Samuel L. Jackson, and Chris Matthews.
PLUS: the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree mishap; the airline merger; Bazooka Joe; Presidential apologies; Walmart commercial; the People's Choice; a Top Ten list; and the world's most expensive painting.
Back to the old opening announce, sort of . . . .
"From the heart of Broadway, across the nation and around the world, it's the Late Show with David Letterman! Tonight: Samuel L. Jackson, and from "Hardball" Chris Matthews. Plus: Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra. I'm Alan Kalter. And now, made with the best hops and barley . . . . . . . David Letterman!"
One word was omitted. Can you tell what it was?
-"You can know make underwear on a 3D printer. I like the old way --- having my underwear made by an 8-year-old in China."
The Rockefeller Center CHRISTMAS tree is up. When Dave and Paul worked at the other network, there was a terrible mishap that took place. Dave isn't quite sure of the year, but we have footage. We take a look.
We see the Rockefeller Center CHRISTMAS tree in Rockefeller Center. The countdown to the lighting is heard. And then just as it was lit, a giant rat ran across and knocked it over. DOH!
That shot of the rat and the tree was asked for just before the show. I hustled to my 386 computer and clicked onto my DOS. I found the footage. The one we used was from Segment Reel 12/09/02, though that clip was probably copied from an even earlier time.
You know what's sad? The rat we saw knocking over the Rockefeller Center CHRISTMAS tree is probably dead now.
American Airlines and U.S. Airways are set to merge, and some of the other airlines are nervous about this. We take a look at this report on CNN.
ANNOUNCE: "The Justice Department has cleared the way for American Airlines and U.S. Airways to merge, resulting in the world's largest airline. In order to compete, every other airline will merge, creating United Virgin, South Delta, Altantic Blue West, Sun Aloha, Frontier Spirit, Alaska Jet, Airlines Airways."
DAVE: "Did you hear about the new corduroy pillows? They're making headlines."
Hey, I liked that bad joke. Reminds me of the childhood hours I spent reading the back of Boy's Life magazine.
Dave is confused a bit. What was that joke about, anyway? Where did it come from? We cut to Tony Cue Cards. He is holding up a cue card-sized Bazooka Joe comic.
TONY: "It came with the gum."
I'll be rummaging around tomorrow to look for that cue card. It would go nice on my bar made of plywood for camping.
President Obama apologized recently to those losing health plans under Obamacare. That inspired us to put together this segment entitled, "A History of Presidential Apologies"
ANNOUNCE: (JFK's Bay of Pigs speech) "1961: President Kennedy took responsibility for the failure of the Bay of Pigs invasion."
ANNOUNCE: (Nixon's Watergate speech) "1977: President Nixon admitted he let the American people down with the Watergate scandal."
ANNOUNCE: (Harrison's death speech) "1841: President William Henry Harrison apologized for dying two weeks after taking office." Ouch? Too soon? No. Too funny? No.
ANNOUNCE: "This has been 'A History of Presidential Apologies.' "
What exactly do I do? Lots, but one that is not asked of me but I do anyway was add a note for this piece that Williams Henry Harrison was succeeded by John Tyler . . . just in case Dave wanted to make this more conversational and show off his knowledge of U.S. History.
The day after Thanksgiving used to be the biggest shopping day of the year. Now stores are actually opening on Thanksgiving Day. We take a look at this announcement from Walmart.
ANNOUNCE: "Hey, shoppers, forget Black Friday! You can now start your holiday shopping on Thanksgiving Day at Walmart! Shop with us, then enjoy Thanksgiving dinner at home with your family. Or even better, shop during Thanksgiving dinner."
We see a family of four being wheeled in a shopping cart by a Walmarter working on Thanksgiving.
DAD: "Could you take us to Housewares?"
ANNOUNCE: "Walmart. Save money. Live better."
Kudos to Dave! He's been nominated for a People's Choice . . . . and not just because it'll air on CBS in January, I think. The People's Choice is very popular and they add more and more categories every year. This year, they even have a spinoff! It's called "The People's Giblet Choice Awards." Really? Sounds very niche. We take a look at this promo.
