Friday Fives > late night

Late night talk > in lieu of Conan’s almost last show being tonight, and Fallon taking over in a couple of weeks… let’s talk late night television.

Are you a Letterman of a Leno fan?

For content, Letterman.  However, it seems Letterman is perpetually in re-runs.  I enjoy Leno as well, but I grew up with Letterman.  Hell, I was at a Letterman show taping.  How long ago?  It was a morning show on NBC in the early 80’s.  True story, that is where my Gene Shalit story comes from.

Favorite Late Night memory (Letterman, Leno… whoever)

There isn’t much better than a celebrity meltdown.  Though I missed Farrah, I saw the Andy Kaufman episode, and the Crispin Glover one too.  Sadly, I didn’t see the Joaquin Phoenix one as it aired.  I have seen it about 25 times since though, seriously.  See below for discussion.  My favorite would have to be Hunter Thompson on Conan several years ago.  Just about the best thing ever.  Set a few minutes aside and watch, it’s only a four minute clip.

Craig Ferguson or Conan?

Well, though I am a big fan of Conan… I choose tv’s Craig Ferguson every night.  Funnier, and more my kind of humor.

Do you remember Carson?  Carson Daly?  Chevy Chase, Arsenio? Who was the best?

Prolly Carson.  However, I grew up watching Letterman.  Carson was speaking to a different generation.

Let’s just stop everything and talk about the whole Joaquin Phoenix incident on Letterman.  Drugs?  Hoax?  A ‘bit’?

Man, let me refill my drink before we broach this one.  First things first, watch this.  Watch it a lot.  Again.  Now, let’s talk.

So, uh… what just happened there?  I mean, I know drugs.  That isn’t drugs, unless it is all of them.  Also, it has nothing to do with ‘hip hop’.  There is no reason he couldn’t have been passionate and articulate about hip hop.  In fact, now that he has found his true calling… you think he would have lit up with joy about the whole thing.

Others have said it was a hoax, a publicity stunt.  I don’t see it, and here is why.  I mean, the guy is plenty talented to pull it off.  However, if it were a bit, Letterman wasn’t in on it.  So, that makes him look like an asshole.  If it turns out to be a hoax, I think it will backfire big time.   So, what was it?

Did he go crazy?  No.  I am positive.  Crazy doesn’t onset in early 30’s (he is 34, I think).  It hits late teens or early 20’s.

Ok, so, what would make us think it was a bit?  Well, he says he has totally and completely quit acting.  So then why is his brother in law, Oscar nominated Casey Affleck following him everywhere with a camera crew?  Affleck was on set filming the Letterman appearance, and was also at the famous Vegas clip where Phoenix falls off the stage a few weeks earlier.

Plus, there are a couple of extremely brief moments in that 9 minute interview where he was completely lucid.  Almost like he slipped out of character.

My feeling is about 70/30 that this guy is gone.  Dead within months.  However, if he is still alive in five years, I guarantee he will be in movies.   fact.  non negotiable.  Thoughts?


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