Hearing the laughter of my children while we watched the final Late Show together was without a doubt my number one Letterman related moment.

During my 40+ years, the late night world consisted of Carson, Letterman and...the rest.

I count myself blessed to have witnessed the final tributes to both of these brilliant comedic forces. I'm so glad my kids got to see at least one of them and hope they will one day tell their children, with great fondness, about the night they hung out with "grandpa"...and the LAST King of Late Night.


Goodbye Dave.

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Thursday, May 28, 2015

Part 4: Timmy's Top Ten Letterman Related Moments (4 & 3)

I've finally had some time to reflect. This week I'm sharing my favourite David Letterman moments. Enjoy. Check out PARTS THREE, TWO, ONE


4 – “Uma. Oprah.” (1995)

Hosting the Oscars is a tough gig. The person entrusted with overseeing the festivities as host must understand that every single word & action will be closely watched by the eyes of the world...and the eye of the one world.

The Oscars is a celebration of an industry that not only takes itself way to seriously but is so full of sequels, remakes & reboots that it has begun to actually revel in it's ability to create nothing new. The person who thought it was a good idea to put David Letterman in charge of this pompous affair was either drunk, ignorant or a genius.  I'm going with a genius...who was a little tipsy.

There are many who have been quick to list Dave's Oscar hosting gig as one of the worst all-time. Why? Two words: "Uma. Oprah."


On March 27th, 1995, David Letterman took the stage at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles, California and proceeded to do...David Letterman. If his brand of humour didn't go over well with the stuffy Hollywood A-listers...blame the drunk genius who hired him.

His performance was refreshingly quirky for an Academy Awards show and, like it or not, Dave is the architect of one of the most memorable Oscar moments ever. E. V. E. R. Ever.

"Uma. Oprah." is legendary not because it "killed" but because it stood out and, like always, once the spotlight was on Dave didn't play by anyone else's rules. Dave did Dave...and I loved every moment of it!

3 – Visiting New York (Mid 90's)

As I sat in front of my television set watching Dave's final show unfold, I kept feeling a slight twinge of regret.

You see, over the last 20 years I've often considered getting Letterman tickets so I could freeze my butt off while watching him do his thing in person. And since his retirement I've asked myself, more than once, "Why did you wait?" The answer..."I thought he was immortal." After all, David Letterman was always on TV...and was always going to be. Despite lacking complete logic Despite lacking complete logic, I simply assumed the opportunity would always be there.

Well, with reality now setting in, I've come to realize how really special my mid 90's New York visit was. I remember my friend & I taking turns, depending on who was driving, reading "The Late Shift"* out loud in an effort to finish the book on our journey. While in the city, I visited K&L's Rock America to have my photo taken with Sirajul and or Mujibur (two local business men who made regular appearances on The Late Show)


...and stopped by the theatre to get a photo of me standing under The Late Show marquee.


Although it would turn out to be the closest I would ever get to Dave, I believe it's closer than many other Letterman fans got so I'll take it.

Sadly, Dave's TV presence wasn't eternal & the marquee will be changed. However, my photo will stand as proof that the King of Late Night, was indeed there...and so was I.

*"The Late Shift" (''94) documented the Leno vs. Letterman battle for The Tonight Show. Dave didn't get the throne...but he ultimately wore the crown.

COMING UP: "For a hot-blooded young man, a giggling, playful Drew Barrymore made for great TV." Tune in TOMORROW for #2 and #1.

Have a good one,
Timmy

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Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Part 3: Timmy's Top Ten Letterman Related Moments (6 & 5)

I've finally had some time to reflect. This week I'm sharing my favourite David Letterman moments. Enjoy. Check out PARTS TWO, ONE


6 – Jerry Seinfeld's Role Reversal (2015)

April 24th, 2015

A picture is worth a thousand words...but there is only one word to describe this moment:


Epic.

5 – Bob Dylan's Incoherence (1992)

The 10th anniversary special of "Late Night with David Letterman" was quite the spectacle. I remember looking forward to it. I remember watching it. I remember enjoying it. I remember taping it on VHS so I could re-watch it (I still have the tape).

What I don't remember is everything that happened other than...Bob Dylan.


The atmosphere at Radio City Music Hall was electric as a clearly energized all-star band began playing a song that sounded a lot like Dylan's, "Like a Rolling Stone". However Bob, stoned or not, was completely & memorably incoherent.

February 6th, 1992 marked the beginning of the following Bob Dylan impression which I have since shared with anyone who was interested in hearing it...or not interested.

video


I've watched Dylan's performance many times over the years, whenever I needed a good laugh, and I still can't tell if he's singing the actual lyrics.

I mean, for all we know...he broke Madonna's record.

