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  • weidelman5 January 2002
    "Late show with David Letterman" is in many ways superior to other talk shows in late night television. Even if Letterman is the main focus, and often tends to act a bit egocentric, he still (or perhaps it`s more correct to say that the writing does) includes many of the crew members in the sketches. This gives the show an excellent flavour of diversity, and make it even more outrageous and entertaining. The writing is very original and innovative, and is able to grasp with current events in a clever, and at the same time, plain crazy way that will make you burst out in laughter.

    But of course, the most important person is Dave himself, a highly individual host with his own, unique style. He is by all due respect not a very good stand up comedian, and might sometimes seem quite uncomfortable delivering his jokes in the opening monologue, but he is well aware that this is not his strength, and keep it to a minimum, 3 or 4 minutes (as a comparison, Jay Leno`s monologues last for 10 minutes) Also considered harsh, sarcastic and unpredictable, Letterman is not loved by everyone, and these traits might sometimes make him a bit unhuman, but at the same time, his unpredictability is also his genius, and what makes him stand out from his fellowships.

    His greatest strength is his exceptional ability to ad lib and deliver funny comments to almost any situation, and that is why the writing includes a lot of segments where the camera is capturing the life and people in New York City. In this way, Letterman can easily comment on what he observes and ask silly questions to the people on camera, and the fun will soon appear. Despite his reputation as a bad boy, he is a great ironic, and is able to joke with himself in a way that most comedians can`t. Still, he is just not goofing around all the time, and might appear quite serious when he is interviewing his guests with curios questions, especially those who have something to say.(unfortunately, not many do)

    The music director Paul Shaffer plays a major part in the show, and functions as Lettermans sidekick with his funny, and some times not very well thought comments(and yes, i agree, he sometimes looks as a parody in his flamboyant suits) Their relationship is extremely established, and their chemistry is also fabulous, so it`s unthinkable to imagine anyone else as the music director. So, if you wan`t to watch a very special and imaginative talk show with a touch of pure genius, "The late show" is the right vehicle. And if you haven`t become a regular viewer yet, you better hurry up, because it`s hard to say for how long David will keep going. By all means, im not a prophet, but i will guarantee you that David Letterman is too unique to be replaced. Watch the show regularly, and you will understand what i mean.
  • I have been a big Letterman fan for years. I would tape shows when I was only 13, never missed a show. I agree that Letterman had his years where you could tell he felt like a failure and didn't put much into it. But I will add that he is much more real than Jay Leno. Jay Leno is your typical phony talk show host. You really saw how real Dave is if you saw his show on January 31, 2005 remembering Johnny Carson. I saw both his and Leno's shows on Johnny. Jay seemed much more scripted and fake. This was probably due to how the death of Johnny Carson hit the two, being that Dave was close with Johnny. (Johnny even wrote jokes in retirement and sent them to Dave to use). I have noticed lately that Dave's comedy is turning back around to the old Dave. Hopefully he realizes that he is appreciated and keeps up the turn around!
  • David Letterman is the king of Late Night TV. On the air now for 21 years, apporching 10 years as host of the "Late Show" on CBS. Leno is no match to Letterman, nor is Jimmy Kimmel on ABC. I feel like the "Late Show" has more class then other late night talk shows, though you might think not it at times. When Dave retires he will leave BIG shoes to fill.
  • I'm "only" 34 but I've been watching Letterman since I was about 13. He in fact has one of the few shows I can tolerate to watch on TV. I can always count on him to be entertaining. He clearly has it down to a science now and doesn't deviate much from his standard ritual whereas years ago it was always something new and different. That said, his ritual is actually reliably entertaining. Clearly one of the attractions to watching him for so long is the comfortable feeling one has with having the same show play around the same time of night for so many years. Of course, now I use TiVo. The bottom line is that Letterman is truly the best thing going for TV and is a reliably good and entertaining show.
  • As far as American talk show hosts go, I find David Letterman the least pretentious and the least fake out of all of them. He seems to mostly say what he thinks and not JUST for the sake of being shocking or funny.

    Letterman is mostly a likable guy and can at times be very witty, and of course satirical, which is something about him (as indeed his writers) that I enjoy. Yes I know, he is at times cocky and a bit of a show pony, but he's a talk show host and he's meant to have a personality and in my opinion he's the best there is.

    I enjoy the little sketches like "Great Presidential Speeches" and "Will it Float?," I always enjoy watching Biff Henderson's little adventures and of course hearing from the always wonderful, Alan Kalter.

