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5 items from 2015

Paul Raley Dies: Emmy-Winning Writer For Letterman, ‘Grace Under Fire’, ‘Night Court’

10 June 2015 12:40 PM, PDT | Deadline TV | See recent Deadline TV news »

Paul Raley, who shared a Daytime Emmy for writing David Letterman’s pre-Late Night show and worked on TV sitcoms and specials, died June 6 in Los Angeles. He was 71. The WGA said he had been in declining health in recent years but did not specify a cause of death. Raley worked in advertising in New York before hooking up with the writers of The David Letterman Show, which had an unceremonious four-month run on NBC in 1980. The not-ready-for-daytime crew included Letterman… »

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Conan O'Brien Pens Touching Tribute to David Letterman

1 May 2015 3:15 PM, PDT | | See recent Rolling Stone news »

As David Letterman enters his final weeks as Late Show host, following a late-night career that has spanned more than three decades, many of his favorite guests have stopped by the Ed Sullivan Theater to bid farewell to him. Since Conan O'Brien, who took the reins of NBC's Late Night program after Letterman left to host CBS' Late Show in 1993, is likely too busy filming his own show to visit Letterman, he penned a touching tribute for Entertainment Weekly to the man who inspired him to venture into late night. »

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Conan Writes a Touching Tribute to the Off-Kilter and Revolutionary Comedy of David Letterman

1 May 2015 2:47 PM, PDT | Vulture | See recent Vulture news »

David Letterman is leaving the Late Show, have you heard? And while he's getting nostalgic musical guests for last hurrahs, he's also going to be getting a ton of tributes. One such tribute came in the form of an essay written by Conan O'Brien in Entertainment Weekly, in which he describes Letterman's comedy as a "revolution" and "stunning." He goes on to describe the first time he watched Letterman, which was on his morning one (called simply The David Letterman Show), which was "subversive" and "untamed" — especially for a morning show. Then came the late-night show, which reinvented the format, moving it from comforting to "surreal and off-kilter." He writes:So let's keep it simple: Not one single writer/performer in the last 35 years has had Dave’s seismic impact on comedy. Every day, I read that a new comic has ‘changed the game,’ and admittedly there is an absurd abundance »

- E. Alex Jung

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David Letterman: 33 Years in Latenight by the Numbers

30 April 2015 9:36 AM, PDT | Variety - TV News | See recent Variety - TV News news »

The numbers have been crunched on David Letterman’s 33-year run in latenight. As of his final night on May 20, Letterman will have presided over 6,028 broadcasts in latenight, counting his 1982-93 run at NBC in addition to his CBS tenure.

Here’s the rundown released today by CBS:

Late Night With David Letterman” had 1,810 broadcasts and ran for 595 weeks. “The Late Show With David Letterman” has had 4,214 broadcasts, as well as four primetime specials, and has run for 1,135 weeks.

The first face to appear on both “Late Night” and the “Late Show” was that of Calvert DeForest (or, as he was known on “Late Night,” “Larry ‘Bud’ Melman”).

Bill Murray was the first guest on the premiere broadcasts of both “Late Night” on Feb. 1, 1982, and “The Late Show” on CBS on August 30, 1993. As of May 20, 2015, he will have appeared on Letterman’s latenight talk shows 44 times: 12 appearances on “Late Night”; 32 on the “Late Show. »

- Variety Staff

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Watch: Grace Hopper Gives Alan Turing A Run For His Money In Documentary 'The Queen Of Code'

29 January 2015 2:00 PM, PST | The Playlist | See recent The Playlist news »

If one were to go strictly based off representations in film and television, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the world of computer programming/hacking/coding is primarily a man’s sport. The most recent example of this misguided notion would be the Oscar-friendly Alan Turing biopic “The Imitation Game,” which centers around a tortured-genius codebreaker.  And yet, Gillian Jacobs of “Community” is out to debunk the myth that the world of computing is strictly a boy’s club. "The Queen of Code," Jacobs' directorial debut, is primarily about Grace Hopper, a crack coding expert who, the film argues, deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as Steve Jobs and Bill Gates. It’s a terrific and surprising look not only at Hopper’s indelible and funny personality — dry and witty, she was a former mathematics professor at Vassar and she made a hell of an impression on »

- Nicholas Laskin

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