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I’m not normally the type to voluntarily offer up my time to watch sports documentaries, but Winning:the Racing Life Of Paul Newman is one of those rare exceptions. Here’s the catch, it’s really not a sports film, but a look into another, lesser known side of the life of Paul Newman, one of the greatest American actors of all-time, and as it turns out, one of the greatest American men of all-time as well.
When you define what makes the perfect man, the perfect American citizen, or even the perfect human being, what comes to mind? The answer to that question will vary greatly, depending on who you ask, and the truth is, it’s a trick question. There is no perfection when it comes to humanity. However, what I discovered from watching this film, co-directed by Adam Carolla and Nate Adams, is that Paul Newman damn near comes close, »
- Travis Keune
David Letterman ended his three-decade run in late night with his biggest audience in over 20 years. The final supersize edition of his Late Show averaged an estimated 13.76 million viewers, according to preliminary national Nielsen data. It was the most-watched broadcast on TV Wednesday, beating everything in prime time. Among adults 18 to 49, the last Dave-hosted Late Show notched a 3.1 rating. Letterman fell short of matching the record mark he set in 1994, when a post-Olympics episode of his CBS program drew 15.5 million viewers. Finally, because it wouldn’t be a Letterman story without some mention of Jay Leno: Dave’s exit didn’t beat the NBC host’s second good-bye to The Tonight Show, which drew 14.6 million viewers and a 3.8 among viewers under 50 in February 2014. (Jay had a big advantage, since his farewell aired on a night when NBC aired some early Olympics coverage, boosting »
- Josef Adalian
Update: In preliminary national estimates, the final broadcast of “The Late Show with David Letterman” drew 13.76 million viewers for the show’s largest audience since February 1994. Only two post-Olympics episodes that month (during the Nancy Kerrigan-Tonya Harding saga) and the show’s August 2003 premiere (15.205 million) drew larger audiences.
In adults 18-49, the show’s 3.1 rating is the highest since the night in December 2005 that Oprah Winfrey appeared.
Millions of fans who enjoyed the latenight antics of David Letterman over the years returned Wednesday night as the iconic host signed off following a 33-year run.
Nielsen won’t issue total-viewer estimates until later today, but early indications are that the show drew its largest audience in more than nine years. In Nielsen’s metered-market overnights, Wednesday’s »
- Rick Kissell
The waning days of David Letterman’s farewell were so filled with appreciations and emotion that it was hard not to wonder where all those folks had been as his ratings languished. The truth is the host had become such a part of the latenight firmament as to be taken for granted, and had lost some of his own drive in recent years, regaining it as he neared the finish line. All that culminated Wednesday in an extra-long finale that mixed clips and memories but was distinguished, ultimately, by what Letterman does – or did – best: Sit at a desk and communicate.
To be honest, Letterman has never been the warmest and fuzziest of personalities; indeed, his crankiness and occasional indifference to the machinery from which he has profited so handsomely was in many respects part of his charm. Even as longtime guests dutifully lined up to say their goodbyes in recent weeks – Tom Hanks, »
- Brian Lowry
Conan O’Brien tonight opened his TBS late night show with a moving tribute to David Letterman, the man he replaced as host of NBC’s Late Night, after Dave moved to CBS to host Late Show following NBC’s decision to give Tonight Show to Jay Leno: “Tonight is no ordinary night. As you all know, in about 35 minutes, David Letterman is going to air his last episode of Late Night television. It's a huge deal…He has been the North Star for me and for every comic of my… »
David Letterman peppered his final monologue as host of CBS’s “Late Show” with wisecracks about Scientology, recently resurfaced controversial immigrant Elian Gonzalez, and other topics of the day on Wednesday. Letterman, who entered the stage to a standing ovation, started out with a joke about his infamous loss of the hosting gig on NBC’s “The Tonight Show,” which went to Jay Leno. “I’ll be honest with you: it’s beginning to look like I’m not gonna get ‘The Tonight Show,'” he quipped, starting the joking portion of the evening. Also Read: Inside David Letterman's »
- Tim Kenneally and Tony Maglio
The man who for years gave TV viewers Stupid Pet Tricks served them up a simple, human one instead: a definitive goodbye.
David Letterman brought 33 years of latenight antics to a close late Wednesday afternoon by taping his last broadcast of CBS’ “The Late Show.” In the final show, slated to be broadcast later this evening, the host acted as if he was emceeing just one more program, based on a screening of the first two segments made for reporters Wednesday night.
