Tuesday, May 02, 2006

TV: Letterman and Kindler

How come none of you told me Andy Kindler was doing reports for the David Letterman show? Come on, people! That's vital information.

Ah, it's not your fault. Why do we fight like this? Don't make me hit you again! As I was starting to say, it's not your fault, it's mine. Before last night, I could count the number of times I've watched Letterman in this millennium on one hand. Used to be, back in the day (April 11, 1989, specifically) I was devoted to the Letterman show with a passion. Late Night with David Letterman, that is. Larry "Bud" Melman, Chris Elliott, stupid pet tricks, the Top Ten list from the home office in Lebanon, PA, and of course, the World's Most Dangerous Band. Now it's The Late Show with David Letterman, and they're the CBS Orchestra. And angry young Dave is a mildly grumpy mega-millionaire with grey hair, a baby, and a quadruple or possibly even quintuple (the internet is unreliable) heart bypass surgery in the bag. Then again, I'm rarely awake when the show comes on, anyway. Is the problem that he's gotten old, or that I have?

So I watched the show last night for the first time in forever. Well, some of it. And it was decent, but it was hardly something I need to stay up for. Tom Hanks was on, which helped, because he's an excellent guest, but still, he's lookin' pretty damn old, too. That makes me sad. Except: hey, Andy Kindler! Yay and hooray. I think he's hilarious. There's something inherently funny in every single line he speaks, just in his delivery. Plus, his annual "State of the Industry" reports at the Montreal Just For Laughs Comedy Festival, in which he tears apart the hackiest crap in the world of comedy (such as Carlos Mencia, Larry the Cable Guy, and my favorite: he's offered a $1 million reward for "footage of Whoopi Goldberg being humorous"), are just brilliant.

Not that his comedy piece on Letterman last night, a filmed bit in which he visits the Unclaimed Baggage Center in Alabama, was exactly cutting edge. It was funny, made funnier by Kindler's presence, but it was also pretty typical for this kind of thing on a late night show. Still, his appearance was enough to make me glad to catch the show, and wonder if maybe I ought to get in the habit of TiVoing it. Probably not -- but still, this is the most thought I've given the Letterman show for five years.

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