DDY's Late Show in Review: 2014

"This man has influenced every host who came after him, and even a few who came before him. He's that good! And I've gotta tell you, I do not envy whoever they try to put in that chair."
– Stephen Colbert, April 10, 2014

The Most Memorable Guests of 2014

Brian Williams, a Top Five guest, was in on January 16, discussing Chris Christie's bridge scandal, Russia's Winter Olympics and Fallon, and nailing a Regis impression. ••• Back to celebrate 32 years on late night TV, Bill Murray did a fly-over of the set on January 31. ••• A nice assortment of Winter Olympics gold medalists appeared in February. Katelyn Farrington was my favorite. ••• Beautiful Amber Heard dropped by on Feb. 17 to plug Three Days to Kill. She told us about her dad, the horse breaker. She was a perfect talk show guest. ••• Tom Brokaw, with serious health issues, explained the issues we face with Ukraine on March 6. It was encouraging when Tom returned on Dec. 17, and announced that his recovery was going as well as it could possibly be. Then he gave his usual brilliant analysis of current events. ••• Rocky was on Broadway, and so was Sylvester Stallone, who shared some raw eggs with Dave on March 12. ••• Bill Murray was a surprise guest on April 2. Seeing tonight's other guest, Lady Gaga, is on his bucket list, and he hangs around for her concert in the Roseland Ballroom. Bill returned on October 15 with tales of George Clooney's wedding. ••• Billy Crystal, in April 4 to plug 700 Sundays the day after Dave announced his retirement, put himself in the running for Dave's job. "I would crush this," Billy said. ••• On April 9, Lindsay Lohan plugged her reality show. She and Dave got Oprah on the phone. Lindsay was on New Halloween Costumes at 6½. ••• The guest appearance by Stephen Colbert on April 22 was kind of a big deal. ••• On April 30, Dave's former writer, Adam Resnick, was a great guest. He was in to plug his new book, Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation, and returned on November 25. ••• On May 2, Don Rickles said of Dave's retirement, "It's time." ••• On May 11, Miss USA, Nia Sanchez, presented the Top Ten Miss USA Pageant Mistakes. What a beauty! ••• Elle Fanning, 16, was a sweet guest. Dave says, "I am so dumb. If I had known you were coming on the program, I would have not announced my retirement." Elle returned on Oct. 9, telling about her quest for a driver's license, and throwing out the first pitch at a Dodgers game. ••• I was outside the Ed Sullivan Theater on June 3 when Martin Short was taping his appearance. (I'd been inside for the June 2 show, so the six-month rule got me!) Martin's musical number, "Swimsuit Season," was his latest hilarious musical number. He returned five months later, on November 3, with his song about plastic surgery. ••• On June 12, Regis informs Dave, "It's pretty cool when you don't have to worry about getting fired, 'cause you've already fired yourself!" Regis Lee, now with white hair, returned on November 19 to announce his new Odd Couple role as a flasher. ••• Shep Gordon, who I'd never heard of, was a fascinating guest on June 17. He became a Hollywood agent by accident. ••• Former Marine Corporal Kyle Carpenter inspired us on June 26. (Here's an ESPN feature on Kyle from November.) ••• Joan Rivers appeared on July 8 to plug her book, Diary of a Mad Diva. Dave faked offense to Joan's mocking of a Depends commercial, and walked off the set, spoofing her action on CNN a few days earlier. Joan, the veteran talk show host, took over the telecast. ••• Liv Tyler, always sweet and charming, told about her cross-country RV trip with her young son on July 15.. ••• Kurt Russell's visit with Dave on July 14 about minor league baseball was awesome. ••• Emma Stone is a favorite of mine. July 16 marked her fourth appearance, which included quite an open discussion by Emma and Dave on their thoughts on the metaphysical world. On December 15, we learned of Emma's newfound powers while on Prednisone, and Dave and Emma took some selfies. ••• On July 17, Dave told Colin Firth, "If I could be half as charming as you are, the rest of the world could just kiss my ass." Colin's response was, "I was born British." ••• On July 22, Ricky Gervais has a hilarious visit, with the principal topic being Dave's retirement. (video) ••• I want to give a shout out to Shannon Eis, who's been on numerous times with holiday toys, summer toys, etc. Her latest visit, in July, gave Dave lots of silly gadgets to turn into comedy. She cheerfully puts up with Dave's silliness, and is much appreciated. Edit: Shannon's next visit, in December, gave Anna Kendrick comedy gold. ••• Mike Myers, in on August 28, directed Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, the documentary about Shep Gordon, who appeared in June. Mike had funny stories about his kids, as well. ••• Tina Fey, one of the funniest persons ever, appeared on September 4, with hilarious anecdotes on her three-year-old offspring, Penelope. ••• On September 9, Michael Strahan and Dave had an interesting discussion on the role of the NFL when a player's conduct crosses the line. ••• Dave's visit with Dr. Phil McGraw on September 9 began funny, followed by a meaningful discussion on domestic violence. ••• Jason Bateman, as usual, came prepared with funny stories on September 11. ••• Also on September 11, Billy Eichner, who I'd never heard of, played "Celebrity Child or Kentucky Derby Winner?." Dave loved it because Billy screamed at him nonstop. ••• September 22 marked the 96th appearance of Jack Hanna. He never disappoints. ••• Dave absolutely loved The Equalizer. He informed Denzel Washington on September that upon retirement, he intends to embark upon a career in equalizing. ••• Kelly Ripa, on September 24, explained how a selfie of her butt (intended for hubby) made its way to the in-laws. ••• On September 29, Neil Patrick Harris read a passage from his interactive autobiography. "I love David Letterman. He's like a father figure to me... only a sexy father. So suave... so rakishly handsome, and a generous kisser... and a generous lover. You might expect him to be more selfish in bed, but no, he's very thoughtful. He's always tending to my needs first." ••• October 1 guest Bill O'Reilly and Dave have set aside past differences, and now have meaningful discussions of current events. ••• Anderson Cooper, in on October 8, is an outstanding communicator. ••• Taylor Swift was a charming guest on October 28, as usual. She performed her new "Welcome to New York." (Taylor recently moved to the city from Nashville.) ••• Jennifer Lawrence drew a bunch of press over her November 12 return, revealing her latest ailments and encounters with ghosts. For a fun and memorable guest, you can't do better than Jennifer. ••• On November 25, Emily Blunt announced that she had saved Meryl Streep's life on a movie set. ••• Then, on December 10, Meryl Streep diplomatically replied, "Well... I hate to contradict her, but she did try to save me, but I think what I tripped on was... her foot... which she had thrown up on the table, in an attempt to kill me." Before leaving, Meryl was kind enough to record a commercial for Meryl Streep and Susan Hum's Academy of Dramatic Arts. ••• Anna Kendrick appeared on December 16 to plug Into the Woods, and reported her personal adventures on Ambien, the sleepwalking drug. ••• On December 19, Jay Thomas told his Lone Ranger story one last time, won the quarterback challenge and informed Dave, "I'll never see you again!" ••• Also on December 19, about 30 musicians convened at the Ed, joining Darlene Love in an uplifting performance of "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)."

The Best Musical Guests of 2014

May 6: Foster the People, with a children's choir, gave an incredible performance of "Best Friend." Jerry Foley did an outstanding job of directing the segment. I've watched their performance often since May. It was one of the top five of the year. ••• April 21: Christina Perri sang her single, "Human." ••• June 2: I personally witnessed Elizabeth Cook singing "Pale Blue Eyes." Everyone, including the CBSO, was awestruck. ••• June 18: Sam Smith's performance of "Stay With Me" drew positive reviews. ••• July 21: Whether you're a big fan of "MacArthur Park" or not, the CBSO, Will Lee and a 22-piece orchestra gave an excellent performance, arranged by Tom "Bones" Malone. ••• Oct. 6: I was impressed by Jackson Browne's number from his new album, "Standing in the Breach." ••• Oct. 13 - 17: Foo Fighters' week in residence will be remembered as one of the Late Show's best-ever ideas. The appearances drew a great deal of publicity, and fans reacted positively. To add to the fun, Foo Fighters did a comedy piece for each show. ••• Dec. 8: It was good to have Rev. Al Green back, with "Tired of Being Alone," and an encore with "Let's Stay Together." ••• Dec. 9: Everyone I've heard from absolutely loved Dolores LaLa Brooks of The Crystals, who brought an excellent orchestra and back-up singers, to sing "Then He Kissed Me" and "Da Doo Ron Ron" (1963). ••• No surprise, we're naming Darlene Love's 21st performance of "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)" as the top musical performance of the year, and credit for this has to be shared with Paul, the CBS Orchestra and upwards of 30 musicians onstage for this beloved event. ••• One final thing: In the 20 minutes needed to set up for Darlene Love, Paul and the musicians onstage play The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'." Will Lee sang, excellent as always, and Paul and the back-up singers joined in. It was tremendous! (YouTube)

Top Targets of 2014

Early in the year, Vladimir Putin (shirtless, Winter Olympics and the Ukraine) and crack-loving mayor Rob Ford got lots of airtime. Then Gov. Chris Christie's staff shut down the George Washington Bridge. April 28 was the first reference to Donald Sterling and the phone call that cost him the Los Angeles Clippers. Charles Manson, 80, returned to the public scene in November, when we learned of his plans to marry a lovely head case, age 26. The Stupidity Virus was a fun mid-November topic. George W. Bush made a triumphant return to Late Show monologues in late fall, when his former communications director, Nicolle Wallace, joined The View. OK, I know... Paul Rosolie only got worked over on the show for three days, but the outrageousness of wanting to be eaten by an anaconda qualifies him for mention.

Fun with Staff

The year started strong. On January 9, several staff co-starred in "Der Teufel." ••• Episode 4,000 aired on March 11. Long-time Late Show staffers presented the Top Ten Thoughts I've Had 4,000 Times. ••• Bedbugs were a summertime topic. Sarah Connell and Joe DeGeorge appeared in a PSA for the See Something, Swat Something program. ••• It's always good when Pete Fatovich drops by. He did a commercial for the iPhone 6. ••• "Flu Season at the Late Show" showed up just in time in November, featuring lots of staff. ••• I don't think any of us saw this coming: Meryl Streep and Sue Hum collaborating in Meryl Streep and Susan Hum's Academy of Dramatic Arts. Who knew? ••• I enjoy Dave's rhetorical questions in his monologues, often designed to draw an embarrassing confession from the horn section, Tom, Aaron and Frank, so I've started Fun with the Horn Section. ••• Don't you hate it when people capitalize on their fellow earthlings' misfortune when they shoot a finger off? Just look at Dan Fetter's commercial for Finger Finder®.

Producer Brian Teta was walking down Broadway on June 3, minding his own business, when I met him on the sidewalk and introduced myself. I've enjoyed his all-too-infrequent appearances on the show. He couldn't have been nicer to meet. He gave me a heads-up that he'd on the show that night, in "National Sandwich Bee." Unfortunately, I don't believe we've seen him on the show since then. (By the way, he said this segment had been taped five years earlier!)

Big Red, Alan Kalter, has done an incredible job as the new audience warm-up guy this year. I got to see him do it on June 2. He was hilarious, and I can't imagine anyone doing it better! I loved his rant in "Alan Kalter's Celebrity Birthdays." ••• Dave informs Alan that he's "an awful, awful man" after "Alan Kalter Environmental Fund." ••• Big Red followed that with his commercial for thepeemart.com. (Repel pests the natural way.™) ••• Oops! Someone wrote "Alan Kalter's Where Does It All Go?" without informing him. Stand by for another rant. ••• Alan had a 17-minute, behind-the-scenes interview with WGN Radio. ••• Finally, just in case you're in the dry cleaning industry, have a look at what happens if you don't properly crease Alan's pants.

Writer Joe Grossman wasn't seen enough, but we found him a few times. He pitched puns to Foo Fighters (in spite of a pesky heat rash), and pitched jokes to Wu Tang Clan. ••• In New York, there are many people in service roles who should be tipped at holiday time. Joe helps us plan with his "Guide to Holiday Tipping," and as usual, gets himself in the doghouse.

