Ain't It Cool News (

Of Pimpbots and Pet Tricks!! 50 YEARS OF LATE NIGHT!! Talk Back!!

I am – Hercules!!

I was not really looking forward to it (fearful mostly of what I assumed would be a lot of Dancing Ito clips), but enjoyed it so much, I don’t think I need cite examples of all the genius on display.

Oh, maybe a couple. What’s funnier than Triumph the Insult Comic Dog? How about Will Ferrell in a leprechaun outfit??

I'm watching you, Dave ... I see you, Dave!!!

I am – Hercules!!

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 23, 2001, 9:33 p.m. CST


    by Mushmouth

    I nver been first before....also, I missed this show, would be grea to get a tape if someone has it....

  • Sept. 23, 2001, 10:06 p.m. CST

    Johnny Carson stuff was cool

    by Razor42

    Having no memory of ever seeing more than the very beginning of Carson's Tonight Show aside from the very last show, seeing these clips helped a stupid young kid like myself who wasn't allowed to stay up that late learn just what the big deal was about.

  • Sept. 23, 2001, 10:43 p.m. CST

    interesting clip show

    by exidork

    The old Letterman stuff was why I watched this show, but I found it kinda cool to see how much each of the shows borrowed from each other... like Dave taping a show with the camera tilted, fairly similar to a Steve Allen shot later in the show. Even Carson had a lot of the characteristics Jack Parr exhibited, especially when he "walked off" the show. The SNL stuff was less irritating than usual when they pick their fave scenes for prime time. I liked it all, though. (I missed the Conan part, which I regret - especially when I realized how ridiculous the Practice's plot was tonight.)

  • Sept. 23, 2001, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Letterman walkoffs

    by Topaz

    Wished they had the clip of Harrison Ford walking off the show. Have only heard about this--not seen this show. Also, It wasn't mentioned that Jack Paar was the first show to show an english video clip of the Beatles--before Ed Sullivan.

  • Sept. 23, 2001, 11:04 p.m. CST

    Damn I missed it

    by coop

    I was watching Band of Brothers and Adult Swim and I forgot all about it. Next time remind us BEFORE the show airs please. On that note, in case anyone has forgotten or doesn't know, TONIGHT is Angel's premiere WITH the Lord of the Rings preview!

  • Sept. 23, 2001, 11:19 p.m. CST

    Great moments with Dave - Crispin Glover

    by otis von zipper

    I don't know about Harrison Ford walking off Dave's show (they seem to be friendly when Ford is on his show now), but there was the one time Dave himself walked off the set. When Crispin Glover almost kicked him in the head, Dave just got up and walked away. Wonder if they showed that clip.

  • Sept. 23, 2001, 11:35 p.m. CST

    Nope, they didn't show Crispin's high kick

    by Jonny Quest

    ...But that was a supremely memorable moment on Dave's show, no question. I last saw that over a decade ago, and I still recall it vividly. Glover, obviously under the influence of one substance or another, got up and said "I - I can do lots of things. I - I can KICK --" and did so, missing Dave's head by inches. Letterman swerved to dodge the high kick, and calmly said, "I'm just going to go check on the top ten." all the while easing off the stage. Also memorably bizarre was Glover's next appearance on the show, when he profusely apologized for his earlier antics, laughing nervously a the while. It was really nice to see some clips from Dave's NBC days again (Anyone else here remember Harvey Pekar's appearances? There's a guy who'd never appear on Dave's show today). It's a shame that his broadcasting career is split between two different networks, so any retrospective can only show half the story. How anyone can prefer Leno's show over Dave's is beyond me. I didn't even crack a smile during the Leno clips. If that was his best stuff, I can't imagine how a bad he is on an off night.

  • Sept. 24, 2001, 12:42 a.m. CST

    Was a great show..

    by Masamune

    I sure hope to god Conan gets to take over for Leno or Dave, whenever one of them decides to retire. He's the funniest man on TV. His clips were the best. Also, watching this show made me realize how much LENO SUCKS! I didn't find ONE clip funny. Tom's show was really good. Too bad it's not on anymore. Some of his guests were creepy. The Charles Manson thing was know. Seeing John Lennon on his show too was great. I really miss John. I wish I watched more of Johnny Carson when I was younger. Dave should be number 1. He deserves it. NBC screwed him over.

