Tag Archives: David Letterman

My proudest celebrity streak finally ends, sadly. The British cops sorta mess up the ankle bracelet thing. And cheering death at the GOP debate

My friends, one of my proudest streaks as a human being has come to an end.
No, not my streak of never turning down a chocolate chip cookie (35 years and counting on that one.)
I’m talking about a streak that has been so hard to keep going. A streak that took work, dedication, perseverance, and most of all, concentration.

I refer to the streak that ended Wednesday night, when I turned on David Letterman a little after midnight and saw them. All three of them.
Until Wednesday night, I could proudly say that I had never in my life heard a Kardashian sister speak.
Oh, I’ve seen their pictures on TV and in magazines, of course. It’s downright impossible to be alive in 2011 and not have seen Kim, Khloe, or Kourtney wearing some ridiculous outfit or another.
But I was proud that I’d never subjected my ears to their whining and blathering.
But what the hell, my remote landed on Letterman, and as with a car crash or an episode of “Friday Night Lights,” I couldn’t look away.
Couple of thoughts on the Sisters K from someone who literally was hearing them for the first time:
— They somehow managed to be incredibly stupid and yet quite condescending in talking to Dave. Not easy to do. I felt bad for Letterman, actually.
— I know 99 percent of the male hetero population will disagree, but I don’t find any of them attractive. Maybe, possibly, Kourtney is a little cute. But Kim and Khloe (who’s just downright nasty based on the comments she made on the show) do nothing for me.
— Letterman kept confusing which one was which. Like it matters. They all gave the same vacuous answers and irritating giggle that followed.
After watching the interview, I felt a little dirty. But was relieved I still have one solid streak going:
I have never, ever watched one second of an episode of “Jersey Shore.” That has to count for something.

**Couldn’t help myself. Watched a lot of the GOP presidential debate last night. Glad to see Rick Perry continue to implode; Pearlman and I were talking after the debate and I said that Perry is going to be a guy who no one takes seriously after a while, because he just can’t help himself from saying moronic, ridiculous things (like saying Social Security was a “Ponzi scheme” and a “monstrous lie).
I found myself in the odd position of being on the same side as the ultimate fraud, Mitt Romney, during his sparring sessions with Perry.
And can someone give Newt Gingrich a hug and a teddy bear? Man is he angry.
But the most telling moment of the whole debate came not from one of the candidates spewing nonsense. It came from the crowd. Check out their reaction as moderator Brian Williams mentions that as Governor of Texas Perry oversaw the executions of 234 people:

Cheering. Out and out applause at the mention that the government has executed 234 of its citizens. Some of whom may very well have been innocent.
Chilling, that this is what some in America feel is worth applauding. And Perry’s smug answer says everything about what kind of a torturing Cheney-esque Commander in Chief he’d be.

**Finally, you gotta love the British cops in this story. Apparently a man on parole they attached an ankle bracelet to was somehow able to break his court-appointed curfew recently.
Was it too loose? Nope. They just put the bracelet on his artificial leg.
Yep, Christopher Lowcock fooled these bastions of law and order by removing his ankle (and the rest of his fake leg) anytime he wanted to go out.

As Adam Felber on Wait, Wait Don’t Tell Me quipped: “Does Lindsay Lohan know about this scam?”

Chaz Bono on Letterman: a fascinating interview. The nerdiest correction of all time. And Jon Stewart slaps Fox News silly

David Letterman is brilliant, sharp-witted, and quite funny. And I think most people know this.
But what Dave doesn’t get credit for is how, given the right guest and the right subject matter, he can be a hell of an interviewer.
I was reminded of this Wednesday night, when I was utterly transfixed watching Dave interview Chaz Bono, the transgender son of Sonny and Cher (he used to be their daughter, Chastity Bono.)
Maybe it was the mood I was in, or maybe I was just struck by how confident and at ease Bono was; he truly was a fantastic explainer of all things transgender to Dave. Bono seemed self-assured, confident and happy.
But Letterman completely kept things on point, asked interesting questions, and the result was some really compelling television; watch for yourself, above (Part 2 can be found on YouTube, also.)