Writer R.J. Fried did some creepy and funny monologue interruptions that should have been continued: June 23 ••• June 24 ••• June 25

Lifelong intern Todd Seda was the topic of numerous Internet searches that brought people to my site this year. He had a number of remotes this year, and was upbeat and very funny in all of them. Here are some samples: Super Bowl XLVIII ••• Super Bowl XLVIII Media Day ••• International Auto Show ••• Kentucky Derby ••• Indy 500 Carburetion Day ••• Stanley Cup Finals ••• 2014 All-Star Game ••• Todd finished the year with an important "The More You Know" about exploding turkeys.

Writer Steve Young apologized for a Rob Ford joke in May, but he had an excellent excuse. Steve introduced us to "Late Show Comedy Substitutes" in November. You get the look and feel of actual comedy, minus the abdominal discomfort of a gut-busting laugh. ••• I believe Steve Young wrote this hilarious piece, which Dave himself did in late summer: "Grape Break." My compliments to Paul and the CBSO for the awesome theme song. On January 29, we saw a catchy musical tribute to Super Bowls past, written by Steve.

Associate producer Wahoo Mike McIntee, as a CBS vice-president, got Dave's retirement intentions in writing. ••• Don't miss Mike's Pizza Hut's Super Skinny Slice ad from October! ••• In November Sweeps, Mr. Wahoo presented Dave with a Do Not Cease and Do Not Desist Order.

Pat Farmer never disappoints. He gave us the hilarious "Turkey Preparation 101" just in time for Thanksgiving.

New Books


Late Show Rough Cuts

Releasing videos of Dave's preshow audience visits to YouTube was a great idea:

Dave's Classic Desk Chats of 2014

  • January 7: What does it take to convince you people? Dave's socks are gray!

  • March 4: Dave explains the delights of waffles

  • April 3: Dave announces his retirement, to be sometime in 2015.

  • April 21: Dave tells his hickory nut story. (about Dorothy)

  • July 17: Dave investigates the exploding stage light.

  • August 18: Dave gave us a wonderful 10½-minute eulogy of Robin Williams. It was respectful, funny and sincere.

  • September 4: Dave gives his eulogy for Joan Rivers.

  • September 12: It's Dave vs. The Eagles. A lady in the audience asked Dave to go to an Eagles concert. In a spontaneous desk chat that spans about eight minutes, Dave has an on-air discussion with his staff about licensing rights for the CBSO to play Eagles music. Nancy Agostini warns him that the group never releases their music for television. Can't we get around this? What would it cost us? Every fan I heard from loved this interaction, as Dave's staff seemed concerned that he'd rebel on them, and get them sued. (His staff prevailed!)

  • December 8: Dave gives us a four-minute discourse on the gent who set out to be eaten by a 40-foot anaconda for the Discovery Channel.


Visit These Sites for Extra Credit.

  • With the Late Show in its last year, two unknown fans started a Twitter account, @ByeLetterman, compiling Letterman Memories. It has links to classic YouTube videos, articles, etc. spanning the past 32 years. They're running theme weeks, e.g., a recent look back at Gerard Mulligan's antics. March yourself over there and have a look.

  • The Late Show made an awesome move in 2014, by greatly increasing the amount of material placed on their YouTube account, TheLateShow. The clips are high quality, and can be easily downloaded (with the right extensions). There are numerous playlists, such as comedy, musical, Top Ten, monologues, SHTs, SPTs, etc. etc. Oh... did I mention that it's all free?! My thanks and compliments to everyone involved with this offering!

  • I check @Letterman on Twitter several times a day for previews of the evening's episode, and links to the latest videos. One of the show's greatest ideas in 2014 was to ask guests to write whatever they'd like on an @LETTERMAN card, and hold it for a photo. Sometimes the comment is used to preview the episode, and other times it's a response to something funny or scandalous in the interview. I believe Erin Andrews was first, on March 10.

  • Are you reading the Wahoo Gazette every day at work? Of course you are! Here in the Central time zone, it generally lands in my yard during lunch hour. Mike McIntee gives us awesome episode recaps every day, plus fun behind-the-scenes happenings at the show, Midtown Manhattan traffic reports and beverage reviews. Don't miss it! It's free.

  • After reading the Gazette, if you're really, really bored, you can check my episode logs. Be the first in your state to ever see them! Logs for the past seven years are available. The logs from 1985 to 2007 are only in the hands of trusted friends.

  • Here's an unpaid, unsolicited plug for my friend Rupert Jee's Hello Deli web page. Visit Hello Deli, at 213 West 53rd Street, when you're wandering up and down Broadway, hoping to be discovered. Rupert has to be the most-photographed human being in all of New York. You can order fabulous Late Show merchandise from his site.

  • Here's an intro page for Paul Shaffer's Day in Rock.

  • With Dave and Paul since Day One, Will Lee has a site with updates on his music. Also, here's a very cool site with the latest on Will's band, The Fab Faux.

  • Some day I hope to hear Al Chez and the Brothers of Funk. I miss Al on the Late Show.

  • Get better acquainted with Late Show staff. Visit Alan Page's Backstage Photo Club album on Facebook.

  • Dave joined Jerry Seinfeld for Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, in the installment "I Like Kettlecorn."

  • Steve Young continues to add material related to his book, Everything's Coming Up Profits: The Golden Age of Industrial Musicals, to his web site, industrialmusicals.com.

  • In early November, I was contacted by slate.com. They'd been looking for patterns and themes in over 41,000 Top Ten entries. They asked me to make them videos of Top Tens that made fun of Regis. (Sure, I had a month to spare!) I was able to make 12 videos, to add to ones they'd found in my Video Archives. They were nice enough to credit me at the end of their well-done compilation video, "Regis in the Top Ten," which can be found in their feature, Top 10 Things to Love About Letterman's Top Ten Lists.

  • Paul and Victoria Shaffer made a fun video in support of The Shelter Pet Project. (web page)

  • You'll want to listen to WGN Radio's interview with TV's Alan Kalter.

And down the stretch they come!

So much about the Late Show is now seen as if looking at the finish line. Old friends like Regis, Jeff Altman or Tom Hanks come on, and you think, "Is this their last visit?" The reality of the end hit me hardest when I saw an afternoon Twitter picture from @Letterman, promoting the Halloween Costumes segment for that evening. It was just a couple of kids in silly outifts, but it was to be the last. Now the show's recruiting people and critters for what they're billing as the final Stupid Human Tricks and Stupid Pet Tricks. At this point you rarely come across a Twitter discussion or the show's latest YouTube post without seeing sentiments like "I'm really going to miss them," or "Dave's the best ever."

I signed on in week one of Late Night. With repeats, 7,000+ hours have been spent with Dave and Paul. I think often of the staff we've grown to know and admire. Where will they go from here? We're losing our favorite show, but they're looking for new jobs. A number of them have worked together for up to 30 years, and will be going their separate ways. I hope somehow they know how much we appreciate them, and wish them well.

We're compiling the comments of guests and others on Dave's retirement. On July 22, Ricky Gervais offered his hilarious words of wisdom about retirement to Dave. (video)

We close with this from mid December: Jamie Foxx leads the audience in "Don't go, Dave!" cheers.

"Watching the Late Show is a right -- and a responsibility."  – Alan Kalter, Nov. 3, 2014

Jan  Feb  Mar  Apr  May  Jun  Jul  Aug  Sep  Oct  Nov  Dec

1Alan Page debuted this very nice new feature on December 20: Backstage Photo Club Album. Alan's working with Chris Dimino, Late Show graphics man, to post top-quality versions of the staff trading cards seen on-air.
7What better way start the year than a visit from our old friend, Marv Albert, and the year-end Albert Achievement Awards?
7According to the Internet (so it has to be true), Kim Jong-Un served his uncle to a pack of 120 starving dogs in December. Time will tell how much staying power the story has, but the Late Show has intercepted audio of the Uncle Dining Dogs.
8It's been too long. Dr. Lou Aronne, in front of a stand-up comedy brick wall, presents the first "Health Beat with Dr. Lou Aronne" since December 6, 2011. Tonight's topic: Cold Weather Advice.
9Oops! Chris Christie fired his deputy chief of staff last night. She cooked up a scheme to tie up traffic on the George Washington Bridge between the Upper West Side and New Jersey. The governor denied all knowledge in a 107-minute press conference this morning. Here's the second source of comedy gold for 2014!
9Is it Der Teufel, The Wicked One, The Enemy of Righteousness, or is it just a household appliance? (video)
15The Orwells sing. Their segment ends about a minute early. Dave goes over to greet them, then calls for an encore. They just stand there, dumbfounded. After a bit, Paul fires up the CBS Orchestra, and they seem to be covering The Orwells' song. The next day, the Rolling Stone posts The Orwells Talk Instantly Infamous Letterman Performance.
16It's embattled Governor Chris Christie on the Dave phone. "Shut up!," exclaimed the governor. The Los Angeles Times has full coverage.
16Brian Williams is a Top Five guest on the Late Show. I always look forward to his insight on current events, and often the festivities end with an amazing Regis impression. (Sometimes there's a misdemeanor outside, as well.) It should be pointed out that Dave had to correct Brian on, "I wouldn't give his troubles to a monkey on a rock."
21New York City got socked with quite a snowstorm. Thousands of flights were canceled in the Northeast. Rather than the traditional El Blizzardo Grande, Dave's calling this Polar Vortex XLVII. Dave: "The driving conditions are going to be nightmarish, so be extra careful while texting!"
21Supervising producer Kathy Mavrikakis interrupts Dave's monologue to inform him that because of the heavy snow, all nonessential employees may leave early. She's not taking "no" for an answer. (video)
21A bucket of snowballs is delivered to Dave. He and Nancy Agostini toss them at the horns of Aaron Heick, Frank Greene and Tom "Bones" Malone. Score!
22It was a fine day for guests. Dave visits with Martin Scorsese about The Wolf of Wall Street, DeNiro and his mother cooking on Late Night. The lovely Allison Williams, just off a 14½-hour flight from Paris, plugs Girls and updates us on dad Brian feeding the backyard fox.
23Toronto mayor Rob Ford is in the limelight again, as earlier this week he was recorded given a drunken discourse (with a Jamaican accent) in a fast food place. About 4 a.m. today, little Justin Bieber got arrested for drag racing in Miami in a rented Lamborghini. He's charged with DWI (Driving While Insufferable).
27Dave: "So anyway, Peyton Manning is back. He's 37 years old! Never better, and he says that he'd like to play another season. And I thought, 'Boy, oh boy, don't you hate it when an old guy doesn't know when to quit?' "
28Today, the great Will Lee was inducted into the Musicians Hall of Fame in Nashville. Will's been with Dave and Paul since day one, February 1, 1982. He has recorded with pretty much every musician who's anybody. Will is actively involved with The Fab Faux, and has sung for countless commercials. Congratulations, Will.
28Out of commercial, we find Dave on split-screen with Regis Philbin over at Fox Sports. The two gents try to engage in their usual banter, but a pesky satellite delay pretty much dooms the proceedings.
29Writer Steve Young and his industrial musicals book, Everything's Coming Up Profits, make The New York Times.
29Steve Young wrote a funny musical "History of the Super Bowl." (YouTube)
30Nielsen Sweeps is January 30 - February 26.
30Dr. Phil and Dave have a tremendous interview, discussing Justin Bieber's antics and why Dave picks on Regis so relentlessly. (video)
30Graham Fenwick-Jones is back to discuss Super Bowl XLVIII. (video)
31 Todd Seda, as Todd the Intern, has "Biff Duty" at the Super Bowl XLVIII Media Day. By the way, congrats to Todd as he closes in on a five-year internship. (video)
31Tomorrow marks the 32nd anniversary of Dave's appearance on late night TV. Bill Murray, Dave's first guest on Late Night and the Late Show, flies over the stage as Peter Pan. He's been a tremendous friend of the show, and he always comes with material. (133 MB video)

