Josh Brolin, Darlene Love, and the Holiday Quarterback Challenge with Jay Thomas.
PLUS: what’s on ESPN; hacked North Pole e-mails; Dick Cheney’s Cowboy Hat for sale; Paul’s annual “O Holy Night”; and a Top Ten List.
“ . . . and now, the jolly and the jovial . . . . . . . . David Letterman!”
-“The Russian economy is collapsing. Putin is financing his next invasion on Kickstarter.”
Did you see this today on ESPN? Very odd. We take a look.
We see suspenseful participants at a poker table. They are deep in thought; intense. The camera widens to reveal not playing cards, but a spinning dreidel. It stops on Gimel. Players react.
ANNOUNCE: ‘The World Series of Dreidel’ will continue in a moment.”
(ed.note – not sure if it was actually “gimel”)
Not so much here, but they were cracking up about that one in Williamsburg, Brooklyn!
The North Koreans have done it again. This time they’ve hacked the computer system at the North Pole. Shocking stuff. We take a look and listen.
ANNOUNCE: “Blitzen wants to know if he can have Hanukkah off”
And another hacked North Pole e-mail.
ANNOUNCE: “We had a little mishap with the jigsaw. There’s elf all over the place.”
Hey, did you hear the Republican National Committee is selling a Vice President Dick Cheney Cowboy Hat? We take a look at the infomercials they’re running.
ANNOUNCE: “Just in time for Christmas, the RNC is proud to offer the official Vice President Dick Cheney Cowboy Hat! This limited edition hat is engraved with the former Vice President’s signature, is specially lined with the Republican seal, and s fully waterproof for use in enhanced interrogation. It’s this year’s must-have holiday gift!
The Vice President Dick Cheney Cowboy Hat ---- available to GOP.com and participating CIA black sites.”
Dave got something during the pre-show Q&A. Some woman gave Dave a lengthy holiday poem about the Late Show. Some people have too much time on their hands, you think? And get this . . . she got a Late Show jacket out of it!
And could this also be for the very last time? Dave asks Paul for his rendition of Cher singing “O Holy Night.”
Pau says to goes back to the 60s. Sonny and Cher were doing their annual Christmas Show. Also appearing was Williams Conrad, a heavy, beefy guy who starred in the detective drama, Cannon. Dave describes him as a big fat guy. So, in this Christmas special, there is a long medley of Christmas songs, lots of festive Ho Ho Ho-ing and bells jingling. And then the music softens, the lights dim, the mood grows serious. Cher, in her Victorian coat slowly walks forward . . . . her hands in a muff. Dave interrupts, asking why that line . . . “her hands in a muff” . . . . always gets a laugh. Paul tries to explain, but it’s better left unsaid. Paul continues. He paints the picture. Snow is falling, Cher steps forward, her hands in a muff, and warbles something like this, “Ooooh, hooooolyyy niiiiiiiight, the stars are briiiiiightly shiiiiiiiiiiining.”
Oh, yes, Paul. Once again, it’s as if we were there.
TOP TEN: THINGS YOU DON’T WANT TO HEAR ON CHRISTMAS MORNING
10. “Unwrap me”
9. “Something’s moving in the tree”
8. “He left the cookies and milk, but they TV is gone.
7. “There’s a caroler frozen to the porch”
6. “Did you get a long, rambling poem about the Late Show, too?” (cut to the woman in the audience)
5. “My stocking has a foot in it.”
4. “Do you smell singed hair?”
3. “Santa left a photo he took of us sleeping”
2. “No, I said HUG grandma and WATER the tree.”
1. “Just messing with you kids . . . . give the presents back”
He enters, and makes a point of shaking Alan Kalter’s hand. Jay receives a huge ovation, which I think even he was surprised by.
Dave has Jay review the genesis of the Holiday Quarterback Challenge. Back in 1998, New York Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde was on the show and was challenged to knock the top piece off our Christmas tree. Vinny T threw once, twice, three times, four. He couldn’t hit the mark. Our next guest, Jay Thomas, was like a caged tiger in the green room wanting to get out there and show Dave and Vinny how it’s done. Jay ran out on stage totally on his own, eluding Biff who tried to keep him backstage. Jay grabbed a football and nailed the meatball on his very first throw. And like the Lone Ranger, he quickly ran back to the green room as if to say, “My work is done here!”
Dave then asks Jay to repeat the greatest talk show story in history. It’s another annual tradition at the Late Show. Before he begins, Jay says “I just gotta say, I am so glad this is over.”
