Thanks, Dave!

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screencap of David Letterman's Last Show May 20th 2015
David Letterman’s Last Show May 20th 2015

David Letterman ended his 33 year run as a late night host Wednesday night. Although I feel Dave has been ‘phoning-it-in’ the past few years, there is no mistake all the other hosts in late night owe a big thanks to Dave for opening the talk show genre to just about any creative wild idea. Thanks, Dave for all of the fun.

I’ve been a fan of David Letterman long before he became a talk show host. He was a stand up comic who appeared many times on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and he had guest hosted the show. Dave also appeared on the various game shows on daytime TV in the 70s like The $25,000 Pyramid and The Hollywood Squares. He also was a cast member on “The Starland Vocal Band Show” in the summer of 1977.

Then came his proto late night show “The David Letterman Show” which debuted in daytime in June of 1980. It was canceled in October of the same year but it gave birth to some of the bits Letterman would make famous in his late night shows – Stupid Pet Tricks is one that comes to mind.

The show was edgy for a time period known for soap operas and game shows so no wonder it failed.

My favorite bit was always a visit from Mrs. Marv Mendenhall, played by show writer Edie McClurg, who would show up six years later in Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.

Two years later NBC gave David a proper late night slot at 12:30 am and the rest is history.

Although I feel Dave has been “phoning-it-in” for the past few years, he still gets props for being a pioneer for all the other late night hosts. I also wanted to note that his show has been great for debuting new bands on a regular basis. I’ve discovered some new music while watching Late Night over the years.

I will especially miss the show before Christmas break when he had Jay Thomas on telling his Lone Ranger story and throwing a football to knock off a meatball on the show’s Christmas tree. The show would wrap with Darlene Love performing “Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)”.

You will be missed Dave.

[This blog post brought to you by Toast on a Stick]

The David Letterman Show (1980)
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