Self Expression Magazine

The End of an Era. Really.

By Myfilmproject09

The end of an era. Really.
 Only three more days left for watching a truly iconic television star. For those of you in Russia, Ukraine,Germany, France, Greece, Australia and South Korea on this blog, David Letterman is the biggest talk show host in America.
And he's retiring Wednesday.
For the last few weeks we've seen the biggest stars in Hollywood visit his talkshow. My
The end of an era. Really.director friend said he's truly the last good talk show host, even at age 68. And as far as the others, they're simply not his level. 
They might be, maybe one or two but otherwise each of the late night hosts seem exactly the same, a bunch of kids trying to outdo the other.
America's TV talk show began as a radio show back in the 1950's, with Steve Allen (1954-57), a comedian and musician. When he went to TV he was the first late-night talk show host. Allen was a truly gifted personality, and Letterman is closer to Allen than any of the other talk show hosts that followed. Allen would come swinging down in a bird costume over the audience or play his piano while a TV camera outside the studio would show people walking by with his comments. Allen was my favorite of all the hosts.
The end of an era. Really.After Allen left, a very different host followed, Jack Paar (1957-1962) who was notorious for not listening to the network, in fact he walked off once right in the middle of a show. But the biggest one was yet to come.
Johnny Carson (1962-1992) who had a game-show on TV took over the Tonite show. Carson was interestingly close to Letterman in that both came from the midwest and weren't that much into the movie star thing. Carson was perfect for his time and he put his brand on the show. He was truly the best in that there weren't really a lot of competitors and none of the competition never lasted.
The end of an era. Really.But when Carson decided to leave in 1992, a battle ensued as to who would be heir to the Carson seat. In fact a movie was made about how Jay Leno (1992-2009) did some backstabbing in order to get the job even though Johnny Carson wanted David Letterman to take over.  
The end of an era. Really.
Letterman never forgot that and jokes about Jay on Letterman's CBS show often showed up. Instead of Carson's show, Letterman went to CBS where he stayed until Wednesday, May 20, 2015. Making him the longest talk show host of any late night show.
Leno had the show for 10 years but NBC decided he was too old and took Leno off and installed Conan O'Brian, who unfortunately lasted a year before the NBC people decided to put Leno back.
Conan was kicked out but resurfaced on TBS, a cable network.
The end of an era. Really.
So that's the history.
And why is Letterman different.
As with Johnny Carson, Letterman wasn't a Hollywood insider and a lot of his humor related to those audiences in the mid-west. He was just a guy who would get actors on his show but also a zoo guy who would bring animals to the show or kids who did bird songs. He even had a woman who brought in the new toys for Christmas.
But my favorite Letterman bits was at Christmas where he had two people on, one was Jay Thomas, a minor comedian but who repeated his story about the Lone Ranger every year for at least ten years. And to top it off, Darlene Love would sing Merry Christmas Baby also. 
The end of an era. Really.
Christmas won't be Christmas anymore for me, although I have youtube. Friday's show had comedian Norm MacDonald on who barely make it to the end of his routine.
There's only two shows left, tomorrow Tom Hanks is on and the final show Wednesday on CBS is a collection of surprises.
The end of an era. Really.

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