David Letterman (born April 12, 1947) is an American television host and
comedian. He hosts the late night television talk show, Late Show
with David Letterman, broadcast on CBS. Letterman has been a fixture
on late night television since the 1982 debut of Late Night with
David Letterman on NBC. Letterman recently surpassed friend and
mentor Johnny Carson for having the longest late-night hosting career on
US television. (Click
for full Wikipedia article.
Everyone has a purpose in life. Perhaps yours is watching television.
Fall is my favorite season in Los Angeles, watching the birds change
color and fall from the trees.
I saw a robin redbreast in Central Park today, but it turned out to be a
sparrow with an exit wound.
I'm a magical being. Take off your bra. (From Top Ten Elven Pickup
On December 10, 1975, the 13th and final episode of Mel Brooks' When
Things Were Rotten aired on ABC.
Hoping to do for the Middle Ages what Blazing Saddles did for the
Old West, the absurdist comedy premiered in the top 20 but quickly
tanked. A critical success, it couldn't survive in its Wednesday 8 pm
time slot opposite Tony Orlando and Dawn on CBS and Little
House on the Prairie on NBC.
In that primitive age- before the Internet, before DVRs, yea, verily,
even before Betamaxes- moms and dads opted for musical variety and
wholesome viewing on the family's two television sets.
It was a shame. In addition to Brooks, the series boasted top-name
talent. The show's bouncy theme was written by Charles Strouse and Lee
Adams, the guys who did Bye Bye Birdie, Applause, and Annie.
Four episodes were directed by Peter Hunt, better known for directing
the Tony-winning musical 1776 and its movie adaptation.
And it featured great stuff like:
Villain: "Are you ready to tell that to your maker?"
Victim (to camera): "Mel! I didn't do it!"
(YouTube video: Opening credits and theme, "When Things Were Rotten")
Once upon a time when things were rotten Not just food but also kings
were rotten Everybody kicked the peasants Things were bad and that
ain't good Then came Robin Hood... ba-bah!
Soon the band of Merry Men begotten They wore outfits made of plain
green cotton Helping victims was their business Boy oh boy was
business good Good for Robin Hood!
They laughed, they loved, they fought, they drank They jumped a lot
of fences They robbed the rich, gave to the poor Except what they
kept for expenses!
So when other legends are fogotten We'll remember back when things
were rotten Yay for Robin Hood!
Published Thursday, November 22, 2012 @ 8:30 AM EST
WKRP in Cincinnati: "Turkeys Away" (Season 1, Episode 7, aired 10/30/1978)
Mr. Carlson is beginning to feel useless at the new formatted rock station so he
decides to create a big Thanksgiving Day promotion. His idea? Get a helicopter,
with a banner attached to it saying "Happy Thanksgiving From WKRP", and drop
live turkeys from the helicopter. What could go wrong?
(YouTube video: "The turkeys are hitting the ground
like sacks of wet cement!")
Two legendary talk show hosts with entirely different personalities and
approaches; yet the prosaic King and the cosmopolitan Cavett both killed
on The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson earlier this year.
(YouTube video: Larry King inhabits the body of Geoff the Robot.
(YouTube video: Including such delights as a joke based on an obscure
reference to Edward Gibbon's Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.)
Published Tuesday, November 13, 2012 @ 12:55 AM EST
Failure to write a concession speech is what sealed Mitt Romney's fate:
(YouTube video: "Election Night" episode, The West Wing)
Sam Seaborn: You wrote a concession? Toby Ziegler: Of course I wrote
a concession. You want to tempt the wrath of the whatever from high atop
the thing? Sam Seaborn: No. Toby Ziegler: Then go outside, turn
around three times and spit. What the hell's the matter with you?
Published Tuesday, October 23, 2012 @ 12:29 AM EDT
John William “Johnny” Carson (October 23, 1925 - January 23, 2005) was
an American television host and comedian, known for 30 years as host of The
Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (1962–1992). Carson received six
Emmy Awards, the Governor Award, and a 1985 Peabody Award. He was
inducted into the Television Academy Hall of Fame in 1987. Johnny Carson
was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 1992 and received a
Kennedy Center Honor in 1993. Although his show was already successful
by the end of the 1960s, during the 1970s Carson became an American icon
and remained so until his retirement in 1992. Click
for full article.
