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October 31, 2014

late night with david letterman

Keith Olbermann's Current 'Countdown' Debuts to Encouraging Ratings

by Alex Moaba, posted Jun 22nd 2011 4:30PM
Keith Olbermann's new edition of 'Countdown' on Current TV is off to a solid start, according to some initial ratings numbers released today by the network. Olbermann's new 'Countdown' debut drew 179,000 viewers among the much-coveted adult 25-59 demographic, compared to 89,000 by CNN, 237,000 by MSNBC, and 735,000 by Fox News.

Though Current didn't release the full numbers, its an encouraging debut, considering that Current is only available in 60 million homes. While traditional new show debuts can often represent a ratings' peak, the case of Olbermann importing his ready-made audience to an upstart network may buck that trend. If that's the case and he's able to steadily grow these initial numbers, Olbermann and his Current boss Al Gore could be in a position to significantly shake up the nightly cable news landscape.

Olbermann is certainly doing his best to promote his new program, appearing last night on 'The Late Show With David Letterman' to read a Top List titled "10 Reasons to Watch the New Countdown With Keith Olbermann.' Check out the video after the jump.

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To Celebrate His 28th Anniversary, Watch Letterman's Rare 1981 HBO Special

by Bob Sassone, posted Feb 2nd 2010 1:04PM
Last night was the 28th Anniversary of David Letterman and Paul Shaffer doing a show together, either on CBS or NBC (I guess they're not including Letterman's morning show on NBC). What was Dave doing before he went on late night? Well, the videos below and after the jump offer a glimpse of what Dave was doing. Someone has posted his rare 1981 HBO special 'Looking For Fun' on YouTube, and it's an interesting curio from the early 80s.

Update: looks like HBO made YouTube take it down. Sigh. Can't find another version. If you do, let us know!

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My Morning Jacket to Appear on 'American Dad'

by Michael D. Ayers, posted Nov 11th 2009 4:00PM
My Morning Jacket American DadFox's 'American Dad' is set to rock -- literally.

Kentucky's finest southern-rock band, My Morning Jacket, will appear on the Nov. 22 episode of the Seth MacFarlane comedy. The episode will be titled 'My Morning Straightjacket,' and will feature not only the band in cartoon form (a first!), but six MMJ songs and guest voiceovers from the likes of Zach Galifianakis, who will play a MMJ super-fan.

"Honestly, it was an organic evolution," said 'American Dad' co-creator Mike Barker in a statement. " I was at Bonnaroo in the summer of 2008, watching MMJ play their guts out in the rain at 4 a.m. when the idea for the episode struck me. I pitched the idea to the guys the next day and thankfully they were on board."

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As if Letterman didn't have enough problems...

by Brad Trechak, posted Oct 27th 2009 7:32PM
David LettermanA former female writer at Late Night with David Letterman has dropped a bombshell in a Vanity Fair article in which she complained of a "hostile work environment for women". While he didn't hit on the writer, she claims that she noticed Letterman paid "extra attention" to her and had a reputation of sleeping with female workers.

While this could be a legitimate complaint, I find it somewhat suspicious that she waited until now to write about this. It could be a case of jumping on a bandwagon or she may have been afraid to say anything for fear of repercussions (as in "you'll never work in this industry again").

There is also that fine line between taking advantage of a subordinate and flirting. Not having been there, it's difficult to access what the case actually was. Mind you, flirting with subordinates at the workplace is probably not a good idea in this litigious society, but he was likely so busy with the show, how else was he going to meet single women? Match.com?

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Letterman tragedy fouls grand memories of Late Nights past

by John Scott Lewinski, posted Oct 23rd 2009 1:02PM
David Letterman once brought you Larry What happened to David Letterman?

I don't mean the endlessly publicized sex scandal or the Sarah Palin controversy. I don't mean the ham-fisted and unfunny political commentary -- or even the strange tales of stalkers around every corner. I mean what happened to the guy from the mid-late 1980s who seemed so above and beyond any such tired showbiz cliches?

When Letterman followed Carson during the Golden Age of NBC late night TV, his show was admittedly quirky. But it was one of the best examples of post-modern comedy in the medium's history. Late Night with David Letterman not only mocked TV entertainment while being a part of it, but the show made fun of the very idea that people get paid to gab or act silly in front of millions of people.

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Paul Shaffer on David Letterman's extortion scandal: "(silence)"

by Danny Gallagher, posted Oct 7th 2009 7:02PM
Paul Shaffer on the Late ShowOne notably close figurehead in David Letterman-gate seems to have gone overlooked, a shiny bald one.

Letterman's longtime sidekick and band leader Paul Shaffer has just released a new memoir called We'll Be Here the Rest of Our Lives about his rise to late night music infamy. He talked more than a few ears off about his own life in music, but he's kept very hush-hush on the whole Letterman brewhaha.

"You know, I just can't talk about it," Shaffer told a Time reporter in a recent interview. "There is a legal proceeding going on. I've been advised that I can't comment on that stuff."

He couldn't even tell Harry Smith on CBS' Early Show on his own network just what the mood is like around Late Show central. However, the rest of both interviews offer a very interesting peak into a life in music that has spanned just about every end of the TV dial and a very funny diversion from Smith's persistent reporter powers to get something out of him about the whole scandal. Something tells me Shaffer would have made one hell of a good press secretary.

