Late Night With David Letterman (NBC) - any hope?

Discussion in 'TV on DVD and Blu-ray' started by Casey C., Oct 28, 2007.

  1. Casey C.

    Casey C. Stunt Coordinator

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    Wherever you stand on the Leno vs. Letterman debate these days, there's no denying that Letterman's NBC show in the 1980s was truly innovative television. I began watching the show about 1984 and quickly became addicted to his dry sense of humor.

    I would love to see some kind of box-set collection with selected classic shows from the early to mid '80s. These moments especially:

    Late Night Thrill-Cam
    Late Night Monkey-Cam
    Suit of Alka-Seltzer
    Dave tries to deliver a fruit basket to his new GE bosses
    Dave interrupts a live outdoor "Today" show with a bullhorn
    The Cher episode (she calls him an a--hole)
    The Crispin Glover episode (he nearly kicks Dave in the head)

    Dave didn't like it when NBC syndicated his show (first to A&E, later to E! and Trio), but I don't know where he stands on DVD. I believe NBC owns the rights anyway.

    What do you think? Any chance we'll ever see this from NBC Universal?
     
  2. FranklinC

    FranklinC Stunt Coordinator

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    I sure hope so. They did released something similar to what you're describing on VHS. I have one or two of those somewhere, plus old tapes of the show from when I use to tape it so I could watch when I got home from school. Some of those tapes have to be twenty years old. I would definitely pay to have these on DVD, though.

    I can't watch the Late Show now. What happened to Letterman?
     
  3. Jon Martin

    Jon Martin Cinematographer

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    There were many VHS volumes released in the 80's and 90's. Unfortunately, due to music rights, they were edited like crazy. They released the Sonny and Cher reunion episode, but without them singing together.

    I'd love to see them as well, but since NBC owns the shows, and still isn't on the best terms with Letterman, I don't think they would be very complete. Dave surely wouldn't participate in any extras.

    As for Letterman today, he still is the best of the late night hosts.
     
  4. JiM T

    JiM T Stunt Coordinator

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    Instant purchase, whatever they'd release. Even if it's just a collection of comedy bits and Viewer Mail segments, that would be awesome. I honestly can do without the musical performances.
     
  5. RoyM

    RoyM Stunt Coordinator

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    That was truly a great TV moment. But (from what I've heard), Dave isn't too fond of it, so I'm not sure it would make it into any compilation of Late Night greatest moments.

    I would love to see a collection of great Late Night moments, many of which you mentioned. How about the suit of velcro and Larry "Bud" Melman selling toast on a stick, too?
     
  6. texboil

    texboil Stunt Coordinator

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    I've actually given this far more thought than I probably should.

    In a perfect world, there would be a DVD box set for every year of Late Night which would include perhaps three discs of complete shows -- most likely themed-episodes like "The Morning Show," "The Summertime Sunshine Happy Hour," the custom-made shows (audience votes on which guest comes out first, the set, etc.), and the yearly anniversary show. Then a fourth disc would cobble togther other highlights from the season, a la "bonus cuts" such as on the Sesame Street: Old School DVDs.

    I would love to see this happen. Letterman, especially in like the 1984-1986 period, was brilliant television.
     
  7. docdoowop

    docdoowop Second Unit

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    Long as we're hoping, let's start with NBC's 1980 daytime "David Letterman Show". I actually have a few on tape....somewhere. I particularly remember the Halloween show skits in which Edwin Newman participated.
     
  8. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I think they should do a best-of that's just Dave and the gang goofing around. I just want to see Bud Melman giving away his hot towels and the giant doorknob once more. I do remember loving those "audience in control" episodes where Dumb was the order of the day. I recall one where the audience voted to raise the pitch of the microphones in the studio so that everyone sounded like chipmunks. Jane Pauley was the guest and flatly refused to say a word during the entire interview. That's the kind of ridiculous junk I want to see again on dvd.
     
  9. Corey3rd

    Corey3rd Screenwriter

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    just wish Bravo would run the old episodes like Trio did.
     
  10. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Don't forget Chris Elliot as the guy under the seats! [​IMG]

    I'm a huge Dave fan. I've been watching him since the kick off of Late Night (never saw the morning show). My favorite segment was Dave's record collection. I still remember one particular jingle that I last heard more than 20 years ago: "travel with ease, rent a car...."

