Archive for August 30th, 2017

Letterman Late NIght bumper 2

by Robert Hornak

“It’s a late night world…”

To acknowledge the importance of NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman is to counter the propulsively simple engine of the show. Nobody wants to declare with seriousness that a man in an outfit made of Alka Seltzer being lowered into a huge vat of water, or wearing a suit of Rice Krispies and getting dunked into a giant bowl of milk is groundbreaking television. Indeed it wasn’t groundbreaking, as Steve Allen (an early Letterman hero) had done similar stunts, like dressing as a “human tea bag” and a “human kite”, as far back as his iteration of The Tonight Show in the mid-’50s, at that time just called Tonight. Even earlier than that, acts like Martin & Lewis on the Colgate Comedy Hour of the early ’50s were trading heavily in a parody of the medium and doing very Lettermany things like calling attention to bad writing right in the middle of a bit and fourth-gearing poorly-received material and real-time staging snafus for the benefit of a savvy live audience.


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