    It's a nice little piece of late night entertainment and while some episodes are obviously going to be better than others depending on the guests - you know you're always going to have a bit chuckle.
  • David Letterman is a smart and insanely funny man. He's brought us this amazing show that has about a thousand unforgettable moments and a mouth-full of witty remarks. The thing I love about his show the most is that it has such an unpredictable-feel to it, its much much better than Leno, and any other talk-show I've seen. Letterman is great at being a talk-show host, its like he was born to do it. I also love Paul Shaffer, he is an awesome music director and a lot funnier than any other music director i have ever seen! I hope this show keeps going forever!! I LOVE IT I LOVE IT I LOVE IT ~!!
  • I recently watched the Late Show when Janet Jackson was the guest. She had a very toppish top on that kind of embarrassed Dave. I laughed like never before. Despite him being embarrassed, he deliverd some lines that were simply perfect. "Need help with the zipper?" "I'm 54, I'm not used to these kind of things." Paul: "You have always loved fast women, Dave."

    Well, Dave cracks Leno everytime. He is just more personal than mr standup.
  • If you would have asked me three months ago if I thought that The Late Show with David Letterman was a good show, I would have told you to change the channel to one of the other Late Night shows. But now I have changed my tune, The Late Show with David Letterman is better than ever, and is easily funnier and more entertaining than his competition, and if you have been tuning in to watch the the other Late Night shows (Politically Incorrect - The Tonight Show), then i challenge you, to give Dave a chance and see how much better and funnier he is than those other guys.

    Paul Shaffer is on the right key, and Mr. Letterman is definitely still and will always be "King of Late Night". And yes Paul and Dave are a couple of "them guys".
  • Upfront, I will say that I enjoyed him more in the past, especially when he was on at 12:30 ... he mellowed some, but after twenty years, he still is quite good. Dave may not have been able to fulfill his dream and take over from Johnny on CBS, but in a sense, he has ... he is the comfortable veteran, someone you feel good ending your night watching (unless you are into news ... then, you check out Ted Koppel). And, he still shows his edge at times, especially sometimes when he has those little monologues such as when he decided to try to get a parkway named after him (lol).

    The CBS Mailbag feature is still funny, he interacts with the audience pretty good (I don't care for those segments, but I got to admit he connects with them), and the announcer is hiliarious. Other amusing, though getting a bit old things ... the "will it float" and "is this anything" segments -- that grinder girl is amusing. Stephany ... "did you see or touch any monkeys" ... is great too, her sarcastic voice at times reminds one of a young female Dave. The crew also has some good bits. The deli bits are getting tired though and go too long. Paul? People seem to love to dis him, but one gets the idea that he is a perfect fit for Dave, and finding a new guy would be damn hard.

    It might be a generational thing (it's also regional ... Jay has higher rating, and is more popular in the heartland), but I don't understand why people are saying Conan is better than Dave. Now, Conan has some better comic bits and is decent overall, but he's really no match to Dave. Dave might seem bored during some interviews (but when he isn't, he really connects ... e.g. Drew Barrymore, Lisa Presley, Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa, and others), but he surely is a better interviewer than Conan -- even after Conan has had years of on the job training. Also, Conan does not have good monologues ... many are actually pretty lame, and he even jokes about the lack of reaction (doesn't make it any less lame). Finally, his bits often go too long. So, really, Dave might be older and at times seems a bit tired, but he still beats Conan imho. Jay? Smarmy in my opinion ... and I used to like the guy.

    It is amusing to note that David Letterman has many credits, especially before his talk show stint. I wonder if someone did a collection to highlight that fact. Oh well ... I check when the guests are good, but even when they are not, he has a good 1/2 hr more often than not.

