James Corden, Norman Lear, and TV On The Radio.
PLUS: Dave does an impersonation; Dave is measured; trouble at “Today”; the Great American Smoke-Out; how we’re fighting the flu; a Top Ten list; and a class on Turkey Preparation 101”
“ . . . and now, the man in the pork pie hat . . . . . . . . David Letterman!”
- “Charlie Manson is getting married. It’s expected to be a beautiful wedding. She’ll be in white; he in orange.”
Dave opened with another of his impressions. He turns his back to the audience to prepare. He then turns back around and old-man’s a “Ticket for one to ‘Hunger Games.”
Hey, who is this? A guy enters with a tape measure around his neck. He eyeballs Dave a bit, then snaps the tape measure and takes Dave’s neck size. He then has Dave lift his arms and he measures his chest. He continues with an sleeve measurement. Dave is confused. The guy orders Dave to spread ‘em. Dave widens his legs and the guy then measures his inseam. A bewildered Dave says, “But . . .but I didn’t order a tailor . . .” The guy finishes Dave’s inseam measurement and says, “I’m not a tailor.” He exits.
Not sure, but Dave feels he may have just been accosted. Actually, I’m not sure what he said because I was the “tailor” and didn’t hear what he said.
Such drama at the “Today” show. People getting fired, not getting fired, denials, backlash. In fact, the ongoing saga has been dramatized in a new television movie. We take a look.
ANNOUNCE: “First, Ann Curry was forced out through a Machiavellian move by Matt Lauer. Now, firings, infighting, and innuendo threaten to further diminish the once-great morning institution. Finally, the true story can be told in the forthcoming television movie, ‘Who Gives A Crap?’
Only on the Military Channel.”
Every year, the third Thursday in November is the Great American Smoke-Out, a day for smokers to try to quit. Dave saw this encouraging message about it earlier today. We watch.
ANNOUNCE: “It’s the Great American Smoke-Out! Good luck to all you smokers who are trying to quit! On this life-changing day, may we suggest you try painkillers?
A message from Pills”
During the ACT 1, I remain just off stage by the guest entrance just in case Dave wants another measurement. This is true with any ACT 1 interrupt. Once Dave throws to commercial, the chance of a reprise is pretty much dead.
It’s the cold and flu season and we here at the Late Show are taking certain precautions to prevent the spread of germs around the workplace. We videotaped some of what we are doing to beat the flu.
-Staffers are reminded to wash their hands frequently (Anton)
-Staffers receive vaccinations (Biff)
-Doorknobs are a common transmitter of germs, so we vaccinate them, too (nurse Meghan Maguire)
-We suggest to our staff and crew that they get plenty of sleep (Pat asleep with a lit blowtorch)
-Tissues should be disposed of properly (Kathy sets her tissue free via balloon out her window)
-We disinfect our keyboards (writer Mike Leech electrocuted)
-We encourage the staff to drink plenty of Purell
-We put a mask on the sneezing monkey
-We ask our writers to boil their comedy (I missed who this was)
-And contagious workers are required to work outside – desk outside/taxi runs over his outside office – I missed who it was)
And that’s how we’re avoiding the flu.
TOP TEN: SIGNS YOU MAY HAVE THE STUPIDITY VIRUS – scientists have discovered a virus that latches onto your DNA and can lower intelligence
SIGNS YOU MAY HAVE THE STUPIDITY VIRUS
10. You just bought Jets season tickets
9. You think Al Pacino is a drink at Starbucks
8. You’re looking for a winter home in Buffalo
7. You’re the reason they print “Do Not Eat” on silica packets
6. You’ve booked yourself a cruise to nowhere
5. The iPhone you’re using is actually a Pop-Tart
4. You’re baffled by a hat that came without instructions.
3. As a reminder, on your palm you’ve written “Huh?”
2. You’re a grown man who recites lists on television
1. You’re engaged to Charles Manson
He’s the new unshaven face of late night American television! James Corden will be taking over as host of “The Late Late Show” in March, immediately following our show. He proudly says he is from High Wycombe in Britain, a place even Brits have never heard of. Nobody is from there, which makes it strange to call it your hometown. The big tourist attraction in High Wycombe is their Chair Museum. That’s perfect, actually, because whenever I go to a museum, all I want to do is sit. Dave asks for just an idea of where High Wycombe is. James says it’s about an hour-and-a-half outside of London. I’ve been to London . . . . that could be 5 miles.
