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Thursday, February 6, 2014 The "Late Show" marquee the way it looked 50 years ago.
Show #3982
Patrick Stewart, Jimmy Dunn, and The Flaming Lips with Sean Lennon. PLUS: What Was on Up Against the Beatles; Joe Biden: Beat Poet; the Sochi Olympics; a Visit with Rupert; a Top Ten List; Dave Has a Nightmare; and Dave Bids Jay Leno Adieu.

" . . . and now, knows not where he's going to . . . . . . David Letterman!"

ACT 1:
- "50 years since the Beatles first performed here at the Ed Sullivan Theater. If you can remember that first appearance, it's could be time ask your doctor if Cialis is right for you."
- "Concern over the hotel-readiness in Sochi. When you're told that your room isn't ready, they mean it hasn't been built yet."

50 years ago . . . the Beatles here at the Ed. 71 million people watching at home. That was 40% of the entire population of the United States. Ever wonder what else was on when the Beatles were on CBS that night, February 9, 1964? (I'll have a story about that later) We take a look at what was running on NBC.
We see footage from the 60s.

ANNOUNCE: "The NBC Television Network presents 'The U.S. Smoking Championships,' brought to you by Philip Morris . . . . 'Ahh, that's healthy.' (We see people smoking) We'll be right back with the quarterfinals."

Hey, here's something we created. We call it, "Joe Biden: Beat Poet."
We find the V.P. at a lectern, lecturing. Beatnick bongos are heard, with some plucking on a bass.
BIDEN: "It's a quarter-horse, man. That's all it is . . . a quarter-horse. But that new Stingray . . . yo! Oh, ohh! You tach that sucker up to six grand, and it comes out of a hole like a bullet, man!"
More bongo/Seinfeld-like bass pluck.

Sochi . . . oy. Will they be ready for the Olympics? Big questions. We take a look at this: "Sochi Olympics: What to Expect" at the opening ceremonies.
ANNOUNCE: "While attempting to light the Olympic flame . . . (we see a bare-chested Vladimir Putin about to light the Olympic flame) . . . " . . . . Vladimir Putin's body oil catches fire.
This has been 'Sochi Olympics: What to Expect.' "

And not everybody gets the opportunity to go to Sochi. Many practice for years but discover they are not up to the high Olympic standards. We take a look at this.
We see a fellow trying to ski up and off a handrail. BUZZ. He goes right into a signpost up ahead.

Maybe he can't get to the Olympics, but I'm sure the X-Games are interested.

ACT 2:
Dave mentions that our friend Jay Leno, 22 years as host of "The Tonight Show," is hosting his last. He started as a regular guest host in 1987, and went on to become its permanent host in 1992. And tonight is his last. Little Jimmy Fallon will take over on February 17th. Dave says Jay was a guest on his Late Night over 40 times. Dave adds that if he were Jay and he was retiring, he'd go out and buy himself a car. Dave congratulates Jay on a job well done.

Out on Broadway on our marquee, we and CBS recreated the marquee displayed for the first visit by the Beatles. If you walked past it and let your imagination drift back, you would actually think it was a replication of the marquee seen the week of the Beatles first visit to the Ed Sullivan Show.

It's all Beatles all the time. How is Rupert celebrating the golden anniversary? We have a camera out by the Hello Deli and find Rupert standing outside the front door. Did he do anything to commemorate the big day?
RUPERT: "Well, I'm covering up my current health inspection grade with one from a few years ago."
Rupert covers the shop's C-rating with an 'A' from some years back.
No, it had nothing to do with the Beatles. But how about this . . . before it was the Hello Deli, the shop was called . . . . the Preview Sandwich Shop . . . I think, though I don't think it was the Preview Sandwich Shop 50 years ago. Maybe 25 years ago. Next time you're at the Hello Deli, look behind the Hello Deli canopy. In fact, you can see it here.
My favorite part of the Rupert visit . . . . his standing outside and just behind his left elbow is a garbage can teeming with garbage. Nice shot.

Taking over "The Tonight Show" will be Little Jimmy Fallon. Jimmy sings, Jimmy dances, Jimmy does impressions. Dave does none of that. Dave says "I do nothing. Nobody said to me I had to do impressions, or I had to sing or dance."

TOP TEN: SHOPPING MALL FUNERAL HOMES - to make themselves more available at a more comfortable setting, funeral homes have begun marketing their coffins, urns, and services at your local shopping mall.