  • Sept. 24, 2001, 1:33 a.m. CST

    Harrison Ford

    by Toby O Notoby

    Did he ever walk off the show? Does anyone remember? The only time I recall Harrison on Letterman not only did he not walk off, I'm pretty sure he didn't even walk *on*. (He had injured his knee filming "The Fugitive" and was resting his leg on an ottoman they put out for him.) If it happened before that visit, they seemed to have made up pretty well and if it happened after I'm pretty sure I would have heard about it.

  • Sept. 24, 2001, 2:12 a.m. CST

    "Uh, you got any gum?"

    by Charles Grady

    "HA HA HA! EEEEEEEEEE!" Paul: "He asked you for some gum." - Norm MacDonald as Letterman, and the highlight of this show.

  • Sept. 24, 2001, 4:48 a.m. CST

    I know the title!!!!.....BOX OFFICE POISON

    by Sammy Jankis

    My highlight of the show was Courtney Thorne Smith on Conan, very hesistantly admitting she had just made a movie with Carrot Top, followed by Norm McDonald going on a rampage that had Thorne-Smith shrink into her chair and Conan almost rolling off his chair laughing.

  • Sept. 24, 2001, 4:48 a.m. CST

    I *really* miss Carson!

    by xrae

    Oh how I wish that Nick at Night or TV Land would pick up the rights to Johnny Carson. It's hard to believe he's been off the air for nearly ten years. Those clips brought back some good memories.

  • Sept. 24, 2001, 5:25 a.m. CST

    i enjoyed it

    by 28

    the jay leno stuff was painful but the rest was Excellent

  • Sept. 24, 2001, 5:27 a.m. CST

    I miss CHEVY CHASE

    by Eugene O

    Ha! Not really...

  • Sept. 24, 2001, 6:59 a.m. CST

    The unintentioned takeaway of the entire show...

    by Rufus_T_Firefly how outclassed Jay Leno is by anyone else ever to hold an after-hours slot on NBC. I know, by now, trash talking Leno is trite. But Jeee-e-eezus, why is this hack the major domo in the ratings? And more importantly, why have I been missing Conan? Time to get my VCR fixed.

  • Sept. 24, 2001, 8:47 a.m. CST

    Great special

    by GoatLegEd

    Laughed my ass off consistently for two hours, great stuff. Carson: Man I wish I could have seen more. (I was 12 when he went off the air) During his good bye on his last episode, he said something along the lines of: "I hope that when I find something else I want to do, that you will be as gracious then as you have been to me all these years." Does that mean he intended to move on to something else? Dave: Funny stuff. His show was about ten times funnier on NBC. Leno: Kind of sad really, he has had some really funny moments on the show, too bad they were all in his 'Headlines' segment. I guess they didn't want Leno's portion of the show to be entirely 'Headlines'. Conan: Aside from maybe The Daily Show, this has got to be the most consistently funny show on TV. As this is the one I've seen the most of, I felt really gipped. There were a lot of funny clips they left out. Triumph the Insult Comic Dog at the Westminster Dog show, Triumph at the recent Bon Jovi concert in New Jersey, Mr. T's laugh at the apple orchard, Conan's boy band Dudez-a-Plenty, some of the Actual Items, some of 'In the Year 2000'. All good stuff. SNL: Face it, SNL has never been what you would call brilliant, but its always had its moments of brilliance. I loved Tina Fey's last joke about the cancellation of Baywatch.

