Thursday, February 01, 2007

So Where Was Kaufman & Lawler On This List?

I was reading in today's Daily News about today being the 25th anniversary of David Letterman's first late night show, on NBC. A columnist named Richard Huff has a list of the Top 10 moments from Dave's late night shows on both CBS and NBC.

He mentions a lot of the most memorable moments from Dave, like his return from heart surgery in 2000, Dan Rather's emotional appearance after 9/11, and Madonna and Bill O'Reilly's notorious appearances. (Huff calls war protester Cindy Sheehan, "Cindy Sherman" in the article. Rather sloppy work, Richard.)

Here is the complete list from Huff:

I have to take issue with this list. Huff lists only one moment from Late Night With David Letterman (which I've always thought was the better show), when Cher and Sonny Bono reunited in 1987. But where is one of the great moments of late night history on this list, namely when the late comedian Andy Kaufman and wrestler Jerry Lawler appeared together on Late Night in July 1982?

I remember watching it when it first aired (I was devoted Letterman fan back then and watched his show every night). It was an unbelievable moment, when Lawler and Kaufman were bantering about their wrestling match in Memphis when Andy got "hurt." Lawler then gets up and slaps Kaufman, and Andy falls to the ground, out of his chair. Andy then gets up and lets loose a stream of obscenities at Lawler. It made the papers and had America talking about it for days on end. (It also helped Late Night and its ratings tremendously at time, as the show had only been on less than six months.) As it turned out, it was all staged, but that sure didn't take away from the spectacle. It was probably the first huge "Letterman" moment.

It was also immortalized in the film, "Man On The Moon, " the Jim Carrey film about Andy Kaufman, with Lawler, Letterman and Paul Shaffer appearing in it as themselves. With all that, I'm amazed that Huff couldn't find room on his list for it.

I'm not the Letterman fan I once was, although I do check his show out from time to time. Still, I didn't like the fact that Dave's old NBC show was not given much love on this list. (There was also no mention of Dave's famous "feud" with Bryant Gumbel back in the mid-80s, and that made for some very funny TV.)

Well, everyone's entitled to their opinion. I miss Larry "Bud" Melman.

1 comment:

Peter N said...

I agree, and hello to you. And the only Letterman shows that I make a point of watching (on the DVR) are the ones with Howard. Have a great weekend! Peter