    -j
  • michael@piston.net15 October 2005
    After watching him lionized in the movie "Late Shift" I started watching David Letterman regularly, prepared to be entertained by an intelligent and witty humorist. What I saw instead was a very smug and self-satisfied performer who seemed to accept his rock star idolization as his due, and, in addition to having a disconcerting resemblance to Richard Nixon, was simply not funny. His monologues were short, wooden, and despite often receiving an explosive response from his adoring audience, were seldom humorous. I kept tuning him in, always imagining that I had previously caught him on a bad night, only to see my initial judgment reinforced over and over again. Not only was Letterman himself not funny, but he seemed bored and impatient with the show itself, as if he felt put upon even to perform. The strange thing is that the show itself is in many ways superior to Leno's Tonight Show - certainly the repartee between Letterman and his band leader lacks the embarrassing, almost pathetic quality of Leno's many vain attempts to make Kevin Eubanks seem witty. The skits are often cleverer than Tonight's heavy handed mockery of both public figures and ordinary Americans. Yet ultimately the program must rise or fall on the strength of its star, and here the laconic Letterman cannot hold a candle to the hyperactive laugh-a-second Leno. In the final analysis, Late Night with David Letterman doesn't work because David Letterman just isn't funny. And oddly enough, he seems to know it.
  • Letterman used to be cutting-edge brilliant and creative in the 80's and early 90s. The Alka-Seltzer suit, the Velcro suit, stupid pet/human tricks, the top ten list were all wonderful and fresh.

    To my eye, he's been phoning it in for at least ten years now. There's rarely anything new. He's also become way more political, that's the one area where he's done new things, but it doesn't work. I happen to agree with his political views, but the way he presents them just seems angry and alienates half his potential audience. He's much more likely to take a swing at a Republican politician and that in itself makes him way more predictable.

    On a positive note, I have to say he's become a lot less caustic and abrasive with most of his guests, listening and having intelligent dialogue. The interviews are the one area where I think he's improved. Overall, though, a staleness hangs over the show.

    When he was fighting to keep his audience after the extortion and sex scandal, he got edgy and good for a few months. Then when he was safe he drifted back to what he'd been doing. He really needs to retire because he's not offering the viewer anything new.
  • Does anyone really think David Letterman is funny? Oh sure, he's goofy and silly which would probably appeal to an 8 year old. He laughs incessantly at his own crappy gags and although he often has interesting guests he repeatedly interrupts them to inject some silly comments of his own.I'm so sick of his top ten lists of every stupid subject he can think of. Almost every gag is a sexual innuendo or a crude insult on some well known person. I know many people think he is hilarious but honestly folks...I think he's a comedy fraud. The Tonight Show went down the tube when Johnny Carson retired.What a wonderfully funny and witty man he was. Now THERE was late night comedy!!
  • As a UK citizen, I had never had the misfortune to see an episode of this 'talk show' as it was on digital and I haven't upgraded yet. However, for reasons I won't go into it is now part of my job to watch the show for research purposes. I don't think I can last much longer.

    It is almost impossible to verbalise how irritating this show is. The 'jokes' are non-existent, with each punchline scuppered with, erm-ah, the-ah timing of David's delivery. Every time the audience laughs I wonder what kind of funny-gas has been pumped into the studio.

    Things are made worse by the visually stagnant way in which the show is filmed. Nearly the entire show is locked into one mid-shot of David at his desk. Even when he's talking to his house band we are rarely afforded a glance at who he is talking to, with a sinister high-pitched voice off camera underlining every sentence spoken by David: 'Oh! Uh-huh. Yeaaaaaaaaaaaaah.' When I first saw this show I thought I was hearing David's self-congratulatory inner thoughts through the mic he has on his desk. Instead, its a bald guy with sunglasses (is he blind? I'm afraid to ask) who pats David on the back at every opportunity.

    The smugness of this show is suffocating, especially to new viewers such as myself who haven't witnessed anything to warrant their inflated opinion of themselves. I was hoping against hope that perhaps Letterman's interview technique was second to none, but yet again I was disappointed: they are as vapid and un-illuminating as the rest of the show. At no time are the guests asked anything more searching than what they had for lunch earlier. It may be just a cultural difference, but I prefer the cheekiness of UK talk-show hosts like Johnathan Ross etc. who manage to get under the skin of his guest through humour so that we get to know more about them than another well-rehearsed anecdote.

    Unfortunately, there seems no way to make it stop. Its my job to keep watching this forever. I am in hell.
  • David Letterman combines both comedy and taste to this well directed and well written Talk-Show. His works all give off the same "goofball" image, but if that's the way that he wants to be known, than whatever. But on a more serious note, his show never feels the need to use crude sex jokes as a need of entertainment. Everyone should check it out at least once.
  • David Letterman's Show SUCKS!

    I don't find it very funny. Jokes are stale. He spends a lot of time just talking about nothing: Like he'll say he'll do the top 10 list, and then he'll get into (what is supposedly a 'funny') conversation with Paul Shaffer for like 5 minutes, then he'll finally get back around to the top list. Lame!!