And as always, I will cut-and-paste from past Wahoo write-ups of this story:
Many years back, Jay was a long-haired DJ down in Charlotte, North Carolina. He and a buddy, Mike Martin, were assigned to cover the opening of a Dodge Car Dealership. (new bit of information: Mike Martin's hair looked like the hair of a Bay City Roller). So they went to the dealership and did the event. Afterwards, Mike and Jay got "herbed up".
Also at the opening was the Lone Ranger. Yes, THE Lone Ranger, Clayton Moore. And he was dressed in his Lone Ranger attire. Clayton always played the part to the utmost whenever he was adorned in his Lone Ranger attire. So after the day was done, Jay and his pal were ready to drive home. Jay noticed that the Lone Ranger's ride back to the hotel was nowhere to be found, so Jay asked the Lone Rangers if he wanted a drive back. He accepted. The Lone Ranger got in the back seat and off they went. They were driving in a beat up, 10-year-old Volvo. They were stopped in traffic when the car in front of them, a Buick, suddenly backed up and smashed into their car, breaking a headlight. The car then fled. Jay was irate. He chased after the car angry as all hell. The chase went on for quite a while. Jay finally catches up to the fleeing driver by the Anderson Seafood Restaurant and they come face to face. The guy denies any wrong doing. Jay tells the guy he backed into his car and smashed his headlight. The guy again denies it. Jay says he is going to call the cops. The guy tells him to go ahead, adding, “Yeah? Well, go ahead. Who are they going to believe . . . . . me . . . . or you two hippy freaks?
And with that, the Lone Ranger in the back seat of the Volvo, still in his Lone Ranger regalia, slowly gets out of the car. The Lone Ranger approaches the confrontation and addresses the fleeing middle-aged motorist who is lying and placing the blame of the accident on Jay Thomas.
Says the Lone Ranger, "They'll believe me, citizen!"
And that's how it all happened.
And now it's time for The Late Show Holiday Quarterback Challenge. The meatball rests atop the tree. Dave and Jay take their position by Paul's organ. A bin of footballs rest on a stool. The combatants each take a pigskin. Dave and Jay take aim at the top piece on the tree, a meatball on a spike atop a pizza. After “x” amount of tosses, based on the whim of the edit room, Dave knocks the pizza off the tree. And soon Jay Thomas nails the meatball, the prized meatball, dead on for a direct hit. Success! Great applause. Dave thanks Jay for helping out once again. Jay chimes loudly, “I’ll never see you again, will I?” Dave doesn’t miss a beat: “No, you won’t.”
Josh is in the new film, “Inherent Vice,” with Joaquin Phoenix, but first Dave wants to get to the film “Everest”. Josh knew the film would require lots of mountain climbing and he wanted to be prepared. For four months, Josh worked out twice-a-day, did hours and hours of mountain climbing, and became hooked on a healthy lifestyle. On the first day of the shoot, he arrived to find the other actors smoking and drinking and lounging. He felt as if he shouldn’t have prepared so hard. But it was a blessing in that it got him to the healthy side of life.
And speaking of the healthy side of life, what’s it like working with Joaquin Phoenix. Josh says the guy is tremendously talented, but you’re never quite sure if you’re actually talking to Phoenix or a character within Phoenix. He’s a bit of an odd dude, plus he carries around a little dog like Paris Hilton.
It’s “Inherent Vice” – now playing in selected theaters and opens nationwide on January 9th.
Darlene says how Dave loved her classic Christmas song back on the old show in 1986, exclaiming, “That is the greatest Christmas song I ever heard.” And in 1994, with Paul’s urging, she’s been back ever since. Thank goodness. Darlene says it’s been reported that she’s claimed that tonight will be the last time she will ever sing, “Christmas, Baby, Please Come Home.” Darlene says, “That’s crazy talk!” Of course she will sing it again, but not on another talk show. She says this is Dave’s song.
And then we go to commercial. The set-up for the big number took some 20 minutes. Paul and the band played “That Loving Feeling” during the break, with the chorus joined in along the way when they could. And then . . . . . for the last time on the Late Show, Darlene Love singing
“Christmas, Baby, Please Come Home.”
The snowfall . . . when the snow begins to fall . . . that’s the part that gets me. Every time.
And once the song is over, we all feel the same way: Let the holidays begin.
And that was our show for Friday, December 19, 2014.
Going in and out of commercial, we got to see men and women of the armed service with heartfelt messages to their loved ones at home.
