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Monday, May 18, 2015 Hovering! with Tom Hanks
Show #4212
Tom Hanks, and Eddie Vedder.  
Plus: Dave in two weeks; Joe Biden: What?; Rubio on Fox News Sunday; Mitt Romney for charity; and a Top Ten list with staffers.
“From simultaneously everywhere and nowhere, it’s the Late Show with David Letterman.
Tonight: Tom Hanks, and music from Eddie Vedder.  Plus: Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra.
I’m Alan Kalter.   And now, down the stretch he comes. . . . . . . .  . David Letterman!”
ACT 1:
-“Tonight on the show, I’ll be talking to Tom Hanks.   Next week I’ll be at the Post Office talking with the clerk.”
-“It’s a new stage of life for me.   My son will be saying, “Watch it, Pop, there’s a step.’”
-“Jeb Bush came out against same sex marriage.  He also came out for the Iraq War.  He sure is a different kind of Republican.”
-“Jeb says if you let homosexuals get married, the next thing you know women will want to vote”
-“Jennifer Lopez is in a new police crime drama called, ‘This Is A Bust’”   - Hey, that’s a Leslie Nielson “Police Squad” joke.   Leslie Nielsen entered a topless nightclub.   He confronts a scantily clad voluptuous waitress.   She asks, “Is this a bust?”   And Nielsen says, “I’ll say it is.”
It’s been an emotional day. This morning, Dave finally broke the news to Alan.   And Alan still seems bewildered.  But then, that’s a natural state for Mr. Kalter.
Here’s something new; a segment called, “Me In Two Weeks.”
News anchor for News Channel 8: "A New York man is facing charges, all because he couldn't get macaroni and cheese at a rest stop."
And here’s another new segment: Joe Biden: “What?:
We see the Vice President of the United States speeching.  He has sunglasses on because . . .  well, he’s the Vice President.  He can do whatever he wants.  No one is looking.
JOE BIDEN:"I had a dream that I was vice-president, and was with the president, and we did the disco funk dance, to convince Congress to restart the government."
Did you see Marco Rubio on the Fox News Sunday yesterday?  Wait . . . was that up against the CBS Sunday Morning show?  Who was watching FOX News Sunday when Dave was on CBS Sunday Morning?    Since none of us watched it, here it is.
We see Chris Wallace interviewing Marco Rubio on the FOX News Sunday.
CHRIS WALLACE: "After it passed the Senate and ran into trouble in the House, you bailed on comprehensive immigration reform. How come?"
(Senator Rubio, grinning): "My refrigerator broke down."
(Chris): "Senator Rubio, always a pleasure to talk to you.  
Wallace reaches across and shakes Rubio’s hand.
That’s FOX News Sunday.
Mitt Romney, two-time Republican hopeful, boxed former heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield in a charity event.   We have footage.
We see a boxing match between someone who looks a little like Romney . . . a white guy . . . and someone who we pretend looks like Evander Holyfield . . . a black guy.  “Holyfield” pounds and pummels “Mitt Romney.”
DAVE: “Yeah, Holyfield won the fight, and it’s not the first time Romney’s been knocked out by a black guy.”
10. Executive Producer Barbara Gaines: "Until I met Dave, I didn't know I could put my fist through a wall."
9. Writer Steve Young: "Because he's not tech savvy, Dave never notices when you steal jokes from Twitter."
8. Supervising Producer Kathy Mavrikakis: "Not having to wear high heels at work."
7. Head of Props Pat Farmer: "Not having to wear high heels to work." You had to see that one coming, right?
6. Costume Designer Sue Hum: "Working with Hollywood's most well-known inseams."
5. Intern Todd Seda: "Another three years and Dave was going to start paying me."
4. Executive Producer Jude Brennan: "I'll miss looking forward to no longer working at the show."
3. Stage Manager Biff Henderson: "Dave is the best boss in the world . . . . . or so I'm required to say if I want my severance check."
2. Announcer Alan Kalter: "The taping time of the show provided a consistent, reliable alibi."
1. Musical Director Paul Shaffer: "Now who will I pretend to laugh at?"
Of course, the reason I wasn’t included in the Top Ten is because someone had to run the show while everyone else was on stage.