10. Cadaver-crombie and Fitch
9. Cold Stone Crematorium
8. Dead, Bath and Beyond
7. Williams-Sayonara
6. Victoria's Casket
5. The Body Shop
4. H and M-Balmed
3. Dress Urn
2. Chuck E. Deceased
1. Eternal Sleepy's

Going into commercial, we see a shot of Jay as a guest on Dave's Late Night program.

ACT 3:
He's the Captain from one of the Star Treks. Sorry, I don't watch much of the Sci-Fi. In fact, I'm one of the very few Americans who have never seen "Star Wars." That's right, so for 30 years I haven't gotten one of the joke references about a Jedi or an R2D2 or "I am your father." But that's not why you're here.
Patrick Stewart is currently starring in two Broadway plays at the same theater with the same cast; "Waiting for Godot" and "No Man's Land." Just before the show, I asked about the pronunciation of "Godot". For years, it was guh-DOE. Now it's "GAH-doe". I think we had Nathan Lane here and that's the first I heard it was "GAH-doe." We weren't sure which one we should go with. And then someone came up with the brilliant idea: "Why not ask Patrick Stewart when he gets here." We went with "GAH-doe."
Is it difficult to do two different plays? Patrick says it isn't if you've been brought up in a repertoire theater. There you put on many plays during a week. Early in his career, he wouldn't be sure which play he was going to perform that day until he saw the costume waiting for him on a hanger.
Each week there are 8 total performances of "Waiting for Godot" and "No Man's Land." They break it down in an intelligent manner. The 2nd show on Saturday is "Godot." Sunday, Tuesday, Wednesday is also "Godot." The 2nd show on Wednesday is "No Man's." Thursday, Friday, and the first show on Sunday is also "No Man's."
Looking at it that way seems to make it easier.
While talking about his plays and schedule, Patrick almost touches Dave's knee. He apologizes, but Dave sort of liked the thought of that. He invites Mr. Stewart to go ahead and touch his knee. With some trepidation, Patrick accepts the offer.

Patrick was a pretty good athlete when he was younger. He was a Brit sprinter and hurdler. He deliberately lost a race when he had a prior commitment to appear in a play for his school later that night. If he won the race, he would have to travel for the Nationals. Who knows if he had won and didn't perform? His whole acting may have taken another direction.
We see a photo of Patrick running with the Olympic Torch at the 2012 London Summer Olympics. It was a very proud moment for him, but it was a lot harder than he expected.

As a Brit, the Beatles must have been huge for him. He even had some connection with the group. Back in 1964, Patrick was performing with Paul McCartney's girlfriend, Jane, at the time. During some down time, they would play some "What if" games. What would Patrick do if he had a million dollars? Patrick told Jane that he would buy an Aston Martin DB4. Two weeks later, Paul McCartney is in the audience. There was great excitement to have a Beatle in the audience. After the performance, Patrick gets a knock on the door. It is Paul. After some chit-chat, Paul says "I understand you like Aston Martins . . . here, drive this." Paul throws Patrick the keys. Minutes later, Patrick is driving an Aston Martin with Paul and Jane in the backseat. Wow. That's not a bad story to have in your pocket.

Dave invites Patrick to touch his knee once again. This time, Patrick is more willing.

Many know Patrick Stewart as Captain Picard from "Star Trek: The Next Generation." He is always being called "Captain" by fans, which he admits he rather enjoys. Patrick has a request: "Would you call me 'Captain' while I touch your knee?" Dave laughs and they do the deal. Stewart wonders if they overworked this "knee" thing. Dave says they have but that's what they're here for.

A very enjoyable visit with Patrick Stewart.
"Waiting for Godot" and "No Man's Land" - now playing at the Cort Theater on 48th Street.

ACT 4:
Dave is chatting with Paul about the impact the Beatles made on music. Dave then notices something odd. Tony's cue card . . . there's nothing on it. Tony is holding up a blank cue card. Dave then realizes what is going on. He's having that nightmare again where he's doing the show and then forgets what he has to do next. He is lost without his cue cards. Dave says he finds himself in the nightmare not knowing what to do or say next. TONY: "You mean like every show?"
Tony then begins a maniacal laugh. We see Paul in a crazed, dream-like laugh. Alan is laughing. Pat Farmer is laughing, too, but for some reason Pat is in his underwear. What kind of nightmare is this? We go back to Dave who is now fast asleep with his head down on the desk. Tony calls out to wake Dave. Tony explains to Dave that he fell asleep during the stupid nightmare sketch.
Dave is somewhat satisfied with the explanation, but still wonders: "So, if this is just a nightmare, why is Pat Farmer in his underwear?"
PAT FARMER: "It's laundry day, Dave."

