Sunday, July 5, 2009

Funny or Annoying?

Contributed by Auggie
Late-night talk show critic


David Letterman makes a living being funny, a nice living at that. Apparently many people think he is funny. I’m not one of them.

It’s not that I don’t like comedy because I do. I love watching a good comedian, my favorite shows are sitcoms, and I always enjoy a funny movie. But I don’t remember the last time I even chuckled at Letterman. I’m probably in the minority with this attitude and I’m not sure exactly why, but I do have one theory. Have you ever been in a mixed group setting when a seven-year old boy accidently makes all the adults laugh? He enjoys the high so much (probably how comedians get the bug in the first place) that he promptly embarks on a mission to duplicate the deed. He tries hard to keep being funny. He tries so hard that he ends up doing stupid things that aren’t funny at all. Eventually he is just exposed as the annoying seven-year old boy that he really is. That’s Dave.

For some reason Letterman thinks he needs to be funny in every mannerism and every time he opens his mouth. Or every time someone else opens their mouth. Or every time the camera is rolling. But no one can be constantly funny. Ever heard of the concept of timing as it relates to comedy?

Periodically I’ll tune in to his show if I think there is an interesting guest. But I’m quickly reminded that guests are not really guests, they are just props to be used by Dave; a conduit from which he delivers his own version of wit and humor. First, he tries to be funny when asking a question. And then, rather than letting the guest prop respond in full, he cuts them off and injects his own “witty” reply. He is the star after all. And yet people laugh. I just change the channel.


  1. Jeff Ryer7/06/2009

    Annoying and not funny ...

  2. The worst is when the guest is a comedian yielding the uncomfortable situation of host and guest both trying to force witty one-liners into a conversation that isn't even happening.

  3. How did Auggie's post end? I got sick of him trying to be funny and "changed the channel"

  4. Actually, there was no attempt to be funny.

  5. Watching late night talk shows for the interviews is like going to the Mall to eat. or getting playboy for the articles: it's a pointless filler for marketing reasons. sadly, Conan and Dave have obnoxious mannerisms, the Jimmy's have narrow range. Leno was #1 for a reason, but his move to 10 will most likely be another bruise on NBC's programming history. Our only alternative to late night TV used to be Billy Mays infomercials. Now what am I supposed to do?