Archive for the 'NBC Letterman' Category



19
Jan
08

Brother Theodore Doesn’t Understand Music

A disoriented Paul Shaeffer is playfully batted at by Theodore in this (maybe ’88-’89) clip. Includes a pretty good oyster joke.  It must have been humid that day: Theodore’s got a major case of the frizzies.

11
Oct
07

Robyn Hitchcock “Madonna Of The Wasps” ’89

As the 80s petered out, some traditions on the Late Night set had yet to fall by the wayside. To wit: the enforced appearance of Paul Shaeffer and The World’s Most Dangerous Band as backing players to every musical act to appear on the show. Today the once-reliable tradition has kind of faded away- the guest musicians perform by themselves often enough these days – but this song by the tremendous Mr. Hitchcock serves to demonstrate how aggressive Paul once was in chasing those heightened AFTRA scale payments. And what a great song.

24
Sep
07

The Stand-up Tragedy of Brother Theodore ’85

Theodore Gottlieb: monologist.   One of many appearances on Letterman during the 80s.  Always essential viewing.

“Lima beans…shattered nerves, broken hearts and fallen arches…”

13
Sep
07

Stupid Pet Tricks ’87

This all-dog clip from the late Reagan era brings us Cboe, a mutt who attacks balloons with such ferocity, you wonder how often she gets her snoot into the bags of Peruvian flake laying around the loft apartment of her options-trading owner. (Yes, the dog is named for that CBOE.) Not to be outdone, a German Shepherd named Satan gets into a refrigerator and grabs a beer. There’s a sad moment when Satan tries to slink away to enjoy the suds, but ends up handing over the can. Nice to see the sharper, more hyper Dave again.

20
Aug
07

andy kaufman and jerry lawler ’82

Wherein Kaufman, the World Intergender Wrestling Champion and one Jerry “The King” Lawler, professional wrestler and proud father culminate their long-running media prank with real combat and thrown coffee.

The editing on this clip cuts out right before a visibly shaken Letterman’s punch line:

“Well, I think you can say some of those words on television.”

12
Aug
07

Letterman #1

’82 was a heady time for Rob Warmowski, Mather High School sophomore. Between seeing my formative hardcore punk rock shows at Club C.O.D., being cast as a lead in the high school musical comedy stage production, and writing stupid programs in Integer BASIC on my pal Chris’s Apple ][+ computer, I didn’t know where to turn for televised entertainment that matched the intensity level of real life.

Helpfully, the NBC television network came to my aid by launching Late Night with David Letterman that year. This show bore little resemblance to the CBS program running today, the difference being akin to that of cream vs. skim milk. The early Letterman shows were a terrific pastiche of visual gags stolen from Ernie Kovacs , real counterculture figures and the best comedy in the NBC building. As Saturday Night Live limped along into irrelevance, Late Night picked up the slack magnificently with humor written from a then-new, media-savvy perspective which might be summed up as “Gee, maybe we watch too much of this TV stuff.”

Show #1 opening with the greatCalvert DeForest:

08
Aug
07

1987: Crispin Hellion Glover

In which Crispin’s platform shoe and Dave’s face very nearly collide. Admirable composure on Dave’s part at the moment of truth. The stale talk show format needs more in the way of roundhouse kicks to the face, if you ask me.

Also: Dave puts Crispin back in the chair in two years later:

04
Aug
07

Beefheart On Letterman

Sportjacket-and-beaver-hair Dave hosts Mr. Van Vliet two times in or around 1982. Watch for the incredulous look Beefheart gives the crowd at their vigorous applause. Suit-and-loafers Dave probably wouldn’t take the risk today. It’s a damn shame when you can’t come up with a better career model than Johnny Carson.

Oh hey, I almost forgot. Some may not be aware that I worked on the 1999 Beefheart retrospective box set Grow Fins on Revenant. I did some audio work on the enhanced CD. Absolutely worth every penny of the $65 bones.




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Email

rob [at] warmowski [dot] com

@warmowski on twitter

Rob’s Bands

Rob Warmowski entry at Chicago Punk Database
1984-89: Defoliants
1991-94: Buzzmuscle
2001-05: San Andreas Fault
2008- : Sirs
2008- : Allende

Rob at Huffington Post

July 2020
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