ACT 5:
ANNOUNCE: "Make plans to catch tomorrow's Late Show, with Dave and his guests Regis Philbin, and Ms. Lauryn Hill. Are you supposed to keep those shiny bits of paper from Band-Aids? I've got boxes of them."

ACT 6:
Very funny about getting a snow-blower at the Home Depot, hot dogs, and seeing your wife in your football jersey. Catch Jimmy Dunn at Giggles Comedy Club in Saugus, Massachusetts on February 14th and 15th. Look for the sign that reads, "As seen on 'The Late Show with David Letterman!'"

ACT 7:
Performing "Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds." The lead singer looked to be wearing one of Paul Shaffer's jackets. Sean was looking like his dad on the "Hey, Jude" album.

Dave closes with a "Good night, Jay."

And that was our show for Thursday February 6, 2014.

Patrick Stewart says he was a sprinter in his youth, and hated the 400 meter race. It was a sprint, but it was a very long sprint. I could run the 400 (one lap around the track). I would tell myself it was only two half-laps. A half-lap is a breeze; two half-laps was a lot harder, but do-able. The hardest race I have ever run was the 880 . . . two laps around the track . . . . a half-mile. Just awful. It's like being a wrestler; if you can run the 880 in a good time, you are really doing something. For me it was the hardest event in all of track and field.

We did a piece tonight about what was on other channels during the Beatles appearance on CBS. We pretended that NBC was running "The U.S. Smoking Championships"
I wrote this ten years ago.

So all week I've been wondering why I didn't watch the first Beatles' appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show 40 years ago. I know we were a Disney family, usually watching that instead of the Sullivan show on at the same time. But 40% of all America watched Sullivan and the Beatles that night, over 73 million people, and I wasn't one of them, nor was any of my family. Why not? I did some research on the Google and I found someone who remembers crying his eyes out for HAVING to watch Sullivan that night instead of his beloved Disney. You see, on Disney that night was this guy's favorite show of all time, "The Scarecrow." That's when it all became clear to me. "The Scarecrow," a three-parter, was also a McIntee favorite and I'm sure we all wanted to watch "The Scarecrow," starring Patrick McGoohan as the Scarecrow, instead a bunch of long-haireds. I was 6 at the time and my two older brothers probably called the shot for "The Scarecrow." Obviously, it was more their fault than mine. Remind me the next time I see my brothers to find out their reasoning. Jack, Bob, if you're reading this, what's the story? Why "The Scarecrow" instead of The Beatles? And mom, where were you when this was going on? C'mon, you were just over 30 years old at the time. You didn't think Paul was the cat's pajamas? You missed The Beatles for "The Scarecrow"? WE missed out on The Beatles for "The Scarecrow"? Good grief. What a waste. Family, we got some talking to do. Just who was in charge of our television watching that night?

From "The Scarecrow" website:
"In 1964, the original cut of THE SCARECROW was broadcast in America on the NBC television network. Titled THE SCARECROW OF ROMNEY MARSH, it was shown as three, 1-hour episodes of WALT DISNEY'S WONDERFUL WORLD OF COLOR. It achieved high Nielsen ratings - as did later reruns. Premiere dates were February 9, 16, and 23, 1964. (Fans who remember missing the first episode because it aired the same night as the Beatles' first appearance on THE ED SULLIVAN SHOW are correct.) Rerun dates were August 16, 23, and 30, 1964, and May 10, 17, and 24, 1970."

Now there's something I don't get. The above says "The Scarecrow" achieved high Nielsen ratings for February 9, 16, and 23, 1964. Well, 73 million watched the Beatles on February 9th and 70 million watched the Beatles on Sullivan the 16th. The Beatles also appeared on Sullivan the 23rd and I'd bet a darn lot watched them that night as well. So where does this Scarecrow "achieved high Nielsen ratings" come from?

And that's why I didn't see the Beatles on the Ed Sullivan Show 50 years ago.

Michael Z. McIntee
Twitter: @WahooMike

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