ART CARD: PEOPLE'S GIBLET CHOICE AWARDS
ANNOUNCE: "It's almost Thanksgiving turkey time, and that means it's time for the People's Giblet Choice Awards. Will this be the year gizzard beats out liver, or will a late surge put heart or neck over the top? Cast your vote now at PeoplesChoice.com/giblets and tune in the awards telecast, hosted by Paul Shaffer. ‘The People's Giblet Choice Awards' . . . . November 27, only on CBS."
A proud Dave looks over at Paul, happy for this great opportunity.
PAUL: "Thank you. You know, the way I look at it, a gig is a gig . . . is a ‘givl'ing gig."
TOP TEN: LEAST POPULAR BREAKFAST CEREALS – Breakfast Cereal sales are dropping in the United States due to consumers cutting back on carbs.
The top-selling breakfast cereals:
2. Special K
3. Post Honey Bunches of Oats --- ooh, Dave would like some Honey Bunches right now. Funny . . . . in college there was a strip joint that was called "Honey Bunches"
LEAST POPULAR BREAKFAST CEREALS
10. Trix With Ticks
9. Inflamed, Grape-Colored Nuts
8. Cap'N Schettino Crunch
7. Average K
6. Spacklin' Oat Bran
5. Honey Combovers
3. Richie Incognit-O's
2. Fruity Gerbils
1. Premarital Chex
What was I doing during the Top Ten? Looking to see if anyone was out getting some Post Honey Bunches with Oats. We had two boxes by the time we got back from commercial, but we didn't do anything with them. Darn. I expected a nice shipment from the Post people if we had.
SAMUEL L. JACKSON
Samuel is looking lean and fit. What's his secret? He's gone vegan, dining on a plant-based diet. Does he miss anything on the diet? Samuel: "Oh, yeah, meat!" Dave and SLJ then salivate over the thought of Texas barbecue brisket.
SLJ is always working, always working. Shooting a film in Germany recently resulted in his separating his shoulder. It's a Class 3 Separation. It's a Class 3 when it happens to someone else. It's a Class 1 when it happens to you. The separation is not too uncommon with quarterbacks and pitchers. Since the shoulder is their livelihood, they will have surgery to repair it. With everydayers, a band-aid is sufficed. It'll kinda heal on its own. It may flap in the wind but you just have to try your best to ignore that. The pain from the injury isn't so much the shoulder but from the muscles that are now stretched that keep the shoulder in place. That's why I don't like to have too many muscles.
Samuel L. Jackson: his new film opens the day before Thanksgiving, "Oldboy," a Spike Lee film. This isn't the film where SLJ separated his shoulder.
Can you believe this? The most expensive artwork ever auctioned was sold right here in New York City last night. And this is very exciting . . . . we have the artwork right here tonight. We raise the scrim to take a gander. Alan describes the pricey work of art.
ALAN: "This is one of Francis Bacon's ‘Three Studies of Lucian Freud.' Bacon painted the oil-on-canvas portrait of his friend-turned-artistic foil Lucian Freud in 1969 at the Royal College of Art in London. Christie's auction house of New York sold the trio for $127 million, which means with their commission of 12%, Christie's netted $15 million!"
With that, exuberant Christie employees crash through the displayed painting in celebration. One is dressed as a cheerleader. I laughed. Do these employees really think any of that $15 million will trickle down? Oh, the naïve! The Christie employees jump, hoot and holler out the back of the theater.
What exactly do I do? On Dave's blue card I added the information that Alan was going to read:
- "Three Studies of Lucian Freud" by Francis Bacon
- $127 million paid
- $15 million commission for Christie's.
Dave used this info to make his intro more conversational. DING! Sometimes he uses the info; sometimes not.
Tonight's installment of the "Backstage Photo Club" - Talent Coordinator Jenny Chapin, with Bono.
ANNOUNCE: "Get back here tomorrow for Dave with Claire Danes, Will Forte, and Metric. The World Food Programme is assisting the victims of the devastating typhoon in the Philippines. You can help. Go to wfp.org/typhoon and make a donation. Or text ‘AID' to 27722 to make a ten dollar donation to the World Food Programme. Thank you."