"So, let me get this straight. People in other countries think I'm a foreigner?"  – Alan Kalter, Oct. 29, 2014
3Today is the beginning of an observance by the Late Show of The Beatles' first appearance on American TV, from the Ed Sullivan Theater on Feb. 9, 1964. The musical guests will play Beatles songs, and the CBSO will play them into and out of commercials.
3Russell Wilson, Super Bowl XLVIII champion quarterback, was an awesome guest.
3Joe Grossman tells Super Bowl jokes for Volkswagen®. He's wearing angel wings, inspired by a VW Super Bowl commercial yesterday. (video)
4 Todd Seda, as Todd the Intern, has "Biff Duty" at Super Bowl XLVIII. John Travolta evaluates his dancing, he leads fans in song and gets rib-smashing chest bumps during the victory celebration. (video)
7Regis Philbin is on, and Dave hopes to treat him kindly tonight. He worries that every time he's with Regis, he goes into attack mode, and "feels the need to eviscerate him." Dave actually is nice to Regis tonight. (video)
9It's The Night That Changed America: The Beatles - A Grammy Salute. This awesome 2½-hour special was produced in cooperation with the National Academy of Recording Arts & Sciences (the Grammys organization). David Letterman, often mentioned in these logs, visited with Sir Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr in the Ed Sullivan Theater on this, the 50th anniversary of their first performance in America, on the Ed Sullivan Show. Only about six minutes of Dave's interview was seen in this special. Both legendary musicians seemed to completely enjoy the star-studded tribute, as they listened to others perform their hits, and at the end, performed themselves.
17Amber Heard, from the Austin, Texas area, used to break horses until she broke into acting. She's a fun and beautiful guest. (video)
18(Dave): "Charlie Sheen is engaged to an adult film star. Not only is he gonna marry her, but she'll be workin' the bachelor party."
18Hey, don't blame the messenger... either Dave or me. Barbara Walters, 84, revealed on The View the other that she owns and operates a battery-powered appliance. In his desk chat tonight, Dave tiptoes around the subject, announcing that she uses a "device." This topic will show up for the next few days, including doctored video. So you don't want to think about this? Donate to the Barbara Walters Erotic Imagery Prevention Foundation.
18Sage Kotsenburg is the first Winter Olympics gold medalist to visit with Dave. His event is Snowboard / Men's Slopestyle.
19Dave: "By the way, if you want to get Charlie Sheen and his bride-to-be a gift, they are registered at the Centers for Disease Control."
19The next Winter Olympics gold medalist is Katelyn Farrington. She's been on the snow since she was three. Her event is Women's Snowboard Halfpipe. She's a fun and charming guest. (video)
20Olympics medalists keep dropping by. Tonight Dave visits with the three Americans who won in Freestyle Skiing / Men's Ski Slopestyle: Joss Christensen, Gus Kenworthy and Nick Goepper.
21Dave: "Charlie Sheen's getting married to an adult film star. Her parents are mortified. If you want to get something for the happy couple, I believe they are registered at J. C. Penicillin."
21The CBSO changes up the "Charts and Graphs" theme song. Will Lee has the vocal part now, and the song is a take-off of the Beatles' "Twist and Shout." (MP3)
24Alan Kalter sneaks in a promo for Kalter & Sons Klaxon Removal Service, but ultimately gets tossed by Dave.
25Ted Ligety, Olympic gold medalist in Alpine Skiing / Men's Giant Slolam, is the latest Olympian to visit with Dave over recent days.
25Not that some of the musical acts on the show are bad, but someone in Lo-Fang tonight was playing the axle of a skateboard.
26Steve Young, long-time Late Show writer, is back to introduce more of his industrial musicals. His book, Everything's Coming Up Profits, was released last fall. It covers musicals commissioned by businesses from 1950 - 1980. Visit industrialmusicals.com to learn more. (video) Steve stumbled onto these gems while haunting record shops for entries for "Dave's Record Collection."
26Top Ten Inaccuracies in Son of God / #8: Jesus' donkey sassily saying "Ass-cuse me!"
27It's an absolutely amazing set of Stupid Human Tricks, including passing underneath a chair without touching the floor, juggling a hot dog without eating it and shooting a bow and arrow while in a handstand, while contored backward into an L, using feet (only) to shoot the thing. (video)
27I enjoy it when a siren interrupts the monologue, and Dave says, "My ride's here." (video) (YouTube)
28Jack Hanna has an otter, an albino porcupine, servals, a leopard, boobies and a $50-stealing blackbird. (video)

"I hope something grows on barnacles, because that would serve them right."  – Alan Kalter, Feb. 26, 2014
3Alan Kalter has a new voice-over for the opening montage: "From the heart of America, broadcasting across the world and into deep space, it's the Late Show with David Letterman!
3Dave has a fascinating interview with former Sgt. Brendan Morrocco, a double arm transplant patient, thanks to the successful surgery performed by Dr. W. P. Andrew Lee, 14 months ago.
3Our old friend Rupert Jee puts in earphones and sings a song from the Oscars last night (which he had never heard): "Let It Go" from Frozen. (video)
3A little known band, Future Islands, makes a big splash with their performance of "Seasons Change (Waiting on You)." The lead singer, Samuel T. Herring, a Marlon Brando lookalike who's dressed in all black, has some unusual dance moves. (YouTube video)
6An ailing Tom Brokaw delivers a brilliant summary of the events in the Ukraine. (video)
7It's the latest installment of "Fun Facts," which we haven't seen since 10/06/11.
7Today the Late Show changes their Twitter account from #Letterman to @LETTERMAN.
10Senator John McCain and Dave have a very interesting visit about current events, Russia, the Republican Party and even Sarah Palin. (video)
10Erin Andrews becomes the first guest to hold an @LETTERMAN card to promote the Late Show and/or their latest project on the Tweety machine. (photo)
11Tonight marks Episode 4,000 of Late Show with David Letterman. The number excludes four prime time episodes, PT1-4, and 37 guest-hosted episodes. Ten long-time Late Show staffers present the Top Ten Thoughts I've Had 4,000 Times. As you might expect, Sue Hum leans on Dave the hardest. This wasn't set up to be an anniversary show, so not much was made of the big event. (video)
11Associate producer Mike McIntee stars in a promo for S.W.A.T. Kitty. Don't miss it. (video)
12Will Dave never learn? He invites distinguished Late Show writer Joe Grossman on to tell jokes about winter. It turns out Joe's on the payroll of J. C. Penney®. Dave gives Joe the boot. Joe's visits are the best! (video)
12Sylvester Stallone and Dave hold their own against each other knocking back a few raw eggs. Sylvester's in to plug Rocky, the new Broadway play. It's at the Winter Garden Theatre, 1634 Broadway, between 50th and 51st. He says he grew up eight blocks from that theater. It took him a while to get there.
13This week we're seeing phony Skype calls from "Monica Darby," who we haven't completely figured out yet. Monica is a connoisseur of "As Seen on TV" products, kitties and beauty aids. Dave tries to engage Monica during his monologues, but she's not hearing him. After three days of Monica, I didn't think she was really on Skype, because the videos seemed more like YouTube. I clicked around and discovered that Monica Darby is a pseudonym for Gina Coghlan, and she wants to be on the Late Show. Gina seems to think of herself as a performer, and well-connected with celebrities. Here is Monica's video, reaching out to Dave for an appearance on the show, which she posted on March 13.
14Dave and Bill O'Reilly are playing nice these days, and Bill has another fun and interesting interview. (video)
17It's a week of repeats, March 17 - 21.
24Jimmy Carter plugs visits with Dave about Russia, and plugs his book, A Call to Action: Women, Religion, Violence, and Power. He hopes to put an end to abuse of females, both domestic and abroad.
25Some wise guy shipped cocaine to the Vatican. Did Pope Francis latch onto some? We see the Pope, but what we hear is a Sam Kinison stand-up routine. Man, I miss Sammy!
25Emma Watson plugs Noah. She's a completely charming guest, and Dave gives her two segments. Among everything else she's doing, Emma will graduate from Brown University in May, with a degree in English. Look at these stunning photos the show tweeted. (video)
25 We learn about the Cupcake ATM via the Top Ten Things Overheard in Line for the Cupcake ATM. (video) (Facebook) (web site)(video)
26Rats! We got 12 days off, but the writers remembered to check in with "Monica Darby" again (via Skype). We get three calls tonight, with Monica kissing one of her cats, discussing breakfast, and gnawing on provolone cheese. There are currently 13 YouTube videos that are the source of Monica's visits, so we're not finished with her yet. Monica is obsessed with drag queens, by the way.
28No! "Monica Darby" has uploaded six more videos to YouTube. (Gina Coghlan)
30Writers Steve Young, Matt Roberts and Bill Scheft appear on CBS Sunday Morning for a segment entitled "What's So Funny?" It includes brief interviews with the writers and a Harvard brain researcher, plus a look back at Groucho, Lucy and Henny Youngman.
31Wake the kids. Phone the numbers. Dave's back on the Tweety machine this week, still pretending (we hope) that he doesn't know how to do a hashtag.

"Coming up: the hearwarming story of the old horse that was sent to the
glue factory--to give rides to the gluemakers' kids."
– Alan Kalter, Mar. 3, 2014

1Tonight we have the Top Ten Responses to My Tweet, a collection of tweets from civilians who saw yesterday's "What now?"
1Kristin Chenoweth suffered a skull fracture on a set in 2012. What better way to bring back happy memories than dropping a sandbag from the rafters about three feet from her guest chair?
1"Alan Kalter's Celebrity Birthdays" leads to another hilarious rant from Alan, who's steamed because he misunderstood his assignment for "Celebrity Birthdays." I've got video, but let's read it right here, shall we?
Alan: "I'll tell you what works, and what you have to explain. I'm leaving! And these people... they treat me like crap! I'm a good man. I comb my hair. I shovel my driveway. I go to museums. I do! I do all of that. I have a firm handshake. I umpire Little League. I read the newspaper. I drink my milk. I clean my gutters. I'm never late for judo. I water my flowers. I feed my ducks! I feed my ducks!! I serve my guests cheese. I floss in the morning. I use my blinker. I tip my doorman. I finish what's on my plate. I use hand sanitizer..." (video)
2Need to turn your show into an instant classic? Arrange a surprise visit from Bill Murray. Bill shows up during the monologue, toting a clipboard with his bucket list. First on his agenda is doing a joke, and Dave humors his premiere guest by immediately yielding the floor. (Bill): "So you know that evil Russian president, Vladimir Putin? You know? He and his wife got divorced, and they'd been married for over 30 years. But they split up last summer, after she caught him invading Georgia." / Anton: rim shot / Bill takes us to commercial.

In Act 2, Bill turns up behind Dave's desk with his bucket list. He wants to meet Lady Gaga, so Dave calls her out. She's wearing an enormous, ridiculous, curly yellow wig that has never occurred in nature. Bill takes a 3-in-1 selfie to prove his good fortune.

2After Bill gets his selfie, Lady Gaga invites Dave, Bill and the entire audience to her concert, conveniently located in the Roseland Ballroom across 53rd Street. The trio scamper across the closed street, under the close watch of Bill DeLace and his lieutenants. The Roseland Ballroom is closing, and her last concert this week will be the last event there. We get various outside shots as the audience members relocate. Somewhere in all this is Act 5, which is more outside coverage of the migration to the ballroom. Bill's monkeying around with a bullhorn. We hear two songs from Lady Gaga.
3Dave announces his retirement during Act 2. He gathered the producers in the afternoon, and the staff were informed about two hours before taping the evening's episode. Dave's desk chat runs about nine minutes. He begins by reminding us that his 67th birthday is in eight days, and that next year he'll be 68. He then recites his episode totals 4,014 (CBS) and 1,810 (NBC). At this point, even the uninformed know where this is going. Dave announces that he called Les Moonves this afternoon to announce his retirement, sometime next year. (Paul asks for a moment to call his accountant.) (video)
3 Todd Seda comes out to set up "Todd at Firestone Grand Prix of St. Petersburg." We'll see Todd with Will Power, Juan Pablo Montoya, Dario Franchitti, Graham Rahal, National Guard soldiers, Donnie Stewart of the Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing crew (for pit stop practice), Oriol Servia, TV's David Letterman, James Hinchcliffe, Helio Castroneves and the legendary Bobby Rahal. Then Todd tags along on a cycle with another legend, Mario Andretti. (video)
4Now that the sad news about Dave's retirement has set in, Dave's ready to make fun of it, with some solid monologue jokes:
"People are sayin' to me now, 'Honestly, quit the wise remarks and screwin' around. Why did you decide to announce your retirement?' And I'll tell you what happened. A couple of days ago, Jane (DiPersio), a lovely woman who does my make-up every night (and you think you've got a lousy job)... she says to me, 'Dave, there's really nothing more I can do.' "

"And, of course, it's a cliché, but I'm gonna spend more time with my family, which, by the way, is their biggest fear."

"But now, here, I want to be clear on one thing. This is a technicality. I announced my retirement, but it will not be official... 'cause there's legal things that you gotta take care of... and my retirement from CBS will not become official until Jeff Probst puts out my torch."

