Clearly last night’s final episode of The Late Show With David Letterman was an extremely sentimental end to an era. As I watched it, I found myself surprised at getting a little choked up, as the show was nearing it’s end.
While it’s been many years since I was a regular viewer, the precedents that Dave set with the original Late Night, were instrumental in developing my own sense of humor and include some of my most vivid memories of television entertainment. His retirement is every bit the loss as was that of his friend, mentor and fellow legend of late night, Johnny Carson.
For all of his work as a comic innovator, Dave was also an ardent supporter of a wide variety of musical acts, none more so than Warren Zevon. Making his first appearance on Late Night in 1982, Dave and Warren quickly hit it off. Over the course of the next thirty years, with multiple guest appearances and frequent filling in for bandleader, Paul Schaffer, viewers were able to witness the evolution of the camaraderie between the two, and Dave’s growing fondness for Warren’s songwriting abilities. When, in 2002, Warren was diagnosed with terminal cancer, Dave, for the only time in his career as a late night host, devoted an entire episode exclusively to Warren as sole guest and musical act. Warren, though undoubtedly suffering, was spirited and energetic, his trademark wit and sarcasm were in fine form, and in a career known for emotionally rousing live shows, gave what must have been one of the most poignant, yet triumphant, performances of his life. It’s as naked and raw an example of late night television as I have ever seen and stands as a fitting testament to the love that the two men shared.
Remember, enjoy every sandwich
Dave breaks the news of Warren’s death
A much more thorough account of the pair’s history can be found here http://ultimateclassicrock.com/warren-zevon-on-david-letterman/