Category: David Letterman

Late Night: Bill O'Reilly reluctantly fist bumps David Letterman

Any time Bill O'Reilly visits "The Late Show," it's pretty much guaranteed to get testy. While David Letterman is first and foremost a comedian, he's also fairly outspoken when it comes to politics, and he's certainly not afraid of grilling his guests. And, well, we all know O'Reilly is hardly a shrinking violet, either. 

On Wednesday night, Letterman welcomed O'Reilly then jumped right into the fray, asking O'Reilly about his feelings about the Iraq war and the death of Osama bin Laden. O'Reilly admitted that, "in hindsight, absolutely we should have done that Iraq thing in a different way," even going so far as to say, "I really wish that didn't happen."

But he stopped just short of agreeing with Letterman's suggestion that the war had delayed the quest for Bin Laden. 

"At some point George W. Bush said, 'I don't really think about Osama bin Laden anymore,' " Letterman argued. At first, O'Reilly claimed Bush had never said such a thing, but Letterman stuck to his guns. "We got it on video," he said.  

"All right," O'Reilly finally conceded, throwing his hands up in the air. 

"So we're together so far. Get in here," Letterman said, extending his fist in a gesture of goodwill. O'Reilly wouldn't budge, so Letterman grabbed his guest's limp hand and bumped it. 

Later in the interview, Letterman also asked why President Obama doesn't get more credit for what he's accomplished. O'Reilly gave Obama high marks for his handling of foreign policy and for saving the auto industry, but he said that the economy as a whole was still suffering. As for the election, O'Reilly predicted the outcome will come down to the three head-to-head debates. 

Late Night: Conan O'Brien and David Letterman bash Jay Leno


It's been more than two years since Conan O'Brien lost his gig hosting "The Tonight Show" in a very public debacle that seriously undercut Jay Leno's "nice guy" image, not to mention his longtime ratings dominance. 

On Thursday, O'Brien made his first visit to "The Late Show" in 13 years, where he opened up about the fight over "The Tonight Show." While he was hardly reluctant to dish the dirt, his enthusiasm for Leno-bashing paled in comparison to Letterman's.

Even after two years, it was inevitable that the subject of their shared nemesis would come up, and so it did -- almost instantly. For the first 30 seconds or so of the interview, the two hosts sat there in awkward silence, until Letterman chimed in: "I think the longer we just sit here, the more uncomfortable it will make Jay."

From there, it was open season on Leno, with both hosts doing the obligatory impersonation of his famously high-pitched voice. Letterman was more openly hostile toward his longtime rival, telling O'Brien that he was "delighted" by the ordeal because, finally, the public could see what he has long believed: that Leno is "a bit of a brat."  "When this came along, I said to myself, 'This is the Jay I know,'" Letterman recalled. "I refer to that period as the Golden Age of Television."

"You clearly were using my experience to work through some things," O'Brien suggested.

After a commercial break, Letterman renewed the interrogation, asking O'Brien about the nature of his relationship with Leno before "the felony took place." At first, O'Brien seemed a bit reluctant to trash-talk: "I was assured none of this would come up tonight. I was told we would discuss our shared love of antiquing."

O'Brien tried to be diplomatic, explaining that "we're quite different fellows, he and I," but the temptation to take a shot at Leno proved too enticing. "We didn’t have a lot to talk about in common. I don’t own many automobiles that were made before 1904, primarily of brass and leather," O'Brien quipped, a reference to Leno's enormous car collection.

"Now we're getting someplace," Letterman said, happy that his goading had paid off.

To his credit, O'Brien repeatedly expressed his gratitude to his bosses at TBS and few regrets over "The Tonight Show" disaster. "I’m very lucky. TBS lets me do whatever I want. They don’t watch it, they don’t care," he said.



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Craig Ferguson launches weeklong trip to Scotland

— Meredith Blake

Bubba Watson will talk Masters win with David Letterman

Bubba Watson is the Masters winner

"Bubba Golf" is set to invade Manhattan.

Fresh from his upset victory at the 2012 Masters, golfer Bubba Watson will bask in the spotlight Tuesday on CBS' "Late Show With David Letterman."

Watson's victory in Augusta was his first major tournament win, playing an idiosyncratic, self-taught brand of the sport he calls "Bubba Golf."