"But here's somethin' for you folks at home to look forward to, and my hand to God, I'm gonna deliver on this. You folks at home... and by the way, thank you for everything, and the lovely studio audiences we get, the beautiful theater, folks watching at home. But here's something, you can just take this to the bank: if you thought I was phoning it in before..." (thumbs up and skunk eye) "You know what I'm sayin'?" (video)

4Billy Crystal continues this awesome episode with yet another fine interview, once he finishes sobbing about Dave's retirement. His very successful Broadway play, 700 Sundays, is now headed to HBO. Did you know Billy and Jack Nicholson got caught on the Kiss Cam at a Laker's game, and the unthinkable happened? (video)
7With the NCAA championship game, Master's coverage and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame gig for the CBSO, there are only two new episodes this week, and tonight isn't one of them.
8Mike McIntee, as Mitch Irwin, CBS Vice-President of Late Night Programming, East Coast, wants Dave's retirement announcement in writing. (video)
9"Last week, by the way, just for somethin' to do, I announced that I was retiring. And I'm hoping now that I can hang on long enough that my son can take over the show. How old do you have to be to get a talk show license in New York? It's interesting. I never thought I would retire. I always assumed I would be impeached. I always thought I would be taken out of here in handcuffs. But people come up to me and they say, 'Dave, what happened? What's goin' on?' And I said, 'Well, there's little signs along the way.' And I'll tell you exactly the moment I made the decision to retire from doin' a late night television talk show, and by God, has it been fantastic! Huh? Every night you get to come out..." (applause) "A couple of months ago, cue card boy Tony Mendez... cue card boy close to his 80s... he came to me and he said, 'Mr. Letterman, I just can't print the jokes any bigger.' " (Dave points at his head.) "That's when I..."
9Lindsay Lohan's on to plug her reality show on OWN. She makes Dave call Oprah. (video)
10Stephen Colbert is announced as Dave's successor (Late Show News) (CBS Press Release) Statement from David Letterman today: "Stephen has always been a real friend to me. I'm very excited for him, and I'm flattered that CBS chose him. I also happen to know they wanted another guy with glasses."

14It's a full week of reruns, April 14-18.
15Live on Letterman has been nominated for a Webby Award. Fans can vote.
21The Late Show apparently added a presence on tumblr during the week off. It's a collection of pictures and little Vine-type clips, both current and past.
21Dave tells his hickory nut story, featuring Dorothy, from days gone by. (video)
21Christina Perri gives a wonderful performance of her new single, "Human."

22Stephen Colbert has his 14th visit to the Late Show, and his first as the host-elect. He tells Dave that he was accidentally chosen as an intern on Late Night in 1986, but declined, since the pay was $0. Stephen brought a Top Ten he submitted when applying to be a writer in 1997. My Guest Appearances page has lots of coverage. (YouTube)

23Dave has an enjoyable visit with Sally Field, on to plug The Amazing Spider-Man 2. (video)
25Michael J. Fox, in his 40th appearance with Dave, updates us on his activities, and the ongoing research by the The Michael J. Fox Foundation.
28It's Todd Seda, "intern" since 2009, goofing around at the International Auto Show (video)
28Vera Farmiga, in to plug Bates Motel, has some choice works for His Majesty Vladimir Putin, as she is a native of the Ukraine.
28Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling was secretly recorded this month as he made racist remarks. He'll later be forced to sell the team for two billion dollars, and will be featured in dozens of Late Show segments, starting tonight. Way to go, Donald!
29In his desk chat, Dave announces that Craig Ferguson will leave the Late Late Show in December. Dave says, "His show was unlike any other late night show... Congratulations to Craig on a great run, and we all wish him well."
29Dave engages Paul in a discussion of their days in California, and makes reference to a Baker Street in the Los Angeles area. Out of nowhere, the scrim rises. Lou Marini, of The Blues Brothers fame, plays Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street" on saxophone as he strolls by the audience.
29Alan Kalter: "Tired of delays at airport metal detectors? Here's a tip that helped me. Stop the compulsive coin-swallowing."
30Kiefer Sutherland plugs the long-awaited 24: Live Another Day. His daughter, Sarah, has a role in Veep.
30Adam Resnick, one-time writer for Dave on Late Night is on to plug his brand new book, Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation. It was a tremendous interview, and Dave can't say enough about how much he loved the book.
30Scientific Monthly reports the human brain research at Stanford in search of an on/off switch for the brain. Thus begins a string of segments this month in which we see people with brains ON and OFF. The OFF mode is the punch line, featuring George W. Bush's public speaking bloopers, along with CalTech and JPL rocket scientists going bananas when they land a mission on Mars. (YouTube)

"Coming up, a man who survived nine hours locked in a grocery store,
living on nothing but food and beverages.
 – Alan Kalter, Mar. 14, 2014
2Mr. Warmth, Don Rickles, 87, joins Dave for a hilarious interview. Don will be honored (or maybe we should say roasted) on May 28 with One Night Only - A Tribute to Don Rickles. Don wishes Dave luck with his retirement. Pointing to the audience, he says, "Look how excited they got. He's goin' back with his wife in the middle of the West, and he's gonna milk cows until he dies. That's what he's gonna do." Not long after, Don says, "I wish you luck, Dave. I really do. I do. And I'll be honest with you, Dave, because I'm not gonna lie to you. It's time." (video)
5Shailene Woodley eats clay. (No, not on the Late Show... at home, every day.)
5Peyton Manning tells about the process of rehab of his shoulder injury, and playing in the latest Super Bowl. He and Dave make their way to Broadway, and toss some footballs through moving cabs' windows. Peyton does, anyway, but Dave was close. (video)
6Assistant cue card technician Todd Seda adds another very funny field trip to his collection, this time with a trip to Churchill Downs and the Kentucky Derby. Spoiler: Todd wins $7.00. (YouTube)
6Foster the People deliver one of the best musical performances on the Late Show in many moons, with "Best Friend." They're accompanied by the West Los Angeles Children's Choir, who are amazing. (Watch this!)
7Dave gets sidetracked from "Small Town News" with a desk rant, lamenting his performance at a Don Rickles tribute the night before. It's classic Dave, and the interjections from Paul help develop it. Nobody tells stories better than Dave. You can read it here.
8Neil Patrick Harris has the cover photo of tomorrow's Rolling Stone, attired only in a big, black top hat over the approximate area of his tummy. Dave informs us that Alan has a similar cover of the Stone. Alan begs and pleads that the subject be dropped. We see his cover. Alan's top hat is thimble-sized.
8Dave notices a little puddle of unknown origin on the stage floor. Pat Farmer's on it, but as he sees his reflection in it, he takes time to "reflect" on his past year, and has a little pep talk with himself.
9Did you know that Tom Dreesen knew Frank Sinatra? Do you care?
11Miss USA, Nia Sanchez, presents the Top Ten Miss USA Pageant Mistakes. (YouTube)

12 Dave says, "I have to make an apology, and this is probably only important to me, but that's reason enough to apolog(ize). But I've gotta tell you something. I'm tired of... I'm sick and tired of my own behavior. I can't go anywhere! I don't know how to behave. I was raised properly in a good home, and my parents taught me the difference between right and wrong behavior. Well, I traveled, and that's my problem: I don't travel well. I should just stay at home, and not bother anybody."

Dave went to Indy for the inaugural Indianapolis Grand Prix. He wanted to root on his team. (The National Guard is a new sponsor of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing.) An acquaintance of Dave's in a golf cart stopped by him and announced that the mayor of Indianapolis was with him. Dave said, "No, it's not." Dave thought the friend was joking, so he said, "Do me a favor. Get that guy out of here!" (It gets worse.) Mr. Friend said, "No, no, no. Knock it off. I'm tellin' you, this is the mayor of Indianapolis." Dave said, "Look, I'm tired of talkin' to deadbeats." (It gets worse.) Dave: "You and the 'mayor' take a hike!" Dave says, "In my mind, the mayor of Indianapolis is still Richard Lugar." (His honor left office on January 1, 1976, by the way.)

Then, to add insult to injury (or vice versa, in this case), the mayor was to drop the green flag for the race. There was a wreck. Everybody plowed into the pole sitter, and flying carbon fiber hit the mayor. (He's OK.)

(Paul): "Now, you see... you really can't travel."

(As I wrote the other day, no one tells stories better than Dave.)

12The Black Keys play a Live on Letterman concert on 53rd St., instead of inside.
13Julie Chen stops by to plug The Talk. She has a fun story about an earlier appearance on the Late Show. At the point when she arrived at the desk for the handshake, Dave pulled Mrs. Les Moonves close to him, and whispered in her ear, "My security team has just told me that your husband is in the back of the theater watching. He just entered the building." Julie told Dave to keep whispering to her, to make Les real uncomfortable. It went on and on, and Julie totally flirted with Dave, to make matters worse. Both of them went on with the interview, without any comment on their plot. After the show... it was date night, and Les asked, "What was that all about?" Julie lets him in on the joke, and Les replied, "Wow. I may be the CEO of CBS, but I now realize... when I walk into the Ed Sullivan Theater, I'm in Dave's house." / We have a clip: The awkward visit lasted 15 seconds.
14Barbara Walters is on, coinciding with her retirement from television after 53 years! Topics are Donald Sterling, working with Harry Reasoner and Monica Lewinsky.
14Actress and model Elle Fanning, 16, on to plug Maleficent, charms Dave, and has a fun on-air confession about one of her teenage antics. Dave says, "I am so dumb. If I had known you were coming on the program, I would have not announced my retirement."
15I was honored to be invited by Mike McIntee to be guest writer for today's Wahoo Gazette. (Select 05-15-14 with the pull-down list.) As it happened, Alan Kalter fainted during the monologue, thanks to medication he was on for kidney stones. Mike was suddenly called into announcing duty, so the timing was good.
16It's an audience shout out to a guy who hopes his Chicago buddies are recording him being made fun of for hoping they're recording him.
19Alan Kalter is back at his perch tonight, and we're all happy that he's OK.
19Dave entertains us with a collection of his own photos, in "Passports Through the Ages,"
19It's Jungle Jack Hanna's 95th appearance with Dave, who's recently been studying up on the critters in advance, to impress and/or annoy Jack.
20A gentleman in Tennessee got himself arrested for indecent liberties with an ATM machine. As Dave finishes the update, Paul interrupts with an important bulletin. The CBSO members all have microphones to communicate with each other. Tom "Bones" Malone wisecracked, "He came into some money." Dave immediately looks over to writer Bill Scheft with, "Well, how come he's got that, and we don't? How come the trombone player's got that? Huh? That's pretty good, isn't it?" Meanwhile, Tom's staring at the ceiling, looking innocent.
20Alright! It's another group of kid scientists from Naperville, Illinois. Jakob makes a ginormous cloud of steam from high-power hydrogen peroxide + a catalyst. He definitely has the gift of gab. Sami persuades Dave to hold the business end of a hand-held 50,000-volt Tesla coil. Dave and the kids daisy hold hands, and the kid holding a fluorescent tube at the end lights it up. Emma combines calcium carbide and water, forming acetylene gas, and launches a t-shirt.

"By watching, you agree that CBS may use photos or video of you sprawled
on your couch for promotional purposes."
 – Alan Kalter, May 2, 2014
2I was in the house today, with about 20 of my Late Show fan friends, for DaveCon 2014. The staff were energized after 11 days off. My friend Cheryl Levenbrown got one of the preshow questions with Dave. She has to vacate her apartment in Brooklyn, and wondered if Dave had any advice on a new location. She got an audience shout out, and during Donald Trump's interview, he told Cheryl to see him in a few minutes, and he'd fix her up.
2Todd at Carb Day at the Indy 500 is the latest of Todd's hilarious remotes at events around the East Coast. I got to meet him after the show. As you may have noticed, I run a Letterman fan site, and in 2014, Todd is the #1 subject of searches that draw people to my pages, aside from the general Late Show searches. Oh, and then after Todd, we have Indy 500 winner Ryan Hunter-Reay.
2Elizabeth Cook sings "Pale Blue Eyes." She is a stunning beauty, and as I was seated near the CBS Orchestra, I can report that they were extremely impressed with her.
3My, oh my, did I ever want to be there for this show! Not only was there the triumphant return of Pea Boy after a 20-year hiatus, Martin Short is in for another blockbuster appearance. He's absolutely on my top ten list of guests. Once again, the writers and Martin have collaborated on a very special musical number for Martin, "Swimsuit Season." It's Martin's cautionary message for those in possession of man boobs. When I was onstage after the June 2 taping, I spotted a copy of the lyrics for his song on a lectern (and didn't swipe 'em or publicize 'em in advance). Here's video of Martin's interview and song.
3Strolling along Broadway this evening, headed my way was producer Brian Teta. I greeted him by name, and he kindly stopped and visited for a bit. I you visit my 2013 Year in Review, you'll see that I campaigned for more use of staff in segments in 2014. Brian thanked me for my enthusiastic reviews of his past segments, and informed me that he had a segment on tonight. It's been on the shelf for five years. Here's the all-too-brief appearance of Brian in "National Sandwich Bee." (Better luck in next year's bee, Brian.)
9What better way to celebrate Natalie Portman's birthday than a visit from Late Show strike captain Bill Scheft. His fifth book, Shrink Thyself: A Novel, will be released on June 24. Paul and the CBS Orchestra play Bill onstage with the theme from Shaft, by the way.

