Maybe Dave Letterman should retire. If you watched last nights show then you will have to agree it had the look and feel of a an old boys club, rich men yucking it up on national television with Dave's peccadilloes moving in the background. Forget that Steve Martin looked like an ass with his socks and his banjos and his self serving self congratulating air or that Martin Short joined in with the bad suits brigade (check out Dave and Steve's) and got busy sucking up to Steve and Dave and completed the strippers night out with cigars atmosphere--the biggest reason Dave should retire is he is not with it anymore. And he looks bored out of his skull.
Granted last night was unique. Dave's contrition in the beginning lamenting hurting his staff and his wife who are now being hassled by tabloids. Dave seemed genuinely pained ,but from there it wen't into the the same old Latenight shtick and it seemed as old and tired as Paul Schaeffer's guffaws. The top ten the bubbly actress who Dave seems not interested in at all. It all just seemed so tired and Dave certainly was a man going through the motions.
Which brings up the whole talk show motif. The mugging that goes on now between stars and their guests is pretty nauseating. Dave of course was the man who could puncture that sort of sycophancy and give us a few zingers and make a dull format interesting. But Dave is distracted. His marriage is apparently on the rocks or so he let us believe last night. Which of course brings up the question why do that on national television? But of course the answer is easy. He knows that if he loses the PR battle with the American public he will be put out to pasture as the tabloids crank up.
So we watched a slightly befuddled,bored, distracted man going on with the show last night. He looked like he would rather be anywhere than where he was. We can relate. When jobs go bad, then it is time to go. Maybe Dave should start looking for another gig while the getting is good.
William Hazelgrove writes in Ernest Hemingway's attic. His latest book is Rocket Man.