Thursday, September 25, 2008

Don't make Dave angry. You won't like him when he's angry.

John McCain canceled on David Letterman last night, and Dave made his displeasure felt.

33 comments:

Dan said...

What happpend? I can't get YouTube from work. Thanks.

Ted Kerwin said...

Vintage Dave, I miss him sometimes

Jesse said...

He tore McCain apart. He was making jokes about metamucil, asking where Palin was, airing a live feed of him getting makeup at Couric's desk, and basically calling him unfit for the presidency.

As Ted said, Dave at his best.

amysusanne said...

I'd be pissed, too. I suspect he's not going to let this one go.

@ted: McCain was supposed to be on the show but cancelled because he was supposedly heading straight to the airport and straight to DC to start whatever this is that he's doing wrt economy. Except that he didn't. He went to do an interview with Katie Couric. Dave was not pleased.

Chris Littmann said...

Well, that made my morning. I don't really watch any of the late shows, but that was funny.

Ginny said...

You don't jerk Dave around. He's still got it.

Alan Sepinwall said...

For those who can't watch the clip, here's one synopsis of what happened.

kat said...

Bravo, Dave, Bravo.

Something does smell.

Bobman said...

You don't jerk Dave around. He's still got it.

If only he were pissed more often, we wouldn't get 94% of his shows where he just mails it in and everyone pretends he's hilarious.

Anonymous said...

Hm, McCain is running for President and he's a Senator and there's important decisions being made right now...Oh, yeah, he should probably drop all that and head to Letterman's studio right now!

Get over yourself, Letterman.

Where was all the hoopla when Obama missed his appearance on SNL?

Alan Sepinwall said...

Where was all the hoopla when Obama missed his appearance on SNL?

Lorne complained about it at the time.

Alan Sepinwall said...

Also, it isn't even so much whether Dave is right or not, but that he's much funnier and more alive when he's mad, and he hasn't been this mad on air in a long time.

Tom said...

McCain didn't drop everything and run to Washington to save our economy -- he dropped everything and ran to the CBS news studio in order to save his campaign. It's no coincidence that he was being interviewed by Katie Couric. The mission (accomplished!) was to guarantee that Sarah Palin's jaw-droppingly bad interview with Couric would be shoved way to the back burner.

Here's hoping Dave comes out with a "Great Moments in Vice Presidential Candidate's Speeches" bit. Only what to choose from? Palin's moose-in-the-headlight moment when Couric asked her twice about McCain's campaign manager's conflict of interest? Or her chipper "I'll try to find you some, and I'll bring 'em to you!" when pressed to name McCain's efforts to regulate banks.

Anyway, funny stuff from Mr. Letterman. Keep it coming.

Jesse said...

Hm, McCain is running for President and he's a Senator and there's important decisions being made right now...Oh, yeah, he should probably drop all that and head to Letterman's studio right now!

Get over yourself, Letterman.


You would have had a point, had McCain not stopped by Katie Couric's office for an interview right after he got off the phone with Letterman. That's the real problem here, that McCain's "I'm on the way to DC" bit was a lie.

BTW, he also apparently had time to talk to the Rothschilds about fundraising just after he claimed he was stopping fundraising, too. Hmmmm...

Anonymous said...
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Alan Sepinwall said...

I recognize that some discussion of politics is inevitable when I post about something like this, but let's stay civil, okay?

Kendra said...

I have mixed feelings about this, I wonder how it would have played out had Obermann not been there and as a tax payer I think every Senator who we are paying $169,300.00 should get their butts down to Washington now.

Watching Letterman always makes me nostalgic for the old days of torturing Bryan Gumble and the rest of the Today Show. Ahh, those were the days.

Adam said...

Where was all the hoopla when Obama missed his appearance on SNL?

Obama cancelled, more than a day in advance, because he thought it was inappropriate to do a pure comedy show in the immediate aftermath of a devastating hurricane.

McCain opted to diss Letterman in order to do a different interview instead. He continued with campaign events this morning as well.

Anna said...

Adam..
McCain did a "news" show. And while Dave did ask Obama news worthy questions (and sadly many Americans get their news from late night talk shows), it's still a late night talk show.

I think it was fine for McCain to reschedule (I don't know if he did, but he should). I do think the McCain campaign missed a huge opportunity. Palin could have gone on. It could have been a win for the campaign - McCain fulfilling his "senatorial duties" and Palin finally taking questions.

Andrew said...

All the "news show vs. talk show" stuff is irrelevant. The problem is that he got caught in a lie. If he called Dave and instead of making something up about immediately going to Washington, said he'd be doing Katie Couric instead, it wouldn't be nearly as big of a deal. He lied. That's the issue.

Anna said...

One more thing...

My guess is that McCain will appear on Letterman before the election. He will let Dave rant (and Dave will) and McCain will take it and dish back a little and will end up looking good.

(or at least that is what McCain should do)

It's sort of the Hugh Grant on Leno approach. It's a lot better to just face it than to let someone else control the conversation. Because Dave will not let up until McCain shows up. Heck, he dogged on Oprah for years.

Andrew said...

Yeah, Dave is going to hammer this for a while. I remember when Paris Hilton once cancelled on him because he made too many sex tape jokes. He went after her for weeks.

Nicole said...

Interestingly enough, this clip of Letterman ragging on McCain was on the internet hours before the show actually aired on the East Coast. I first thought it had happened on Tuesday night, but then realized by the comments in the monologue that it had to have happened on Wednesday.