“His demeanor seemed to me as it always is. He did not seem emotional at all,” said David Oshinsky, a 45-year-old attorney who attended the taping of Letterman’s finale. “He was clearly cognizant it was the last show, but you would not have read that,” he added.
- Brian Steinberg
David Letterman officially retires on Wednesday from the late night wars after 33 plus years in the trenches. What I am going to do? He started his NBC "Late Night" show when I was finishing junior high school, so he has been a huge part of my life. I have missed less than 50 of the 6,023 episodes in all those years thanks to the magical Vcr and then DVR. -Break- Letterman has surpassed by more than three years his idol Johnny Carson, who reigned over "The Tonight Show" for almost three decades beginning in the fall of 1962. And he outlasted his rival Jay Leno, who infamously got the "Tonight" show gig over him and retired a year ago. I really enjoyed Carson, but Letterman was built for my generation of young males. Carson's style was old-school Hollywood with style, grace, and elegance. Letterman's shows were messy, acerbic, witty, and radically changed television. »
Will David Letterman's longtime rival, Jay Leno, appear on his final episode of The Late Show With David Letterman? Don't hold your breath. Executive Producer Rob Burnett told CNNMoney in an interview posted on Tuesday that he was invited but expressed doubt that he would make an appearance. He made his comments amid much fan speculation of such a reunion, as well as recent questioning on the air by Howard Stern, who is not a fan of Leno. "Um, I don't think so, I don't think so," he said. "We invited Jay and all I heard was that he was in Chuckles in Boulder, Colorado for three weeks. It must be a long gig. I don't know. I would've loved to have Jay on the show. I think we all »
Tonight’s show will be the final episode of David Letterman’s tenure as the host of Late Night, marking the end of a 33 year run for the comedian as a host of late night television, who will be succeeded by Stephen Colbert. One the course of his tenure, Letterman has proven himself an iconic figure, with many of his segments becoming hits on their own, along with counterpart and Johnny Carson successor Jay Leno, becoming synonymous with late night comedy for a generation of aspirational comedians.
One of those comedians, Jimmy Fallon, paid tribute to Letterman on Monday’s show. Fallon himself has gone on to be an accomplished comedian in his own right, becoming a writer and performer on Saturday Night Live before being named Jay Leno’s successor. Fallon’s tribute can be seen below.
The post Video of the Day: Watch Jimmy Fallon pay tribute to »
- Deepayan Sengupta
With all due respect to Mad Men and the marketing mavens at AMC, tonight’s departure of David Letterman from late night actually is the end of an era in television. No other host — not even Johnny Carson — has hosted a late-night show as long as he will have when he ends his 33-year career tonight. His creative impact on the medium is undeniable (as has been documented by several recent stories here on Vulture). But Letterman was hugely influential on the business side of television as well. Sure, peer and often nemesis Jay Leno generally drew bigger ratings and probably made more money for his bosses. Leno, however, was a caretaker figure: After Carson reluctantly passed him the torch, his job was to keep NBC’s late-night flame burning, to preserve the status quo. Save for a few bumpy years, Leno did exactly that, and exceedingly well. By contrast, »
- Josef Adalian
Last year’s announcement that David Letterman would be retiring was met with great sadness in viewers of a certain age, but indifference by younger audiences, who largely thought of him (if at all) as that old guy who fought with Jay Leno over some show none of them ever watched. And with the final Letterman episode coming up on Wednesday, no number of think pieces can explain how big a deal this departure is in the history of modern television. In large part, this is because some of the most powerful material is locked in a vault at 30 Rock and, luckily for millennials interested in learning more, hidden deeper on the web. In his NBC days, Late Night With David Letterman rewrote the script for what could be done on network television when it seemed like no one was watching. With its low-budget, do-it-yourself vibe whose influence can be »
- Ivan Cohen
Before they were rivals, Jay Leno was a stand-up comedian and a frequent guest on David Letterman's first talk show. The two look really chummy in this clip from the early '80s. Leno talks about life on the road as a comic and how young comedians consult him about how to score an appearance on Letterman's show. It's so crazy to see both the tenured late-night hosts 30 years younger and completely unaware of what's in store for their futures. Late Night With David Letterman ran on NBC from 1982 to 1993 before the host hopped over to CBS to host the Late Show With David Letterman, directly in opposition to The Tonight Show With Jay Leno. Late-night TV would never be the same . . . »
Only two more episodes of Late Show remain before David Letterman retires, and on Monday's episode of The Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon paid tribute to Letterman, the man who changed the face of late-night television. "This show, what late night has become, is a result of [Letterman] playing with the genre and exploring," Fallon said. "I, like every kid who grew up watching him, will miss him."