He won Sunday in a sudden-death tie-breaker that some golf nuts are calling one of the most thrilling matches in ages. Watson was battling Louis Oosthuizen for the victory when his ball landed deep in the woods on the second playoff hole of the 10th green. Watson somehow managed to blast the ball out of the woods and clinch the win.

CBS aired the Masters coverage, which made Letterman's show a natural pedestal for the winner. Unfortunately for CBS, ratings for the Masters plunged more than 20%, as superstar Tiger Woods struggled to tie for 40th place, thus ending a hoped-for comeback that began two weeks ago with his win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

What did you think of Watson's win, assuming you watch golf?


David Letterman set to become longest-serving late-night host

Keith Olbermann tells David Letterman: 'I screwed up'

Late Night: Michelle Obama tears up talking to David Letterman

— Scott Collins (

Photo: Masters champion Bubba Watson is headed for a sit-down with David Letterman. Credit: Stephen Dunn/Getty Images.

David Letterman poised to be longest-serving late-night TV host

David Letterman  David Letterman and Craig Ferguson have signed contracts with CBS that will keep their late-night shows, "Late Show" and "The Late Late Show," respectively, on the air through 2014.

While this isn't terribly surprising on the face of it, it does set the stage for one amazing record to be set: Letterman will become the longest-serving late-night TV host in history, surpassing Johnny Carson's 30-year run on "The Tonight Show."

What sets Letterman's run apart from Carson's is that it is divided into two distinct sections: his original "Late Night With David Letterman" run on NBC, which lasted from 1982 until 1993, and his CBS run, which began in late 1993 and is still going. Carson began his "Tonight Show" gig in 1962 and worked there continuously until 1992. Of course, it was Carson's retirement and Jay Leno's subsequent placement as "Tonight Show" host that led to Letterman leaving NBC.

Both men are credited with defining the late-night game, though Letterman retains the edge awards-wise. Carson received six Emmys for "The Tonight Show," including a Governor's Award, while Letterman received five for "Late Night" and nine more for "Late Show." Both shows have earned a Peabody Award. But only Carson earned the Presidential Medal of Freedom and Kennedy Center Honors.

Letterman has long cited Carson as his main influence and inspiration as a late-night host and Carson reportedly saw Letterman as his rightful successor after his retirement. In fact, Carson continued to write and submit monologue jokes to Letterman long after he'd left the TV stage. Letterman revealed this upon Carson's death in 2005, when he performed an entire monologue made up of jokes Carson had submitted.

"David Letterman is a late-night legend with an iconic show and Craig Ferguson continues to evolve the genre in exciting and innovative ways," said CBS Entertainment President Nina Tassler in a statement.

Ferguson's "Late, Late Show" has charted its own late-night course since its debut in 2005, with the Scottish-born host frequently tearing up the accepted format by rearranging the order of the show, having themed episodes and delivering unscripted monologues.

The show has received its own Peabody Awards and an Emmy nomination, but with the new contract it will move to a larger stage at CBS Television City.


Late Night: Michelle Obama tears up talking to David Letterman

Jon Stewart accidentally makes things awkward on Letterman [Video]

Late Night: Jennifer Lawrence says she hates herself, is a 'troll'

— Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: David Letterman. Credit: John Paul Filo / CBS.

Late Night: Jennifer Lawrence says she hates herself, is a 'troll'

'The Hunger Games' star Jennifer Lawrence"Hunger Games" star Jennifer Lawrence may be poised on the cusp of mega-fame, but clearly she hasn't let it go to her head. During a visit to "The Late Show" on Tuesday, Lawrence was endearingly nervous and self-deprecating. So much so, in fact, that host David Letterman suggested she might need psychiatric help. 

"I hate myself. Don't go see the movie. I'm a troll," said the lovely, blond, decidedly un-trollish actress. "I think the movie’s great, but their biggest mistake is me."

Letterman was baffled by Lawrence's self-loathing. "I don’t like looking at myself," he said, "but myself it’s genuine; I’m unpleasant looking. You're a lovely woman and a fine actress."

Lawrence also told Letterman about her red-carpet phobia. "It’s so scary. I end getting so nervous that I get like now, and I get really hyper, so then I go interviews and I’m like, 'I’m a Chihuahua! I’m shaking and peeing.' And then afterwards I’m like, 'I just talked about peeing on the red carpet.' It’s just not a situation for a normal person!"

"I'd like to see you twice a week," Letterman joked as he pretended to jot down some notes.

