Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Last Late Show with David Letterman? I remember my first Late Night Dave...

It was 1989, I was 17.

My mates suddenly started saying weird stuff like they were into Grace Jones or Simply Red, and now took themselves incredibly seriously.

Why weren't they funny any more?
Why weren't we goofing around?

Only months ago we'd been carrying each other around in Eurocrates, throwing board rubbers and hiding stuff on the window ledge.

My teenage angst was about the teenage angst.
The wallowiest of all.
But one night I'd videoed something, and the tape ran onto this by accident.

(this is a link to a dodgy VHS copy where the tracking is off running it at an annoying speed...)

(this is a better link, but it's only of the Robin Williams interview/stunt)

It was gone midnight on Channel 4... completely untrailed, and turned out only six were shown. (A mate only explained yesterday that it was to trial showcase their new NICAM stereo broadcasting system).

And everything made sense.
Teens usually latch onto a band or an album because it articulates what they think they're aligned to, what they want to express and how they see the world.

I didn't have an album or a band or a look.
I got this.

Dumb, abstract and wilful.
It made total sense.
I didn't know you could do that.

12-15-1989 Letterman Sandra Bernhard Viewer Mail

It just ran on in real time. It was so alien, I didn't understand half of it - and that was part of the joy.

It was all about the comedian's reaction to the item being funny, rather than the item itself needing to be funny.

The comedy we had was supposed to be world-leading, but it was entirely scripted.

And this New York underworld of the 1980's was a foreshadow of what was coming our way. We completely get many of the references on the show now.

I've probably watched less Dave since the Late Show started putting exclamation marks on their graphics into the breaks. (I don't think 80s Dave would've done that)

But the last edition is going out in the States tonight, and it just reminded me of how it helped me do what I do now.

Here's a link to my shrine of Dave clips click here

Previous post...
Companies want to see 2 utility bills on paper. But also want to stop sending out bills on paper. Heres my terrible Utility Bill Song

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