    Without a doubt his show has evolved from those early days at NBC to what he presents nightly now at CBS. But, I guess that's to be expected. We all change and "settle in" as we age.

    While Dave retains his rather quirky personality on-screen during the monologues and interviews, but when is the last time you've seen him leave his desk? When he was younger, he was rarely at the desk. He used to be the one throwing things off buildings, etc. He used to be the one out on the street (instead of sending Rupert Jee to do his dirty work).

    I don't necessarily think he's just "phoning it in" because I think he is still very concerned about his self-proclaimed obligation to "entertain America on a nightly basis", I just think he has adapted his performance to suit his age and status among the late night guys. Let the younger guys turn things on the establishment on its ear (like he used to do--better than anyone--on a nightly basis).

    I still see flashes back to some of the fun times when Gerard Mulligan shows up. I think his presence tends to spark Dave back to some of those old days and the irreverence they heartily pursued.

    This is one of those cases where I wouldn't mind if they released some "Best of" compendiums...but seeing as how the Carson estate hasn't been able to get those right yet (there'll be yet another duplicative release next week [​IMG] ) I'm not completely sure. I have many of Dave's old anniversary shows on tape which serve as "best of" collections and I actually take them out fairly often and find myself laughing quite a lot. It's also nice to be able to share those moments with my teenage son who is only familiar with the more staid version of Dave. He was really surprised to see Dave do stuff like take orders at the drive-thru!

    I'm surprised the success of SNL: Season 1 doesn't spur more similar products. I understand there's a huge difference between a weekly comedy skit show and a nightly talk show. But NBC needs to figure something out.
     
  11. Marty M

    Marty M Cinematographer

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    I have always thought that David Letterman is the best interviewer of children on his show. He gets to act a little goofy with them without talking down to the children.

    As far as his change, I think part of it is that he has to cater to a different audience at 11:30 than he did at 12:30. He could get away with quickier, edgier stuff at the later time-period. I think Conan will have to do the same thing if he actually gets the 11:30 time-slot on NBC. There are just certain expectations at the 11:30 late night time-slot.
     
  12. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    I blame David Letterman for making me stay up too late at night in high school, (circa 1981-1983), making me sleepy in class all morning and he probably lowered my GPA while we're at it. But that's just too bad because I found his show to be the only entertaining thing on television at the time. I had to suffer through Johnny Carson every night to get to Dave. I miss the early seasons more than Paul Schaeffer misses his hair.
     
  13. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    Ethan: you didn't stay up then to watch Lloyd Dobbins and Linda Ellerbee after Dave?! [​IMG]
     
  14. Ethan Riley

    Ethan Riley Producer

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    Yes I did! How can I ever forget that guy's bowtie and utterly flat monotone?

    ...and so it goes...
     
  15. Mike Frezon

    Mike Frezon Moderator
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    I don't remember Dobyns in a bow-tie...but, maybe.

    Bill Schechner replaced Dobyns. Maybe he wore bow-ties?
     
  16. TonyD

    TonyD Who do we think I am?
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    doesn't NBC own all late night material?

    Its out of dave's hands?
     
  17. Cheetah

    Cheetah Stunt Coordinator

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    I'd also love to see a collection of all of the anniversary specials. They each in effect are a "Best of" for each year as already mentioned. An excellent bonus feature would be to include the film festivals.
     
  18. pitchman

    pitchman Screenwriter

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  19. cafink

    cafink Producer

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    I've been trying for ages to find a copy of the episode in which Penn & Teller dump cockroaches on Letterman. I'd immediately scoop up any release which included that bit.

    The Crispin Glover episode was great, too.
     
  20. Brad P

    Brad P Stunt Coordinator

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    I think a release like this could happen sometime down the road. While NBC owns the show, their relationship with Letterman is certainly better than it was in 1993, when they were threatening to sue him for bringing things like the top ten list and Stupid Pet Tricks to CBS, stating that those bits were their "intellectual property."

    NBC even allowed Letterman to use some clips from Late Night on his Carson tribute show in 2005.
     

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