Mickey Rourke; Jay Thomas; and Darlene Love.
PLUS: Great Moments in Presidential Speeches; a sneezing monkey; a top ten list; Holiday Quarterback Challenge; and Paul Shaffer's does Cher's "O Holy Night."
" . . . and now, CBS Employee of the Week . . . . David Letterman!"
ACT 1: MONOLOGUE:
-"It's so cold, Tom Cruise wore his Northface eyepatch."
Tonight after the show, you'll be saying to yourself, "How 'bout that thing we saw on Letterman!" And of course, you'll be talking about the Late Show holiday tradition: A sneezing monkey. We watch it two times and it never fails to bring a smile to one's face. Where else but the Late Show do you get to see a monkey sneezing?
GREAT MOMENTS IN PRESIDENTIAL SPEECHES
-We see Clinton and two shoes fly by
-We see Lincoln ducking a thrown shoe.
-We see our President, George W. Bush, dancing and playing the drums and then dancing some more, just like he used to do at the college frat house.
Every year Paul presents his rendition of the lovely Cher from the "Sonny & Cher Variety Hour" Christmas special of the 70's. Dave says there is nary a dry eye in the house when Paul performs. Paul sets the story.
Many years ago while Paul Shaffer was watching a Sonny and Cher Christmas special, Cher sang a Christmas song that Paul has never forgotten. As is tradition, Paul tells the story.
It was during a Sonny and Cher Christmas Special. Also on the show, William Conrad, also known as "Cannon." Cher was about to sing a Christmas carol. The lights lowered. Snow was softly falling. Cher was wearing a Victorian over coat, her hands in a muff. Dave interrupts, not sure if he heard correctly "I'm sorry?" Paul explains that a "muff" is a simple winter accessory a woman wears to keep her hands warm. Light music is heard. Cher approaches the microphone and sings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . "OOOooooo HOOOOooooolllly Night, the stars are brightly shiiiiiiiiining! It is the night of the dear Savior's birth."
Beautiful. Dave weeps. Paul says that's the way he remembers it.
Paul warbled a fine Cher. Paul doing Cher doing "O Holy Night" is always a joy. (it's great cutting and pasting my own stuff)
TOP TEN: LEAST POPULAR MALL STORES
10. Old Gravy
9. Bed, Bath, and Blagojevich
8. Infected Foot Locker
7. Men's Big, Tall, and Stupid (I "Played the Dave" and said "I've shopped there." Dave didn't say it. I lost at "Play The Dave")
6. Turban Outfitters
5. JC Penniless ---- that's how bad the economy is, people.
4. Hammach Schlemmacher Hamma Schlemma Hammaschlemmacher Schlem Schlem
3. Bernie Madoff's Ponzi Scheme Mart
2. Amy Winehouse House of Wine
1. Condoleezza's Secret
Jay says he sometimes feels like a box of tinsel. We only bring him out at Christmas time. He is hoping to expand this gig into something we can do every holiday, like throwing a firecracker at someone on the 4th of July.
This is Jay Thomas' 10th year participating in the Late Show Holiday Quarterback Challenge. Back in 1998, New York Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde was on the show and was challenged to knock the top piece off our Christmas tree. Vinny T threw once, twice, three times, four. He couldn't hit the mark. Our next guest, Jay Thomas, was like a caged tiger in the green room wanting to get out there and show Dave and Vinny how it's done. Jay ran out on stage totally on his own, grabbed a football, and nailed the meatball on his very first throw. And like the Lone Ranger, he quickly ran back to the green room as if to say, "My work is done here!"
Before they perform the Challenge, Dave has Jay tell his Lone Ranger story. Dave calls it perhaps the best story he's ever heard as a talk show host.
Many years back, Jay was a long-haired DJ down in Charlotte, North Carolina. He and a buddy, Mike Martin, were assigned to cover the opening of a Dodge Car Dealership. (new bit of information: Mike Martin's hair looked like the hair of a Bay City Roller). So they went to the dealership and did the event.. Afterwards, Mike and Jay got "herbed up".
