November 17, 2020

Podcast Pick: Jesse Thorn interviews David Letterman

Bullseye with Jesse Thorn | David Letterman



Over on the Maximum Fun network, Jesse Thorn spends an hour with David Letterman, unearthing Letterman's late-'60s radio reel, and reviewing Letterman's career from his nightly talk shows to his new(ish) Netflix series "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction."

November 17, 2020 in Podcasts, Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

June 11, 2009

So full of crap: Wingers continue stupid attacks on Letterman

Background here.

So I see that conservatives continue to froth over David Letterman's "tasteless joke about the rape of Sarah Palin's 14-year-old daughter." I put that in quotes because it's their frame, not mine.

This is of a piece with their previous suggestion that then-candidate Obama was equating Palin with a pig when he suggested the Republican Party was "putting lipstick on a pig." The only way their frame makes any sense is if you abandon all reason and the rules of English and comedy.

Here's Letterman's joke:

Setup - Governor Sarah Palin had visited the new Yankees stadium for a game. "During the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez."

It's not let's make sure he's dead..." funny, but Dane Cook has never said anything that funny. To me, it's a joke with two levers: First, Palin's got a daughter who did, in fact, get "knocked up." Second, Alex Rodriguez is seemingly dating every woman in New York these days.

Letterman's audience has no idea who is traveling with the governor of Alaska these days. They know only a few things about Palin: 1) She's governor of Alaska, 2) She was on the ticket with McCain, 3) She was in a beauty pageant, 4) She's got a child with Down's Syndrome, 5) Her husband does something professionally with a snowmobile, 6) She had a disastrous interview with Katie Couric, and 7) She's got a daughter who got pregnant in high school.

To assume that any talk-show comedian would make a joke about Palin that doesn't pivot on one of those 7 things is to intentionally delude oneself. It's perhaps not surprising that The Right is demagoguing this one; Letterman is, at least technically, part of the entertainment industry, but I think they attempt to paint him as a lefty at their own peril. The broad middle may hear that Letterman is on the Republican hit list and decide that it's not much of a party for them, either.

June 11, 2009 in Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 06, 2007

Daily Show line of the night

Running down the Democratic contenders for the 2008 nomination, TDS quoted Chris Dodd, who said he wants “to complete the job started by Harry Truman in 1948.”

Cue Jon Stewart: “Vote Chris Dodd for a reunited Korea.”

February 6, 2007 in Television | Permalink | Comments (0)

November 27, 2005

‘Monk’ filming in San Francisco

Monk on the run
Originally uploaded by Frank Steele.
So I was in San Francisco on business last week. My hotel was just north of Union Square, and on Thursday, I noticed a film crew in Union Square. There was no sign of who was filming; I saw a number of attractive young actors and actresses, and assumed it might be a commercial shoot. Turns out, it was an episode of USA Network's "Monk", with Tony Shalhoub. I think by the time I got there, the stars had already cleared out.

I'm a fan of "Monk", which features Shalhoub, of "Wings", Galaxy Quest, and a few dozen other film and TV roles, as a detective with obsessive-compulsive disorder.

On Friday, when I finished with work, I had about 9 hours to kill, so I headed up Columbus toward San Francisco's tourist center along the Embarcadero, camera bag at the ready. Partway through North Beach, I came upon another film crew aiming up the steepest part of Kearney Street (the Macchiarini Steps). Suddenly, a motorcycle came flying down the steps behind Shalhoub and his costar, Traylor Howard.

There I was with my trusty d70 and a 28-200, and a clear view of the action. Here's the Flickr photoset I shot.

November 27, 2005 in Television | Permalink | Comments (0) | TrackBack