April 02, 2009

They're Not Chanting "Daaaave", They're Booing

Ace takes down Letterman.

Ya' know, I used to be a devoted follower, almost from the very beginning. And I loved all of it - not just the set pieces like throwing stuff off the ten story building, the velcro jump-suit, crushing stuff in the hydrolic press, Larry "Bud" Melman, the Chris Eliot characters, getting Teri Garr to take a shower on camera, but also the little mannerisms and shticklets as well - the cards through the window, Hal "Gurtner", fiddling with the camera, the confetti cannons and so on.

It was funny back in the mid-80's because Dave was young and hip and having fun just jerking everyone around. Unfortunately, over the years he aged but his act didn't. Now that he's a cranky, bitter old coot, what was funny back then just isn't any more, never mind that now he's just phoning it in.

Too bad.

I stopped watching Letterman some time in the late 90's and I must say that I have not regretted that decision in the least.

RAINING CANNED HAMS UPDATE: A flood of correspondence in the Tasty Bits (TM) Mail Sack all ask the same question: Why did Dave go bad?

I will tell you why.

Because he didn't get that richly-deserved Oscar for his walk on in Cabin Boy, that's why.

Enough to scar anybody for life.

Posted by Robert at April 2, 2009 08:21 AM | TrackBack

I think the act has changed. On the surface it's the same thing, but the bitter old coot thing has changed the act. What was once a type of immature male whimsy has become cynical and sarcastic.

Yes, he still does similar things, but the tone is completely different and for his act tone is everything, so the act itself has changed.

Posted by: Fear and Loathing in Georgetown at April 2, 2009 09:25 AM

I almost finished the post by noting that it's one thing to ape the geezer standing on the porch and yelling "You kids! Git off'n my lawn!" and it's something very different to BE the geezer standing on the porch and yelling "You kids! Git off'n my lawn!"

But that would involve far more consideration of the Platonic theory of form than I can handle on my first cup of coffee.

Posted by: Robbo the LB at April 2, 2009 10:03 AM

Carson could get away with being Carson for 30 years, because he was always the genial host, he'd poke fun of everyone, but not in a mean and spiteful way.

Dave started out as the anti-establishment guy. Which is fine and well and good, and even necessary for youth as an act of rebelling against societal norms. But it doesn't work well once you are the establishment. It's why old hippies are so sad to look at. You can't spend your life in opposition.

I think it went south when Leno got Carson's spot over Dave.

Posted by: rbj at April 2, 2009 12:02 PM