    Paul Shaffer is not a good side-kick/bandleader! His musical 'talents' are not entertaining. "Annoying" is the best adjective to describe him.

    That red haired announcer guy, Alan, is not funny.

    In the past, Biff Henderson goes on road trips that were entertaining.. but the latest ones I've seen they have been BLAH!

    They ran out of good ideas for the "Will It Float?" and the "Is This Anything?" already.

    The deli sideshow has been overdone too often. and they're so boring! It seems to be like Rupert is always doing the show a favor or something.. u know.. not like he is enjoying that little deli segment.

    That's my criticism. And you read it. Cool.
  • bull-frog5 February 2007
    I don't see how CBS pays Letterman $30 million a year. This guy's jokes are so boring and redundant. Every show has the stupid Will-It-Float, George Bush making a speech scene, and the Rupert deli owner interview. And I always wondered who writes the Top Ten list - they are so damn lame. I also heard that the audience is told beforehand to laugh, whether the jokes are funny or not. That's ridiculous!

    I know that most celebrities are leftest but Letterman makes it is so damn apparent. I'm no fan of George W, but his constant bashing of him is so obvious. On every show, Letterman shows the "great" speeches made by JFK and FDR and then all of a sudden shows Bush stumbling or saying something stupid during his speech. And him "inviting" Bill O'Reilly for an interview and making a mockery of him in front of a national audience. Absolutely classless.

    Ten years ago, I remembered watching a couple episodes of the Late Show thinking this guy's jokes were getting old. Today, I'm even more shocked that he's still on.
  • If it weren't for The Late Show all there would be is NBC's Today (decent enough for news and the occasional celebrity interview). I first came across The Late Show back in 1993 while staying up late (I was 13 at the time) and was highly impressed, every show was 'unmissable' it was that good. It pained me to miss so many shows during school terms (it usually airs between the hours of 12am and 3am). I even taped each night's episode for a while with the family VCR's auto-record timer circa 1995, it got too hectic in the end though (not to mention the worn out tapes).

    I noticed the show taking a slow gradual decline not long after Dave got the current bridges and highways backdrop, like he wasn't trying anymore, but by around 1999 the show got about as bad as it was going to get. I consider the Campaign 2000-heart bypass period the worst, fortunately the show's bounced back slightly (not that I watch every segment anymore) and provides a predictable source of entertainment. It's sad to see such a great host putting out fairly substandard fare but at least the opening news-related jokes and the interviews (and some top ten lists) are still good.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It is inevitable that the "Late Show" will forever be compared with the "Tonight Show." That Letterman was snubbed as a possible replacement for Johnny Carson back in 1992 is just another indication that Letterman was not well liked. I am a fan of Leno and "Tonight", but I wouldn't watch Letterman and "Late Show" even if "Tonight" were not on.

    However, I have watched a few episodes over the years, either out of curiosity or because Leno was a re-run. I have never -- repeat never -- enjoyed Letterman or one of his shows. He comes across as too smug, too self-centered, as if he were God's gift to comedy, but not funny. I don't doubt that he has many, many fans, but I am not one of them. I simply do not find his brand of "humor" enjoyable.

    I recall one year he was hosting an awards show, maybe even the Oscars. Trying to be funny, he attempted to make a joke out of the names of Oprah Winfrey and Uma Thurman, by introducing them to each other, "Oprah, Uma ... Uma, Orpah." It didn't work on the live audience, it didn't work on the TV audience. That's just one example why I view David Letterman as one of the least watchable personalities on TV.
  • Letterman was the first talk show I started watching frequently around 1998-1999. It was also the first and only talk show that used to be aired in Sweden (they air one week after they're shown in the US). I really loved this show. It was great to always go to sleep with a smile! It became kind of a personal show too, because when David was having a bad day, you really noticed it on the show. And when he had a good day, you noticed it that too! He really talks about what happen to him in his real life. I guess that he spent almost six months of his show talking about how crappy his computer was... And let's forget to not mention the Les Moonves comments with the "Do you have a problem with me?".

    But competition is fierce. When a competing Swedish channel wanted in on the Late Night TV slice, they bought the rights to Jay Leno (and now recently Conan O'brien). So I started watching that for a while until I realized that David Letterman wasn't as good as I previously had thought. There was much more comedy, altough a bit more brainless comedy, on Jay Leno's show. This is sad, because honestly, it feels like David is more of a down to earth guy. Leno is good, but he's more insultive and snobby.

