Skip to main content

Good Night, and Good Luck


"Nobody knows what the future holds
And it's bad enough just getting old
Live my life in self-defense
You know I love the past cuz I hate suspense"
                                                      Diane Young by Vampire Weekend


Much has been written about the retirement of David Letterman from late-night television. I paused before adding to the pile of tributes/good riddance write-ups cluttering the Internet of late. In the end, this is more of a personal moment for me than initially anticipated, with a reach far beyond the talk show host, himself.

In 1992, Johnny Carson ended his 30-year-run as the king of late-night, departing The Tonight Show for the greener pastures of retirement. Jay Leno took over, and things were never the same. I enjoyed Johnny. He came across as warm, amiable, like a nice grandfather. Someone a couple of generations removed, yet still fun to watch.

I never warmed to Leno and his brand of humor. Letterman was always my cup of preferred tea. When he didn't get The Tonight Show gig in '92, and started his Late Show on CBS in 1993, I gladly watched him instead of Jay. The dovetailing of the CBS show airing earlier, plus Dave getting older, meant that it was a more subdued affair than his NBC Late Night show, but that was alright.

On May 21st, 1992, Johnny's penultimate show, Bette Midler sang to him, and I remember sitting in sophomore English class the next day as my peers discussed what a big deal it was that he was leaving, how it was the end of an era. Television viewership was different then. Do high school students still watch late-night talk shows? Do they care about David Letterman retiring?

This is what I was getting at earlier in reference to Dave's exit from television reaching far beyond just the man. Our lives tend to coincide with those of others. Sometimes we refer to this as an 'era,' while other times it's simply familiarity or the lack of change. And then, well, things do change.

I took note when Johnny Carson retired because it was known to be a big deal. I'm taking note of David Letterman retiring because, for one, I've always enjoyed him humor, but mainly because he's been a prominent late-night host for 33 of my 39 years. The older we get, the less we seem to like for things to change. We don't deal with it as well.

David Letterman is retired now. That's a change. It's a long-time familiarity that has ended. In the grand scheme of things, it's small potatoes. Overall, it's another sign I'm getting old. Perhaps that's the real issue?


Comments

Popular posts from this blog

3/4

Ok, we're now three-fourths of the way through this year's calendar, so I thought I'd rank the thirty-eight 2017 movies I've seen so far.

Here they are....


1. A Quiet Passion
2. Baby Driver
3. Dunkirk
4. Get Out
5. Kedi
6. A Ghost Story
7. Wonder Woman
8. Columbus
9. Brad's Status
10. Marjorie Prime
11. Maudie
12. Logan
13. Spider-Man: Homecoming
14. Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 2
15. Brigsby Bear
16. Atomic Blonde
17. The Big Sick
18. Split
19. Kong: Skull Island
20. It
21. Wind River
22. A Cure for Wellness
23. The Hitman's Bodyguard
24. Norman
25. Kingsman: The Golden Circle
26. Logan Lucky
27. Alien Covenant
28. Ghost In the Shell
29. War for the Planet of the Apes
30. Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales
31. Life
32. Annabelle: Creation
33. Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets
34. My Cousin Rachel
35. Baywatch
36. The Bye Bye Man
37. mother!
38. It Comes at Night


It will be interesting to see what the last three months of the year brin…

The Best Superhero Movies of All-Time, Revisited

We are just a few days away from the North American release of Avengers:Infinity War. While I am dutifully going to see it opening night, it's not a film I'm looking forward to. It is (spoiler) part one of two, which means we can expect plenty of plot threads left dangling when the credits roll. In other words, part two will probably be better, and provide some actual resolution. Also, Thanos looks like a CGI yawn-fest. Hopefully, I'll be proved wrong.
Nevertheless, this is a good opportunity to rank (again) the major superhero movies (Marvel and otherwise) that we've had so far. As you know, I love making a list, and this one is going to be a definitive one! If you don't see a film on here, it's because I haven't seen it (the first two Thors, Iron Man 2, some of the X-Men features, etc.).   Alright, here we go.

Walk and Chew Gum

Yesterday marked a touchstone moment in the U.S., as students across the country participated in "walkouts." This was an occasion for students to express an array of thoughts and emotions, ranging from a desire for stricter gun control, to simply sorrow over the loss of so many of their peers to school shootings. They were peaceful protests, but protests nonetheless. Where you're at on the spectrum of agreeing or disagreeing with what they did may vary, though not wanting to get shot in your school seems pretty reasonable to me.
Some folks have taken to sharing a meme on social media platforms this week -- in direct anticipation and response to the walkouts -- that encourages students to "walk up, not out." Following are suggestions provided for the walk ups:

Walk UP to the kid who sits ALONE and ask him to join your groupWalk UP to the kid who never has a voluntary partner and offer to be hersWalk UP to your teachers and thank them!Walk UP to someone and JUST …