“If I start crying, something went terribly wrong.”
So said David Letterman before his 6028 th section that talk show host. And, well, he did not cry, but he opened by saying “I’ll be honest with you: It’s beginning to look like I’m not going to get” The Tonight Show “.”
In many ways it was Letterman’s last “Late Show” as the “Late Show” at any time during the past years. Sure, more celebrity guests were in place and some studio audience’s standing ovation at the start was a bit longer, but the jokes were as striking half-funny, Letterman’s smile just as contagious. At the same time, it became clear, through a bunch of flashbacks, the “Late Show” and Letterman changed over the years and wonder would be otherwise.
David Letterman’s farewell was dignified and safe. Just as expected. It was not a classic, it was not overly sentimental or spicy and hard to chew. Also it just as expected. David Letterman said goodbye as the pro he is in a historic television evening where the flag surely was in the peak even if a few moments with tiny steps approaching boredom stripe.
What really etched though was when the camera showed Letterman’s wife Regina and his beloved son Harry. Dave thanked them for all the support and love. He said that in the end it is only the family that matters really. Then: “The only thing I have left to do, for the last time on a television program, thank you and goodnight.”
Channel 5, via Filip Hammar and Fredrik Wikingsson, chose to purchase and then send David Letterman’s last show on Channel 5 Play was not totally unexpected, but fun and quite right thought of SBS Discovery. That the consignment lirade all the way without interference and interruption made me very happy. Filip and Fredrik were top experts / commentators with a supplied neck that landed right. In the US commercial breaks nursed the energy of the “Late Show” with a fleeing ease. Maybe it was the early hour, and Wednesday’s “Breaking news with Filip and Fredrik” which pulled down the working frenzy to a comfortable level instead of the overly excitable atmosphere that often the duo’s signature.
David Letterman was long best for he seemed not to care. His sarcastic appearance, his adamant desire not to kneel before the altar of celebrity culture and the feeling that everything works to the proven otherwise was wonderful. How he could be totally uninterested in what a movie star had to say and then make a so childish question that the answer had to be something other than the prepared and expected. For too long now, Letterman was more tired than before, not as sharp and ironic smart as he can be.
The days until the farewell I was obsessed with the clip where David Letterman reveals that he should retire. Then when he sums up 33 years in the box. When he rattles off the number of the section and the audience clapping and Dave then begins to tell a story about his 10 year old son. They photographed a bird, but what kind? Letterman asked those who might be able to. The answer is uninteresting, rather it is his reaction that he was so preoccupied with this quest that he could not remember the filming of “Late Night” that night.
The reaction from the studio audience is expected, but is slowly starting something go up to them, as well as the viewers.
Letterman told a different story about his son and then on the conversation with Les Moonves, top dog on CBS. Letterman said: “I phoned him just before the program and I said,” Leslie, it’s been great, you’ve been great, the Network HAS BEEN great, but I’m retiring. ‘”
Total silence. And a smile from Letterman who spoke of relief, as if he carried a backpack filled with rock that he could set aside.
The Foo Fighters were on the scene during the last show. A fitting choice. The band is often described as Dave’s favorites, perhaps because they canceled a tour in South America to participate in the “Late Show” after Letterman underwent heart surgery. Then performed the “Everlong” in a sovereign version. Now, as thanks and bending, they made “Everlong” once over a montage of Dave’s many moments in television. Becoming too, but hardly surprising.
Speaking of The Foo Fighters: It is easy to forget all the amazing artists who stood on stage with David Letterman. Just take such a thing as the First Aid Kit made a magical version of Simon & amp; Garfunkel’s “America” when it started closer to the end, or why not Weezer “Say it is not so” from the mid-90s and obviously that time in 1982 when Dave was the host of “Late Night” and James Brown just kept dancing out the funk night. But the greatest of all is Darlene Love. 1986 mentioned Letterman Paul Shaffer how much he liked “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”. Paul asked Darlene Love in front of the “Late night”. A tradition started by the exemption in 2007 continued until 2014. And the question is if the final version is the best.
The weeks until Letterman’s resignation has been filled with tributes. Actors, artists, friends have sat on the sofa next to the TV legend and asserted his love. Everything has been far from good. Some moments were amusing, others top. As when comedian Norm McDonald offers jokes and is halvkul but towards the end grabs the seriousness and with tears in her voice tells us how much Letterman means to him. But despite the star guests, nice words from Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel in their respective talk shows is Amy Schumers skit in “Inside Amy Schumer” for female actors and their involvement in US talk shows that have been most entertaining.
September takes Stephen Colbert over as host of “Late Show.” I’m looking forward to. All time last “Late Show with David Letterman” was perfect for David Letterman and the end of a television era, but it was not perfect television. Nevertheless, it is easy to like The Foo Fighters say: “There goes my hero”.
Follow Mattias Bergqvist on Twitter:bergqvist_m