    But then there is this thing... The thing with the show. It feels cold, pale and stale in its current state. It's awkward to watch the interviews because David doesn't even seem remotely interested in anything. The audience blindly laugh at anything that's not even remotely funny, and worse is that David even know that (you can tell that he's quite mad at it too sometimes).

    This is just too sad.

    What I think is that CBS should do is a total overhaul of everything, from writers to set to computer generated graphics to skits. Redesign the show completely! Lately there have been too much Public Service announcement and commercial-jokes that it seems like the shows turned in to an Most Funny Commercial-show instead! This is really sad because Letterman has done this for years and it'd be ashamed if he exited his twenty years of doing this with a crappy show.

    Meanwhile I'll be watching Conan O'brien. Sorry David...
  • jared_huss12 January 2007
    Wow. I really don't like this show at all. Letterman is funny once or twice and that band leader is ugly and annoying. Leno is much better and tonight I just swapped to see how stupid this show was and I know its a joke and all, but he made fun of president Gerald Ford's death. That was very mean and very unnecessary. Letterman should not be making fun of someone else's death for his show. I don't see Leno doing that. Also, that band leader, whatever his name is, my god so annoying. I can not stand him nor him and his band singing. It sounds like a whole bunch of cats fighting. They really should not sing every title, it is very irritating. Well, my final rating. 3/10
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I thought Dave's treatment of Bill O'Reily and statements he made during the interview were embarrassing and revealing i.e. he basically called O'Reily a liar when told about a nativity scene in Tenn. (I think) and said "I don't believe it. He then attacked O'Reily's show, admitting he'd never seen it, basing his criticism on "what I know and what I've read". Very poor performance by Mr. Letterman. Very disappointing. To display his ignorance so blatantly on national TV was an embarrassment (or should have been) and certainly revealed a bias that surprised and dismayed me. There was nothing funny about this segment of the show. It bothered me so that I write you this long after the event in hopes I can quit thinking about it. Perhaps, then, I will be able to watch your show again and enjoy it.
  • This is the worst excuse for late night in the history of television. I wouldn't suggest watching this show unless you're trying to get to sleep early cause that is the effect of over exposure to Letterman. His jokes are not funny, Paul sucks, he has nothing of his own except that Top 10 list that is only funny once in a blue moon. When I turn over to NBC, I find myself laughing in a way I can't watching Dave, He needs to throw in the freakin towel and call it quits before his rep is tarnished even worse not that he had much of one to begin with. Conan and Jay will rule forever because their humor is directed more towards today's society rather then making old foges laugh like Mr. Letterman. Sorry Dave but your still 3rd place. I will, however, say that you still have more comedic skill then that awful Jimmy Kimmel and your partner kill me now Kilborn.
  • David Letterman is, in many people's opinion (mine included) simply the best TV host and entertainer there has ever been. For what he has done for the talk-show -- completely reinventing it and in turn creating a style that is entirely his own, while maintaining extraordinary consistency (five shows a week for twenty years) -- and for his matchless sense of what makes good television, he deserves to be considered, though still working, as one of the all-time great figures in broadcasting such as Steve Allen, Johnny Carson, and to a lesser extent, Captain Caveman. Oh, and this is his nightly show.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    David when he moved from NBC to CBS brought his own dry witted and really talented sense of humor. Too bad that he did not get the Tonight Show on the former network. As ratings would had been very high for that show.

    Still David can be a bit rude to his guests. But guess that is just the way he is. And how he can be in personality. Though he means no harm nor foul. Despite Jay Leno being nicer, David is still more funnier.

    Jay brings in the older viewers while David brings in the 18-49+ viewers in key groups! Love Letterman though only have been seeing bits and parts lately of him in recent years.
  • Dave had one of his worst interviews ever last night with Bill O'Reilly. Dave came across looking foolish and uneducated when trying to debate Bill. He was also extremely rude to Bill. He told Bill that he believes "60% of what Bill says is crap" but then admitted he never watches or listens to Bill's shows!! Dave has become an extreme left-winger in his political views, but can't seem to come around and admit it. Notice how he is never rude to his extreme left-wing guests like Al Franken....only to conservatives like Bill O'Reilly! Dave....stick to comedy. When you try and debate people like Bill O'Reilly it becomes obvious that you're "not the brightest bulb on the circuit!"
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