Wednesday, May 20, 2015

One Last Ride with the Warrior from the Land of the Midnight Sun

As I have gotten older, it has seemed to me that "late night television" is a relative term.  I get up at 3:00 o'clock in the A.M. six mornings out of every seven.  Thus, for me "late night television" is a show that begins at 9:00 P.M. or, in the late Spring and Summer, any time after sundown.   

Most of my viewing of David Letterman's hi-jinks has taken place in the form of highlights and snippets viewed on YouTube or some such place as opposed to staying awake at night to watch his show at the time it airs.  I take some solace from the fact that Letterman, who is sixty-eight years old, might in fact be asleep by the time the show airs as well.  Nice perk I reckon in taping a show entitled The Late Show with David Letterman in the late afternoon/early evening.  

To the extent that I have ever had any rooting interest - or viewing interest whatsoever - in late-night television, my allegiance (such as it is) has always been with Letterman.  I recall in college watching his original late night broadcast, which aired on NBC following The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson.  At some point - in the early to mid 90's if memory serves - Letterman boogalooed down Broadway to CBS in response to NBC choosing Jay Leno - and not Letterman - to succeed Carson.  I do not recall ever watching a single episode of Leno's Tonight Show although considering how long he occupied the host's chair, it is certainly possible that I did.  Or maybe I simply never did.  I know that had Leno spent as much time with the great Warren Zevon as Letterman did, then maybe I would have tuned into his program.  From Zevon's first appearance in 1982 to his final appearance in 2002, he always had a home on Letterman's program.  

Tonight is David Letterman's final The Late Show.  I shall not be awake when this one airs, unless the Rangers game runs late and I am still awake as the latter ends and the former begins.  At some point I shall watch at least the end of tonight's farewell to see how he signs off.  Having watched again yesterday how he signed back on the air on September 19, 2001 following the terror attacks of September 11, 2001, I have faith that he shall take measure of the occasion and rise to meet it.   

-AK   

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