Tonawanda News — This guy was your suspicious older brother, lending advice, reminding you that you should trust no one more than you trust yourself. Like anyone, over thirty-plus years some nights were better than others; when he returned from five weeks off to deal with quadruple bypass surgery in 2000 he brought on his surgical team for the most real and earnest show of appreciation American television has ever delivered.
Then there was the night in 2003 musician Warren Zevon, dying of peritoneal mesothelioma, came on to talk of life and death. Could you interview, for an hour, a friend who knows he can see the finish line? Would you expect compassionate brilliance from a professional wisecrack artist like Letterman?
This program influenced comedy, sure, but I submit Fox News and MSNBC, broadcasters with virulent and opposite political slants, would not exist if Letterman did not popularize the thesis that it was all right to be fed up with everything.
If you get the idea I expect to miss David Letterman, you’re right. I don’t get all the jokes about Twitter his current competition, Mr. Fallon, tosses. There is one thing I will miss, a lot, to wit:
Everyone likely has holiday traditions, especially those of Christmas, no matter how humble or unaware you are of your own. In my family, an important one is watching Letterman’s program on Christmas Eve to hear Darlene Love sing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” a joyful, secular carol about holiday loneliness and performed onstage in the Phil Spector “Wall of Sound” style. It is a riveting and jubilant moment on my holiday calendar, and I hope Ms. Love, who is 72 years old and belting it out better than in 1962 when she was among The Crystals, will be invited elsewhere. My Christmas won’t be the same without her.