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Why is Letterman always picking on Singletary?

by Danny Gallagher, posted Jan 16th 2009 2:02PM
All you insomniacs, speed freaks and nightwatchmen (some of you might be all three) might have noticed David Letterman's picking on Mike Singletary. Given Letterman's latest ratings, that's probably not many of you.

Every week, Letterman has interrupted his show to conduct a live via satellite interview with San Francisco 49ers coach Mike Singletary about last Sunday's game. A Singletary impersonator appears in a split screen shot in full 49ers regalia and answers questions with the fluidity and grace of Ralphie May in ice skates.

How did this slice of sports satire get started, and how long will it stick around?

It's no secret that the 49ers aren't the hottest team in the NFC. No one knows that little factoid better than Singletary. All his repressed anger reached its peak on Oct. 26, 2008 when an embarrassing loss to the Seattle Seahawks sent Singletary on a post-game press conference tear that could make Jim Mora leap out of his chair and urge him to calm down.

Ever since then, Letterman has been holding interviews with a Singletary stand-in. Letterman asks the questions any well-seasoned sports writer would ask, and Singletary goes off, spouting one to five word phrases that make no sense and rarely follow the subject/predicate form of English we have all come to know and love. In other words, he's every major league coach who ever existed.

The bit has still been going on, and it's not the funniest thing he's ever done, but it has a wicked touch of brilliance to it. The Singletary stand-in's rants are, as one Bay Area sports writer put it, about "everything and nothing" all at once. I'm not saying Letterman's Singletary has the chance to become the new Larry "Bud" Melman, but he's certainly dangerously close to becoming the new "CBS Page Who Thinks He's Batman." In other words, it's vintage Letterman.

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I can solve this for all of you. Letterman is a proud alumni of Ball State. Singletary was a defensive coach for the University at Buffalo. UB beat Ball State in the MAC Championship in December. Letterman is a sore loser....

January 17 2009 at 1:11 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

You are clearly an idiot. You may also be a troll, but either way you're an idiot.

January 16 2009 at 5:58 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Sam, I believe you are the idiot. Do we all have to subject ourselves to the liberal/intolerant point of view?

My point was, your boy Dave dishes it out one-sided. No need for you to cry and try to defend it.

January 16 2009 at 4:48 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to const's comment

You turn an innocent mocking of a football coach into a conservative remark and I"M the intolerant one? If it helps you sleep at night.

January 16 2009 at 4:57 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Late Show writer Bill Sheft was on the Bob and Tom radio show recently. He said that the guy doing Singletary is actually a receptionist on the Late Show staff. Dave thought the guy looks like Singletary, and thinks it's funny. So the writers came up with the bit and it continues because Dave likes it so much.

In fact, in early versions of the bit, Sheft will yell out the lines to the stand-in because he was so bad at reading cue cards. I think now Sheft feeds him lines via an earpiece.

January 16 2009 at 4:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Singletary must be a Republican if he is a constant target of Letterman's worn out schtick.

January 16 2009 at 3:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to const's comment

Yes, that's right. Anything Letterman does or has done during his illustrious career, which has spanned several decades, is thrown out the window because he happens to be a liberal, a point of view which hundreds of millions of Americans happen to also subscribe to. Idiot.

January 16 2009 at 3:32 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I agree. It has to be that way.

I have to know. I'm german. And I'm a nazi...

January 17 2009 at 8:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Davy Fields

Yeah, you're right, nobody's watching. He averages more than 3 million viewers a night and he's on five nights a week, but nobody's watching. You nailed it on the head right there.

Really? A Letterman gets low ratings joke? You know Leno passed Letterman in 1996, right? Really cutting-edge commentary here.

January 16 2009 at 2:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

This skit always cracks me up. It's a good job by the writers.

January 16 2009 at 2:20 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Not much different from How Much Gas Is In [Insert Boxer's Name that I cannot Remember]'s Gas Tank.

January 16 2009 at 2:19 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I haven't seen this (new job = less letterman) but it sounds like his typical stichk where he finds something he finds funny and beats it with a stick until it doesn't amuse him anymore.

January 16 2009 at 2:08 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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