Dave congratulates James on his being named the new host of “The Late Late Show.” James finds it very hard to believe. He finds it rather ridiculous and can only describe it as a huge error. “There is no reason why it should work” he wonders. But his family must be very proud, and they are. His father was near tears when he heard the news. When dad asked what time it was on, James told him “12:30.” His father’s proud and gleeful face dropped to the ground in . . .. disbelief and disappointment. Three times his father repeated, “12:30 . . . . 12:30 . . . . 12:30.” And then said in bewilder, “Half past midnight!” And when he heard it ended at 1:30 AM, he thought it could just as likely be called “The Early Early Show.:”
Sure, James is excited about being the host of “The Late Late Show” but the real exciting news is his becoming a father again just three weeks ago. It is the family’s second child. There is so much to learn about being a parent. One thing he learned immediately and will never forget is you never admit to your pregnant wife that you are tired. “Tired from what?” James caught himself talking about meetings and breakfasts and a clothes-fitting, and his wife eyeballed him hard and said, “Today I’ve grown eyelashes inside my stomach,” and “I’ve been growing a fully formed beating heart 6 inches away from my own.”
James received some valuable advice from his uncle before his wife gave birth for the first time. The uncle advised James not to watch the birth. Don’t take a look-see. James couldn’t quite understand why, figuring it to be the most beautiful thing in the world. His uncles simply said, “It’s like watching your favorite pub burning down. You know they’ll build it back up, but it’ll never be the same.” Ouch! Very funny!
And James is in the new film, “Into The Woods.” It is based on the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical from the late ‘80s. It stars the great Meryl Streep and opens Christmas Day.
Thanksgiving is right around the corner and preparing the perfect turkey is no easy task. But here’s some good news. Our stagehand Pat Farmer was kind enough to put together an informative segment that’ll put your worries to rest, in something we call, “Turkey Preparation 101.” Take it away, Pat.
The scrim rises. We find Pat at a demo table with turkey prepping kitchenware.
PAT: “Hello, and welcome to ‘Turkey Preparation 101’ with me, Pat Farmer. Tonight, I’m going to teach you the ins and outs of preparing your Thanksgiving turkey, from Step A to Step Z, as in ‘I’m so stuffed from that turkey, I gotta catch some Z’s. (chuckles at own joke)
First, you’ll need a few supplies:
(pointing out each) A roasting pan, a carving knife, a turkey baster, a meat thermometer, and a plastic turkey decoy”
Pat show a very nice size and a near perfect replica of a turkey. He places it in front of the demo table.
PAT: “Attract your turkey by arranging the decoy in plain sight, like so. When a wild turkey spots the decoy, it will approach them to make . . . or fight. Now we play the waiting game.”
Pat ducks down partially behind the demo table and waits for a unsuspecting wild turkey. And we wait. And still, we wait.
DAVE (growing impatient) “Pat, do you have a turkey to prepare?”
PAT (whispering) “I should any minute, Dave.”
DAVE: “ . . . . I see . . . . maybe we should check back later. Close it up!”
Scrim lowers. Hopefully we’ll find out Monday how Pat did.
ANNOUNCE: “Get back here Monday for Dave and his guests Seth Rogen, Amy Sedaris, and Sam Hunt.
Send your cards and letters to:
‘I Can Copy Down An Address’
c/o The Late Show
New York, NY 10019.”
The legendary television producer and writer! Now that’s a successful guy . . . able to come on a big network television show in blue jeans, a cardigan, and a hat and still look to be the best dressed in the place.
Talk about a resume . .. there may be none better than Mr. Lear’s. Dave lists some of his greatest hits.
“All In The Family” – it was actually a replacement show. It finally made it on the air in January of 1971. It only did OK at the beginning. But when the shows that had been on the air since September were going into reruns, “All In The Family” was still new. This is when the show really got noticed. The show was based on the British sitcom, “Till Death Do Us Part.” To show how much has changed over the years, during its Hey Day, “All In The Family,” the #1 TV show in America, appeared on Saturday nights.