(A portion of David Letterman's 2005 tribute show for Johnny Carson.)
One of Carson's funniest routines was Carnac the Magnificent, an
alleged psychic who would hold to his head a sealed envelope, divine and
announce the answer, then open the envelope and read the question. He
adapted the bit from routines previously performed by Steve Allen and
Ernie Kovacs, but Carson perfected the format.
Herewith are some of the more memorable Carnac gags. For the complete
list, go to the source at www.nightscribe.com,
But be certain to watch the video at the end...
A: Peter Pan. Q: What do you use to fry a peter?
A: Mount Baldy. Q: How do you play piggyback with Telly Savales?
A: A, B, C, D, E, F, G. Q: What were some of the earlier forms of
A: Clean air, a virgin and a gas station open on Sunday. Q: Name
three things you won't find in Los Angeles.
A: Black and white and twenty feet tall. Q: Describe Sister Mary Kong.
A: An unmarried woman. Q: What was Elizabeth Taylor between 3 and 5
pm on June 1, 1952?
A: Cyclone. Q: What do call the clone of a guy named Cy?
A: ”Hi diddly dee.“ Q: How do you say "Good morning" to
your diddly dee?
A: The Orient express. Q: What is a drink made with soy sauce and
A: Gatorade. Q: What does an alligator get on welfare?
A: Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition. Q: What's the best thing
to do if you swallow a hand grenade?
A: Until he gets caught. Q: How long does a United States Congressman
A: Kumquat. Q: What do you say when calling your quat?
A: Defrost. Q: On a cold morning, what forms on de-grass?
A: Gunga din. Q: What do you hear when you put an amplifier in your
A: Igloo. Q: What do you use to keep your ig from falling off?
A: Shoo be doo be doo. Q: What do you look for when you're tracking a
shoo be doo be?
A: Trapper John. Q: What do you call an outhouse built on quicksand?
A: Rub-a-dub-dub. Q: What does a masseuse do to your dub-dub?
A: Zeppo Marx. Q: What do you get when something gets caught in your
A: Touchback. Q: What's the smart thing to do if a Dallas Cowgirl
A: The big ten. Q: Describe the five finalists in the Miss Universe
A: All the President's Men. Q: Who won't be let out to see the
A: Bifocal. Q: Name a focal that goes both ways.
A: Timbuktu. Q: What comes after Timbuk one?
A: R-O-L-A-I-D-S. Q: How does a stupid person spell “backgammon?”
A: Jello and “Charlie's Angels.” Q: What looks delicious,
quivers all over and can't talk?
A: The Loch Ness Monster. Q: Who will they find sooner than Jimmy
A: The diamond lane. Q: What does Zsa Zsa Gabor call the center of a
A: A nine foot base with two feet of powder. Q: Describe Mick
A: Putting on the dog. Q: What do you call dressing up as a tree?
A: "Yes man." Q: What should you answer to everything
George Foreman says?
A: You asked for it. Q: How do you get it?
A: Big Ben, Joe Namath and the candidates' campaign promises. Q: Name
a clock, a jock and a crock.
Published Friday, September 28, 2012 @ 12:05 AM EDT
Star Trek: The Next Generation (ST:TNG) premiered 25 years ago
today, the week of September 28, 1987, to an eager audience of 27
million viewers. With seven seasons and 178 episodes, ST:TNG surpassed
the original series' 79 episodes and three year (1966-1969) run on NBC. ST:TNG's
two-hour finale, "All Good Things...", aired the week of May 23, 1994.
Both series were created by Gene
Roddenberry. ST:TNG is set in the 24th century, 80 years
after than the original series.
TNG was broadcast in first-run syndication. Like the original
series, it remains popular in syndicated reruns. Three
additional Star Trek spin-offs followed The Next Generation:
Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993–1999), Star Trek: Voyager (1995–2001),
and Star Trek: Enterprise (2001–2005). There are also 22
half-hour episodes of Star Trek: The Animated Series which
originally aired on Saturday mornings on NBC in 1973-74.
