Good Night, Dave
How about the Foo Fighters with montage on Letterman’s last episode? Just wow. Our shared cultural life flashing before our eyes.
Thinking about what the song meant to a man trying to recover from a bypass and then what all those funny moments meant to everyone coping with American life at the turn of a millennium was amazing. Dave was intelligent enough to grab my attention when I was a quirky teenager. His comedy seemed like the required absurd response to a world coming off the rails. So many things in the adult world seemed completely stupid but stupid pet tricks and kid science projects and Top Ten Lists and Larry Bud Melmon and Biff Henderson and Chris Elliott and the best band on tv put it all in perspective. I could laugh at us and see that not everyone took it all so seriously.
I don’t know if it affected my faith in God but in some way it affected my faith in humanity. Dave was far from a role model and lost his way for a while, but to see him now with a family that he can love sincerely for the rest of his days seemed like something important coming full circle. He critiqued our cliche’s, then became one, then started again. He ended an era well with a spectacular show full of amazing guests. Whether he saw it or not, Amazing Grace was all over his slightly sarcastic story.
So thank you to the man who dropped ripe melons off high places, became a human rice crispy, served as puppet master to a meat marketer, introduced Uma to Oprah, put sheep in an NYC taxi, made prank phone calls live on the air, “took our order” at Taco Bell, and introduced us to some of the greatest musical acts of all time. You gave all the credit to the amazingly talented people behind the scenes of the show. In the end you were a gentleman to the culture you mocked. Somehow in your imperfect way you made it a little more tolerable. Thank you for being human and honest and intelligent and funny in front of us all for so long.