Posted by: suek2001 | May 21, 2015

There is no off position on the genius switch.–David Letterman

In about 90 minutes, I will be watching the last episode of “The Late Show With David Letterman”…

I have been reading tributes and watching videos all day….I have been up late for the last month or so, savoring all of the moments untill they are no more…

…….and yet I have no idea what I want to say in this blog. So, I will just write whatever pops into my head…

I rarely ever watched “Late Night With David Letterman”..I was in my early teens when that show aired and my bedtime was 9pm sharp…so late night TV of any kind was a mystery to me…

Still, a few times my Mom would let me stay up and watch Carson when John Denver was on and when I was out of high school, I could stay up late and watch his final years…

My first true memory of The Late Show was the first episode. I thought he got hosed in the Tonight Show transition but with CBS, he made the best of an ugly situation..and his show was stellar…and  it’s still one of the funniest episodes of television to air…

Yes, it was less weird than his NBC show…maybe more commercial on some level but was struck me was his sardonic take on things….He seemed a bit cynical…and yet had a Midwestern sense of honesty and fairness..

I discovered the writing genius of Mike Royko in 1988 and his words readied me for Letterman’s viewpoint…that nagging question of picking at absurdities to find the truth…the joy…the celebration of what life truly is…Letterman loved to use everyday people on his show to illustrate some point about life…and if a monkey cam or a velcro suit or a deli owner could bring a smile to the faces of the collective that watched him, than that’s what we needed..

We needed his words of strength and courage in those days after 9/11..I still hear him say in that tentative style he used that whole week, “I have on my card…a little joke…are we ready for a little joke?”

The joke would bring a few chuckles and in the weeks to come the laughs would come even more….random, repeated jokes were his trademark..His Oprah log…..His random playing of “Old Turkey Buzzard”…and the weird joy of “Will it Float?”….with a girl that could do wonders with a hula hoop and another girl that sent sparks flying as she made use of a grinder on her body….

I know I laughed..at so much….In the end, it wasn’t all those celebrity interviews that I tuned in for..it was Dave….Dave made me fall for Regis…and made me want to stay up for Jack Hannah…Dave gave the respect due Steve Martin for his banjo prowess…No other late night host could do that…and tonight, we lose all that…

I want to say..DON’T GO…as we say goodbye to a show that was a tradition to so many of us…a show that MOCKED traditional shows but at some point, we must let go…

The current crop can claim they were influenced by him..and there are elements that exist but the side-eye view of the cult of celebrity will be gone after tonight…

I have some friends that won’t miss Dave simply because he showed his liberal bias….I find that sad because we have reached a point where we let politics dictate what we watch and who we love…and that’s not me…(and in his defense, the GOP has made itself TOO easy a target as of late)

……but that’s not why you called…….as Letterman would say…

There is one other element of the show that I will miss…Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra:

Here are their names for they deserve to be mentioned too:

Current members:

Paul Shaffer
Anton Fig
Felicia Collins
Sid McGinnis
Will Lee
Tom Malone
Aaron Heick
Frank Greene

Past Members:

Steve Jordan
Hiram Bullock
Bernie Worrell
Bruce Kapler
Al Chez

These men and women have given themselves musically every night for the past 22 years on the Late Show…They are the house band for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame ceremonies…and they are seriously underrated in their contributions to Letterman’s legacy…

I will never hear “Gimme Some Lovin'” by Spencer Davis Group…Chicago’s “25 or 6 to 4” or even Micheal Jackson’s “Bad” in the same way again..I will miss hearing them every night…and if they ever go collectively on tour, I will buy a ticket…

They are not just a cover band but they have augmented so many artists who have been on the show over the years….with class, grace and a reverence for great music…

I want to thank David Letterman for giving us music lovers a helluva band these last 33 years…

So, this is goodbye to Mr. Letterman…My prayer tonight is that he, Regina, Harry and the entire staff of the Late Show find peace, prosperity for eternity…They have all earned it for all the joy they have given…

It is now time for all of us to “hang on to our wigs and keys” for one last time…

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