The book is about a guy who decides to leave therapy, and live an unexamined life. Bill and Dave both readily admit their history of therapy, and have very funny accounts of their own experiences. Bill claims he's been in therapy for four decades! Nice goin'! He reports, "There are millions of therapists out there, and seven good ones." Larry David once explained that the only thing a therapist wants to hear is, "I want to have sex with my aunt." Bill once called his therapist at home. Clearly the guy was making a sandwich while on the phone, but he denied it. After a while, Bill could hear the "nom nom nom" while on the phone with him.

10Todd Seda takes a few minutes off from his intern duties to set up "Todd at Madison Square Garden for the Stanley Cup Final." (video
11Alan Kalter reveals to North America, "I'm still grappling with the realization that my tropical fish have seen me naked."
12Regis Philbin tells Dave that he seems relaxed and carefree since his retirement announcement in April. I agree. It's pretty cool when you don't have to worry about getting fired, 'cause you've already fired yourself!
16Our old friend, David Sanborn, sits in on saxophone. There was a stretch of time when he sat in once a week!
16Late Show writer and strike captain Bill Scheft was a guest on June 9, to plug his brand-new book, Shrink Thyself: A Novel. With Bill nearby onstage, Dave shows the book, then announces that everyone in the audience gets a free copy.

17An audience lady inquired about Mahir (actor Omar Khoury), the Turkish man who played ping pong, attired in a Speedo, eventually rendered more modest with a large blue dot covering his junk. Dave claims he doesn't remember. "Guess what," she exclaimed, "He's sitting her next to me tonight!" We see a clip of him in his heyday, 1999 to 2000, in his near-naked glory, with his catch phrase, "I kiss you, David Letterman!" Dave calls for our old friend to stand and take a bow.
17In my episode log for this date, I guaranteed that it would be repeated, and it was on August 4. Olivia Wilde was a perfect guest. She's a very good story teller, and she came with lots of material. I was in the audience when Olivia appeared on 6/18/12. A bit distracted by her segment producer, Sarah Connell, I didn't pay attention. This time I did, and can report that she's a fun and engaging guest. (video)
17Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon is Mike Myers' documentary about tonight's guest, Shep Gordon, who has managed and promoted an amazing array of entertainers. It was a fascinating interview. Shep went to Hollywood as a recovering hippie, to be a probation officer. He immediately encountered entertainers, and fell into his life's career by accident. Shep confides that part of his success was his understanding that all good acts were good at irritating people. For example, if a musical act irritated parents, it was a surefire way to draw their kids to the act. One of Shep's promotional gimmicks was to have his client create a scandalous situation in public, call the authorities and cash in on the free publicity. Another of his specialities is turning civilians into celebrity chefs. (video)
19Jeff Altman is in, and it's always good to see him. He was a roadie back in the day. Jeff's eyes roll back. He says, "Well, Dave, it was like 1967, and I was working with the Starland Vocal Band and the Strawberry Alarm Clock. And they fired me because I did 22 milligrams of psilocybin, and had my way with a goat."
23Tonight we meet another deeply disturbed Late Show staffer. Writer R.J. "Rob" Fried shows up at Dave's monologue mark, having lost his way from upstairs. He mumbles, "I've seen people come out here during the show, and I wanted to try it." I don't think he's completely out of touch with reality, but Bill DeLace should probably put a man on the elevator for a while. It's an awesome segment. Stay tuned for more of R.J.'s escapes from his cell upstairs. (YouTube)
24Whoops! R.J. Fried has escaped from upstairs again. Of his appearance last night, R.J. reports, "I had a really good time." We begged R.J. to get some therapy. (YouTube)
25Now we're gettin' somewhere! Joe Grossman has tagged along with R.J. Fried. He tells Dave, "I saw R.J. out here last night. It looked like he was having a blast." R.J. chimes in with, "It's awesome out here." (YouTube)
26Marine Corporal Kyle Carpenter, 24, was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor on June 19, in the White House. On Nov. 21, 2010, he was seriously injured in Afghanistan as he tried to shield a fellow soldier from a hand grenade. Corporal Carpenter has undergone 40 surgeries, having suffered dozens of broken bones, lost an eye, lost most of his teeth, had both eardrums ruptured... on and on. He didn't awaken after the injuries for five weeks. He was a very engaging and inspiring guest.

Here are three YouTube videos from his 21-minute segment: under fire  describing his injuries  call from President Obama

"Coming up: Is it worth buying a travel-size rake?
Our experts help you decide."
 – Alan Kalter, Sep. 22, 2014
7Steve Young (the famous one) is in with more of his record collection from industrial musicals. He discovered this genre while frequenting second-hand stores in search of items for "Dave's Record Collection." Do you have his book, Everything's Coming Up Profits? Visit industrialmusicals.com to learn more. Paul has written a theme song for Steve. (.mp3)
8Reenacting a stunt Joan Rivers pulled over the weekend on CNN, Dave walks away from her interview. No doubt in on the joke, and without missing a beat, Joan interviews herself. (mediaite.com) (ddy.com)
8Dwight, an aspiring comedian, got a preshow question with Dave, and scored some air time, too. Dave begins by offering him use of a joke from his monologue. Later in the telecast, Dave asks the control room for a close-up of Dwight. "Now," Dave announces, "you can tell people you've been on my show."
8It's another episode with the PA speaker on Broadway, Dave pleading with pedestrians to pick up trash, and the beloved Late Show Hose Cam®. Included in the package is Dave's latest performance of (Heeere kitty kitty kitty...." (.mp3) We didn't get the bonus meows this time, but it was a very nice performance, nonetheless.
14We've just learned that President Warren G. Harding, a sorry excuse for a president, had a talent for writing naughty love letters to his girlfriend. It seems his nickname for his deal was Jerry. There must be something in the White House water. In "Presidential Anatomy Nicknames," it's revealed that every single POTUS had a nickname for the presidential Johnson. Bill Clinton? Jericho Tiberius Cornwallis IV. Barack Hussein Obama? The Barack Ness Monster.
14Kurt Russell's an awesome guest, as he's in to plug The Battered Bastards of Baseball, a documentary about an independent ball team his dad, actor Bing Russell, created. It's an engaging success story.
15Liv Tyler is a sweet, charming and beautiful guest. She first appeared on the Late Show when she was 18. Tonight she's in to plug HBO's The Leftovers. Dave's fascinated with Liv's RV trip from New York City to Kentucky, up to Michigan and home.
16monologue: (Dave): "Last night here in New York City, the weather was crazy! Paul?" (Paul): "Nuts!" (Dave): "Thunder... Oh, my God... rattling around the city... Lightning... a lot of lightning strikes. And lightning here in New York City will hit the tallest structure. For example, the brand new Freedom One Tower... struck by lightning. Empire State Building... struck by lightning. Mayor de Blasio... struck by lightning! He's huge!"
16Emma Stone joins Dave tonight... in to plug Woody Allen's Magic in the Moonlight. She is smart, beautiful, cool and funny. Emma and Dave shared their interest in what they believe are supernatural occurrences in their lives. They're very open with each other, and keep the discussion interesting and funny. I'd be content for her to appear on the show about once a day. (video)

17Todd Seda, as Intern Todd, has resulted in a bunch of Google searches leading to this web site. He's been taking the role long filled by Biff Henderson, out pestering people at sporting events, etc. He's doing a tremendous job. He adds a lot of fun and humor to these remotes. Tonight's segment is "Todd at the 2014 All-Star Game."
21Tonight's blockbuster performance of "MacArthur Park" traces back to Dave and Harry in a car, hearing three different versions of it via satellite radio. Will Lee sings, and the CBS Orchestra is accompanied by its composer, Jimmy Webb, and a large orchestra.
24Former Army Staff Sergeant Ryan M. Pitts, who was awarded the Medal of Honor on July 21, is honored by Dave for his heroism in Afghanistan. (YouTube, Part 1)
29I didn't know who Chris Pratt was, but thought he was consistently funny. He was in to plug Guardians of the Galaxy.

"Coming up: our experts offer tips for passing the time on an escalator."  – Alan Kalter, June 26, 2014
1July 30 to August 17 is vacation!
18Dave gives us a wonderfully-done 10½-minute reflection on his 38 years of acquaintance with Robin Williams, who died on August 11. (YouTube)
18Bruce Willis is the first guest after two weeks of vacation. He's brought material, as usual: his new fragrances, and gives a demo of his Bruce Willis Hands-Free Corn Eating System. He gets partial credit for trying.
19Dave's desk chat tonight: "Dave: "I keep hearing these stories about me retiring. ... I have no memories of any announcement, so I ... let me just correct what... I guess it's just an ugly rumor. I'm not retiring. Here's what happened. I spent some time with the family..."
20Kathy Griffin, who wasn't spanked enough when she was little, plugs her new comedy album, "Look at My Butt Crack." Dave asks Kathy if she is easy. "Yes," Kathy replies. "I actually put out before the first date." Her clothes come right off after an introductory handshake. For a good time, call Kathy.
20Ken Burns tells us about The Roosevelts: An Intimate History, which premieres in September. He's obviously fascinated with them, and work on his documentary spanned about seven years. Ken considers Teddy and Franklin to have been master politicians, and calls Teddy "the only true genius president."
21New York City bedbugs, driven from the comfort of hotel rooms, have made their way to the MTA subway system. This was the impetus for the MTA's "See Something, Swat Something" program. Producer Sarah Connell and Worldwide Pants accountant Joe DeGeorge appear in this public service video. 1. Sarah is awesome. 2. She should have used that swatter on Alden Emerson Provost.
21Serena Williams stops by, enroute to the U. S. Open. A tennis court is set up on 53rd Street. She goes easy on Dave in this game, because there are civilians at the ends and sides of the court. It gets real when Serena has serving practice vs. the large picture window of Rupert's Hello Deli. She demolishes it on the second serve. A camera's set up inside to capture the vandalism. If you look sharp, you'll see that Rupert has barricaded off the area by the window with floor-to-ceiling cardboard boxes.
25It's the final installment of Purina's Dock Diving Dogs. Their diving tank contains a mere 20,000 gallons of H2O.
27Dave's excited to hear an electric bell ringing, because it's time for his Grape Break. Stagehand Tommy O'Brien's up in the rafters, lowering juicy white grapes to Dave's mouth via fishing line, attached to the grapes with sewing needles. The CBS Orchestra has a peppy theme song. (.mp3) Be sure to watch this YouTube video of the festivities. I thought this was a really fun segment. Here's a shout out to its inventor, writer Steve Young, the CBSO for the theme song, and the graphics people for a very cute logo.

28Mike Myers, director of Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon, has awesome stories about his interactions with Shep from his Wayne's World days.