He's the "Hardball" guy. Dave has Chris some of his background that mapped out where he is today. Chris spent a couple years in the Peace Corp out of college and then as a speechwriter for President Jimmy Carter and six years as Chief of Staff to Speaker of the House Tip O'Neill. When most kids want to grow up to play centerfield for the Yankees, what got Chris interested in politics? Chris says he fell full in during the Nixon/Kennedy race in 1960. He talks about the 1960 debates like most kids would talk about the World Series. He loved it; fascinated by it. And what does he like most about politics and political races? Chris loves the concession speeches! It's the only time a politician has to speak the truth and admit defeat. He quotes Adlai Stevenson who, following his defeat by Eisenhower, said, "I'm too old to cry, and it hurts too much to laugh." Chris finds it all great drama.
Why can't we get anything done in politics today? Why such animosity between the Parties? Chris says there is so much confrontation that it makes it almost impossible to get anything done. He likens it to going to buy a new car. Sure, there is going to be negotiation and give and take and compromise, but the sale will eventually get done with a handshake at the end. You don't go in there looking for a fistfight. If the salesman and the customer went in with that attitude . . . . no sale! Just to spite, no sale would be made. And that's what's wrong with both sides today.
Chris's new book, "Tip and The Gipper: When Politics Worked" explores the relationship between Democrat Speaker Tip O'Neill and Republican President Ronald Reagan. They had some fierce battles, but at the end of the day they would hang together over a drink or two and that's when things would really get done. There was a respect and admiration for each other. In other words, they acted like adults. Today there may be too much "playing to the camera" to impress the folks at home. That's not the way grownups should act.
"Hardball" – weeknights at 7:00 on MSNBC.
Look for his bestseller, "Tip and The Gipper: When Politics Worked" to see how the big boys used to do it.
Before saying goodnight, Dave says to Chris: "Nice tie." I guess that's what Dave says to close the show when there are no drums around.
And that was our show for Wednesday, November 13, 2013.
The Bazooka Joe comic during the monologue . . . couple of things. What happened to Bazooka Joe that he needs to wear an eyepatch? And why does Mortimer have his turtleneck pulled halfway up his face? And would any comic today have "Bazooka" in the title?
Shhhhh! Don't say it. Don't say it. You can't say it. You better not say it. I heard a commercial on the radio for the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree and sing-along, although they didn't call it that. They called it the Rockefeller Center Holiday sing-along under the famous tree. Shhhh. You don't want to say "Christmas." You can't say "Christmas." You might offend . . . . you might offend . . . . . you might offend who exactly? And when they cut the tree down in Connecticut and trucked it to New York City, it was draped with a huge tarp reading, "The 2013 Rockefeller Center Tree." No no no . . . you don't want to say "Christmas." And now, come to think of it, I don't want to see the tree, either. Shhhh. Don't let me catch you saying "Christmas."
I'm WahooMike and that's An American Story.
Black Friday is called "Black" Friday because it's the start of the shopping season that will put stores in the black for the year. But that's from the viewpoint of the commercial establishments. I think we should put it back in our corner and call it "Red Friday."
Note to Major League Baseball – don't throw away the announcement of your MVPs and Cy Young winners, and Rookie of the Years and Manager of the Years . . . . take advantage! Announce them all on a midweek variety show special. Also feature and award the best plays of the year. Show lots of clips and highlights, along with musical guests and comedians. Show it on a Tuesday or Wednesday night . . . no competition from football, college or pro. C'mon, you guys! You even have your own network you can use! Do I have to think for everybody?
Tick tock, tick tock, tick tock . . . . I imagine MLB will discover this idea in about 5 years.
Check it out, boxing fans. Listen to boxing great Gerry Cooney talk about his career in the ring, and his bigger battles outside the ring. Listen in on www.steppinoutradio.com
Have you seen those banners and billboards and bumper stickers that read "Keep Christ Christmas"? Well, I think we may need to update that to "Keep Christmas in Christmas".
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