Do you have any idea how many people work here?  
Oh, about half.
There was a time we could have done a Top Ten with just Executive Producers.
ACT 3:
Tom is busy working on a film and flew in just to be on tonight’s show.   Tom says, “I flew in from a time zone so far away they have money I can’t pronounce.”
He’s working on a film called, “Inferno,” that is being filmed in Florence, Italy, directed by Ron “Opie Richie” Howard.  Hey! Hey!   Tom forgot Ron Howard as Bob Smith!   Tom describes the thrill of shooting a film in Florence.   There was a scene that took place in a beautiful ancient building in Florence.  It took 5 hours of intense emotional acting for just two minutes of film.   The 2nd director is very even-keel, calm and stoic, and speaks in a monotonous, steady voice.   It was up to the director to cue the actors when the CGI computer-generated helicopters and drones appeared.   Tom had to act as if the whirlybirds were there even though he couldn’t see them.   The director had to tell him when to pretend.   With such an intense scene, Tom asked if Ron could give the cues and not the 2nd director.  Although he was very capable and great at his job, the assistant director didn’t provide the verbal “oomph” Tom felt was needed.  Tom needed that extra kick.   Tom then impersonates the forever boyish enthusiasm of Ron Howard: “Okay, okay!   Drone!  Hovering!   Hovering!  Drone!  It came back. Now it’s gone!  It came back!   Hovering!  Hovering!  Now they’re gone!  AND NOW THEY’RE BACK!!”   This could also be heard by the many tourists in the sacred historic building echoing throughout.
Tom tells a tale of just starting out in the business.  It was in 1980.   He had just been hired to be a lead in a sitcom.   This was great, but it was before it started and he was still tight on funds.  On top of that, there was an actor’s strike going on.  So here he was, a star on a new sitcom but having no money.  He and his wife and young son were living in not the best part of town.   With little money to spare, for fun the family went to the park and rolled down a hill.    They didn’t have money to go on a real ride.   The family was down to their final $180.  After a number of rolls, the family makes their way back up the hill to head home.   He sees a guy carrying his suit over his shoulder.   Tom also sees a nice wad of bills on the ground.  Tom, desperate for cash, did the right thing and told the guy that he must have dropped something out of his pants pocket.  The guy says he didn’t drop anything, but Tom persisted.   Tom tells the guy he dropped $60 .  . . 3 twenty dollar bills.   The guy eyed the money, but the guy did the decent thing and wouldn’t take the free money.   It wasn’t his.   Tom and the family took the money and bought a week’s worth of groceries and two TV Guides that had his picture in it for “Bosom Buddies.”   Tom recalls those days because during the strike, Dave’s daytime show was the only thing on.    He still can’t believe how the housewives couldn’t sustain the program.
Guess who’s in the Green Room?   It’s Tom’s wonderful wife Rita Wilson.    We take a look.
Bob Dylan is on the show tomorrow.  Tom mentions how he went to a Bob Dylan concert some years ago.   You couldn’t tell the songs without a program.   Not until the next day when Tom checked the play list in the newspaper did he realized he heard what he heard.   
I have that same story.  UP in the Berkshires years ago.   It was a lot of, “What song was that?” and “I wish he played his hits.”   We later found out he played pretty much all of his greatest hits.
Before saying good night and goodbye, Tom takes out his selfie-stick and snaps a photo with Dave.  I bet Tom is ticked off he created a typewriting-sound-effect APP and not the selfie-stick.
ACT 5:
ANNOUNCE: “You’ll want to join us tomorrow as Dave welcomes Bill Murray, and Bob Dylan.   I have a bad feeling about the move.  I don’t think my home iguana will get along with my office iguana.
ACT 7:
In a real “WOW!” performance, the great Eddie Vedder performed “Better Man.”   This was one of my favorite performances here at the show.  I happened to be on stage during his rehearsal, and he put just as much into that as he did for the show performance.    I was mere feet away.  Very very cool, and a story for around the campfire for jealous friends.
And I’m sure that story will be followed by a friend’s, “So, what are you doing now?”