Exacerbating Lawrence's considerable anxiety are her handlers, who constantly make her aware of her appearance. "I make it halfway through the red carpet and somebody goes 'Suck in!' " she said. "Then I wonder about the other half of the pictures, and it ends with me googling myself."

Asked if her family was supportive of her career, Lawrence was, once again, hilariously candid. "No! I mean ... yeah," she said, explaining how her older brothers urged her to take a few shots of booze before walking the red carpet. At first she resisted, but then gave in. "And that led to 'I’m peeing in my pants' on the red carpet."

It's quite a change from her childhood, when Lawrence's brothers used to cover her face in peanut butter and lock her in the basement with their family's three pet dachshunds.

While plenty of starlets know how to turn on the self-deprecating charm when necessary, Lawrence's appearance was refreshingly human -- if slightly troubling. Quick, someone get this girl out of Hollywood! 



"Hunger Games" fashion comes to life

Jennifer Lawrence: A heroine for our times

Michelle Obama tears up talking to David Letterman

-- Meredith Blake

Photo: 'The Hunger Games' star Jennifer Lawrence. Credit: Al Seib / Los Angeles Times

Late Night: Michelle Obama tears up talking to David Letterman

Michelle Obama and David Letterman

Like her husband, First Lady Michelle Obama tends to be a pretty unflappable character. Sure, she'll challenge Jimmy Fallon to a potato sack race, but she rarely gets truly emotional in public. 

On Monday, Obama got choked up during a visit to -- of all places -- "The Late Show," as she talked to David Letterman about her late father, who suffered from multiple sclerosis and was unable to walk.

"I think I learned from him the notion of unconditional love, the notion that kids don't really need anything but to know that their parents adore them. I think that's the greatest gift they gave us, just their constant support and stability. We had rules, we had boundaries, but there wasn't anything our dad wouldn't do for us," Obama said as tears welled in her eyes.

She quickly opted to make light of the situation: "Don't make me cry. This isn't 'Oprah!' This is supposed to be Letterman. Where are the laughs?"

"Did somebody tell you this was 'Oprah?'" asked Letterman, who's always sensitive to any mention of Winfrey's name. "Is that why you're here?" 

Letterman also inquired about her private conversations with the president. "Hypothetically speaking, at the end of the day, has your husband ever come home and said to you, 'Oh, that John Boehner, what an idiot!'"

"It has never happened. Never, never. He is always upbeat -- particularly about Congress," Obama quipped with perfect comic timing.

Elsewhere in the interview, Obama talked about Bo, the first dog, whom she called "the smartest dog on the planet," her covert shopping trips to Target, and Joining Forces, the initiative she and Jill Biden launched to support military families.

Obama has made a flurry of talk-show appearances lately, no doubt because of her husband's reelection campaign, but this might have been her most charming moment to date. What do you think?



Michelle says Barack sings to her all the time

Stephen Colbert launches Twitter attack on Rick Santorum

Jimmy Fallon challenges Michelle Obama to potato sack race

-- Meredith Blake

Photo: Michelle Obama and David Letterman. Credit: John Paul Filo / CBS.

Late Night: Neil Patrick Harris tells Letterman who the mother is

LeadFor seven seasons now, the CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother" has kept its millions of viewers in suspense regarding its central mystery. As star Neil Patrick Harris confessed to David Letterman on "The Late Show" Wednesday night, fans are getting a little impatient for an answer.

"I feel like at this point it's time to reveal already who the damned mother is," he admitted.

"Do people complain about that?" Letterman asked.

"All the time. So tonight I should announce who the mother is," Harris said, adding, "It's because I love your show that I will do this."

As the audience at the Ed Sullivan Theater waited with bated breath, Harris finally revealed the show's closely guarded secret: "The mother on the CBS show 'How I Met Your Mother': Oprah Winfrey."

This should certainly make for an interesting Season 8. 


Show Tracker coverage of "How I Met Your Mother" 

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Late Night: Colbert and Stewart pile on Santorum's 'snob' remarks

-- Meredith Blake

Photo: Neil Patrick Harris Credit: Liz O. Baylen / Los Angeles Times

Jon Stewart accidentally makes things awkward on Letterman [Video]

Jon Stewart

"Daily Show" host Jon Stewart has plenty of experience working his way through awkward moments with guests on his own show, but he inadvertently created one himself while appearing as a guest on "Late Show With David Letterman" on Wednesday.