Also at the opening was the Lone Ranger. Yes, THE Lone Ranger, Clayton Moore. And he was dressed in his Lone Ranger attire. Clayton always played the part to the utmost whenever he was adorned in his Lone Ranger attire. So after the day was done, Jay and his pal were ready to drive home. Jay noticed that the Lone Ranger's ride back to the hotel was nowhere to be found, so Jay asked the Lone Rangers if he wanted a drive would drive back. He accepted. The Lone Ranger got in the back seat and off they went. They were driving in a beat up, 10-year-old Volvo. They were stopped at a light when the car in front of them suddenly backed up and smashed into their car, breaking a headlight. The car then fled. Jay was irate. He chased after the car angry as all hell. The chase went on for quite awhile. Jay finally catches up to the fleeing driver and they come face to face. Words are exchanged. Jay wants to call the cops to take a report. The guy says with a smirk to the long-haired, hippie Jay, "Yeah? And who do you think they're going to believe? You?" With that, the Lone Ranger gets out of the backseat of the car and with hands on hips, says, "They'll believe me, citizen!"
Dave laughed throughout. It is a great story.
(like I said before, it's great to cut and paste my own stuff)
Time to play the Late Show Holiday Quarterback Challenge. Dave allows Jay the first three throws of the football and if the meatball remains unscathed, Dave will join in.
After some missed throws which we will call warm-up tosses, Jay obliterates the pizza. And then soon later, smashes the meatball.
How many throws did it take? I'm not sure, but go back and keep an eye on the bucket of footballs near Dave and Jay. I have a feeling it may go from full to empty pretty quickly.
He's in the new film, "The Wrestler," opening on Christmas day in select cities. Mickey is a dog lover. He currently owns 6 dogs from a 'recover and rehabilitate' program. His oldest is a Chihuahua 17 years old.
In "The Wrestler," Mickey plays a down-and-out former great who is trying to get his life back together. He gained 40 pounds for the movie and packed on the muscle with lots of time in the gym. He also went through 4 MRI's from injuries in the filming of the movie.
And now, my professional wrestling story. It was back in the early 80s. A friend and I decided to go to Madison Square Garden to see the big Bob Backlund/Magnficent Maraco bout. We went as a goof and as something to do. So we get to the Garden and get on line to buy tickets. We are told the event is sold out. Sold out!? The Garden can seat 20,000 for a wrestling match. There are 20,000 wrestling fans in the area? We were told that professional wrestling is a huge hit and always sells out. Who knew? We then looked for a scalper who sold us good seats about 20 rows back. We walked in amazed at how many serious wrestling fans were out there. We got to our seats and played the game of cheering the good guys and booing the bad guy and having a blast along the way. Sitting next to my friend Jimmy was a rather attractive woman of 23 years. He tried his best to make conversation but she was having none of it. Jim, a very good looking guy and quite successful and quite smooth with the ladies, could make no headway. Still, we laughed ourselves silly watching the wrestling. And whenever things got a little slow, Jimmy would try to work his charm and the pretty young thing to his right. No luck. But he kept at it. Finally, the woman turned to him and snarled, "Listen! I'm here because I had to take my grandfather! You're here because you want to be! And that's all I need to know about you, so leave me the 'givl' alone!" Jimmy was stunned and searched for a plausible explanation. Finding none, he then finally laughed and told her she had a good point. We went back to giving our full attention to the bout at hand, featuring Mr. Fuji.
Later that week I was at a party with a recent college grad who was working as a cub reporter. I told him about the wrestling match at the Garden. He scoffed, calling professional wrestling nothing but a joke and a waste of time. I told him, "Some call it a sport, some call it not a sport, but 20,000 people show up at Madison Square Garden every time the WWF makes an appearance. Call it what you want, but there is a story there someplace." He had to agree. About a year or two later, professional wrestling exploded on the scene and everybody knew of the champ, Hulk Hogan. It made it to mainstream America.
"The Wrestler" starring Mickey Rourke. I've heard many good things about it.
Happy Holidays, from your friends at the Late Show.
DARLENE LOVE: For her 15th time, it's Darlene Love singing "Christmas, Baby, Please Come Home." When it comes to Christmas songs, everyone else is just pretending next to Darlene Love. It's a knockout performance every year. She's been here since 1994 for Christmas, and also performed on Late Night in 1986. So who performed the big Christmas song for the Late Show in 1993?
Andy Williams, singing "It's The Most Beautiful Time of the Year." I don't remember it but I can picture Andy Williams in a while turtle neck under a red v-neck sweater. (like I said two times before, it's great to cut and paste my own stuff)
And that was our show for Tuesday, December 23, 2008.