The Only King of Late Night

May 13, 2009

images-1Once Johnny Carson up and left us, whatever the suits at NBC decided, there was only one late night talk show host that could lay claim to his mantle: David Letterman. Always funny, quick with the comeback, quirky and real, he somehow cuts through the talk show bs and manages to put together a topical, interesting and hilarious show five nights a week. (SNL can barely churn out one.) And you know how on most of those shows the humor feels forced and laughter coerced? That’s probably because it is. But on The Late Show, if a joke falls flat, they leave it in, often times with even funnier results. (David Spade told an interviewer that he couldn’t stand going on The Tonight Show because when his jokes bombed Leno would lean over during the commercial break and tell him, “Don’t worry, we’ll edit that out,” which he felt was such a cop out.)

And there are moments that you would not see anywhere else. When Joaquin Phoenix came on and just sat there for ten minutes under the influence of who knows what, where most hosts would have had flop sweat, Letterman mined it for comedic gold. When Madonna came on and self-destructed with the f-bomb, he let her rip. And when Bill O’Reilly was at his most pompous during the Bush Administration, Dave gave him a piece of what was on his and most other Americans’ minds. Yes, he has mellowed over the years. Yes, he fawns over the pretty ladies (hello, Julia Roberts). But he has managed to become a better interviewer and remain on the tip of pop culture, which is no small feat. He asks taboo questions (he famously got Nicole Kidman to answer that she could wear heels now that she was divorced from Tom Cruise) and readily admits that some stars won’t come on the show because they don’t like him (Brad Pitt and Winona Ryder, to name two). His motto is “There is no off position on the genius switch.” I mean, come on, major crush!!

I know what you’re thinking: it’s a commitment since the show is on five nights a week. But I DVR it, fast forward through some parts, watch the interviews that appeal to me, and generally find it’s a great way to keep up with what’s going on and to have a good laugh. Which we all need. (Catch The Late Show with David Letterman on CBS at 11:35pm weeknights. To check out some of the hilarity online, click here.)

Theater District Meal

Had lunch with a friend at Five Napkin Burger. It’s a good find — prices are reasonable (most entrees are around $15), food is good and there’s a nice variety on the menu. It’s often crowded so I would definitely make a reservation. Perfect for pre-theater as the 45th and 9th location puts you right in the heart of it. I am partial to the tuna burger — it’s essentially a generous cut of big eye tuna, grilled and served up with tasty onion rings on a fresh bun. There are shakes, spring rolls, wings and sushi — all crowd pleasers. Delish!

Etc.

Note to Gossip Girl: flashback episodes suck.

We had a benefit for Austin’s school tonight. I so want to support them but Ken has such a hard time going out on a school night, it’s almost not worth it. Plus Austin did not want a babysitter so he wrote her name, drew a red line through it and announced, “I don’t want her to come. I cross her out!” So I traded him an orange tic tac in exchange for his cooperation.

Hope you’re having a great week!

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