“Sanford & Son” – Lear says all he had to do with that show was getting Redd Foxx. He admits to having little to do with anything else with the show.
“Maude” – famous for its “Abortion” episode. There wasn’t much fuss about it when it first aired, but when it was in the repeat lineup in April it enabled groups to organize and led to a big brouhaha. Lear didn’t think most of his shows were all that ground-breaking because the topics were things talked about and dealt with in homes across America. It was only ground-breaking in that it now appeared on sitcoms. Was he afraid that the network would punish him in any way? Mr. Lear responds with great confidence, “What could they do to me? They couldn’t take away my kids.” He explains that if they took away his show, they couldn’t take away his pencil. He’d simply sit down and start over.
“Good Times” – with Jimmie Walker
Norman Lear was approached by the Black Panthers, or a group like the Black Panthers, who wanted to know why black families on TV are always portrayed as poor. They wanted a program that showed a successful black family. He wondered about that, and that was the inspiration for “The Jeffersons” and the theme “Moving On Up.
Quite a life has Norman Lear. His memoir, “Even This I Get To Experience” is in stores now. The man looks great at 92. His age gets a big response from the audience. Norman than says, “92 is a big deal. At 89, nobody gave me the time of day.”
TV ON THE RADIO
From their new CD, “Seeds,” the band from Brooklyn performed “Happy Idiot”
And that was our show for Friday November 21, 2014.
My appearance as the “tailor” who was not a tailor did not make me nervous at all, which made me nervous. I’ve learned that when I’m about to go on and I’m not nervous, that’s not a good thing. It means I’m too relaxed and I’m not practicing enough. When nervous, I spend every available last second preparing. I wasn’t nervous because I had no lines except for “I’m not a tailor” and I could deliver that at pretty much my own time. It didn’t have to be immediate. Director Jerry Foley told me before the show he enjoyed how I snapped the tape measure off from around my neck when it was time to start measuring. I didn’t really remember what I did but that’s what I was working on during Dave’s pre-show Q&A. I wanted to briskly snap it off in one smooth motion. Someone was also in the green room watching me practice that move and I can only imagine what he was thinking. And I’m not sure how I did during the show. I’ll have to watch at home for my “tape measure snap”. And Foley wondered if I could deliver my one line more to the audience. During rehearsal I delivered my line from a squatting position while I was measuring the inseam. I realized my line could wait. I told him I was thinking the same thing about my line and I would wait to stand up before saying, “I’m not a tailor.” There really was no rush in getting to it. In fact, the delay may help. And if Dave did say “I didn’t order a tailor” before I got to the inseam, I was going to do the inseam anyway. But Dave always knows what he is doing. I was quite sure he would wait for the inseam measurement before wondering why there was a tailor on stage.
And I had some lines waiting just in case Dave went off-script. I study the script for any possible situations that could arise that Dave would want to expand upon. Yes, even in this script of two total lines could produce something. Obviously, the inseam measurement was where a comment would be probable. I imagined Dave asking, “By the way, what’ my inseam?” I considered some responses, then some more. I thought of another one, then came up with another. And then finally decided a final one. One word, quick, simple, easy, and out.
DAVE: “By the way, what’s my inseam?”
ME: “. . . . . Disappointing”
I wish it were nicer out. There’s a huge United Van Lines 18-wheeler on Broadway that is trying to make a hairpin turn onto 54th. It’s now stuck. Can’t go forwards; can’t go backwards. Horns are blaring, tempers are flaring. I could sit and watch that unfold all day long.
Just curious: Now that the Oakland Raiders have finally won a game, do members of the 2008 Detroit Lions quietly celebrate with a bottle of Andre?
Oakland Raiders win 1st game of the year. Taking page from the '72 Dolphins, 2008 winless Detroit Lions team open/enjoy a bottle of Andre
CAMEO MENTION OF A WAHOO READER
My Pomona Junior High School gym teacher, and coach of the 1976 Rockland County High School Championship team, it’s birthday boy Fred Bloom
This concludes another installment of CAMEO MENTION OF A WAHOO READER
Michael Z. McIntee