23 Year Old Michael Jordan With David Letterman

Posted in David Letterman, Michael Jordan on June 16th, 2012 by Willie

I just tuned into the fabulous new documentary on the 1992 Dream Team, the magical group of Olympic All-Stars led by Michael Jordan.  If you grew up as a kid in the 90s like I did, Michael Jordan was the closest thing to experiencing Babe Ruth.  It didn’t matter what team you were a fan of, watching Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls dominate basketball was a thrill right out of a comic book.  Jordan played with passion, creativity, and inspiration, and he came to represent the icon of American achievement, proudly setting the bar for success higher and higher.  The thing I like most about Michael was that he never shrank from the spotlight and never felt embarrassed to be who he was.  Many icons of sports and popular culture exude a bitterness and resentment in the face of overwhelming media attention and praise, but Michael embraced it and owned it.  Criticism did grow around Jordan, concerning the colossal commercialization of his name and likeness, but I always felt that criticism was a bit wrong headed. While it was certainly true that Michael lent his name to anyone with a big enough paycheck, he never pretended that it wasn’t anything other than enjoying the spoils of money and fame.  His appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman when he was then just a 23 years old emerging phenomenon, shows Michael constructing this public identity, which was a cross between a crass walking commercial, and, somehow, an unpretentious everyman burning with the universal desire to be great.  Letterman, also young and spry, does his part in helping create the myth and legend, and the clip below is just a lot of fun.

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Amy Sedaris on Letterman

Posted in David Letterman, Youtube Favs on November 6th, 2011 by Willie

Amy Sedaris is one of the funniest comedic performers of all time.  I was going to say funniest female comedic performers, but I realized that’s just stupid.  Her talent shouldn’t be subjugated to some gender consignment.  She’s a performance genius, and if you’ve never seen “Strangers With Candy,” the mastermind show created by Amy, Paul Dinello, and Steven Colbert, do yourself a favor and track it down right now.  I’m pretty sure every episode is available for free on comedycentral.com.  Anyway, Amy does most of her performing these days on the Letterman show, as she became one of Letterman’s most frequent and favorite guests.  When she does Dave’s show, she is like a rocket of spirit, laughs, and quirky charm.  Every time she is on, she makes Dave and the audience fall head over heals in love with her.  What I have below is Amy’s most recent appearance on the Late Show, and she talks about turning 50, touching the elderly, root canals, and Keith Richards.  It’s really a joyful interview, and if you like it, there are no shortages of her appearances on youtube, and they’re all great.  Enjoy.

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Andy Kaufman on Letterman

Posted in David Letterman, Youtube Favs on November 4th, 2011 by Willie

Many people refer to these days as the golden age of comedy.  With tons of late night comedians, stand-up super stars, box office comedy blockbusters, and comedy nerds running rampant, its easy to buy into that hype.  Well, it might be the case that comedy is bigger then ever, but there probably isn’t one comedian from today’s day and age that comes close to matching the genius of Andy Kaufman.  All you have to do is watch the clip below where Andy appears on Letterman and hardly says a thing for the first few minutes, but manages to have the audience rolling with laughter.  When he goes into a monolog about his fucked up life, tells people not to laugh, and proceeds to beg for money like a homeless guy, what’s real, and what’s the act, is so blurred at that point, that its truly mind-blowing.  Credit also goes to Letterman for playing the strait man so convincingly, that you truly believe that he has no idea whether or not what Andy’s doing is real or not.  It would be unimaginable to think what Andy would be doing had he lived to this day, so check out this timeless performance from one of the funniest people that ever lived.

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David Letterman's First Late Night Show Ever

Posted in David Letterman, Youtube Favs on November 3rd, 2011 by Willie

On February 1st, 1982 David Letterman launched the Late Night Show on NBC.  As you can tell by its overly dramatic and irony fueled science fiction opening, Dave was far ahead of his time.  Understanding David Letterman’s genius is partly based on knowing what a clear cut revolutionary comic visionary he was.  Not only was he fully secure in his own comic voice, always bleeding confidence over every comedy beat, he was a broadcasting natural, just a seemingly perfect physical fit for the television medium.  When Dave is on TV, he is just in his natural environment.  It’s really harder to imagine the man in real life, and according to those who work with him and know him, the real Dave is a neurotic and socially awkward mess of a man.  TV Dave is the complete opposite, a titanic colossus of confidence and  razor edged awareness.  His first show on NBC is just a remarkable time capsule of his talent and impact, and I got all 7 parts for you to devour below.  You’ll get Dave at his most classic, giving you a bizarre monolog poking fun at himself and NBC.  You’ll get a hilarious tour of the NBC studios, and you’ll get Bill Murray being young and brilliant.  Oh yea, you get Mr. Wizard too.  This is awesome, so check it out and brighten up your late night.

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