And that was our show for Monday May 18, 2015. 
“Run past the finish line.  Always run past the finish line.”  It’s what my track coach used to tell me.  Keep going until you’re past it.  It’s sort of what I’m doing now.  The finish line is Wednesday but my eye is on Thursday.  I’ll think of what has just left me on Thursday.  I’m not thinking of Wednesday yet.   Driving in to work this morning, I felt my first real pang of “Oh, damn . . . .”  Got in to work, started doing what I do, and it felt like any other game.    Barely thought of the season-ender on Wednesday.  But I know it’s coming and I know it’s coming like a freight train.  I’ll think of it once I’m run over and left for dead on the tracks.  It’s coming.   And all I’ll be thinking is, “What just happened?”
Great Late Show/Late Night/ David Letterman Show party Saturday night.  My only complaint was there were too many people to talk to.  I knew too many people.   I don’t like knowing a lot of people at a party.  I’d rather a half-dozen friends looking in and snarking at everybody else.  But then, everyone at the party was all too nice.   Any snarking would have been forced and hollow and wouldn‘t have worked.
I started typing the following, then continued, and continued, and continued some more.   After I was done, I realized it was just for me and would bore anyone reading it.  But since it’s already done, it’s in.  Hope you’re not sleepy because you’ll never get through it if you are.
Some on the staff have a job lined up when they exit our doors for the last time.  Many more have nothing yet, mostly due to not looking.   We still have shows to do.    I’m worrying about the shows we still have to do.  I’ll worry about the big worry when it comes knocking in a few days.   One staffer is heading over to the WWE.   My eyes got excited.  “Professional wrestling The WWE professional wrestling?”  Yup, that WWE.   I spent a good while talking to him about 1980s professional wrestling, pre-Hulk Hogan   It’s too big now to be silly and campy the way it was back then.   One of my favorite jokes had to do with professional wrestling.   I was at a party in the early 80s and the subject of professional wrestling came up.   Yeah, that’s the kind of parties I go to.   It was a party being thrown by a friend of a friend of a friend, and I don’t think the immediate friend-link was there.  There was a lot of, “Who the hell are they?”  directed at me and my two friends, plus a guy who had the car.   We were strangers at a strange party.   I found myself somehow involved in a conversation about professional wrestling.  I thought it was going good when somebody asked me who my favorite wrestler was.  I thought a moment and said “Frank Williams.”   I said “Frank Williams” as a joke just for myself.    I couldn’t help it.   I didn’t expect anyone to get it, and if they got it, they wouldn’t think it was funny.  It was more of a reference than a joke.   I just thought it would be funny to say “Frank Williams” in front of people who were already suspicious of me.  Frank Williams was a wrestler you would only see on Saturday morning wrestling and he would lose every match.   No one would ever go to see him; it was always his opponent people would go see.  Now, Special Delivery Jones was another wrestler who would wrestle every Saturday morning and lose, but he would put up a good fight.  He did have some fans.  Special Delivery (SD) Jones did almost win a lot of matches. Frank Williams was not that.   He was so below the surface that he wouldn’t put a blip on an EKG.    Frank was an older wrestler with bad hair and a bad mustache.     And his body was that of a middle-aged struggling accountant; flabby, soft, a body that had given up.   Even his uni-tight was a drab, dull, olive green.   Yeah yeah, I know this is going on way too long, but I am getting to my point.  So I am asked at a party where I didn’t know too many people who is my favorite wrestler.   The crowd looking in on the conversation consisted of a bunch of guys trying to look like their older brother; hoping to look cool but not yet earning the title.   I knew I wasn’t cool, and I was cool with that.  In fact, I reveled in it.  When you’re not cool and you know you’re not cool you can do just about anything you want.   So there I was surrounded by guys trying to look cool wondering who this guy, me, was.   They would like nothing more than to do a toughie on me to impress their easy-to-impress girlfriends.   So when asked, “Who is your favorite wrestler?” I said “Frank Williams.”   I knew nobody would know Frank Williams, but like I said earlier, the joke was just for me.   And the joke was not well received.  By this time I sensed there was more than one person who wanted to beat me up, because I probably appeared quite beatable.   “My favorite wrestler?  Frank Williams.”  I smiled.  Inside, I giggled.    And the weight-lifting muscle-heads inched closer, not pleased with my being goofy when discussing professional wrestling.   They didn’t like my making fun.   And then in the distance, in a room just off the kitchen, I hear a laugh from deep in the belly.  It was a roar of a howl.   I hear a bellow, “Frank Williams!  I love Frank Williams. Who the hell knows Frank Williams?”   The guy enters the room, which was hard to do because he was bigger than the room.  The giant was enormous.  “You like Frank Williams?!”  I smile a goofy crooked smile and nodded.   We then talked about Frank Williams for a half hour; laughing, goofing, sharing how we hoped that he would someday win.   I was buddying up with the biggest and coolest guy in the house.   When it was time to leave, I made sure we left at the same time.  A lot of people still wanted to beat me up.   I sort of like seeing how close I can get before that happens.
