Are you sick of hearing about who is going to come out on top with the late night ratings for talk shows? Well, tonight, stay up a little later than Jay Leno's, or Arsenio Hall's and watch "The David Letterman Show," at 12: 30 on NBC. It is as good, if not better, than all of the earlier late night shows. What makes it more entertaining is not only Letterman's feature interviews and snappy wisecracks, but Paul Shaeffer, his lead musician. Unlike Hall's "poss"" or Branford Marsalis's Tonight Show Band, Paul's band is almost at the center of attention on the show. He regularly speaks his mind, plays his instruments, and does what he wants any time he wants.
Letterman's interviews far outclass his opposition. His timely chats with famous people are excellent because he clearly tries to interview relevant people. For instance, when Clarence Thomas was appointed Supreme Court justice, while Arsenio was interviewing actors like Rob Lowe and Christian Slater, Letterman managed to get Thomas on his show. When Arthur Ashe first made it known to the public that he had AIDS, guess who was on Letterman's show two nights later? This is just one feature that tells me Letterman wants to be number one in the ratings.
Paul Shaeffer is really what holds this operation together. When David does not have a joke on the tip of his tongue, the cameras turn to Paul and he is forced to come up with a snappy comment or insult very quickly. Paul never disappoints his audience. Of all late night hosts. Letterman is the only one with a sidekick. Not only is he an exceptional band leader, but his jokes are humorous and original. Having Paul on the show is almost like having a comedian and a musician all in one!
David Letterman's monologue is second to none in the comedy business because of his great ability to change from one subject to the next smoothly. Along with his hilarious monologues, Letterman includes a funny feature. He always lists the top ten reasons for something. He picks his star of the week on Monday nights and makes fun of him in his monologue all week. My personal favorite was when he made fun of Donald Trump and Marla Maples. He made their relationship sound foolish. It made Trump sound like a guy just looking for cheap thrills, and Maples was just looking for money. For all these reasons, I would say that David Letterman is one of the funniest men on television.
Have I told you everything you have ever wanted to know about David Letterman's show? If not, there is one more thing you need to know: David is moving! That's right. His show can be seen on CBS at 11: 30 starting in August, which means he will be in the same time slot as Jay Leno. He should prevail when the first ratings come out. So, tonight, please stay up and give Letterman a shot. I know if you watch it once, you will be hooked forever! n
This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.