Jimmy Fallon

David Letterman guests on "The Tonight Show starring Johnny Carson"

How David Letterman Became Johnny Carson, and Everyone Else Became David Letterman

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Last week, as part of their (understandably) protracted and hyped-up farewell to David Letterman, CBS aired a 90-minute prime-time special called David Letterman: A Life on Television. Hosted by Ray Romano, it was a clean, efficient retrospective that wrapped Dave’s memorable moments into tight little packages: celebrity interviews of note, political high-rollers, “friends of the show,” recurring segments, and so on. But the special was strangely incongruent to the true spirit of the show, which was never about immortal moments or rehashed clips; it was about an overall spirit, a loose, gonzo, hanging-out vibe. When Letterman’s idol Johnny Carson did an anniversary special or his own farewell tour back in 1992, you knew you were gonna see the tomahawk clip or Tiny Tim’s wedding. But that wasn’t what Letterman’s show — whether Late Night at NBC or The Late Show at CBS — was, or why those of us who loved Letterman watched… Read More

Promo art for "Louie"

‘Louie’ Season 5 Episode 2 Recap: “A la Carte”

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For a show about a stand-up comic, and with frequent inserts of its protagonist doing that job, Louie doesn’t often delve deep into stand-up comedy itself; as on Seinfeld, comedy is our title character’s job, and the particulars of that job are of only a passing interest, as in any workplace sitcom. But occasionally, Louie goes into the weeds: on the first-season “Heckler” episode (see title), in last year’s “Model” (where our hero badly bungles opening for, wouldn’t ya know it, Jerry Seinfeld at a charity function), and on last night’s “A la Carte,” an episode easily read as Louie’s take on the current vogue of “confessional comedy.”
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