VHS Review (Posted on 03-05-2014)
Carrying up the late night entertainment is another volume in my personal collection I'd like to review: Late Night with David Letterman Featuring Stupid Pet Tricks
. If "Stupid Human Tricks" featuring flexible fingers, drinking a bottle of Tabasco® sauce in one gulp, and/or placing a foot behind one's head while riding a unicycle on a tightrope was too boring for you fellow humans, then it's only a matter of time we venture into the other class of species. (I could've sworn an elephant was featured on the show, but it's not available on this volume.)
On Program #391, Dave opens the show joking about Daylight Savings Time, the climate and the weather—all amounting to one full month left of professional hockey. After, Paul talks about a true story when performing at a live music event where his arm suffered from tendonitis. The show's makeup artist Candy Carrell saved Paul's career, as Paul kindly credits her for doing so. I see Candy Carrell seems to be quite a hit with the show's fans (she's amazingly beautiful!), so here are two snapshots of her:
Onto the desk, Dave unveils a device admitting it didn't work during their previous show, and now fully working, decides to give it a test run: Dave's Kitchen of Tomorrow featuring a Crouton Toaster. Immediately following that was "Viewer Mail" which features Dave reading off four pieces of [fan] mail, which are mostly about Dave's good looks, renewing the opening show's graphics, why Dave laughs through his nose and the "Panicky Guy."
Now is the segment you've been wanting to watch: Stupid Pet Tricks! Up first is owner Carey and his dog "Buddy"—a beer-buying dog. Dave plays as the clerk as Buddy picks up the pack of beer, climbs onto the counter to pay for the beer. Dave then packages the beer as Buddy carries the bag of beer home. Marvelous! Next features owner Adam and his Madagascar cockroach "Spot." Setting up "Fire of Hell" along with a row of razor blades, Adam shows Spot walking a tightrope (walking upside down) over the flame and razor blades. Third is owner Rina and her cute cat "Corky." Rina states that Corky can break dance....but Corky wanders off! (Had the cat done so, it would've been included in the top viral cat videos in internet history.) Fourth, and not least, is owner Marty and his English Bull Terrier "Boy." The trick: Boy can walk with a paper bag over his head, to which Dave said, "You get a dog with a bag on its head, you don't need Joan Collins [as a guest]." Whatever you say, Dave.
David's guest features famous sex researcher Dr. Ruth Westheimer. She talks, and promotes, her Sex On The Nile cruise and answers questions from the audience. First question was about a 21-year old guy who has a friend that peeks at girls through a telescope; Second question was from a 33-year old woman who asks if a relationship with your mate is doomed the moment you have sex with someone else (thank you for that). Third question will bust the blood pressures up from gay rights groups: it asked that if a woman spent time with a lot of men who happen to be gay, will that woman be gay herself. These questions....
Following up, in what seems like a busy episode, is "Rocket Chair Race" between Paul and David. A feature marked as one of the classic highlights of Letterman's show on TV special feature 50 Years of NBC Late Night
hosted by Conan O'Brien back in 2001, this race includes a chair attached atop dual skateboards, with the rider holding, then soon igniting, a fire extinguisher (sounds like fun). Commentating this square-off is a young Bob Costas—no, his eyes weren't on fire here. Counting down to ten....and off they go! Somehow Paul was headed toward the wall, but David crosses the finish line and wins with a time of 11.8 on the clock, while Paul slowly finishes his race.
Last segment of the show is "Know Your Staff" featuring band guitarist Steve Cahn. His career in show business took off, thanks to his father, who is a four-time Academy Award-winning lyricist (another reason why having a father brings wonders). Having had a normal childhood, he grew used to the fact that his family hosted Sunday barbeque inviting uncle Frank—blue eyes, Frank Sinatra. Steve then talks to Dave about his bar mitzvah, as Dave reveals photos from the event.
Having gone through the second episode of the tape, it seems like the audience were too tired to laugh, or were eminently slow. I already got a laugh from the announcer's opening punchline: "From New York, which if America had been discovered by the Japanese, would more than likely be Los Angeles....ahh forget it, this makes no sense at all." Well, I thought it was funny. Anyway, Dave opens with his usual monologue, joking about The Reneé Richards Story
about a man surgically becoming a woman then pursuing tennis, how the Pope's visit to the US hopes to find the best chili dog and how Curt Waldheim contacted [president] Ronald Reagan about getting the jews out of Austria.
With the audience being offended by Letterman's joke about Dr. Richards, it's time the audience brightens up: Top Ten! On this episode is "Top Ten Indicators of a Brighter Future." See if any these still apply today (I'd say #10 and #3):
Top Ten: Indicators of a Brighter Future
10. Low gasoline prices
09. Airline peanuts available to general public
08. Cleveland Indians in 3rd place
07. Quincy reruns will last at least 5 years
06. New technology can keep lettuce & tomato cool; burgers hot
05. Big Bands aren't coming back after all
04. Civil service exam easier than ever -- impossible for humans to fail
03. More fabulous babes on TV than ever before in history of medium
02. We have Neanderthal skull in our studio
01. LaRouche supporters can't take a punch
As Letterman plays around with their specially-made remote-controlled Neanderthal skull, it quickly transitions to "Small Town News," which is a hybrid of "Headlines" from The Tonight Show
. Dave then receives an emergency call and saves a dog from a fire from the Stupid Pet Holding Area for a sweet little girl. This leads to the segment "Stupid Pet Tricks!" Up first is owner David and his dog "Titan," where the trick shows Titan and how it prepares itself for bedtime. Next is owner Kevin and his dog "Fred," whose trick is holding a tennis ball in its mouth then releasing it to catch an apple, sitting on its snout. Classic! And finally, third is owner Jim and his dog "Gretchen," where Gretchen gives Jim a back massage! All wonderful tricks, though I still dogs that can buy their owner a pack of beer.
While Dave continues to toy around with "moto-skull," comes his guest, who is host of the baseball pregame show along with being a correspondent on football and being the voice of the Knicks and the Rangers, Marv Albert! After a brief sports talk and how Bob Costas named their newborn "Marvin," the interview was quickly cut. Judging by the credits, some video clips from the NBA were shown which, likely, the production company wouldn't want to pay rights to re-copy/redistribute those clips as seen on the show. As understandable as that is, the edited interview may disappoint some.
Next segment, I find, is quite humorous: Making Friends on our Interstate Highway. Driving by as much as seven (7) times, Dave talks to Letta (Netta?) and chit chats with her about anything. For being so nice, Dave awards her with flowers and a box of sweet rolls. Pretty good.
And last guest of the night is Ron Silver, talking about his play, his upcoming film and a Three's Company
-like story involving "dead dogs." Yeah.....
Not only will late night/show fans like this, but pet/animal lovers will as well. And for those who admire Candy Carrell, yes, she makes a cameo on the first episode of this volume.
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© 2008-2018 written and reviewed personally by Kris Caballero.
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