"There must be an easier way to find out a city's weather than
flying there and hearing the pilot announce it."
 – Alan Kalter, Jan. 24, 2014
2Luke Wilson plugs The Skeleton Twins, his new movie with Kristen Wiig. He's happy that it's Fashion Week. "A real sense of possibility in the air," he says, then goes on to tell Dave, "It's kind of like how maybe you and Paul feel during Fleet Week." Luke was a very funny guest. He didn't bring wacky props, just a dry sense of humor. Because of Luke, plus Julie Chen being the other guest, I give this episode a high probability of being rerun. Oh, wait. Lee Brice was the musical guest.
4monologue: "Chris Christie is the governor of New Jersey, and he wants to be president, and, you know, I'll bet he gets the nomination. He'll probably run. It'll probably be Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie, right? Why not? That'll be a lot of fun! And now, because Chris Christie doesn't know anything about foreign policy, because he's been focusing on making lives better in the Garden State, so now he has to brush up on foreign policy, and he went to Mexico, and wherever this guy goes... Remember when he was in Africa, and he was followed by ivory poachers?"
4Dave has a wonderful five-minute eulogy for Joan Rivers, who expired earlier today. Here are some of his points: "She was a pioneer in stand-up comedy, and talk about guts! She was indefatigable, working about 300 dates a year. And talk about guts... She would come out here and say some things that were unbelievable! You would have to swallow pretty hard, and twice, but it was hilarious. She stood behind her jokes, and to my knowledge, would never apologize. There are no victimless jokes. She was harder on herself than anybody! She would tell these God-awful jokes about herself. She had a line of jewelry she sold on QVC. She was a money-making machine! She sold 12 best-selling books. (I haven't read 12 books.) The first time she came on the show on NBC, I was stunned and surprised. Oh, my God... the force and power of her comedy... I didn't remember that she was that funny." (eulogy video) (interview video)
5Wake the kids! Phone the neighbors! Tina Fey is on... nonstop funny, as always. A main topic tonight is Tina's three-year-old daughter, Penelope, who is not potty-trained, is allergic to nuts and bites. Tina pulls no punches, suggesting that Penelope has some traits in common with The Bad Seed. (OK... at least not homicide) (video)

Miss Penelope
9Michael Strahan, in to plug his roles on three or four different shows, is an awesome guest. Topics include his induction into the Hall of Fame, and video of the domestic violence that got Ray Rice suspended from the NFL.
10It's always good to see retired associate director Pete Fatovich. Tonight he does an ad for the latest iPhone. (video)
10Head stagehand and property master Pat Farmer has been scarce this summer, as he recovered from an operation on his shoulder. In only his sixth monologue interruption of 2014, Pat has a very special message for a lady he met on a subway. (video)
10Our old friend, Dr. Phil McGraw, beginning his show's 13th season, has an interview that starts funny, but gets into serious discussion of domestic violence. (90 MB video)
11Jason Bateman discusses his luxurious hair, then makes Dave squirm with TMI about his sex life. He has always been a very funny guest.
11Billy Eichner, who I'd never heard of, is in to plug Billy on the Street, which is kind of an over-the-top version of Dave's "Mr. Curious" on Late Night. Dave loves it that Billy screams at the civilians who appear in his encounters on the street, so he wants to play a game show with him. Billy knew the producers wanted him to do this, so he came equipped with his game show questions and prize money ($21). The first game played is "Celebrity Child or Kentucky Derby Winner?". (YouTube) Dave loves it so much that he calls for another, so they play "Dead or Boring."
12It's Dave vs. The Eagles (musical Eagles, that is). It started with an audience shout out. Apparently a married lady in the audience, seated beside the hubby, asked Dave to go to an Eagles concert with her the next night at MSG. In a spontaneous desk chat that spans about eight minutes, Dave has an on-air discussion with his staff about licensing rights for the CBSO to play Eagles music. Nancy Agostini warns him that the group never releases their music for television. Dave's angle is can't we get around this? What would it cost us? Dave's detour in a program that's planned to the second is fun to watch, since it's the length of the average guest segment. For a transcript, see my episode logs. Every fan I heard from loved this interaction, as Dave's staff seemed concerned that he'd rebel on them, and get them sued. (His staff prevailed!) (video)
22Jungle Jack Hanna is in for his 96th visit with Dave. I'd long wondered why the CBSO plays Jack on with "The House of the Rising Sun." The 1964 classic was recorded by The Animals. Jack has two rescued baby mountian lions. There's a yellow Lab puppy and a young cheetah who are playmates. A little skunk, an elderly bald eagle and a camel also made the trip. (106 MB video)
23Denzel Washington plugs The Equalizer. He'd like to be the next James Bond. For the time being, Denzel is in the equalizing business, and Dave clearly loves this movie. With retirement coming up in 2015, Dave announces that his second career in life will be in the equalizing industry. (YouTube
24New show policy: Dave says Chris Christie will be dragged into as many jokes as possible. "Anybody buy the new iPhone? Anybody get one of the new iPhones? They say that the damn thing bends. As a matter of fact, Chris Christie sat..." (audience gets it, and starts laughing) "...sat on his iPhone..." (pause) (Paul): "Yes?" (Dave): "... and Siri dialed 911."
24The lovely Kelly Ripa tells the adventures of having a 13-year-old daughter. She says, "You don't know from hell until you have a girl." They are terrifying. Lola is the scariest of the three offspring. Kelly continues, "If I put the three of them in the woods alone, she would come out alive."

Kelly concludes with a confession that her in-laws came into possession of a photo of her rear end, meant for her husband Mark. Before the episode is over, Kelly will have taken a picture of Dave's hind quarters for America to enjoy.

25Jerry Seinfeld begins his visit with stand-up comedy on the meaningless phrases that people hear from others and repeat, such as the overused "it is what it is."

Jerry updates us on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee, which included Dave this year.

25Dave knows better than to let Alan Kalter near a microphone, but sometimes, trying to be a good sport, he gives in. Such is the case with Alan Kalter's Where Does It All Go?" Don't miss it!
26Stupid Human Tricks include a musical performance with Bic® razors, tongue gymnastics and a young man amazing us by balancing a seven-foot step ladder on his chin.
29Neil Patrick Harris, always a fun guest, is on to plug his interactive autobiography, Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography. Toward the end of the interview, Neil (or do you call him Neil Patrick?) reads a passage from the book: "I've done this show 10 times. I love David Letterman. He's like a father figure to me... only a sexy father. So suave... so rakishly handsome, and a generous kisser... and a generous lover. You might expect him to be more selfish in bed, but no, he's very thoughtful. He's always tending to my needs first." (YouTube)
29Aretha Franklin appears on LSDL for the first time in 15 years. She has a new album, Aretha Franklin Sings the Great Diva Classics. Aretha visits with Dave after her musical number.
30Tonight we begin a fun new feature. Dave picks up the phone, and we hear Major League Baseball play-by-play. It's actually announcer Mark Patrick Storen, pretending to cover a Washington Nationals game, spoofing the ridiculous trivia baseball announcers use to fill all the dead time. Writer Bill Scheft tweeted Mark's name after the show aired. It's a well-done segment, and will be continued this week.
30Maggie Q, a stunning beauty, is on to plug the new series, Stalker. Maggie tells of her encounter with a buck deer that just about did her in. (YouTube) Here's Maggie holding her @LETTERMAN card.

"Stay tuned for a sneak peek at trendy new vacuum bags for fall!"  – Alan Kalter, July 24, 2014
1Bill O'Reilly has written another book, Killing Patton: The Strange Death of World War II's Most Audacious General, which makes a case that General Patton was murdered by the Nazis. He and Dave cover a lot of ground, including the Secret Service, ISIS, American intervention in the Middle East, and the NFL's involvement in domestic violence. The recent interviews with Bill have been great, now that Dave has decided to make the most of them.
2André Benjamin plugs Jimi: All Is by My Side, about Jimi Hendrix. Dave is clearly quite impressed with this movie.
3Tonight we learn about the Federal Trade Commission vs. the nice people who make caffeinated underpants. Biff Henderson, in the green room, sets out to create a homemade version. We hear screams and censored words coming from behind closed doors, as Biff experiments. Perhaps Biff shouldn't have experimented with hot coffee. Good luck with your recovery, Biff!
6For a "Year in Review" undertaking such as this, one should include the show's own evaluative comments.

6"People Whose Internal GPS Isn't Working" is a new segment, beginning tonight. The human brain has been found to include technology to help a person keep track of where they are. George W. Bush headlines a series of blooper clips of people with epic fails.
6Alan Kalter's announcement that Ford is sponsoring tonight's TTL prompts Dave to once again pine over the latest Mustang. Dave tells Paul, "I don't know why I can't get me one of them Mustangs." Isn't it time the Ford Motor Company just outright gave him one? All Dave asks is that his free Mustang be beefed-up and scary, with special suspension, with a huge, bored-out, stroked-out engine, so it can rip rubber. He wants it smokin', all oiled-up and greasy. (He wants a five-speed transmission, by the way.) Dave favors us with his impression of his dream Mustang. (.mp3)
6As all fans know, Alan Kalter is not an announcer to be messed with. Big Red will fix you but good if you cross him. We hear a commotion onstage. Clearly a man is in distress. We focus on a locker just beside Alan. Dave intervenes, stepping over to the area to release Alan's dry cleaner from the makeshift cell. (video)
7"People Whose Internal GPS Isn't Working" continues, with clips of earthlings who lose their way, and find themselves in a body of water.
7It's the first - and probably last - installment of "Lucky Leaf," a quiz show. Dave correctly guesses that he's holding an oak leaf. Alan Kalter delivers this message of hopelessness and despair, "Thanks for playing 'Lucky Leaf,' the seasonal game that reminds us that the foliage of autumn, while lovely, has melancholy overtones, for it signals the inexorable passage of time, and with it, decay and death. Also the arbitrary nature of 'Lucky Leaf' should teach us that however hard we struggle, we spend our lives buffeted by the random winds of chance, and win or lose, in the end we are all leaves that wither and fall to the ground. Back to you, Dave."
8Mike McIntee appears in a groundbreaking ad for Pizza Hut (not associated with Pizza Hut). (video)
8Anderson Cooper is in to plug Anderson Cooper 360°. He'll get two segments. Anderson tells of his 90-year-old mother's romantic encounters with movie stars back in the day. (Mom is Gloria Vanderbilt.) Then Dave and Anderson have an impressive discussion of world affairs. Anderson is an outstanding communicator. (video)
8 All kinds of media covered tonight's performance by Hatsune Miku, a singing Japanese anime, backed by a real band, that my friend Bill Lehecka says is called a vocaloid. Four days later, a YouTube video posted by the Late Show had over 1,000,000 views. The singing was awful, but the animation was beautifully done.

8I'm very sad to document the fact that this marks the last show with Tony Mendez on cue cards.
9There's a commotion coming from Alan Kalter's perch. He, along with Walter Kim as an HR guy, are signing a document. When questioned, Alan reports, "I just made if official, Dave. I no longer give a (censored)."
9Dave has long admired Robert Duvall as an actor, and he's on tonight to plug The Judge. Robert, who is 83, doesn't mind telling you what he thinks. We enjoy hearing tales of well-known actors who Robert has worked with over the years.
9Elle Fanning, sweet sixteen, who charmed Dave and his viewers in May, is back to plug Young Ones, but most of her segment is about her adventures as a teenager. Elle tells about throwing out the first pitch at a Dodgers game. Strike! (YouTube) She's bright, charming and beautiful. (212 MB video)

Foo Fighters Week
13We've thought for some time that the Foo Fighters are Dave's favorite musical group. They first appeared on the Late Show on 8/14/95. Through this week, they'll have appeared in the Ed Sullivan Theater 21 times. (This includes 2/09/12, when they only presented a TTL.) Also not counted in the 21 is a Live on Letterman webcast on 4/12/11. It should be noted that Foo Fighters were the musical guest on 2/21/00, the day Dave returned to television after his bypasses, having been absent since 1/14/00. They played "Everlong." Obviously, Dave inviting them to appear all week is good for both their new album, Sonic Highways, as well as the Late Show. The album is to be released on November 10.

We've learned this week that Worldwide Pants Incorporated provided production support for the Foo Fighters' HBO travelogue, Sonic Highways, premiering on 10/17/14. (HBO link) They visited eight cities to celebrate 20 years together, recording along the way.