**I love newspaper corrections, as you may know. I think they’re often incredibly funny and interesting.
This recent one from the New York Times, though, absolutely takes the cake.

“An item in the Extra Bases baseball notebook last Sunday misidentified, in some editions, the origin of the name Orcrist the Goblin Cleaver, which Mets pitcher R. A. Dickey gave one of his bats. Orcrist was not, as Dickey had said, the name of the sword used by Bilbo Baggins in the Misty Mountains in “The Hobbit”; Orcrist was the sword used by the dwarf Thorin Oakenshield in the book. (Bilbo Baggins’s sword was called Sting.)”

I mean … wow. That is one hell of a detailed correction! Do you think, like, the Times was inundated with Lord of the Rings fans complaining about the error? Do you think Dickey was stalked at the ballpark by dress-up hobbits demanding he correct the mistake, and haranguing him?

What a great correction.

Vodpod videos no longer available.
**Finally, Jon Stewart, slapping Fox News silly over their ridiculous, invented controversy about rapper Common being invited to the White House. Stewart at his best here… here’s a link to Part 2 of this piece (where Stewart raps).

My first summer job, or Life as a 13-year-old counselor. And John Isner on Letterman

So it’s summer, a time when so many teenagers are looking for their first summer jobs.

I was thinking about my first summer job the other day. It was right before my 14th birthday, and I figured it was time to start earning some coin. For reasons that still aren’t that clear to me, Park Shore Country Day Camp, a place I loved as a kid when I was a camper, hired me to be the fourth counselor in a four-person group. Basically, I started the summer as the lowest possible life form on a day-camp site: the CIT. (This is Park Shore today, below).

I was assigned to a group of 5-year-olds, the first time in my life I had really been around little kids. It was a six-week gig, because for the first two weeks of that summer I was at sleepaway tennis camp (and that’s a whole other story).

My wage for the five day a week, seven hours a day job? One hundred bucks.

For the whole summer. Seriously, I know nine-year-olds making soccer balls in India who have better deals than I had that summer of ’89.

I think one day I figured out I was making, like, 38 cents an hour.

Still, it was a hell of an interesting summer. I taught Jon-Albert Rovello how to tie his shoes. I took away, then reinstated extra ices for Adam Singer at least 412 times. (Ices withholding is the absolute No.1 weapon in a camp counselor’s arsenal; seriously, you’d think there was cocaine in those Mario’s Italian ices, the kids worshipped them so).

And yes, it frightens me, too, that I still remember those kids’ names.

I learned that just because a 5-year-old can act grown up for a few minutes, he can revert back to infancy when it’s time for instructional swim.  I learned that kids never forget a harsh word; weeks later one tow-headed boy repeated back to me something I’d said in anger, and I was amazed at his recall.

I may have worked harder, and sweated more, for less in those six weeks than I ever have in my life. But I learned so much in my first experience at pseudo-parenting.

When the summer ended, and I got my measly tips (the parents had four counselors to thank, you think I was going to get much?), I remember thinking it was the best money I’d ever received. Because I’d worked hard for it. For the first time in my life, I had the responsibility to look after others, and I didn’t screw it up.

You can ask Bob and Chuck Budah (Park Shore’s co-directors, then and now; that’s the ageless Bob leading the charge in the phot0) themselves: I didn’t lose a kid that summer, nor did any of them drown.

I remember on the last day one of the kids thanked me for teaching him something.

I wish I knew then that, really, he had taught me so much more.

**So you can always count on David Letterman to commemorate a history-making event with a really funny Top 10 list.

Here’s John Isner, winner of that 70-68 fifth set match at Wimbledon last week, with the Top 10 things he was thinking during the match. This is great: