Kevin Spacey, Nick Griffin, and Emeli Sande.
PLUS: changes at CNN; Obama skeeting; "Weekend Late Show"; a Top Ten list; a Super Bowl prediction; and 31 years on late night television.
" . . . . and now, confirmed after further review . . . . . . . David Letterman!!"
-"31 years ago today I started in late night television. People ask how long can I keep at it. I just want to keep doing it . . . . until it's sad."
-"Ground Hog's Day tomorrow. This year, Punxsatawney Phil is played by Daniel Day-Lewis."
Big changes in store at CNN. The Zucker is putting his mark on the network to get it back on top like it was when it was the only game in town. Some changes have already been made, but does this make any sense? We take a look and listen.
We hear the comforting and strong baritone voice of the mellifluous James Earl Jones over the CNN logo:
JAMES EARL JONES: "This is CNN . . . . . stuff's gonna explode!" Stuff's gonna explode? Well, I guess some will find that interesting.
Jeff Zucker has more ideas for CNN. He's reshaping the entire network and is bringing things that people really want to see on television. Dave was watching the CNN earlier tonight and isn't quite sure if this is the direction they should be taking.
We see Wolf Blitzer on the lower third of the TV. Split in two parts above is odd but interesting footage of odd and interesting stuff. It's a bit confusing, a bit scattered, but it keeps your attention. I think Zucker is hoping you'll be interested until you fall asleep, leaving the channel set to CNN. And that's all any network exec really wants. They don't care if you're asleep or not, just as long as the Nielsen box is reading their channel.
President Obama says he enjoys skeet shooting around the White House. It relaxes him. But is he really accomplishing anything when we see this? We see the President shooting at skeet. His shots miss, but a drone quickly flies in and takes out the skeet. The President feels as if he's accomplished something. Reminds me of President Jimmy Carter fishing in a newly stocked pond. No, not the time he was attacked by a killer rabbit . . . the time where a fish was practically put on his hook by underwater divers.
And then we take a look and listen at another James Earl Jones CNN announce.
JAMES EARL JONES: "This is CNN . . . . . Kraft macaroni and cheese will become even cheesier."
Tonight is the 31st Anniversary of the very first "Late Night." Yes, Dave has been at this for 31 years. Any regrets? How can anyone not have regrets after 31 years? One regret was his on-air colonoscopy. We look at some footage. It's two spelunkers. The torch may have not been a good idea
"Late Night" – first show: February 1, 1982
1,809 show, plus one special: 1,810 programs.
3,798 shows, plus 4 specials: 3,802 programs.
Total late night show: 5,612.
Dave and Paul were fired from their "Late Night" gig at NBC when it was uncovered that . . . . . . I asked some staffer what would be the reason Dave would give if the subject came up. 100% minus 1 had Paul stealing office supplies. I was a bit more specific and said they were fired after Paul was found stealing Wite-Out. We were all wrong. Dave and Paul were fired after it was discovered they were making personal calls.
Hey, shut-ins! Our friend Paul Shaffer will be stretching his acting chops when he makes a surprise appearance on "How I Met Your Mother" Monday night at 8:00 PM on the NBC. You'll recognize Paul because he'll be playing Paul Shaffer.
Before we get into more fun, we take a look at what's in store tomorrow on the Weekend Late Show with Bruce and Linda.
We come upon Bruce and Linda at the familiar desk of the Late Show. It is adorned with festive flowers and light-hearted décor of a weekend morning program.
LINDA: "Thanks, Dave. It's Super Bowl weekend and we're getting the tailgate party started early on the Weekend Late Show. Dick Gunderson, author of the book, ‘Nacho Fast,' will teach us how to assemble a few of the more than fifteen hundred nacho variations he's created."
BRUCE: "He's a genius! Tomorrow is also Groundhog Day, but Punxsutawney Phil has nothing on us. ‘Uncle' Mike Sullivan, our accuweather meteorologist . . . he just got certified . . . will check in on our own groundhog for this year's early spring prediction."
LINDA: "How fun! Also, if you're interested in getting a good deal on a jet ski, February is the month to buy. We'll visit a nearby dealer to look at steals on 2012 models. It'll be summer before we know it."
BRUCE: "All that, plus off-brand energy drinks, fun with carbon paper, and ‘Which number on a roulette wheel comes up the most?' . . . tomorrow on the Late Show."
Dave hates them . . . but he keeps them on the payroll! And I'm sure they'll remain as long as they continue to bring in the big numbers.
TOP TEN: IGNORED NEW YORK CITY STREET SIGNS
The city is taking down the "Don't Honk" signs because they are ignored and rarely enforced.
Instead of the usual chyroned Top Ten items, tonight's Top Ten are photos of "actual" ignored street signs. You probably haven't seen these on the city streets because, well, they ignored.
10. Speed limit 20 when driving on sidewalk
9. Warning: watch for falling air conditioner units
8. Keep our neighborhood clean-ish.
7. Pants required
6. Remember to tip your hooker
5. Please do not pick up Mayor Bloomberg
4. No urinating (except 7 AM – 6 PM, Tuesday and Friday)
3. Hump (Dr. Phil on sign)
2. Free Tickets To Late Show
1. You must be this tall to ride Madonna.
Kevin enters to Paul and the band's "Beyond The Sea," in tribute to Kevin's portrayal of the great Bobby Darin. Dave applauds Kevin for the work he's done to continue the great tradition of theater at the Old Vic Theater in London as its artistic director for the past 10 years. And Kevin applauds Dave on his 31 years on late night television.
On Thursday night, Kevin Spacey stopped in while Dave was with Al Pacino to do his Al Pacino impression. We take a look at a clip from Thursday. Kevin seemed more Pacino than Pacino. Kevin then does some more Al Pacino. I'm always surprised at how good of an impressionist Kevin Spacey is because I don't consider him an impressionist. Darn good, though.
Kevin recently went on a world tour playing Richard III. He says he felt tremendous satisfaction in the endeavor but inevitably would run into audience members who thought they were at a rock concert. He recalls one theater goer sitting in the front row shooting video from his cellphone. Kevin eventually spoke directly to the annoying individual as King Richard. The guy barely took notice until Kevin, again as King Richard, bellowed, "PUT . . . . . AWAY . . . THAT . . . ‘GIVL'ING . . . CAMERA!" Is there a correct protocol for actors to deal with such rudeness? Kevin says, "If there is protocol, I don't ‘givl'ing give a ‘djoy.'" Kevin has since learned to discreetly shoot a laser at rude and obnoxious attendees and it really gets their attention. He recalls Katherine Hepburn once kicking the feet of an audience member who decided it would be a good idea to rest them up on the stage. Kevin then demonstrates and impersonates the angry Katherine. And before saying goodnight, Dave has a request for Kevin Spacey's Johnny Carson. His is one of the best, if not THE best Johnny Carsons.
Kevin Spacey – you can see him "House of Cards" on the Netflix. The entire season is now available for streaming! I'm not sure what any of that means, but I know I should.
You often hear about animals that can predict the winner of the Super Bowl. We've found something just as impressive: a house plant that can predict the Super Bowl. We raise the scrim to get a gander at the house plant. The plant is a Schefflera, about 4 years old, from Manhasset, Long Island. The plant is named Curtis.
We see the plant sitting on a table. To the plant's right is some Baltimore Ravens Miracle-Gro; to the plant's left is some San Francisco 49er Miracle-Gro. We watch to see which side the plant drifts. For quite a while, nothing. It reminded me a bit of the New York Jets offense. I was beginning to worry we had the wrong plant but then the plant started to wiggle this way, and then that way. First towards the 49ers, and then towards the Ravens, and then neither, and then both. Which way? What team would the Schefflera pick? And then the Schefflera made a strong move towards the . . . . . SNAP! Uh oh, this wasn't in the script. Just as the Schefflera was about to choose the Baltimore Ravens, something snapped. The plant now sits motionless. Is there a botanist in the house?! Dave asks if the other filament can be yanked. And with that, the Schefflera topples over onto the San Francisco 49er side. It's the 9'ers! There you have it! Bet it all on the San Francisco 49ers!
"Join us again Monday as Dave welcomes New Jersey Governor Chris Christie! And we kick off Elvis Presley Tribute Artist Week with Cody Ray Slaughter!"
The camera continues to pan the applauding audience.
ALAN (v.o.): "Looks like the applause sign is working."
He performs regularly at the Comedy Cellar right here in New York City. Nick asks, "Why leave the house?" There is so much good stuff in homes today. It's a great place to enjoy a big hunk of laziness.
Breaking up – it's hard to do. You don't want to hurt their feelings . . . you just want them to go away forever.
From her debut CD, "Our Version of Events," the Scottish Emeli Sande performed "Next To Me."
And that was our show for Friday, February 1, 2013.
After extensive research, I found that April 25, 2007 WAS the last time we did Charts and Graphs prior to Thursday night.
My Late Show Big Game Pool numbers are San Fran: 6; Ravens 9. I'm hoping for a Battle of the Booters.
I'm not sure if this ever made it into the Wahoo last year. It is a "Wahoo Gazette" if the Wahoo Gazette existed on the very first Late Night program back on February 1, 1982. Whether it made in last year or not, I'm going to include it here and give myself the rest of the day off.
MONDAY FEBRUARY 01, 1982. Late Night #1
Bill Murray, Don ‘Mr. Wizard' Herbert, and Steve Fessler.
PLUS: A backstage tour, a message from the Undersecretary of Education Larry Preston, and "The Shame of the City."
An elderly gentleman enters the darkened stage. He speaks in an ominous tone:
"Good evening. Certain NBC executives feel it would be a little unkind to present this show without just a word of friendly warning. We are about to unfold the show featuring David Letterman, a man of science who sought to create a show after his own image without reckoning upon God. It is one of the strangest tales ever told. It may shock you. It might even - horrify you. So if any of you feel that you do not care to subject your nerves to such a strain, now's your chance to . . . . well, we warned you"
From New York, one of the most exciting cities in the tri-state area, it's Late Night with David Letterman. Tonight's guests are: Bill Murray, Don ‘Mr. Wizard' Herbert. Also, a tour of the set, a special Late Night report on the Shame of the City, and the Rainbow Grill Peacock Dancing Girls.
And now, a man who shouldn't be up this late . . . . . . . . David Letterman!
Dave enters to s 87% standing ovation.
–"You appear to be a bright group . . . . bright enough to read the ‘Applause' sign."
Dave shares 5 or so opening remarks and then throws to commercial. Throughout the evening, we see clips of how metal is joined. It wasn't our idea; that idea came from regular, everyday New Yorkers. We asked what they wanted to see on late night television and one after another, as if scripted, they told us they wanted to see how metal is joined. Being new to the neighborhood, Dave obliged.
Back from commercial, Dave takes us on a backstage tour here at NBC. As he makes it backstage, he throws a quick hello to Paul Shaffer and the boys. Our first stop on the tour is a look at the ropes that are essential to every theater and studio. Dave unties one rope which isn't attached to anything. Or so he thought. We hear a great crash coming from the sound effects room.
The spiral staircase leads to the homes of some of New York City's biggest celebrities. The neighbor right above is Rona Barrett. She tends to go heavy on the hot water, leaving little for the rest of the tenants.
We pass by a refreshment table that even the rats won't touch. We also see a Today show vacuum.
The Green Room is aptly named as Dave makes his way through a jungle of ferns, foliage and fronds.
The make-up room can make even the most plain person look like Skip Stephenson of "Real People."
And then we visit where few are allowed to venture. It's the brain center of the whole production, the Control Room. Dave shows us inside to find an Oktoberfest celebration taking place. We meet the director Hal Gurnee leading the festivities. On the accordion is our associate director Pete Fatovich. And was that Chris Elliott of the production department? Yes, it was.
With all that going on in the Control Room, it's amazing we even got this far into the show.
ACT 3: BILL MURRAY
Bill Murray . . . what a nut. You never know what to expect from him. At one point, Dave wonders what Bill is oddly busying himself with. Bill bashfully admits he's playing with some pocket lint. Meanwhile, Dave is fiddling with his pencils. Bill apologizes for being a little "off" and behaving poorly. He blames it on a chemical imbalance. I guess to make it right, Bill needs to take some more chemicals to level it.
Bill shows off some home movies of his new endearing pet. What fun! It's a panda bear! Those are hard to come by, but if you're Carl Spackler, I guess you can get whatever you want.
I don't know if this has to do with his chemical imbalance, but Bill says his life was teetering on a ledge. It was touch and go there for a while. Bill says he is now on the good side and credits the magic of aerobics for saving his life. So thrilled and thankful for the aerobics, Bill demonstrates his daily workout. To the song of Olivia Newton John's huge hit, "Let's Get Physical," Bill dances an exhausting routine that really gets the heart pumping. It's both a life saver and a show stopper.
Following Bill Murray, we saw a short PSA from the Undersecretary of Education, Larry Preston. A change in the school schedule will take place immediately and for the unforeseeable future. The school day will now start at 12 noon and end at its regular time. This will allow school children across America to stay up late to enjoy late night television.
Yes, late night television isn't just for the creepy loner who lives at the end of the block. Now children of all ages can enjoy.
THE SHAME OF THE CITY: It's a hard-hitting news story concerning New York City. Sure, New York City may be considered by some as the greatest city in the world, but it's not all rosy and exciting. There are some down sides. Dave took to the streets to report on the other side of the city, The Shame of The City.
We see Dave investigating the death of pine trees all over Manhattan. Dave walks through a sidewalk field of fallen pines, cut down in their prime. Who? Why? My guess, though I'm too new to say anything, is the pine trees were cut down for Christmas. Those remaining and found by Dave were the unsold.
Dave next finds a supermarket/deli that is looking for your party business. The sign outside the establishment reads: "Planing a party? Try one of theese." Yes, only one "n" was used in "planning" and a "doube-e" in "these." Two misspellings in one sign! And he is looking for our business? For that they better offer free coleslaw!
And you wonder why the crime rate is skyrocketing in this city? One look at the police department shows why. It consists of one man! Dave talks to the lone policeman sitting inside the phonebooth-size stationhouse. There is room for only one. If he plans on stopping crime, I think the crime is going to have to come to him.
ACT 7: DON ‘MR. WIZARD' HERBERT
Ahh, science! Mr. Wizard has a longtime science television show where he demonstrates classic experiments to help the everyday person understand the principles of science. Think the PBS "NOVA" but with sticks, bottles, fire, and string. Tonight, Dr. Wizard showed how much gas is in a bottle of seltzer using a bottle and a balloon; he shows us how to squeeze a balloon into a bottle; and he blowtorches a quarter to show that it'll get hot. Fascinating.
ACT 8: Uhhh, this was interesting. To close up the show, Dave introduces a young gentleman by the name of Steve Fessler who can recite the entire dialogue from the movie, "Bowery At Midnight." During his recital, the credits roll and we get out. Darn, I was curious to see how "Bowery At Midnight" ended.
And that was our first Late Night show, February 01, 1982.
Wait? What? You mean we have to do this again tomorrow, too?! But I'm exhausted!
The guy who opened the show, Calvert DeForest, is the cousin of DeForest Kelley of Star Trek, better known as Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy . . . . at least that's what I read in the encyclopedia.
It couldn't last forever, but I wish it did, for the first time since November 21, 1981 "Physical" by Olivia Newton John is no longer the #1 single in America. Pushing it aside is "I Can't Go For That" by Hall & Oates. I think after America saw Bill Murray on our show last night, or at least a VCR or Beta tape of it, "Physical" will be back up on top again next week.
And speaking of music, did you read where Ozzy Osbourne bit the head off a live bat last week at a concert? Yikes. Thank goodness he doesn't have any kids. Can you imagine that guy being a father?
When I was watching Undersecretary of Education Larry Preston with his Public Service Announcement about the later start time for school, I thought he sounded a lot like Pat Paulsen. And guess who is on tomorrow night? That's right, Pat Paulsen. Also on the show tomorrow night will be screenwriter Steve Tesich who wrote "Eyewitness", and an installment of "Limited Perspective: with Manhattan dentist Norman Hoffman who will review "Reds."
Nerd Alert! Nerd Alert! Have you seen this new publication that came out in January? It's called "PC" magazine; PC being short of Personal Computer. Yeah, like what's their target audience, about 16 people?
I still can't get over last week's Super Bowl. I picked the Bengals over the 49ers but I was out of it right from the beginning. San Francisco was up 20-0 by halftime, thanks to 5 turnovers. The Bengals did make it interesting at the end but still came up short, 26-21. Damn that Joe Montana!
And if the game wasn't bad enough . . . why was it held in Detroit? Can anyone tell me? Who thought it was a good idea to have a game in Detroit in January? And did you get a load of the halftime show? The halftime show was "Up With People presents ‘Salute to the 1960s and Motown.'" Yeah, if I want to celebrate Motown, Up With People are just the ones I want leading the way.
But I didn't really care about the Super Bowl. I'm still celebrating the New York Giants making the playoffs for the first time in 18 years. Unfortunately, it'll probably be another 18 years before they make it again. I'm just glad the G-Men had Scott Brunner at quarterback. I think the Giants are a better team with him at QB than with the boyish Phil Simms. Simms is always hurt and won't last in the NFL. It's a league for men.
Did you watch the Golden Globes last week? I disagreed with a lot of the chosen winners, but one thing they really got right was The New Star of the Year in a Motion Picture, Pia Zadora. She was fantastic in "Butterfly." I see big things in her future.
Oh, and if you're in front of your TV set on Wednesday, check out "The Facts of Life." Tootie meets her idol . . . . Jermaine Jackson! How cool is that?!
The NBC studio looks great. It's our new home. One thing I would change is the Exit sign that sits just over Dave's left shoulder during his opening remarks. We see Dave . . . and "Exit" . . . in the same shot. Not a good omen.
Oh, the lone policeman seen in The Shame of The City . . . . he actually works in the 19th Precinct and his post is in front of the Yugoslavian Mission on 5th Avenue in the East 60s. A police officer is stationed in front of the Yugo Mission to give a false sense of protection to a demonstration-prone location. Other Missions on the upper East Side include the Russian Mission and the PLO Mission. Rookie officers and those about to retire are often assigned to these work details. How I know this is still years ahead of me.
CAMEO MENTION OF A WAHOO READER
He promises to never miss a show, from Baltimore, Maryland and New York's EarthStation Studios, it's Don Giller.
This concludes a CAMEO MENTION OF A WAHOO READER
Michael Z. McIntee