In its seventh season, Star Trek: The Next Generation became the
first syndicated television show to be nominated for the Emmy Award for
Best Dramatic Series. The show received numerous recognitions, including
Emmy Awards, Hugo Awards, and a Peabody Award. Click
for the full Wikipedia article.
"Relics," TNG's 130th episode (the fourth episode of
the sixth season), features James Doohan as Montgomery Scott, the
legendary chief engineer of the original series. Technobabbled into the
24th century, this is no mere cameo appearance. Scotty appears to be an
antique out of time but -of course- he ends up saving another starship
named Enterprise. And kudos to LeVar Burton (Geordi LaForge) for
holding his own in the presence of an iconic scenery chewer.
...when "satire" in The Onion
is about the only honest, objective view you'll get of this abysmal
Sadly, Nation Knows Exactly How Colorado Shooting's Aftermath Will
(The Onion, July 20, 2012)
WASHINGTON-Americans across the nation confirmed today that,
unfortunately, due to their extreme familiarity with the type of tragedy
that occurred in a Colorado movie theater last night, they sadly know
exactly how the events following the horrific shooting of 12 people will
While admitting they "absolutely hate" the fact they have this
knowledge, the nation's 300 million citizens told reporters they can
pinpoint down to the hour when the first candlelight vigil will be held,
roughly how many people will attend, how many times the county sheriff
will address the media in the coming weeks, and when the town-wide
memorial service will be held.
Additionally, sources nationwide took no pleasure in confirming that
some sort of video recording, written material, or disturbing
photographs made by the shooter will be surfacing in about an hour or
"I hate to say it, but we as Americans are basically experts at this
kind of thing by now,” said 45-year-old market analyst Jared Gerson,
adding that the number of media images of Aurora, CO citizens crying and
looking shocked is “pretty much right in line with where it usually is
at this point." "The calls not to politicize the tragedy should be
starting in an hour, but by 1:30 p.m. tomorrow the issue will have been
politicized. Also, I wouldn't be surprised if the shooter's high school
classmate is interviewed within 45 minutes."
"It's like clockwork," said Gerson, who sighed, shook his head, and
According to the nation's citizenry, calls for a mature, thoughtful
debate about the role of guns in American society started right on time,
and should persist throughout the next week or so. However, the populace
noted, the debate will soon spiral out of control and ultimately lead to
nothing of any substance, a fact Americans everywhere acknowledged they
felt "absolutely horrible" to be aware of.
With scalpel-like precision, the American populace then went on to
predict, to the minute, how long it will take for the media to swarm
Aurora, CO, how long it will take for them to leave, and exactly when
questions will be raised as to whether or not violence in movies and
video games had something to do with the act.
The nation's citizens also confirmed that, any time now, some religious
figure or cable news personality will say something unbelievably
insensitive about the tragic shooting.
"Unfortunately, I've been through this a lot, and I pretty much have it
down to a science when President Obama will visit Colorado, when he will
meet with the families of those who lost loved ones, and when he will
give his big speech that people will call 'unifying' and 'very
presidential,'" Jacksonville resident Amy Brennen, 32, said, speaking
for every other person in the country. "Nothing really surprises me when
it comes to this kind of thing anymore. And that makes me feel terrible."
"Oh, and here's another thing I hate I know," Brennen continued, "In
exactly two weeks this will all be over and it will be like it never
(YouTube video, The Andy Griffith Show: "Opie the Birdman")
When I remember watching Andy and Opie and Barney and Aunt Bee, I can't
help but smile. There's no greater compliment.
Andrew Samuel "Andy" Griffith (June 1, 1926 – July 3, 2012) was an
American actor, director, producer, Grammy Award-winning Southern-gospel
singer, and writer. He gained prominence in the starring role in
director Elia Kazan's A Face in the Crowd (1957) before he became
better known for his television roles, playing the lead characters in
the 1960–1968 situation comedy The Andy Griffith Show and
in the 1986–1995 legal drama Matlock. Griffith died on July
3, 2012 at the age of 86. (Click
here for full article.)