Late Show with David LettermanLatest News and Opinion
Posted Thursday 9/13/18 at 11:07PM EDT
Madonna's anti-David Letterman letter she wrote after her infamous Late Show appearance is up for auction
In the handwritten May 1994 letter addressed to "fellow revolutionaries," Madonna addressed her notorious profanity-laced interview with Letterman in which she uttered the F-bomb 14 times.
Posted Friday 9/07/18 at 12:18PM EDT
David Letterman made a surprise appearance at Paul Shaffer's Las Vegas show
The former Late Show bandleader's Las Vegas show, Paul Shaffer's The Shaf-Shifters, featured a Letterman cameo on Thursday night. Shaffer's former boss performed 15 minutes of stand-up comedy, joking: “Paul Shaffer and I met years ago at a Scientology mixer."
Posted Thursday 8/30/18 at 2:16PM EDT
Late Show with David Letterman premiered 25 years ago today -- why isn't it available for streaming?
Letterman launched the CBS version of his late-night talk show on August 30, 1993. But every episode isn't available online 25 years later (and three years after Letterman's retirement). "This is my plea: CBS All Access needs to add The Late Show archives to its service, pronto," says Brett White. "Think about it like this: streaming services like to tout how much content they’re guaranteeing subscribers. The more hours of television, the more bang people think they’re getting for their monthly buck. The Late Show, which ran from 1993 until 2015, aired 4,263 episodes. That’s almost four solid months of bingeing, back-to-back with zero sleep (the way late night comedy was meant to be consumed)!" ALSO: Recalling Letterman's most memorable moments.
Posted Friday 8/17/18 at 1:55PM EDT
How Aretha Franklin inspired reality singing competitions like American Idol
Source: The Washington Post
The Queen of Soul expressed interest in 2012 in joining the then-Fox reality singing competition as a judge. As Emily Yahr points out, Idol had a particular connection with Franklin. In 2012, the contestants traveled to Detroit for a special sit-down with her. But it wasn't just Idol that Franklin influenced. "If there was a prize for the song performed most frequently on a reality singing competition show, '(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman' would have an easy shot at the crown," says Yahr. Contestants on everything from The Voice to Nashville Star to America's Got Talent "wanted to be like her, and they wanted to sing like her," says Yahr. "Franklin songs from 'Respect' to 'Chain of Fools' to 'Ain’t No Way' continue to be a reality show staple."
- MTV VMAs producer is scrambling to put together a tribute: "She’s one of the all-time greats so we have to do her justice"
- Franklin's version of the A Different World theme song is the only one that matters
- Late-night hosts pay tribute to Franklin: Trevor Noah recalled growing up to Franklin's music in a a “between the scenes” video
- Don Cheadle recalled to Jimmy Kimmel texting with Franklin
- From Scandal to GLOW: How TV and movies used Franklin's songs
- Scandal first use of an Aretha Franklin was her cover of "Bridge Over Troubled Water"
- Watch David Letterman interview Franklin in 1981 and see her Late Show appearances between 1994 and 2014
# TOPICS: Aretha Franklin, American Idol, A Different World, GLOW, Late Night with David Letterman, Late Show with David Letterman, MTV Video Music Awards, Scandal, Don Cheadle, Trevor Noah, Reality TV
Posted Thursday 8/16/18 at 1:39PM EDT
Aretha Franklin dies: Remembering The Queen of Soul's most memorable TV performances
"Aretha Franklin's was the voice of the 20th century," says Jack Hamilton in a tribute to the iconic performer. "No other singer left such a definitive mark on the course of popular music—simply put, there is singing before Aretha Franklin, and there is singing after her." Franklin's voice made its TV debut at age 19 on Jack Paar's Tonight Show. By her third TV appearance, singing "Won't Be Long" on The Steve Allen Show in 1964, "her mastery of both the piano and her performance was captivating," says Naima Cochrane. In 1973, Franklin became one of the rare performers to sing live on Soul Train (most performers used lip-sync tracks), singing "Day Dreaming." Introducing this performance, host Don Cornelius said, “I consider myself very fortunate to have lived on earth during her career, and that I was able to see and hear what she has done. She deserves all the titles she has been given, for she is the Queen.” In 2014, Franklin showed that her voice was still great while performing a cover of Adele's "Rolling in the Deep" on The Late Show with David Letterman. "In this Letterman performance," says Cochrane, "Franklin brought back longtime backing vocalist Cissy Houston (who possibly didn’t care to be there, judging from her expressions during the performance), and proved she hadn’t lost a step or a note, nor had her unique gift for transforming and elevating already iconic songs faded. In her style of transforming the end of a song, she transitions into 'Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,' playing to the audience with her hand on her hip as though to emphasize her continued reign."