While joking around about Mitt Romney, Letterman suggested the GOP presidential hopeful looked like the guy pictured on underwear packages.

Jumping on the comment, Stewart began riffing on Letterman and underwear. "Do you even have to wear underpants? I would think at this stage of your career, you have people who could just sit there and hug your groin for you."

Stewart continued with the joke as Letterman grew visibly uncomfortable, finally interrupting with, "Jon, I had a little trouble along those lines."

Letterman was referring to his 2009 sex scandal, in which he admitted on the air that he had conducted affairs with women who had worked on his staff. The affairs came to light when the boyfriend of one of his staffers attempted to extort money from Letterman.

The boyfriend, Robert J. "Joe" Halderman, a producer for the CBS series "48 Hours," pleaded guilty to the charge of attempted grand larceny in 2010 and served a six-month jail sentence followed by probation and community service.

When alerted that he was on sensitive ground, Stewart attempted to explain himself: "Can I tell you something terrible? I'm halfway through that bit and all of a sudden I realize ... what am I doing?"

Letterman responded, "You don't owe me an apology. Everything's fine."

Letterman then gave Stewart a pencil as a gift and swiftly ended the segment.


Late Night: Jon Stewart rips Catholic church over birth control

Nicolas Cage tells Letterman he's no vampire: 'I don't drink blood'

Late Night: Kate Upton tells Letterman she plans to stick around for a while

-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Jon Stewart on "Late Show With David Letterman." Credit: CBS

Late Night: Kate Upton plans to stick around for a while

Kate Upton has had quite a week. On Tuesday, the Sports Illustrated cover girl paid her second visit to "The Late Show" in as many nights. As on her eye-popping cover, Upton was wearing red, but this time lots more of it. 

In the scatterbrained way he acts around attractive female guests, David Letterman inquired about Upton's career plans now that she'd "won the Sports Illustrated Championship thing."

"My family are big sports fanatics so I've always wanted to be on the cover of Sports Illustrated," Upton replied, not exactly answering the question. She also spoke highly of her experience on the upcoming Farrelly Brothers film, "The Three Stooges." 

Holding up a still from the movie, Letterman asked "Which one is you?" (Hint: the one in the nun's habit and not much else.)

Then he got serious(ish) for a moment, remarking on the long-term difficulties of a career in modeling: "It's like professional sports, a lot of glamour and excitement, but the lifespan, the earning potential of a professional athlete is limited, and the same is true of supermodels."

Upton was optimistic. "Yeah, but I feel like I'm still young, don't cut me out so soon!" she said. 

"I haven't heard anything. As far as I know everything's fine," Letterman replied.

"You'll tell me first right?" Upton asked. (Well played.)

"You'll hear it from me. I make the calls to all the supermodels, telling them it's time to go," Letterman joked, really seeming to get a kick out of the idea. 



Michelle Dockery says men are 'terrified' of her

Kate Upton reveals Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover

Nicolas Cage tells Letterman he's no vampire: "I don't drink blood"

-- Meredith Blake

Photo: Kate Upton poses with her Sports Illustrated cover. Credit: Don Emmert / AFP / Gety Images.

Kate Upton: Letterman reveals Sports Illustrated swimsuit cover

Kate Upton's spot on the cover of the 2012 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue was unveiled on "Late Night with David Letterman" Monday night. Despite Upton's presence, the swimsuit issue models seemed to underwhelm Letterman and the audience
Kate Upton on the cover of the 2012 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue was unveiled on "Late Show With David Letterman" Monday night, but though a number of the issue's models were on hand to present the evening's Top 10 list, it was apparent from Letterman's face that the whole thing seemed to be a bust.

With 10 models crammed onto a couch in the Ed Sullivan Theater green room (and not on stage), Letterman commanded the veil to be dropped from a billboard mounted high above Broadway and the cover of the issue was revealed.

Upton seemed pleased, but not overjoyed to have been selected as the cover girl, and the other nine models seemed, well, statuesque in their reactions.

"Will you do me a favor?" Letterman begged the group before the unveiling. "When we announce the winner, will the other nine of you storm out? Turn over the furniture? Wreck the place and then storm out screaming?"

When the models didn't really react one way or the other, Letterman urged them on. "Come on! Jump up and down and storm out of there. Turn over the table! Wreck the dump! Go crazy!"