To this day it is one of my favorite jokes I’ve ever old.  Two words: “Frank Williams.”   You would have to know Frank Williams to appreciate the story.
It’s my favorite kind of joke.   Big crowd, no one gets it . . .  except one person far off in the corner.   I would rather one big, huge laugh in a crowd of a hundred than just about any other kind of reaction.
Yeah, two shows left and I spent the whole Wahoo talking about Frank Williams.
HA!  I just Googled “WWF and Frank Williams.”  Found him!
Oh, about the Late Show/Late Night/David Letterman Show Saturday night party at the Friars Club.  The highlight: seeing Jill Leiderman.     She was with the Late Show some years ago.   From here she went there, and then over there, and then to Kimmel, where she is now the executive producer.  A nicer person you will not meet.   Nice and damn capable.  She gets things done and gets things done right, and done the right way.   How the hell did we ever lose her?  Sweet woman, Jill Leiderman.   Just the best.
Bob Dylan tomorrow night.  I pitched this idea a hundred years ago . . . . .  I pitched, “First, we get Bob Dylan” . . . . and I think that’s where everyone stopped reading.   I’m sure if we could have gotten him, we would have got him.   But here was my angle.    Back in 1963, Bob Dylan was to appear on the Ed Sullivan Show but walked off after the CBS censors rejected the song he planned on performing, “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues.”   CBS Standards and Practices said “no go” to the Sullivan producers.  When told, Bob Dylan politely responded, “If I can’t play my song, I’d rather not appear on the show.'”  
So, I thought “Wouldn’t it be a good idea to have Bob Dylan back on the show to perform ‘Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues’ on the very stage he was disallowed all those years ago.”  I thought it was a good idea, but I don’t think people were listening after “ . .  and then we get Bob Dylan to . . . . “
Will he sing “Talkin’ John Birch Paranoid Blues” Tuesday night?  I doubt it.  It’s not much of a toe-tapper, but whatever Mr. Dylan wants to do will be fine with me.
The Wahoo Gazette – it ends with the show.   But for more of me, and can you ever get too much of me?   For more of me, check out    There’s something there now but it’s just a placeholder until I’m done with this and go on to that.   My daughter from Marist College is home and I’ll put her to work to make it something.  Look for it.  I won’t let this thing die, no matter how much I wish it would.
Brian Henke.  Is Brian Henke still reading the Wahoo Gazette?
This concludes another installment of ARE THEY STILL READING THE WAHOO GAZETTE?
Shirlee diBacco.  She’s an original!
This concludes the debut of a Cameo Mention of an AFL Original.
From Winnipeg, Canada, it’s Don Paetkau
This concludes another installment of CAMEO MENTION OF A WAHOO READER
The Wahoo Gazette . . .  where the first draft is the final draft.
Surprise me in your will!
Michael Z. McIntee
Twitter: @WahooMike

Wahoo Gazette Archive

Monday, May 18
Hovering! with Tom Hanks
Saturday, May 16
Oprah and Dave indulge in a selfie.
Thursday, May 14
Tom Waits, Dave and what's-his-name.
Wednesday, May 13
Julia and Dave squeeze in one last hug.
Tuesday, May 12
Adam Sandler performs a musical ode to Dave.