Ken Tucker's TV Prime-Time TV commentary

Tag: David Letterman (1-10 of 62)

Good night, and a few more opinions and recommendations

Here’s the way I began this blog in 2008:

“Hello. I’ll use this space to: talk about what I watched last night
 (strong opinions guaranteed); what I think you shouldn’t miss tonight; and
 what’s coming up that you should set your DVR for. Absolutely anything is
 open for dissection, celebration, criticism, and discussion, from an actor’s 
great performance, to a story-line that’s starting to stink, to championing 
TV shows both obscure and famous. I watch TV, you watch TV: Let’s share our 
thoughts and passions, OK?” READ FULL STORY

Jimmy Kimmel, week one: Here's how his place in talk-show history is already taking shape

As we arrive at the end of the first week of Jimmy Kimmel’s new time period, it may seem a tad premature to start affixing a position to Kimmel in the constellation of 11:30 p.m. late-night stars. But already, trends in the viewership of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, and The Late Show with David Letterman, as well as the personalities of their hosts, suggest a few interesting things. READ FULL STORY

Kennedy Center Honors review: David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman, and others celebrated as 'difficult, demanding, passive-aggressive'

The Kennedy Center Honors ceremony, broadcast on CBS on Wednesday night, is the annual event in which celebrities in various fields get all gussied up, travel to Washington, D.C., rub shoulders with the President, and hear exalting speeches about themselves. This year, the testimonials were laced with traces that don’t often make it into a taped TV awards-show final cut: frankness, near-brutal honesty, and almost tearful love. READ FULL STORY

David Letterman hurricane show review: Audience-free, all wet, yet all funny

Former weatherman David Letterman did an audience-free show on Monday night. He and band leader Paul Shaffer stood outside of The Ed Sullivan Theater in yellow rain slickers at the start of the hour, patting their pockets for the key to the locked door. Once inside, he was prepared with wet humor: “I haven’t seen people soaked this badly since the Facebook IPO.” “Across the street at FlashDancers, the strippers are lashed to the pole.” The silence from 500 empty seats, with an occasional interpolation from band leader Paul Shaffer (he pegged the Facebook joke as dubious “tech humor”), rim shots and wiry guitar riffs from the band, and the occasional cough or sneeze from an off-camera staffer — you know, it really worked. It was a damn funny Late Show. READ FULL STORY

David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon taped no-audience shows: VIDEO of their opening monologues

Oh, they’re a doughty pair: David Letterman and Jimmy Fallon did not let Hurricane Sandy keep them from their appointed rounds — entertaining America. They both taped Monday night shows without audiences (no civilian laffers were allowed, lest they risk injury from the serious storm). Each conducted himself in a manner typical of his performance style. READ FULL STORY

All the 2012 Presidential debates: Were they worth it? What's their value?

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The debates are over. What changed as a result of them? Polls show Mitt Romney a lot closer to President Obama — it’s a tighter race ever since Romney’s first-debate victory. By the final debate, Romney had shape-shifted from conservative warrior to agreeable centrist — agreeable in the sense that he spent the night mostly agreeing with what Obama is doing abroad. The message that was sent by his side? Don’t worry, he’s not going to do anything extreme if you elect him. If Romney wins the Presidency, the debates will be seen as a crucial turning point in his campaign. If Obama wins, they’ll be largely forgotten. In this sense, debates every four years follow a similar pattern: Whoever the incumbent is, he is helped or hindered by further exposure of his image and his platform.

But that raises the every-four-years question: Should we be electing Presidents in part because of how well they perform on television, in a stilted, awkward debate format? READ FULL STORY

Mitt Romney, show-biz savant: Letterman 'hates me,' going on 'SNL' is 'not Presidential'

Mitt Romney, TV junkie: Who knew? A chunk of the leaked “47%” tape is devoted to Romney’s downright shrewd knowledge of which television showcases help and hurt a candidate, and his inside knowledge of which hosts dislike him. READ FULL STORY

Television Critics Association awards go to 'Breaking Bad,' 'Cheers,' 'Game of Thrones,' 'Downton Abbey' and more

The Television Critics Association awards were announced on Saturday night. The nation’s TV critics gave awards to Louie for best comedy, Breaking Bad for best drama; the “Program of the Year” award went to Game of Thrones. The event was hosted by Bad‘s Bryan Cranston.  READ FULL STORY

Late night TV hosts respond to Aurora 'Dark Knight' tragedy: A clip

Last night, the late-night hosts were faced with the question of whether or not to address the shootings in Aurora, Colorado, at a screening of The Dark Knight Rises. It’s always a tricky business for entertainers who exist to be — in a word used by both Jay Leno and Craig Ferguson — silly, but each finds a different solution.

Jay Leno prefaced his monologue with brief remarks expressing his sympathy to the victims and their families, saying that his responsibility was to make people laugh at the end of the day. Jimmy Fallon chose not to address the subject. READ FULL STORY

'Johnny Carson: King of Late Night' airing tonight: Overrated royalty? A review

Tonight’s edition of PBS American Masters, titled Johnny Carson: King of Late Night, offers a well-edited description of why Johnny Carson is held in such high esteem as late night’s most influential host, even as it carefully avoids any hard questions about Carson’s talent or originality. READ FULL STORY

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