13Mailroom supervisor Meghan McGuire interrupts the monologue. She's toting an overstuffed plastic USPS tub with Dave's latest batch of hate mail. Dave's amused, because he knows the USPS doesn't deliver on Columbus Day. He's right. It turns out this tub of mail was all penned by Meghan herself.
13Russell Brand is here, and the main topic is his past drug use. Russell is an amazing quote machine. While he's interjecting long, rapid-fire, rehearsed replies to scripted questions from Dave, it's still something to see, whether you care much for Russell or not! "Dave, 11 years ago, when I was still taking drugs, I was a whirling psychotic, a frequenter of crack houses... whorehouses. I was a lunatic. I was ever in jail cells. I was forever in all sorts of mischief, (something), spraying blood everywhere, broken glass, crying women everywhere I went. But some nights, I just stayed in."
13Dave Grohl has a fun interview, then we hear from the Foo Fighters (with Zac Brown).
14Governor Mario Cuomo presents the Top Ten Ways New York State Is Better Than Ever. / #7: Yankee Stadium now available for your October event / #5: We finally got Letterman to retire
14We see the Foo Signal in the sky of the backdrop. Moments later, the Foo Fighters rush onstage to save the day. Oops. It was just a test. Later in the show, Foo Fighters (with Ann and Nancy Wilson) blow the roof off the dump.
15The Foo Fighters do a spoof legal firm ad for Grohl, Hawkins, Mendel, Shiflett, Smear & Associates. (YouTube) They'll perform with Tony Joe White tonight.
15Our old friend, Bill Murray, is in to plug St. Vincent. Bill has a variety of stories about George Clooney's wedding, interacting with fans over the years, Ghostbusters sequels, and he trains for the New York Marathon... whenever that is. (video)
16Joe Grossman pitches comedy segment ideas to the Foo Fighters... all puns involving "Foo." Dave tells Joe to stay away from guests in the future. (YouTube) Later, the Foo Fighters, with guest Rick Nielsen, blow the roof off the dump.
17Foo Fighters present the Top Ten Things Foo Fighters Would Like to Say After Spending a Week at the Late Show. A sad, creepy, extended goodbye involving Pat Smear and Alan Kalter is hilarious. (YouTube) / Foo Fighters again sing with Rick Nielsen. It was a great week!

17Here's "Foo Flashback," reviewing Foo Fighters' great week on the Late Show. (YouTube)
27Jerry Lee Lewis sits in with the CBSO tonight. Paul introduces Jerry Lee in Act 2, and he does a song that seemingly wasn't expected in the script!
27M&Ms is/are a sponsor this week. Dave will offer testimonials and M&M tales from his youth all week. He'll conclude the week with a perfect M&M shot to guest Brian Williams' mouth.
27Top Ten Other Messages from the Afterlife: "If you thought Brando was fat before, get ready."
28The M&Ms testimonials continue: "I'm tellin' you. If we only had... and we're lucky as humans in this great civilization to have a wide variety of tasty candies, but if we could only have one... Say, in the Bible... somewhere in the Old Testament, it specified only one candy, you know, all you'd need would be the M&Ms. I mean, they're... every time you have 'em... Here's what I used to do when I when I was a kid. I would eat myself sick on M&Ms. And you would say to yourself, 'That's it. No more M&Ms.' You wake up the next day, 'By God, where are the M&Ms?' Then you'd go right through 'em again. We used to have an M&M truck come to the house once a week, and where the old coal bin used to be, back it up, fill up the basement with M&Ms, by God! And that's how I got to be the way I is today!"
28Taylor Swift has been promoting her 1989 album like crazy. She's an interview and musical guest tonight. She reports that she's been inviting random fans to her house to preview the new album. (YouTube) She performs "Welcome to New York" tonight. (video) Taylor recently moved to New York City.
29Jim Carrey's a no-show when Dave calls him out to plug Dumb and Dumber To. It seems that the little fellow has gotten himself stuck in a carnival claw machine backstage. Jim was on a quest for an Oscar that happened to be one of the prizes. The Farrelly brothers are involved with the movie. They've produced hilarious offerings like There's Something About Mary. It should be good.
30NBC's Brian Williams is a top five guest. As expected, his interview tonight is informative, engaging and full of funny moments. Brian's especially proud that Allison is about to appear in a live television performance as Peter Pan. He's the sort of guest you'd be happy to have on every week. (video)
31It's the final installment (of 31) of "New Halloween Costumes." Barbara Gaines' son, Simon, is a long-lost raisin. Jane, the daughter of executive producer Nancy Agostini and creative director Walter Kim, is cute as can be as an Oscar-toting Tina Fey. Her co-star, Sydney, is awesome, too, as Amy Poehler. What a wonderful tradition this segment has been! (video)

"Does the ink they use to print expiration dates ever go bad?"  – Alan Kalter, August 27, 2014
3Jose Canseco shot off a finger on Oct. 28, while cleaning a handgun. The Late Show sends this message for those who might suffer a similar fate in the future, with an ad for Finger Finder®. Order one today, just in case. The hot new product is guaranteed to find your missing digit on a beach or in a creek. Worldwide Pants cares. (video)
3Hold on to your wigs and keys. It's our good friend, Martin Short... who's dropped by to plug his book, I Must Say: My Life As a Humble Comedy Legend. It'll be a fine companion volume for Paul Shaffer's outstanding memoir, We'll Be Here For the Rest of Our Lives: A Swingin' Show-biz Saga, which includes stories about Paul's adventures with one Mr. Martin Short.

Dave surprises Martin by asking if he could favor us with a musical number. The humble Mr. Short, as it happens, has a microphone tucked away on the second guest chair, and a song and dance routine prepared. His new song takes a look at plastic surgery. (video)

4It's Election Day, and the Late Show is a repeat!
5Jennifer Lopez plugs her book, True Love, released yesterday, which reveals how she dealt with personal challenges and fears. Jennifer and Dave take a detailed look at her extensive line of perfumes. I did some Google searches to get the product names right for my episode log. For days afterward, web page ads for these exact products were showing up on Facebook, Rivals, The Weather Channel and several other web sites. If you're logged onto Facebook, it's running scripts to record your web activity.
6Supervising producer Kathy Mavrikakis interrupts Dave at his interview mark to get some input on the staff Christmas party. Kathy asks if Dave would be willing to attend if the venue were somewhere in Brooklyn. He definitely would not make his way over there. It's settled, then. The party will be held in Brooklyn.
6The ever-absent-minded Dave asks the control room, we guess, to turn on "the thing," which in nice weather usually means an outside camera. We see various appliances and switches turned on. Eventually someone monkeys with the wrong switch, which throws the entire theater into darkness. Dave and the CBSO continue the rest of Act 2 with only the illumination of head-mounted miner's lights.
6USA Today warns us to watch out for catch phrases in food descriptions that are often a sign of high-cholesterol items, which is the subject of tonight's Top Ten. Examples of phrases to watch for include: Dumpster-raised, Gristle-licious, Youth counselor-approved and Freshly-exhumed.
7The Paley Center in New York was the site of "An Evening with the Late Show with David Letterman Writers" this evening, part of the New York Comedy Festival. Here's one account of the program and topics, from The Hollywood Reporter.
10Tonight we see the first episode of "Presidential Second Acts," which focuses on the works of American presidents after leaving the Oval Office. It's just the writers' latest angle for making fun of George W. Bush, rather than the incompetent Barack Obama. We'll see a new installment every day this week. Think of "Presidential Second Acts" as a repackaged "Great Moments in Presidential Speeches."
10Dave obviously has great admiration for his guest, Alex Zanardi, who is very involved in Paralympics after a devasting race car accident. I'm sure Alex has inspired countless people.
11Dave: "By the way, ladies and gentlemen, today is Veterans' Day. Thank you to all our men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. In honor of Veterans' Day, we are marching out a few jokes that have already served."
12Mike McIntee, as a state official, serves papers to Dave in a monologue interruption. "Do not cease. Do not desist." Dave has been designated as a natural wonder. (video)
12Jennifer Lawrence is in to plug The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 1. This is an instant classic interview, with Jennifer and Dave at their best. Jennifer is an open book and a quote machine, and her visit will receive a great deal of press coverage. We'll learn in detail about Jennifer's latest health issues, both in the U.S. and Austria, and her experiences with ghosts. Dave will teach Jennifer a couple of new words, and Jennifer will whisper some choice quotes from her assistant that cannot be broadcast without FCC retaliation. Later, when a clip isn't instantly available, Dave and Jennifer will walk off the set. After commercials, Jennifer appears at Dave's desk to run her clip. It's nonstop fun when Jennifer's in the house. (video) (138 MB)

12Boris Johnson, mayor of London, plugs his book, The Churchill Factor: How One Man Made History. The mayor's light blonde locks prompts Dave to inquire, out of nowhere, if Boris is familiar with the WWF's Bobby "The Brain" Heenan.
14Bert Mortensen, chairman of the National Foundation for Monkeys on Rocks, appears unexpectedly behind Dave to promote his cause. (Bert): "So please, please, I ask you... if you have troubles, be like Dave. Don't give them to a monkey on a rock. Lord knows, those monkeys have suffered enough already. Thank you!"
14Possibly a replacement for the long-running Backstage Photo Club cards is tonight's first-ever "Late Show Staff Selfie." Dave's front and center, with executive producers Nancy Agostini and Barbara "Gaines" Gaines.
17Today's a Monday, and this week's segment for making fun of George W. Bush is "The Legacy of George W. Bush." We'll see W. in candid interviews, revealing mischief from his younger days, etc.
17Kathy Mavrikakis interrupts the monologue to try to get the boss to order a pie for her daughter's school fundraiser. Are there nuts? Is there gluten? Did the pilgrims, in New England, have access to lemons for lemon chiffon pies? Kathy eventually grabs the order form and stomps off.
17The Late Show staff have put together a video to congratulate Al Roker on his marathon, record-setting 34-hour weather broadcast. Congratulations also to Dave, who can make his 62-minute telecast feel like 34 hours, each and every day!
18It's a new show opening: "From the world headquarters of CBS Television, throughout the solar system and beyond, it's the Late Show with David Letterman." It will last a month.
18monologue: "I like it when it's cold. Cold in New York City. Let me tell you how cold it is. I'll tell you. The strippers are wearing mittens."
18monologue: "But now, speakin' of poultry, here in the United States, on top of everything else, we have what they call the bird flu. The bird flu is here, ladies and gentlemen. Yeah. Thanks a lot. That's just exactly what... thanks a lot, Obama! Thanks a lot for that bird flu! The symptoms... headache, fever, loss of appetite. I mean, honest to God, you hardly touch your worm."
182014 NASCAR Sprint Cup champion Kevin Harvick is onstage to present the Top Ten Tips for Becoming an Auto Racing Champion. / #2. "Remember: If you lose, you don't have to do Letterman."
18Alan Kalter's opening words have been changed from "From the heart of Broadway, across the nation and around the world, it's the Late Show with David Letterman" to "From the world headquarters of CBS Television, throughout the solar system and beyond, it's the Late Show with David Letterman." They'll go with the change, at least through the week.
18We learned at the start of this week that mass murderer Charles Manson, 80, has acquired a marriage license. The head case who is betrothed to him is a 26-year-old beauty named Afton Elaine Burton. The comedy will keep coming all week, in monologue jokes, videos and a Top Ten. The first of the video segments goes like this: "Federal prison inmate Charles Manson has been granted a license to wed, after becoming engaged to 26-year-old Elaine Burton." (photo): Charles, with the babe clinging to him (voice-over and graphic): "And that's legal? A message from gay people who can't get married."
18The set-up for a spoof called "Late Show Comedy Substitutes" is a joke about Kim Kardashian's colossal ass. Writer Steve Young has a funny and cynical introduction to the new feature. (video)
18The latest round of fun Stupid Pet Tricks includes a border collie that holds a beverage container, a border collie that climbs a ladder and a Jack Russell terrier that rides a miniature horse. The owner of the miniature horse drove across the continent, from the Spokane, Washington area! (video)
19Regis Philbin is a last-minute replacement for Dr. Bill Cosby, who is having a rough week with the media. Regis has let his hair go to its natural white. Dave loves it. The fun topic of the evening is a part Regis has in the upcoming CBS series, Odd Couple. Regis will portray a flasher!
20From the Truth Is Stranger than Fiction department, we learn that scientists from Johns Hopkins and Nebraska have discovered a virus that impairs mental function. It's acquired the nickname, the Stupidity Virus. The Late Show cashes in this comedy gold with YouTube epic fail videos entitled, "People Who May Have the Stupidity Virus." Be sure to collect the entire set!
21monologue: "Ladies and gentlemen, good news. During the holidays, the United States Post Office will be delivering mail on Sunday. On Sunday. How about that? You know, if somebody wants to deliver something on Sunday, what about the damn Giants? Why don't they deliver on Sunday?"
21monologue: "Charles Manson getting married... 26-year-old woman. 26-year-old woman... and... I don't know. I wish them well, I guess? It's gonna be trouble. She's a Lutheran... he's a lunatic. She'll be wearing white. He'll be wearing orange."
21"Wahoo Mike" McIntee interrupts the monologue to take a series of measurements of our host, using one of those cloth tape measures. He proceeds in a very businesslike manner. After the all-important inseam measurement, Dave comments that he hadn't called for a tailor. Wahoo Mike, who has hardly spoken, replies, "I'm not a tailor." (video)
21Are you prepared for the cod and fluke season? Our pals at the Late Show sure are! Just watch "Flu Season at the Late Show." (video)
21The soon-to-be new host of the Late Late Show, James Corden, is in to plug Into the Woods. He's quite an amusing guest. James has two young kids. He relates some sage advice from his uncle, provided in advance of his first visit to a delivery room. (YouTube)
21Pat Farmer has a hilarious segment, "Turkey Preparation 101." We'll unexpectly learn more about acquiring the turkey carcass than preparing it. Pat has done absolutely great with his comedy segments and monologue interruptions over the years, and nobody dumps crap off the roof better than Pat, I might add. (video)
24monologue: The Giants' Odell Beckham, Jr. made a spectacular, one-handed touchdown catch vs. the Cowboys yesterday. (Dave): "It's being called the greatest catch in NFL history... not counting Gisele Bündchen."
25Black Friday is three days away. The CEOs of Walmart and Target show up by Dave at his monologue mark. They no sooner cast eyes on each other than it's go time! The two corporate hotshots will pummel each other all through the aisles and to the lobby, as the CBSO plays "Sleigh Bells." Dave dispatches TV's Alan Kalter to break up the altercation. As I write this entry on Black Friday, I can report that similar dust-ups have occurred in the U.S. and England today. (action-packed video)
25My mentor and spiritual adviser, writer Joe Grossman, came up with a spoof product, Wu-Tang Clan Tang®, to commemorate tonight's performance by the Clan. It's an orangey drink mix that can be enjoyed by young and old and, we presume, astronauts. Also, be the first on your block to try the new cereal, Wu-Tang Bran®. Don't miss Joe's punderful comedy suggestions to the Clan. (video)
25Adam Resnick, a writer for Dave on Late Night, is back to promote his book, Will Not Attend: Lively Stories of Detachment and Isolation. Amazon promotes his memoir with, "Resnick is the crazy, miserable bastard you can't help rooting for, and the brilliant Will Not Attend showcases this seasoned comedy writer at his brazenly hilarious best. Adam reads a passage for us, a cynical account of a family trip to Disney World. Amazon readers give it ✭✭✭✭.
26Some fans don't warm up to Dave calling the kitties. I love it. Provided for your enlightment is Dave's latest offering. (.mp3) Right-click to download! Collect the entire set in my audio archives.
26Nielsen November Sweeps ends today, and the Late Show will air instant-classic, pre-owned episodes until December 8.

