Friday, December 28, 2007

Strike Up the Band: Letterman Returns

David Letterman will be back on the air Wednesday, and with his writing staff. Yay.

Jay Leno also will be back, but without his writers. Not that I watched him before, but this is one Scab I won't be picking when I turn my TV dial.

In honor of Dave striking a deal, here's a quick FIVE FAVS entry -- my five favorite individual Letterman shows.

1. The Warren Zevon show. It was just after Zevon announced he was dying, so Dave gave him an entire show. Tremendous.

2. Dave's first show back after 9/11. Dave's monologue struck the perfect notes for a wounded city and nation, as compared with Leno's first monologue after 9/11, which didn't seem as sincere and as genuine. Dave's guest that night was Dan Rather. This is a show they'll be showing clips from years from now, and deservedly so.

3. Pie Night. Any Pie Night. It's always on Thanksgiving, and Dave's mom is featured in a live remote from her Indiana kitchen. I was in the audience for one of his Pie Night shows. I can't remember the pie, but I do remember laughing a lot. Pie Night was canceled this year because of the writer's strike.

4. Dave's first show after his heart surgery. His guests included his entire medical team. Puts life in perspective, no?

5. The Speeded-Up Show. This was back on NBC. Dave wanted to pack an hour and fifteen minutes worth of comedy (or something like that) into one hour, so the entire broadcast ran at a slightly faster speed so the show would still only take an hour. If I remember correctly there also was a real-time clock clicking in one of the corners. How cool is that?

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