That spurred them to a round of applause, followed by a halfhearted bump of the table and a rose tossed in the air.

Despite the unveiling having been heavily hyped during the previous night's Grammy Awards telecast, the audience's reaction seemed lukewarm.

And based on Letterman's facial expression at the end of the bit, the 2013 Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue cover may be unveiled elsewhere.


On David Letterman's 30 years of late nights

Nicolas Cage tells Letterman he's no vampire: 'I don't drink blood'

20 moments from David Letterman's 30 years in late night [Video]

-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Kate Upton on the cover of Sports Illustrated. Credit: Walter Iooss Jr. / Associated Press

Late Night: Michelle Dockery says men are 'terrified' of her

"Downton Abbey" star Michelle Dockery tells David Letterman that men are terrified of sleeping with her

Can it really be you, Lady Mary?

Dressed in her 21st century finest, "Downton Abbey" star Michelle Dockery paid a visit to "Late Show" Thursday night, in what is a sure indication of the British drama's smashing stateside success.  

Dockery explained to host David Letterman that although she plays a posh character on TV, she's actually from Essex -- which is a little like the New Jersey of Britain. "I come from a very working-class background, so my family would have been downstairs in the past, as opposed to upstairs. People are often quite surprised to hear that, that I'm not actually posh," she said.

"Well, you look plenty posh to me," Letterman replied flirtatiously. To prove her modest origins, Dockery even affected (or perhaps reverted to?) an Essex accent. (She's lucky the Dowager Countess wasn't in earshot.)

It's unclear whether Letterman is genuinely a "Downton Abbey" fan, but, if not, he's pretty good at faking it, interrogating Dockery about her character's thwarted romance with Cousin Matthew. 

"Of course, I can't tell you what happens. It's forever will-they-won't-they," Dockery said. "On Twitter, apparently we've been called the Ross and Rachel of period drama."

Letterman claimed that he'd "never seen such bad behavior from a group of people living in the same house" as on "Downton Abbey," and (minor spoiler alert) asked Dockery about Lady Mary's infamous dalliance with Mr. Pamuk. "And what about the time you're having sex with the guy and he drops dead?"

"Men are terrified of me now," she joked.

"Has anything like that ever happened to you?" Letterman wondered, prompting a big laugh from the audience. Dockery said it hadn't. 

There was more sex talk ahead. "You've got some big problems ahead of you on this show. The one guy who's been wounded and you can't, I mean ... what?" he asked, a roundabout reference to Matthew's impotence. 

Displaying some naughty British wit, Dockery answered, "You'll have to wait and see ... if anything arises."



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Shirley MacLaine to join "Downton Abbey" cast

Americans love "Downton Abbey" -- but what about the class politics?

-- Meredith Blake

Photo: Michelle Dockery stars in "Downton Abbey." Credit: Carnival Films / Masterpiece

Nicolas Cage tells Letterman he's no vampire: 'I don't drink blood'

Nicolas Cage

Nicolas Cage is out promoting his new movie, "Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance," but as is the case with too many celebrities these days, he's had to spend the face time on TV addressing wild rumors about his personal life. In this case, they're rumors that could only circulate about Nic Cage: that he's a vampire.

The rumor started when a photo of a Civil War-era Tennessee man bearing a strong resemblance to the Oscar winner popped up on eBay with the seller claiming it was proof that Cage was a creature of the night.

Though the rumor and the photo circulated online months ago, it wasn't until David Letterman broached the subject on his "Late Show" on Thursday night that Cage had an opportunity to address it publicly.

Cage assured fans with words he probably never thought he'd find himself saying on a late night talk show: "I don't drink blood, and last time I looked in the mirror I had a reflection."

He also didn't see the resemblance that so many other people see in the photo, telling Letterman, "Let me say that there is a resemblance, but how can I be polite about this. It's a somewhat slowed-down version of me."

Weeks after the Cage photo appeared online, another photo from the same era popped up online showing a man bearing a strong resemblance to John Travolta, with the seller claiming it was proof that Travolta was a time traveler.

To date, Travolta has neither confirmed nor denied his ability to travel backward and forward through time.


Nicolas Cage: Hair-raising performances, with photos

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Nicolas Cage's only-in-Hollywood arrest and release bail

-- Patrick Kevin Day

Photo: Nicolas Cage promoting "Ghost Rider" in Berlin, Germany. Credit: Jens Kalaene / EPA


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