COMING UP: "Who thought it was a good idea to put David Letterman in charge of this pompous affair?" Tune in TOMORROW for #4 and #3.

Have a good one,
Timmy

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Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Part 2: Timmy's Top Ten Letterman Related Moments (8 & 7)

I've finally had some time to reflect. This week I'm sharing my favourite David Letterman moments. Enjoy. Check out PART ONE


8 – Bill Murray's Graffiti (1993)

In real life, Bill Murray was as far removed from a Ground Hog Day existence as possible. The only consistent thing about Murray was his inconsistency. Bill was a living wild card and that's what made him such a spectacular guest on Late Night. Dave simply let Bill be Bill and everyone was better off because of it.

August 30th, 1993 was a night full of change. Letterman's talk-show was airing at a different time, on a different network, in a different venue, under a different name. The fear? Would the show be different? Would airing at an earlier hour in a fancy historic venue with a huge contract & crisp new logo mean the death of the "anti-talk show" talk show host? Enter Bill Murray.

One partial can of spray paint later, with the first two letters of "Dave" messily scrawled across the front of Letterman's new pristine desk, everyone's fears were gone. Bill will always be Bill and better yet...Dave will always be Dave.



Oh, the King of irreverence wasn't dead. He was only getting started!

7 – Madonna's Disappearance (1994)

Some would say one of the funniest things on TV is hearing the "bleeping" bleep.

If that's true than Madonna's Late Show appearance on March 31st, 1994 was the most hilarious television experience ever! The Material Girl's extremely liberal use of the F-word (19 times if you include the single uses of "fun", "friendship", "film, "fool" and "far") gave the FCC no choice but to crown her episode the champion of all censored U.S. talk shows.



Now, please note, I don't find extreme vulgarity funny. However, what I do find funny is not remembering the historic number of swear words as much as what happened afterwards. You see, my memory of this episode is almost exclusively connected to the moment when the show returned after a commercial break.

Madonna wasn't there and something about it seemed weird. Even though I have a faint recollection of the actual dialogue, I clearly recall heading to bed with my mind spinning...

"What the bleep happened to Madonna?"

COMING UP: "Bob, stoned or not, was completely & memorably incoherent." GO TO #6 and #5 HERE.

Have a good one,
Timmy

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Monday, May 25, 2015

Part 1: Timmy's Top Ten Letterman Related Moments (10 & 9)

I've finally had some time to reflect. This week I'll be sharing my favourite David Letterman moments. Enjoy.


Last week, I said goodbye to one of the greats...if not the best.

The list of people I would consider a comedic influence is short: Bob Newhart, Tim Conway, Ben Stiller and...David Letterman.

On Feb. 1, 1982 I was sleeping peacefully, completely unaware that TV was about to change forever...and my life would be shaped accordingly.

In the world of 8 year-old Timmy, the debut of “Late Night with David Letterman” was simply a tiny pebble tossed into a vast ocean. However, 33 years later, it is clear the ripple effect left indelible marks on the world of entertainment...and my soul. 

I grew up watching Johnny Carson with my dad. Eventually, I became old enough to stay up and experience what happened AFTER Carson. And what I discovered was...magic. By the early 90's I was a hooked on Letterman. Which is where my memories begin.

Here are Timmy's Top Ten Letterman Related Moments:

10 - Any Top Ten List (1985-2015) 

My favourite list was "Top Ten Numbers Between One and Ten", mainly because I would have put them in that exact order.

Some lists were hilarious. Some were...okay. Sometimes the best joke wasn't in the number 1 slot. Ultimately, it never mattered. It was the Top Ten List. An iconic talk-show segment that poked fun at the listing of mundane things and ended up fostering a culture that now ranks everything from ten to one.

I really love top ten lists. Hence this list...

9 – Jennifer Lawrence's Blanket (2013)

It was a well known fact that the Ed Sullivan Theatre was kept at Arctic temperatures. Very few guests mentioned it...probably because they didn't want to be “froze” out. Then there is Jennifer Lawrence.

On November 20th, 2013 the refreshingly cool actress not only talked about the frigid environment, she got Mr. Freeze to bring her a large comforter. Ladies & Gentlemen, Dave doesn't bring people comforters. Unless you're Jennifer Lawrence.


Letterman & Lawrence both dance to their own beat yet the few dances they did together were...in perfect comedic time. Had their worlds collided earlier, I'm sure Jen would have become a regular & beloved Late Show guest spoken of in the same discussions as Bruce Willis & Bill Murray.

We'll never know how many “classic Jen" moments Dave's retirement has robbed us of but at least we'll always have...“The Blanket”.

COMING UP: "What the bleep happened to Madonna?" GO TO #8 and #7 HERE.

Have a good one,
Timmy

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