On Letterman and the end of it all

The curious eddies and tributaries coming out of recollection of any “Great Moments” and memories of David Letterman’s career…

… something that if you go with, say a Top 50 List of things would slide in alongside all the “Madonna Meltdown” moments and, oh, the delivery of a fruit basket to GE … or, for that matter Andy Kaufrman on the original morning program… while the 2000s — an era of him more or less coasting — show any great moments of Letterman either needling politicos (McCain and Blagojevich), or the drama of the feud with Leno and his sex scandal …

And then, less press or more specialized press gets you this:  you’ve got Harvey Pekar making his political point about GE’s influence on the network news-coverage, zine-star Dishwasher Pete exchanging a friend to go on the show for him (he would later make an appearance after a book collection was released)…

But try this one.  It’s the Academy Awards.  On ABC, if you want to see his career spanning three networks.  And what does he do at the Oscars?


And this is when everyone in attendance knew (and I think it’s fair to say the applause at the end is somewhat tepid, nervous, and polite), and everyone watching at home knew: David Letterman was never going to host an Awards show ever again.  For he violated an unwritten rule:  you are not allowed to drop Cabin Boy in the Academy Awards.

It does take chutzpah, don’t it?

It’s worth mentioning, not mentioned in Conan O’brien’s thank you for coming on the show in 1994, (note to Conan O’brien: everyone’s watching all these shows on the Internet these days and not when it’s on the teevee) — when Letterman plucked out for his 12:35 program against Conan — and Letterman could have really killed Conan O’brien’s career at this moment, O’brien was not out of the woods — the man he replaced at 12:35 and stylistically something not competing against Conan … Tom Snyder — who, had his own set of interview subjects.

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