I can’t stand Letterman, in a general sense. Being completely honest, I can’t stand any of the talk show hosts on TV. Nobody will ever be able to fill Johnny Carson’s shoes. However, there were those rare interviews that just went completely off script and mayhem would shortly ensue (Terry Garr showering comes immediately to mind) The recent segment with Paris Hilton is a fine example of this,
Paris Hilton, The Late Show, Sept. 30, 2007 h/t to UPROXX, Remembering David Letterman’s Most Awkward Interviews
It was these types of moments that kept me from wandering back to my room to re-experience 1950’s television.
Johnny Carson. Why can no one fill Carson’s shoes? It’s simple, really. Watching Carson was one of my first forms of rebellion. My bedtime was 10 pm in my pre-teen years. I could wheedle watching the news out of mom and dad, but it was definately bedtime when the monologue came on. But, if I was quiet, I could crawl back out and hide behind dad’s easy chair, and watch Carson anyway. Like so many things that were ‘for adults’, it was the simple fact that I wasn’t supposed to be watching that made it so good.
By the time I hit my late teens, TV watching was something I rarely did anyway. I was a voracious reader by that time in my life; SF 24/7. Which is why I only had the tiny b&w set. Didn’t need a large screen to catch the occasional news cast.
Reading requires concentration though, and that’s something I have increasing difficulty with these days. So I’m back in front of the boob tube more often than I would have ever been; but I still don’t watch the talk shows. TLC, Discovery, History or Sciffy. If I’m not learning something, Then the only entertainment worth watching is going to be SF related.
…and the answers are never hermetically sealed in a mayonnaise jar on Funk and Wagnall’s porch any more.