Posts filed under “Television”

Letterman and the Future of Media Consumption

The past month has seen an outpouring of tributes and praise for the just-retired “Late Show” host David Letterman. I have been linking to some of the more informative (and amusing) discussions in the morning reads (see this and this). None have really captured the context I was looking for: what does this tell us about the future of media consumption in the changing technology, media and social landscape?

The arc of Letterman’s career has run parallel to those changes. Many of the companies that were central to the changes either were, are or will be in your investment portfolio. Isn’t competition grand?

I didn’t watch much TV as a kid (parental restrictions), but as soon as I was on my own, I went wild. I got one of those new fangled VCRs once I could afford one, and the first show I began taping regularly was “Late Night With David Letterman.” I never found Johnny Carson, whose show aired before Letterman’s, especially funny; he was too bland. Letterman had edge, he was unpredictable.

At the time, most of us had no idea what drove Letterman’s antics. The 12:30 a.m. time slot was owned by Carson’s production company, and he wanted as little overlap between the “Tonight Show” and “Late Night” as possible. The strictures included no sidekick like Ed McMahon, no big band like Doc Severinsen’s. Only four jokes were allowed in the monologue. Carson’s old school guests and routines were also off limits — as if anyone under 60 wanted to book Zsa Zsa Gabor or steal a tired  shtick like “Carnac the Magnificent.”

Letterman and crew were forced to innovate. Thus, we were givenStupid Pet Tricks, Top 10 lists and all of the inventive remote segments — Letterman working the drive-through window at a Taco Bell, Letterman driving a rented convertible through a car wash with the top down and so on. For someone discovering television beyond “MASH” reruns, it was glorious. The show became a cult favorite, especially with the college and stoner crowd.


Continues here: How Media Is Consumed After Letterman


Category: Humor, Television, Web/Tech

Adam Sandler’s Musical Farewell to David Letterman

Tonight is the final Letterman show — I thought this Adam Sandler tribute was worth sharing:  

Category: Music, Television, Weekend

The Incomparable: Jason Snell on David Letterman’s Significance

  Click play to listen. Your browser does not support the audio element.   Source: The Incomparable    

Category: Podcast, Television, Weekend

Letterman was once a religion . . .

It used to be a religion. That’s right, late night started with Steve Allen, matured with Johnny Carson and ended with David Letterman. There are people on at 11:35 now, even 11 and 12:35, but they’re poseurs, inheritors of a throne no one pays fealty to anymore, despite a fawning press gushing in adulation, trying…Read More

Category: Humor, Television, Think Tank

Why HBO Is Not Like the Music Business

We believe in it because there’s no advertising. That’s not completely true, that’s just the icing on the cake. The truth is HBO is a paragon of excellence with deep pockets that attracts the best creators in media. And when HBO says yes, which is not that often, it gives carte blanche to those creators,…Read More

Category: Television, Think Tank

The Great Unbundling

Nobody wants to watch the Discovery Channel. 2.9 million people viewed “Naked and Afraid.” But a hundred million paid for it. More than a buck a month. The CEO made $156 million. Now what? Lawsuits. Verizon is following the customer, allowing its FiOS TV subscribers to pick and choose channels. And the content providers are…Read More

Category: Really, really bad calls, Television, Think Tank, Web/Tech

Star Trek Fans Are ‘Spocking’ Canadian $5 Bills

I know I mentioned this earlier this morning, but really, how awesome is this:   ‘Star Trek’ fans told to stop ‘Spocking’ Canadian $5 bill Source: Toronto Sun   The Toronto Sun is reporting that: “A drive was launched in the aftermath of Nimoy’s death on Friday to ink the features of his most famous character, Star…Read More

Category: Currency, Humor, Science, Television

Lefsetz on Bill O’Reilly

Karma’s a bitch. They’re out to get him, but it’s Bill’s response that has me flummoxed. Why does everybody in power double-down, why do they try and blow their attacker’s house down? It makes men look foolish, that they can’t admit that they are wrong, believing he with the biggest megaphone wins when it really…Read More

Category: Financial Press, Television, Think Tank

Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek

Leonard Nimoy, Spock of ‘Star Trek,’ Dies at 83

Source: NYT

Category: Television, Video

TDS: Better Call Foul

The Daily ShowDaily Show Full Episodes,  More Daily Show Videos,  Comedy Central Full Episodes

Category: Financial Press, Humor, Television, Weekend