  • Sept. 24, 2001, 9:52 a.m. CST

    The summary...

    by elforman

    Allen: Innovator Paar: Refiner Carson: Refiner extraordinaire Letterman: Innovator Leno: Imitator O'Brien: Innovator Snyder: Innovator Costas: Refiner Who's the weakest link there? Leno is the only one above who's never done anything new or risky which is why he's the favorite of older, middle America. I can understand NBC's thinking that they didn't believe Dave could fly in the Tonight show spot since Dave could be polarizing and Leno was, and remains, thoroughly unoffensive. And where was Greg Kinnear? They couldn't mention his name even once? Granted, he was basically Costas with a smirky grin, but he kept the seat warm on Later for a couple of years and they were never able to successfully replace him. Even more important, I'm glad they showed that Joan Rivers clip. She did get a bum rap way back when. Finally, Letterman has always boasted how he's been ripping off Steve Allen's show since he first went on the air. That's mostly Dave's humility speaking since he obviously used Allen for the basis of his humor, he certainly turned it up a few notches.

  • Sept. 24, 2001, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Little Mention of SCTV

    by Kelvington

    I enjoyed the show, it was a nice display of latenight. I think they could have just kept it to the talk shows, but once they showed SNL, they really missed showing one of the ALL TIME best shows ever. SCTV, if you ever get a chance to watch them on Trio or in place of LATER on NBC you will really enjoy some of the smartest, and best written satire ever show on television anywhere. There looked to be only one exceptionally short clip of SCTV on the show last night, which is truly a shame. Guy Caballero would be really pissed if he knew how his network treated his body of work, not to mention Count Floyd, Edith Prickley or Bobby Bittman would have handled being sluffed off in this manner.

  • Sept. 24, 2001, 10:57 a.m. CST

    It wasn't too bad......

    by ProfHeff

    They could have used three hours and it probably would not be enough to do 'Late Night on NBC' any real justice. I was actually disapointed in some of the selections of the early b&w clips from Steve Allen and Jack Parr. Even the Johhny Carson clips were certainly not the best (although any Johnny is better than no Johnny). I like Conan and like Letterman even more and those clips were pretty entertaining. And as far as Tommorow with Tom Snyder, they could have done a two hour retrospect show just with clips from his interviews. However, NBC totally and sadly ignored a little show that was on once a month called Weekend with Lloyd Dobbins and Linda Ellerbee. It was a tremendously entertaining and informative show. A cross between Letterman and Snyder, this show was truly on the 'cutting edge'. I would have liked to have seen some clips from that as well as the Midnight Special (although I'm sure there were copyright problems with musical guests). All-in-all, it was better than I thought it would be.

  • Sept. 24, 2001, 1:58 p.m. CST


    by zacdilone

    Man, do I miss that show. Consistently funny...occasionally bizarre (anyone remember "Polynesiantown?" Gimme the damn crane shot, Caballero!) That show was never appreciated, and even now its veterans end up in the dog end of the entertainment spectrum. They deserve better. "How are ya?" "I want to bear your children!" "She blowed up real good." "Dr. Tongue's 3D House of Pancakes" "Star Wars Episode 12: Return to the Planet of Empires." Man, that stuff was classic.

  • Sept. 24, 2001, 3:32 p.m. CST

    How hard would it have been...

    by KazamaSmokers

    ... to have spent 20 seconds on "Weekend" (1975-1976), and 20 seconds on the greatest news show of all time, "NBC News Overnight with Lloyd Dobbins and Linda Ellerbee"? And, yeah, SCTV got shorted too.

  • Sept. 24, 2001, 4:44 p.m. CST

    As much as I like Leno...

    by zenda

    ...this show reminded me how much I miss Johnny Carson. They should have done a two minutes montage of his guest hosts- everyone from Sinatra to Kermit the Frog! And, yes, "Weekend" and "NBC News Overnight" got painfully ignored. They were great shows! But it was nice to see Letterman back when he was still funny and not the burned-out has been he is today.

  • Sept. 24, 2001, 10:54 p.m. CST


    by Tall_Boy

    I only watched Johnny and Conan's bit, but seeing Johnny's fortune teller bit (name escapes me now) makes me wish I had a chance to see that. Greatest...joke...ever. (PS - "Describe the sound a sheep makes when it explodes")

  • Sept. 25, 2001, 6:19 a.m. CST

    concerning that SSSS-BOOM-BAA joke.

    by Rufus_T_Firefly

    I remember, clearly, seeing that joke done live on Tonight