The Tonight Show host then shared a page from his 8th grade yearbook where a teacher accurately predicted that the then-14-year-old James Fallon »
With his off-kilter sensibility (Stupid Pet Tricks?) and his penchant for the oddball (what other host runs across the stage in silhouette before starting a show, or strikes up a telephone relationship with a woman who works in an office across the street?), David Letterman has left everyone who enjoys latenight television in stitches. Now, he’s about to leave them in splinters.
When Letterman signs off CBS’ “Late Show”for the last time early Thursday morning, he will deprive TV of its last direct link to Johnny Carson and an era when just one, then two, hosts could dominate the period. The arrivals of Jimmy Kimmel at ABC, then Jimmy Fallon at NBC, and, soon, Stephen Colbert at CBS have given rise to talk of a third generation of late-night talent (if Carson, not Jack Paar or Steve Allen, is to be seen as the root of this particular »
- Brian Steinberg
A former senior producer of ABC News’ “Nightline,” Richard Harris was in the middle of the storm in 2002 when ABC tried to woo David Letterman to take over the 11:30 p.m. slot that had long been home to “Nightline.” Letterman showed his character not long afterward when he agreed to sit for a rare one-on-one interview with Ted Koppel, which Harris produced. Here Harris shares his behind-the-scenes memories of that experience.
As the parade of celebrities has marched through the Ed Sullivan Theater during the past few months to pay respects to David Letterman, they’ve lavishing him with adulation, leaving him with a half-smile and looking slightly bemused and uncomfortable.
Getting inside the head of the gap-toothed goofball from Indiana to decipher what he’s truly thinking is no small feat. Famous for his Top Ten List and showcasing stupid pet and human tricks, Letterman’s self-deprecating, sometimes »
- Richard Harris
“Amy,” the upcoming documentary about Amy Winehouse, is an unflinching portrait of how drug and alcohol addiction combined with a series of enablers led to the death of the famous soul singer at the age of 27. The film, directed by Asif Kapadia, was several years in the making after Winehouse’s 2011 death. It relies on audio interviews with Winehouse’s closest friends and family — including her mother, her father, her managers and her bodyguard — juxtaposed with personal never-before-seen videos of Winehouse.
The movie premieres on Saturday night at the Cannes Film Festival, where it’s sure to be an emotional tearjerker. A24 will release “Amy” in the United States in July. Here are nine of the project’s biggest revelations.
1. Winehouse suffered from depression and anorexia from a young age.
The film argues that Winehouse’s adolescence was influenced by her parents’ divorce: her father, Mitchell, left her mom, Janis, »
- Ramin Setoodeh
Adam Sandler dusted off his guitar to sing a song to departing “Late Show” host David Letterman on Tuesday night. Sandler, who gained fame earlier in his career for singing comedic tunes like “The Chanukah Song” and “Lunchlady Land,” paid tribute to the late night host with a song titled “There Is No Better Man Than Good Ol’ David Letterman.” “He won’t have to pick up the phone anymore when Les Moonves calls him up,” Sandler sang. “He’ll finally have time to take Jay Leno out for coffee/then secretly pee in his cup.” See photos: 10 of David Letterman »
- Joe Otterson
Adam Sandler gave David Letterman a singing sendoff. The actor, who has recorded numerous comedic songs over the years, appeared on Tuesday's Late Show to sing a farewell diddy to the soon-to-depart host. "He won't have to pick up the phone anymore when Les Moonves calls him up," Sandler sang. "He'll finally have time to take Jay Leno out for coffee, then secretly pee in his cup." Read More 'Late Show With David Letterman': 43 Memorable Moments (Photos) In the tune, Sandler strummed a guitar and praised Letterman for paving the way for the other late-night figures: "Both
- Ryan Gajewski
Anyone who knows the history of Howard Stern and Jay Leno knows that Howard is not, shall we say, the biggest fan of the former late-night host, mainly due to the latter's poaching of Howard's resident red-carpet provocateur "Stuttering John" Melendez in 2004. In addition to regularly slamming Leno on his SiriusXM series, he's taken numerous potshots at him during his appearances on "Letterman" -- a tradition he continued during his final appearance on last night's episode, as you can see in the below clip (the Leno portion starts around 2:00 in). If there's one defining characteristic that could adequately sum up Howard's "Letterman's" appearances, it's that they always felt like a takeover. Never one to go off half-cocked, he was shot out of a cannon every single time, and last night's appearance was no exception. Here he is literally smothering Dave in an attempt to steal a kiss: I would »
- Chris Eggertsen
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