I’m sorry, but I have no more RUDOLPH AT THE BAR to share with you. But there is this! From Wahoo reader and longtime Late Show/Late Night fan, once again it’s Marilyn Sargent’s epic Late Show holiday poem. Enjoy. Yeah, it’s from the lady in the audience, the one that got the Late Show jacket!
'Twas My Night at the Late Show -The Final Edition
My last night at the "Late Show" and all through the Ed,
Memories were stirring in my heart and my head.
I looked with nostalgia at the desk and the chair,
That soon would be taken by Stephen Colbert.
The audience was wistful and snug in their seats,
With show-and-tell visions of variety meats
When there, in the theater, I started to chatter
Folks gathered around to see what was the matter.
More rapid than dingoes, my gratitude came.
So I whistled, and shouted, and thanked them by name:
"Thanks, Dorothy. Thanks, Shecky. Thanks, Morty and Biff,
Next time you're thrown a football, try not to whiff.
Thanks, Gerard Mulligan, you've done it in style.
Thanks, Jude, Sue and Inky. And I can't forget Lyle.
Thanks to the writers, like Steve, Matt, Bill and Joe.
Gaines, Nancy, Maria, and girls who 'Hi Ho!'
Thanks, Hal, Harold, George Clarke for all that you do,
And thank you, Mike McIntee, you've made us 'Wahoo!'
Eddie Brill and the Stangels, Mujibur, Sirajul,
And the CBS Orchestra (past and present) all rule.
Thanks, digital media guys, Walter and Jay
Stuck in the web, but I'm being told they're O.K.
To the whole staff and crew, thanks for the laughter
Lassally, Favale and good luck Hereafter.
Thanks to all interns who've made the show greater.
Laugh about that now. Think about it later.
Thanks, Kay, Ray and Bethany, thanks, Dr. Aronne,
Rupert, thanks for the meat. And that's no bologna.
Thank you, Chris Elliott – always good for a howl,
Thanks, Michele and Kathleen, with her mouth so foul.
Thanks, Gene, take time off. Thanks, Todd, for the cues.
It couldn't be easy filling big Cuban shoes.
Thanks, Dave Dorsett, cameraman extraordinaire,
'We Made This Show Rob' and the 'Late Show' Bear.
Thanks, Johnny and Merrill, for their inspiration,
Thanks, Graham Fenwick-Jones, the king of translation.
Thanks, Pat and Kenny, for each transcript spoof
And all of the things you have thrown off the roof.
Thanks, Gary, for manning the genius switch,
Thanks, 'Who Gives a Rat's Ass' Pete Fatovich.
Thanks, Marv and Jack Hannah, a wacky, wild sight.
And monkey/rock, those guys? I mean, am I right?
Friends Reeg, Randall, Murray, there were none kinder,
And thanks, Johnny Dark, and the girl with the grinder.
Martin Short and Steve Martin, more big show amigos,
Thanks for remembering. Thanks for the egos.
Thanks, Darlene and Jay Thomas for the traditions,
Thanks to the guests, the comics, and the musicians.
Thanks, Les, Foley, Tepper and Calvert DeForest,
And thank you to Letterman's lemon tree florist.
Thanks, Wendell, then Kalter, Big Red warmup ANNOUNCER!"
I think I was too loud because then came the bouncer.
For there, like a man on fire, right in my face,
Was the unamused presence of one Bill DeLace.
"Get out," he shouted, and "Stop all that thanking."
I was one Stupid Human Trick away from a spanking.
I drew in my breath, but I'd deal with this Foo,
I thought, "Is This Anything?" and then I thanked him, too.
And thanks AFL, for although the show ends
I know for a Fun Fact we'll always be friends.
Because no Charts And Graphs -- no Quiz Machine, too,
Could measure the Top 10 Things We've All Been Through.
We know our cuts of meat and if they'll sink or float.
We've all watched Paul Shaffer in a cape and a coat.
We need no intuitive, like that Deborah Lynn
To be certain it never was Lance on that Schwinn.
Now I'd better not cry, and I'll try not to pout,
As I now thank the person the whole show is about.
You filled our comedy stockings night after night
Our Worldwide Pants will no longer fit right.
From Warren to Farrah to Drew on the desk,
Even in times of trouble, you were the best.
No more dog-and-pony show to delight and inspire
But we wish you much happiness as you retire.
So please hear me exclaim as you move out of sight,
"Thank YOU, David Letterman." And to all a good night.
Thanks for making it an easy Wahoo, Marilyn.
Enjoy the holidays, all, and see you in 2015!
Michael Z. McIntee