Dave works best when angry, hence his NBC bashing was some of his best stuff pre switch to CBS. McCain should not have lied to Dave, especially since he was going to CBS News, so it was even more likely that he would have found out.

It would have been the perfect opportunity to send Palin in his stead, because it is not a political show, and Dave probably would have softballed it for her anyway.

Anonymous said...

Letterman=entertainment show
Katie Couric=news anchor

There's a difference. Not like Letterman would be asking hard-hitting questions. It was supposed to be a yuk-fest as McCain usually is quite funny on these shows. Which would not be appropriate for what is going on right now.

Just like Obama not showing up on SNL for the same reasons. End of story.

amysusanne said...

The problem I have comparing this to Obama's SNL cancellation is that, other than what's already been pointed out, i.e., timing, context, etc., Obama wasn't scheduled to be on SNL for a fourth of the show. He was doing a bit and that was that and there were plenty of other things SNL could do instead. Letterman, otoh, was left hanging at the last minute and had to scramble to fill the space. Nevermind the fact that he lied about what he was doing when the truth would have sufficed if handled correctly, the economy was in just as much trouble tuesday as it was wednesday, so the last minute drop out was poor form.

And no, not "end of story". If McCain had cancelled for the same reasons as Obama then fine, but he didn't. He *lied*. When there was no point. I will never, ever understand why politicians lie when they don't have to and this is one of those cases. There didn't need to be a lie and since McCain is a seemingly good guy and he and Letterman have a good relationship (at least on screen) he could have passed it all back on his staff and done his "aw, shucks" thing and told Dave that they wanted him to stop in to talk to Katie and he just really wanted to get back to Washington. He could have dropped all the "crater" and "explosion" theatrics and just told the simple, completely understandable, not the least bit worthy of lying about truth. But, he chose not to. And for that I hope Dave beats the hell out of him the same way I'm guessing he would Obama had he stood him up and left him without a lead guest.

Nicole said...

Dave ripped into Paris Hilton for cancelling last minute, so it's not like this is the first time. He also didn't call her a "hero" before criticizing her thoughtless behaviour.

Kendra said...

I don't know if Dave would have reacted the same way with Obama, he himself said in a Rolling Stone interview a few months back, that McCain takes the brunt of the jokes within the late night community. Partly because of his age and partly because they don't know quite how to handle Obama.

Anna said...

Kendra -

I think Dave would have reacted the same way with Obama. He isn't Barbara Waters and Joy Behar who fawn all over Obama. He is more professional than that. He has his opinions, no doubt. But he is decent and fair.

I'm cool with hosts having their opinions and expressing them. I just like decency. A great example is Ellen Degeneres. Ellen majorly disagrees with McCain on a lot of policital issues (and on a particular one that is very personal to her). When McCain appeared on Ellen, she was nothing but respectful and decent to him. She asked her questions and I'm sure it was hard for McCain to try to defend policies/stances to someone who potentially could be personally affected by his decisions. But she was never once not decent to the man. I have tremendous respect for her.

I think Dave would be the same way. He was quite respectful of Oprah when she finally came on his show.

amysusanne said...

Totally agree.

I understand the point that Obama is a trickier target, but this wasn't about monologue jokes, so I don't think Dave's comment is relevant to this particular instance. Day to day, it might be harder to write a joke about Obama, but this wasn't a joke, it was a "devleloping story". I have no doubt that Dave would have been just as pissed if Obama had done what McCain did.

Maybe Dave should have done what Joan Rivers did when Sam Kinison didn't show up for her show and headed down to Katie's studio to find him.

Tracey said...

Couric is not news; she's infotainment, like all of the alleged news today. McCain's interview with Katie Couric, while undoubtedly informative and useful to the American public, was not remotely news, and was purely campaigning.

The comedy shows (particularly Stewart and Colbert) ask much tougher questions of their guests than any "real" news show. If McCain was genuinely stopping his campaign to deal with this crisis, as he declared publically (not just to Letterman), he wouldn't have been on *any* show, comedy or "news."

Anonymous said...

I am just baffled by it all.
McCain is not a member of the bailout committee, and those meetings are closed. There is nothing in DC for him to race off to.

Nicole said...

What happened to the comments in the other David Letterman segment? Did it become some sort of flame war? I never would have thought that Letterman would be that controversial.

I should note that the Letterman rant was carried on CBC, a network that doesn't run the Late Show, so I wonder if other countries picked up the story too.

Lyle said...

There's a difference. Not like Letterman would be asking hard-hitting questions. It was supposed to be a yuk-fest as McCain usually is quite funny on these shows. Which would not be appropriate for what is going on right now.

Just like Obama not showing up on SNL for the same reasons. End of story.


Uh, no. Not end of story because the two situations are very different. The main issue isn't the last minute cancellation or that McCain felt a news show was more important. Dave's issue is that he was lied to -- unnecessarily. It's not like Dave would have objected to "With the way things are right now, I should talk to Couric instead." (as Dave has noted).

Put it this way, you hold a party and your best friend calls at the last minute telling you he can't attend because his mother died... and then you find out he stayed home because his kid had a tummy ache. It's not like you would have objected to him staying home with his sick kid, so lying about his excuse feels insulting.

Now, if Obama told Lorne Michaels he was canceling SNL to fill sandbags... that'd be different.