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Franken's cartography skills date back to his SNL days

by Danny Gallagher, posted Sep 14th 2009 7:05PM
Al Franken drawing a map of the United StatesThe Internet's series of tubes were glowing red hot last week when a video surfaced of Sen. Al Franken drawing a map of the United States totally from memory.

It's one of those tasks that may look easy on the surface, but becomes increasingly difficult as you try to do it, as evidenced by the efforts of our sister (heh) site, Lemondrop.com. Some of their staff tried to do the same thing and ended up with what looked like mutated twin brothers of the U.S. that their parents keep locked in the basement and feed a bucket of fish heads once a week.

But Franken's mutant power (his X-Men name would be "Sketchy") dates back farther than his recent days of pandering to voters in an election that made the Dade County, Florida recount look like a jelly-bean counting contest.

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Late night no longer a threat to politics - VIDEO

by Danny Gallagher, posted Dec 29th 2008 2:03PM
Remember the good old days, when becoming a joke in Johnny Carson's monologue was considered a bad thing for politicians? Some wily, horny old goat on the Senate Subcommittee for Restocking the Senate Office Supply Cabinet would get caught with a hooker nest in the middle of an underground speakeasy. And before you could say "Heavens to Teddy," he would be the punchline of some joke that involved a gallon of bathtub gin, a forklift full of Chinese geishas, and at least two camels.

Those days are deader than disco. 2008 marked an historic turning point in American politics, since politicians quadrupled the number of appearances they made on late night comedy shows.

Oh, and America elected their first African-American president, too.

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Check out David Letterman's first show - no, not that one! - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 11th 2008 2:27PM
LettermanI think I'm one of the very few people - maybe not even David Letterman himself - who remembers the very first David Letterman Show with a real fondness. No, not NBC's Late Night with David Letterman, I'm talking about his morning show, which ran on NBC for a very short time in 1980. I'm not quite sure how I watched this show. I would have been in high school in 1980, so I don't know if I skipped school to see some episodes or what (it was way before I had a VCR). Anyway, I thought it was quite good and had some real style, fun regulars (Edie McClurg!) and great guests (Steve Allen, Andy Kaufman). It's interesting to see how much this show resembles later Letterman. I wish he'd bring back some of these segments (like viewer mail and videotaped humor) on his current show.

After the jump is the first part of the September 12, 1980 episode (with original commercials!). After you watch that check out the other three parts here (on the right). If you've never seen this particular show it's quite intriguing.

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TV Obits: Bullock, Powers, Caray, Ackerman, Whitehead

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 4th 2008 12:05PM
BullockA roundup of TV people from in front of the camera and behind the scenes who have passed away.

  • Hiram Bullock: He was a veteran session guitarist probably best known to TV fans as being a guitarist in Paul Shaffer's band during the first couple of years of Late Night with David Letterman on NBC. He also played on classic albums by everyone from Billy Joel and Steely Dan to Barbara Streisand and Sting. He died in New York at age 52.

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Don Herbert, aka Mr. Wizard, dead at 89

by Bob Sassone, posted Jun 12th 2007 10:45PM

Mr. WizardDon Herbert taught science on television to kids on the 1951-1964 series Watch Mr. Wizard. I was a little young to remember that show, but I do remember watching him when the show was revived in the 1980s as Mr. Wizard's World. There was also another version of the show in Canada titled Mr. Wizard that ran from 1971-1975, and a short-lived ABC Saturday morning show in 1971 called Curiosity Shop.

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Bill Murray to help Letterman celebrate 25 years

by Bob Sassone, posted Jan 29th 2007 3:01PM

Letterman, MurrayWow, I feel really old.

David Letterman celebrates 25 years in the talk show seat (it's actually more, if you count his short-lived morning show that no one seemed to love but me) on February 1, and Bill Murray will come back to the show to help him celebrate the milestone. Murray was Letterman's first guest on the old NBC show in 1982 and his first guest on the CBS show in 1993.

The other guest on the February 1 show will be LeBron James. I'm not sure how that ties into the special day, but there you go. I'd rather see a regular, like Amy Sedaris, Steve Martin, Charles Grodin, Regis Philbin, or Tom Hanks. Hopefully they'll be some clips.

[via TV Tattle]

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When the hell does Letterman tape his shows?

by Joel Keller, posted Apr 3rd 2006 10:13AM
David LettermanIt's a pretty well-known fact that, even though Late Show is on five days a week, David Letterman and his crew don't work on Fridays.  For years, I've thought that the show taped two episodes every Thursday, one at 5:30 and one at 7:30, with the latter episode airing on Friday. Dave and crew would cleverly hide the fact that the show wasn't quite up on the latest events by doing general monologue jokes (like stuff on Bush's malaprops) and by going into the audience for the show's twisted take on "Stump the Band" or "Know Your Cuts of Meat".

But what I've been hearing lately, from more than one source (Gary Dell'Abate of Howard Stern's show mentioned this after his boss' latest Letterman appearance, for instance) is that Dave and company now tape two shows on Monday and one show on each day from Tuesday through Thursday. Now, I don't doubt that this is true, but can the second Monday show be the one that airs on Friday, five whole days later?  It would seem that, no mater what they do to hide the fact that the show's not current, five days is a long time in the world of late-night to hold a show. Can anyone who's either been in the Late Show audience or just knows the taping schedule confirm this for me? Do they tape multiple shows on other nights of the week? Let me know in the comments.

[Photo: AP]

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