I am an unashamed fan of television entertainment. It is my high-on-acid pipe dream to work on any comedy television show as a writer. But I'm in my mid-30s, past my prime as far as writers go and honestly, not a very good writer. So I do what I can do and that's being a fan.
I have been a fan of late night talkshow television for as long as I can remember. I remember my Mom letting me stay up to watch Carson when Dad was on business trips and specifically remember watching Johnny's last show with Mom.
But in college I gravitated towards David Letterman. Leno was never funny and Dave was kooky and silly but he challenged guests instead of lobbing softballs. I love stupid human and pet tricks and I roll anytime the guys read Oprah transcripts or dump 3000 bouncy balls or 50 watermelon off the roof of the Ed Sullivan theatre. And it isn't the holiday season until Jay Thomas tell the Lone Ranger story and then knocks the meatball off of the Late Show Christmas tree with a football. If you don't know what that last sentence means, then keep watching Leno.
Then there are the hysterical bits; Big Ass Ham, Know your Current Events, Alan Kalter, Will it Float?, Is This Anything?, and visits to the Hello Deli just to name a few. All Awesomesauce.
Dave's best shows have been the emotional ones. His interview with Christopher Reeve, post-accident with a breathing machine controlling his speech was one of the most moving things I have ever seen.
There was his first show back post-heart surgery where Dave introduced the medical team that operated and rehabbed him. I'll never forget how he hugged one nurse and rocked her and then proclaimed; "These are the people who saved my life!!!"
His first show post 9/11 is the one I watch and cry over every year. The footage of Dan Rather trying to hold it together and Dave trying to comfort him is just heart wrenching. This is my connection to 9/11. I didn't know how to comprehend to that event. It was on television and I couldn't understand that it was real. It wasn't until I saw Dave's pain that I started to process the events in New York, DC, and Pennsylvania. I mean no disrespect, but that's what it took to acknowledge these events.
But this week, Dave celebrated 30 years on the air and he's coming up on 20 years at CBS. Just wanted to take a moment and say thanks to a man who has brought me thousands of hours of laughter and who has also demonstrated from tim to time what's really important in life.