Tag Archives: David Letterman

Last Late Night

The older I get, the less late night TV I watch. Sad, but true. Although I don’t watch him regularly nowadays, I’m still not ready for David Letterman to retire. He was always the man back in the old days, and whenever I’ve tuned him in over the past few months, I usually have a good time. I’ve got friends and acquaintances who work for a few of the various shows, and just about all of them are big Dave fans. So, it’s going to be sad to see him leave.
The next year will be interesting to see the parade of guest stars coming by to say one last farewell. You can bet, however, that the final guest of the always loyal Dave will be the always loyal Bill Murray. The two of them have a great chemistry, and Bill is always an audience-pleaser. Bill was his first guest on his first late night show in 1982, and this clip shows why he comes back regularly. Legend has it that Bill came into the writers room that afternoon with a bottle of vodka and forced the writers to imbibe, and that is the explanation for the final segment here. Enjoy.

Bill Hicks:

I never knew Bill Hicks until after he died.

But whenever I see a list of the top standup comics of all time, I know I can disregard it if I don’t see Bill Hicks listed on it.

Whenever standup comics hang around talking about the great ones, Bill Hicks’ name eventually comes up.

When I was working for John Cleese, we were discussing the same matter. I had heard of him but somehow had never seen any of his performances, and told John that I didn’t think there was ever a full-length Bill Hicks performance on video.

“Oh, but there is! I’ve got it!” he told me, and retrieved the bulky videocassette, then insisted I watch it. And he was right. Like all great comics, he spoke truth to power, with a righteous indignation and anger that was also extremely funny.

Why haven’t most people heard of him? Well, Bill Hicks passed away on February 26, 1994, twenty years ago this week, of pancreatic cancer. He was 32 years old.

During a week when we’re all remembering the loss of another of our great comics with Harold Ramis’ passing, I was reminded of this equally sad anniversary (thank you comicmix.com).

A few months before he died, he performed on David Letterman’s show, but Dave cut it from the show before it aired. Then fifteen years later, he did something unheard of: he apologized for cutting it and aired it, with Bill’s mother Mary as his on-air guest. It remains fresh, undated, and funny. In fact, if Bill Hicks had lived, we might not have to be dealing with Miley Cyrus. But why am I telling you all this? See for yourself…