I did something last night that I haven’t done for a long time – I stayed up late to watch television.
Last night I watched the final episode of The Late Show with David Letterman. I watched it live, while it was being broadcast.
The fact that staying up late to watch the Letterman show is noteworthy is, well, noteworthy to me.
Typically what I do, and what many people I know do, is I we PVR TV shows and then watch them later when it’s more convenient.
That is if you’re even watching television anymore. Many people don’t even watch television anymore. Either they watch stuff on YouTube or they watch off the Internet from sources that I can’t even begin to understand.
Anyway about Letterman, I remember watching Letterman in the late 80s and early 90s. My friends and I watched Letterman while Johnny Carson was for parents or grandparents. Letterman was young, hip and edgy. He did things that nobody else on TV was doing. He was crazy and unpredictable and fun to watch.
Funny thing is that as I got older I also stopped watching David Letterman. I did not start watching Carson or Jay Leno, it was simply too much effort to stay up late and watch The Late Show.
And even though I could have PVRd the show, it just seemed weird to watch Letterman in the afternoon or earlier in the evening. Letterman was meant to be seen after 11 o’clock.
Funny thing is I have missed most of the big finales for most shows. I’ve never seen the finale for M.A.S.H. or the Sopranos or Breaking Bad. I didn’t see Jay Leno’s finale. I didn’t see Johnny Carson’s finale. I actually recorded the finale of Prisonbreak and never actually watched it.
However two series finales that I did watch were the final episode of Seinfeld and the finale for Lost. Both of which were monumentally disappointing…Lost…I can’t even begin to talk about that bullshit finale.
Which brings me to Letterman’s final episode that aired last night. For his classic Top 10 list he had 10 of his frequent visitors each read an item from the list.
Julia Louis Dreyfus read hers out and and it said something like; thanks for involving me in another disappointing finale.
Fortunately the only monumentally disappointing finale that she was involved in so far was Seinfeld. The finale of the late show with David Letterman was beautiful and heartfelt.
Letterman was the perfect balance of self-deprecating, serious, and humourus.
The finale for Letterman was probably the best finale. Of course he’s got some pretty crappy competition that he’s been up against but for me, the final episode of The Late Show with David Letterman was absolutely perfect.
Dave, I wish you well in your retirement. You are, and will always be the king of late-night television.