I have probably told this story before, but I’m not checking the Archives to confirm it. (Besides, the Archives aren’t working yet, anyway)
I was 12 years old and it was New Years’s Eve. Mom and Dad had let me stay up to watch the Guy Lombardo New Years Eve Special on CBS. At 11PM CST, the Big Ball dropped in New York City and I watched Guy’s Last Appearance. (Dick Clark took over the next year)
But, I wasn’t sleepy and it wasn’t really New Years in Mississippi for another hour. So, I changed the channel over to NBC to see what they were doing.
It was that night, I discovered Johnny Carson. And from that night on, I became hooked on Late Night TV. During Carson’s last week as host of The Tonight Show in May of 1992; I recorded the whole week on my trusty VCR. I had no idea, that his shows would be distributed later on VHS and DVDs.
When Dave Letterman started hosting the Late Show, I only became really a fan after shows like “Ham Sculpture”, and the “360-degree Camera Rotation” show. (The broadcast image rotated by the minute turning like a clock hand) and of course, actress Terri Garr being begged to take a shower on camera and then later doing it.
When Dave ended his show at NBC, I taped that show, as well, and followed him to CBS.
My sons alerted me to the genius of Craig Ferguson, when he appeared on the Late, Late Show following Letterman’s Late Show on CBS. It took awhile for me to get past Ferguson’s character on The Drew Carey show; but I came to really like Ferguson’s style of interviewing and his “whatever-nobody’s-really-watching” attitude.
So, I’ve been thinking about Dave Letterman’s Final show airing tomorrow night. (Almost to the day, 23 years after Carson’s Last Show) No need to record that on to my DVR. I’m sure YouTube will have copies for eternity. I hope that it will be a finale’ with the caliber worthy of eternity.
Currently, with many talk shows ending this year, I’ve watched my share of finales. Until I see Dave’s finale; Craig Ferguson holds the current title as best finale this year. Ferguson featured a star-studded opening musical number that, I think, inspires all us “wannabe stars” to keep working like everybody’s watching; when in fact, they may not be. Dave Letterman is maybe retiring for good, but I’ll keep “banging on”.