"Not only are hammocks comfortable to lie in, they're great for keeping
a pair of trees from drifting apart."
 – Alan Kalter, September 11, 2014
8One of the things we'll miss most is Dave's desk chats, stories and rants. Dave gives us a four-minute discourse on the gent who set out to be eaten by a 40-foot anaconda for the Discovery Channel. The "plight of the anacondas? Just leave them alone!" (video)
8Joaquin Phoenix is in to plug Inherent Vice. He's upbeat, funny and a great guest. Joaquin has a very amusing tale about his first encounter with yoga lessons, which he hoped would help his ailing back. The 6' 2" yoga instructor lady (who teaches martial arts on the side) put him in a contorted position, which Joaquin gets on the stage floor to demonstrate, called "harnessing the hog." It was basically killing him, and yoga instructor informed his the pain he experienced was "emotional." Joaquin concludes by announcing that he's now engaged to his yoga instructor.

Over the next few hours, as I wrote up the episode and did the usual research, I noticed that the fabled yoga instructor is six inches taller than the 5' 8" Joaquin. The more I thought about it, the more I believed his story was complete hogwash, and I posted to that effect on alt.fan.letterman. About four hours later, someone posted that Joaquin had gone on Good Morning America, and admitted that he made up the entire story. No matter... it was a very enjoyable segment, regardless! (110 MB video)

8It was awesome to have our old friend, Rev. Al Green, as tonight's musical guest. (YouTube)
9LaLa Brooks of The Crystals brings in an entire orchestra to perform "Then He Kissed Me" (1963) and "Da Doo Ron Ron." Some fans are calling this the best musical performance of the year on LSDL. I don't know of anyone who didn't think it was tremendous. (video)
10Meryl Streep (yes, that Meryl Streep, is in to plug the Christmas opening of Into the Woods. She's a wonderful, down-to-earth guest, and a highlight is Meryl's alternate version of a report by Emily Blunt, who claimed she saved Meryl from a fall that meant certain death.

Meryl diplomatically replies, "Well... I hate to contradict her, but she did try to save me, but I think what I tripped on was... her foot... which she had thrown up on the table, in an attempt to kill me."

Ms. Streep was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom just days before her appearance. She at first attempted to persuade everyone that she was not worthy, but gave in when she learned that the award had been known to go to golfers.

11Joe Grossman's latest offering is the "Late Show Guide to Holiday Tipping." While at first he gets in the doghouse with Dave for recommending a $250 tip for your comedy writers, the story has a happy ending.
11Do not miss this commercial for Meryl Streep & Susan Hum's Academy of Dramatic Arts. (YouTube)
11Chris Rock is a hilarious guest. He has two daughters, who worry that he's not funny enough to afford to send them to college. How about this rant about his spoiled kids? (YouTube)
"Who's got it better than our kids, Dave? Rich bastards! I have never liked rich kids in my life, and now two of them are mine, Dave! I have nothin' in common with my rich kids, Dave. My kids are so rich, when they watch Diff'rent Strokes, they take Mr. Drummond's side. You're like 'what's wrong with these brats? They don't appreciate what they got. You know, Dave... I can't wait to put 'em to work, Dave. I can't wait to just take 'em to a Kinko's... Go make some tacos!"
12Late Show writer and strike captain Bill Scheft is the only thing on CBS right now. We spend a full minute watching him picking raisins from a lone cookie, glasses on, glasses off, nibbling here and there, as Paul Shaffer plays "Sleigh Ride." This is an encore from the 10/10/14 episode. Dave invites Bill to center stage to take a bow. (YouTube)
15We haven't seen a Donald Sterling apology clip since October. Here we go:
"...and I'm so sorry, and I'm so apologetic..." (edit) "Am I entitled to one mistake? It's a terrible mistake, and I'll never do it again." (edit) "And I'm apologizing, and I'm asking for forgiveness. Am I entitled to one mistake, after 35 years?" (edit) " I made a mistake. I hope it's in their heart to forgive me for that mistake."
The shot widens. A very small Donald is seated before a shopping mall Santa Claus.
15Dave's genius friend, Steve, has the solution to the Washington Redskins' mascot controversy. Get some potato stickers made, slap 'em on the helmets and keep the Redskins name.
15Emma Stone, lovely and cool, visits with Dave about her singing role in Broadway's Cabaret, just one block away. She's had to take Prednisone to help with her voice. Emma feels like The Hulk, after the 'roids. "I could rip somebody's face off, in a good way," Emma announces. Dave and Emma take a few selfies with his phone. (video)
15Bob Seger and the Silver Bullet Band sing "All of the Roads" from their new album, "Ride Out." It's getting strong reviews. (video)
16monologue: "Guess who's running for president! Jeb Bush, ladies and gentlemen. Jeb Bush. Now, the big deal about Jeb Bush... he was the governor of Florida for a while, and he speaks fluent Spanish. Speaks fluent Spanish. And it raises the question, 'What the hell language did his brother speak?' "
16Shannon Eis is back with holiday toys. She has a cat scratcher toy covered with fake fur, an electric skateboard that Todd Seda rides confidently (because Dave was chicken), and a $400 Razor MX650 Dirt Rocket Electric Motocross Bike. Dave pops on a helmet and terrorizes the stage for a bit. With no warning, he heads backstage and out a 53rd Street door, then down the street, as DeLace and the security boys are left far behind. (video)
16Anna Kendrick plugs Into the Woods, opening on Christmas. She was in London last night, and this leads to a discussion about taking Ambien at the beginning of a long flight. The FDA warns, "You may get up out of bed while not being fully awake, and do an activity that you do not know you are doing. The next morning, you may not remember that you did anything during the night." Anna jokes about finding her DVDs in the refrigerator, and finding a video she took of her salad. Anna, having followed Shannon Eis, announces that the fur-covered cat toy reminds her of a dildo. Her antics this evening will lead to a repeat of her episode seven days later! (video)
17monologue: "How about those North Korean hackers? They're at it again. Earlier today, they leaked Santa's 'naughty' list."
17It's another new show opening: "From Broadway, the Show Business Capital of the World, it's the Late Show with David Letterman!"
17Tom Brokaw is in for another outstanding interview. He was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom at the White House a few days ago. Tom says his recovery from multiple myeloma is going as well as it possibly could, which is great news. It's the usual fascinating discussion. Dave asks about Cuba, and Tom says it's past time to normalize relations, much as Nixon did with China in 1972. Tom's done much to recognize World War II veterans, who he calls the "greatest generation," and he reviews the Battle of the Bulge, 70 years after it occurred in Europe. Of the recent tragedy in Pakistan involving children, Tom says of the jihadists that they're maniacal and depraved, and driven by ideas that we in the West cannot understand. (114 MB video)
18monologue: "Last year, my son gave me a delightful gift. He took an egg carton. You know, you get a dozen eggs in an egg carton? He took one of those, emptied it out, and for me, he made me a pill organizer."
18In Act 2, Dave wishes farewell to Al Norwood, boom microphone operator, retiring tomorrow, who's been with CBS for just short of 55 years!!
18Dave's old friend, and one of my favorites, Jeff Altman, is in tonight. As usual, Jeff has funny tales about his late dad, and a new impression of Dustin Hoffman's Rainman as James Bond. (video)
19CHRISTMAS EPISODE / LAST NEW EPISODE OF 2014 / I'll have multiple entries tonight, as much transpired.
19There will be several acknowledgements to Marilyn Sargent, long-time Dave fan. (video compliation) Marilyn has written her annual poem, " 'Twas My Night at the Late Show," since about 1996. It's a take-off from the revered Christmas poem, but written for accomplished Late Show fans who know who the staff are, know who the comedy targets of the year have been, and will get the jokes and references. Marilyn, present for this taping, has come in with copies to distribute to staff, presented in a beautiful folder, shown below. Dave received a copy during the preshow Q & A, and silently reads it at the start of Act 2. For her efforts, Marilyn leaves with a monologue shout out, a second monologue shout out (with Will Lee informing Dave that her name's not Carolyn), compliments from Dave during his desk chat, the #6 Top Ten entry audience shout out, and one of the brand new 2014 Late Show letter jackets that Dave gives to staff each Christmas!

19Paul favors us with his traditional The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour story, and his impression of Cher's performance of "O Holy Night" from 1973. (video)
19Jay Thomas tells his annual Lone Ranger story, which Dave has proclaimed numerous times to be the best story every told on a talk show! Clayton Moore, a passenger in Jay's old car, in his full Lone Ranger outfit, came to Jay's rescue in a time of need! (video) Next is the Quarterback Challenge, with Dave and Jay competing to knock a giant meatball off top of the Christmas tree. (video)
19After Jay's visit, around 20 minutes is needed for the elaborate setup of Darlene Love's performance... orchestra, grand piano, furniture, microphones... the works. Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra, along with additional musicians as they got situated, play The Righteous Brothers' "You've Lost That Lovin' Feelin'." It's tremendous, and we've got it right here! (video)
19For the 21st and final time for Dave, Darlene Love, accompanied by countless musicians, sings "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)." What an outstanding and moving performance! What a wonderful tradition this has been! It dates back to December 1986, on Late Night. (video)
30David Letterman introduces Tom Hanks at the 2014 Kennedy Center Honors. (video)

"9-grain bread: legitimate, or just showing off? Our panel debates, after this."  – Alan Kalter, Oct. 3, 2014

DDY's Episode Logs:

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Red Horizon is available from CD Baby. A collaboration of Tad Lathrop and the world's #1 Letterman fan, Don Giller, Red Horizon was many years in the making. You can preview some of the tracks on CD Baby. Look at the reviews on Amazon, where it's also available.