- Longtime Grammys producer Ken Ehrlich recalls Franklin saving him in 1998 when she agreed to sing "Nessum Dorma" at the last minute because Luciano Pavarotti was too ill
- Franklin singing "Nessun Dorma" at the Grammys was the greatest awards show performance ever
- Franklin made only one TV acting appearance, on Room 222 in 1971
- Watch Franklin playing herself on a 1991 episode of Murphy Brown
- Watch Franklin's 60 Minutes profile from 1990
Posted Thursday 5/31/18 at 7:16AM EDT
Howard Stern and David Letterman recalled their spat in final My Next Guest Needs No Introduction episode of the season
Source: The Hollywood Reporter
The shock jock has been appearing on Letterman's talks shows since 1984. Those appearances turned into an off-air friendship in the 1990s -- that is, until Stern would reveal their private conversations on air. Even though Stern kept appearing visiting Letterman's show, he didn't formally apologize until 2011 during a Late Show visit. "I've apologized to a lot of people. And I'll tell you why. I think I did a lot of growing up," Stern told Letterman. "And I do attribute this to psychotherapy. I was just a young man full of rage. Through psychotherapy I started to fall in love with life a little bit. I started to appreciate what was good. … one of those things was my relationship with you. I could appreciate what you had done for me. I had betrayed your trust, and I was ashamed. The reality was I loved you, and I really felt strongly about you." ALSO: Stern reveals Donald Trump asked him to speak at the Republican National Convention.
Posted Monday 5/14/18 at 11:28PM EDT
Former Late Night writer: David Letterman's explanation for not hiring women was a "master class in distortion"
Source: The Cut
Letterman co-created his NBC Late Night show with a woman, his then-girlfriend Merrill Markoe, who served as the original head writer and was responsible for many of its innovations. Yet in 33 years as a late-night host, he mostly avoided bringing in female writers. Nell Scovell, who became the second female Late Night writer when she was hired in its ninth season, dissects Letterman's recent explanation to Tina Fey on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction on his lack of women writers, and finds a straw-man argument, scapegoating, obfuscation and nonsense. Scovell, the author of a recent book on her experience as a female TV writer, writes: "After creating a straw-man argument that women just weren’t interested in working on an award-winning TV show, Letterman sets out to further absolve himself of guilt." Scovell also contacted Markoe, asking why "she may have slipped Letterman’s mind." Markoe wrote back, “Because we were having sex, maybe he remembers me as an intern.”
# TOPICS: David Letterman, Netflix, Late Night with David Letterman, Late Show with David Letterman, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, Merill Markoe, Nell Scovell, Tina Fey, Late Night, Women and TV
Posted Tuesday 5/08/18 at 9:08PM EDT
David Letterman: I should've retired from late-night 10 years ago
Source: Vanity Fair
In his Netflix Emmys For Your Consideration conversation with Jerry Seinfeld, Letterman expressed regret with not leaving his Late Show earlier. “When you’re in show business, it’s so self-consuming and so egomaniacal that you only look at a very small focus, which is yourself,” Letterman said. “If you have the ability and the energy to do that, you should do it. But don’t do it as long as I did. I did it too long. I should have left 10 years ago, because then I could have taken some of that energy and focus and applied it to actually doing something good for humans.”
Posted Friday 5/04/18 at 1:53PM EDT
Tina Fey calls out David Letterman's lack of female writers on his late-night shows
On the new episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, Letterman acknowledged the criticism that he lacked females in his late-night writers' rooms. Letterman said people would ask "why don’t you have women writers? And the best I could come up with was ‘I don’t know.’ I didn’t know why there weren’t women writers. There was no policy against women writers. I always thought, ‘Well, geez, if I was a woman I’m not sure if I would want to write on my nickel-and-dime, dog-and-pony show anyway because we’re on at 12:30.” Fey responded: “Yeah, well, we do want to write on it, though," which resulted in cheers from the audience. “That is my ignorance, and I feel bad for that,” Letterman replied. Meanwhile, former Late Night with David Letterman writer Nell Scovell tweeted that all five of Letterman's Netflix executive producers are male. ALSO: Fey tells Letterman she regrets her much-criticized SNL Charlottesville sketch.
