My Last Thoughts on Letterman

May 21st, 2015

Growing up in Indiana, David Letterman was talked about like a god.  He grew up in Broad Ripple, Indiana, which is an artsy area.  It’s kind of the Greenwich Village of Indiana (oh come on—it’s not THAT hard to imagine).

Letterman began his career as a smart aleck weatherman on the local news in Indianapolis.  I didn’t live in Indy at the time so I’ve only seen the clips, however, I can say definitively that Indiana is a very polite place where his sort of antics would certainly stand out.

The church I attended (albeit not too often) was also where Dave’s mother, Dorothy, went.  She always sat in the front while I typically parked myself on the back pew.  Still, I could always see her from behind, and I can attest to the fact that the masses would always part for her as she passed.  This may seem a bit melodramatic, but it’s a big church and is the best way to describe how much she was adored by Hoosiers everywhere and especially by her fellow Presbyterians.

For most of his career, Letterman was known for his lightning quick witted interview style and recurring spots that became uniquely associated with his brand of late night television.  I still like him, but almost everyone I know thinks he turned out to be an ass. I get that, but I still think it’s funny because in my mind he’s the ultimate smart ass and it fits with what I like in humor.  I may be conservative politically, but when it comes to comedy I like it a bit more on the edgier side. That’s what I like about Jon Stewart whose show I appeared on.  Even though his shtick is to be tough on Republicans, he was cool with me.

As years went by, Letterman became more and more politically liberal which caused many of my friends to leave him for good.

Last night, Paul and I watched his final show and I loved it.  It was fun watching old clips from prior shows and the Top Ten list was hilarious.  I put out a message on social media about how Paul said good riddance to Dave while I was sad to have to say goodbye.  Overwhelmingly, people out there agreed with Paul.

Paul’s perspective on Letterman is a bit more unique than most people’s since he was once a guest on Letterman.  Apparently, during the interview, Letterman wasn’t even looking at him, so Paul wasn’t real thrilled and finally waved his hand like, “Hello, anybody here?”  Unfortunately, that was kind of classic Letterman.  Punky and a bit rude while also being kind of funny.  Paul certainly didn’t appreciate his style and apparently a lot of people agree with him. As far as their concerned, he was angry and it was time for him to go.

That’s not entirely surprising.  It’s hard sometimes for people not to overstay their welcome.  Perhaps for most people, Letterman hung on too long.  A lot of people think he lost it after the big Leno versus Letterman war.  I always thought Leno was a nicer fellow but Letterman was more talented.  However, I do see how not being nice over an extended period of time can wear on most people.

Yes, I didn’t really want to see Dave go, but after sleeping on it I think it’s for the best.  I’m also eager to see how Stephen Colbert does in this spot. I appeared on his show as well, and I like him.

My favorite David Letterman moment was also one that was bittersweet.  It was right after the 9/11 attack and he was talking about Rudy Giuliani and the spirit of New Yorkers and especially the first responders.  His message was how Americans never quit in the face of evil.

Whether you love or hate Letterman, I think everyone can agree that on that day Letterman was truly a flag waving heartfelt American guy.

Thanks Dave!