I used to be a huge David Letterman fan back in the 80s. I had the blue and yellow logo t-shirt, and I still have my copy of “Late Night With David Letterman: The Book”. I’d tape the shows every night (Mon-Thurs) and watch them after I got home from school. Even the most obscure and unpopular characters (Kenny the Gardener, anyone?) were like trusted friends to me.
Adulthood ensued, and I’ve rarely watched it in the past few years. I thought he was going to quit around the time he moved to CBS, because he really seemed to be phoning it in, but he’s still at it. Last week, I was on vacation and stayed up unusually late, so I flipped over to his show. I watched his monologue, a Top Ten List, and “Stump the Band”. I didn’t even come close to laughing.
I noticed that Letterman is still his own audience. He does his trademark mugging after each bit and punchline, as if to say, “I can’t believe they pay us to do this.” But now, his stuff is really not funny, and I can’t believe they pay him to do it. What did it to him? Parenthood? Heart surgery?