# TOPICS: My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, Netflix, Late Night with David Letterman, Late Show with David Letterman, Saturday Night Live, David Letterman, Nell Scovell, Tina Fey, Late Night, Women and TV
Posted Wednesday 5/02/18 at 10:57PM EDT
David Letterman returns to Ball State University to discuss creating an "ongoing, immersive learning experience" from his donated late-night items
Source: The Star Press
On Wednesday, Letterman met with students in his alma matar's Emerging Media Design and Development program, who are tasked with figuring out how to display the more than 1,000 items Letterman has donated from his talk show past.
Posted Tuesday 3/20/18 at 9:58AM EDT
Drew Barrymore recalls flashing David Letterman: "It's like a distant memory that doesn't seem like me -- but it is me"
Source: E! Online
Since she was back in the Ed Sullivan Theater for Stephen Colbert's Late Show, Barrymore recalled the famous moment from April 12, 1995 when she jumped on Letterman's desk and flashed her breasts for him in honor of his 48th birthday. Barrymore has no regrets, adding: "I literally was like, 'What?' I sometimes think, 'That doesn't feel like me.' It's like a distant memory that doesn't seem like me—but it is me. And that's kind of cool. I'm still down with that. I'm a mother of two. I don't know. I'm such a different person now that it doesn't feel like me, but I'm still into it."
Posted Saturday 1/13/18 at 12:37AM EST
David Letterman’s Netflix talk show would be much better without the “late-night questions”
Willa Paskin says My Next Guest Needs No Introduction offers a “perfectly serviceable interview” of former President Obama, but Letterman’s “questions are late-night questions: They are designed to elicit an expected or predicted bit, not to meander, surprise, or plumb.” As she notes, there is one point where Obama tried to “show Letterman a way to do the new show differently” by “tossing” a question back at the former Late Show host. But Dave would have none of it. In the end, it was Obama who asked the most unpredictable question of the episode: Does Letterman feel lucky? Letterman's Netflix talk show, says Paskin “is pleasant, entertaining, occasionally moving, a little funny, and almost indistinguishable from a standard late-night interview, just stretched out. It is long, but it is not particularly deep. New network, new set, new beard: same Dave. You can take the host out of late night, but you can’t take the late night out of the host. “
- Letterman fawns over his guest more than he should in a “frustrating exercise in talking a lot but, ultimately, saying a little"
- Letterman was never known for his interrogatory skills, so his “borderline small talk” is actually fascinating
- Both men seemed rusty at the art of banter, but it’s clear Obama should’ve been the one interviewing Letterman
- With its bare-bones structure and thoughtful approach, this seems like a self-reward for a long career
- Interviewing Obama is tricky, but there surely should’ve been some new material to be mined from the former president's first interview since leaving office
- It’s clear Letterman wants to talk about substance, no matter whom he's talking to
- There is a self-reflection that runs through the show that maybe Letterman is reassessing what he’s accomplished in life
- The overall production felt synthetic — like a PBS Q&A reimagined by Michael Bay — compared to the pleasant simplicity of the late-night two-shot
Posted Friday 12/22/17 at 2:05PM EST
TV Tattle Exclusive
With audience members being asked to sign non-disclosure agreements and to leave their phones at the studio door, David Letterman's still-untitled Netflix series is shrouded in secrecy. With an assist from local press reports and twitter sightings, here's what we know so far. More...
# TOPICS: My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman, Netflix, Jimmy Kimmel Live!, Late Show with David Letterman, Abdirahman Kahin, Al Franken, Barack Obama, David Letterman, George Clooney, Howard Stern, Ilhan Omar, John Lewis, Malala Yousafzai, Moussa Doualeh, The Howard Stern Show
Posted Tuesday 12/19/17 at 10:26AM EST
Jimmy Fallon carries on David Letterman’s tradition of having Darlene Love sing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”
Source: Entertainment Weekly
Love joined Anna Kendrick and The Roots in performing her holiday classic with classroom instruments. PLUS: Watch a mash-up of Love's annual Letterman appearances
# TOPICS: NBC, Late Night with David Letterman, Late Show with David Letterman, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, Anna Kendrick, Darlene Love, Jimmy Fallon, Christmas, Holiday Programming, Late Night, The Roots
Posted Tuesday 11/21/17 at 9:19PM EST
Would David Letterman have survived his 2009 sex scandal in 2017?
Source: The Cut
PBS’ decision to cut Al Franken out of PBS’ Mark Twain Prize ceremony celebrating Letterman is, says Anna Silman, “a particularly striking of example of just how selective our cultural memory is when it comes to deciding which men are Bad.” As she notes, “while there were no public allegations of sexual harassment made at the time, it’s hard to imagine that a man of Letterman’s influence engaging in affairs with multiple female staffers didn’t involve a fraught and possibly exploitative power dynamic.”