August 23, 2009

list of old letterman show favorites

The Top Ten List, from various "home offices"
Stupid Pet Tricks
Stupid Human Tricks
Viewer Mail
Supermarket Finds
Velcro Suit
Suit of Rice Krispies
Dumb Ads
"Lucky Numbers"
Small Town News
Ask Mr. Melman (Larry "Bud" Melman)
Dave's Record Collection
Short plays presented by the Peace Through Dramatization Players (featuring Chris Ellott, Gerard Mulligan and other Late Night writers)
Crushing Things With A Steamroller

Throwing Things Off A Five-Story Building
Crushing Things With An 80-Ton Hydraulic Press
Poetry with My Dog Stan
Charlie the Bubble-Eating Dog (who never actually ate bubbles)
Visits with Meg Parsont in the Simon and Schuster Building (A camera would zoom in on the office of Parsont, an employee in the nearby Simon and Schuster Building, while Letterman spoke with her on the phone.)
Elevator Races
NBC Bookmobile
Visits with Dave's Mom
Young Inventors
Marv Albert with The Wild and the Wacky from the World of Sports
Visits with Jack Hanna
Hal Gurnee's Network Time Killer
What's Hal Wearing?

A series of "Guy" characters portrayed by Chris Elliott. Each of these characters made numerous appearances over the course of a year or two before being retired, amidst much mock fanfare. Then Elliott would appear a few episodes later playing the next in his series of "Guy" characters.

The Panicky Guy : Elliot would pretend to be an audience member who panics and runs from the studio at the slightest threat of danger (similar to doomed characters in Disaster Movies). Once in the hallway he would be run over and crushed by an advancing floor waxer, with his hands raised in terror. In one variation, he played a German Panicky Guy in Lederhosen, who was run over by a hand dolly full of cheese wheels.

The Conspiracy Guy: Elliott would again pretend to be an audience member, this time asking Dave a question. Things would quickly devolve into his character shouting and making crazy accusations about Dave and the show before running from the studio.

The Guy Under the Seats: a short character-comedy bit by Elliott who emerges from a hatchway underneath the seats in the studio audience. Immediately followed thereafter by Elliott as himself (portraying himself as living under the seats, that is) chatting amiably with Letterman. At some point Letterman would make an innocuous comment or innocent joke causing Elliott to overreact, threaten Letterman with some metaphorically articulated future comeuppance and withdraw back under the seats with the admonition "But until that day, I'm gonna be right here, making your life ..a living hell."

The Fugitive Guy: Every so often, Letterman would introduce "Roger Thompson" (Elliott, wearing an extremely bad toupée), a new member of the Late Night crew. In each appearance, "Thompson" would have a different low-level job (e.g., cue card holder, tambourine player for the band), and would grow increasingly nervous as Letterman amiably asked Thompson innocuous questions about his job and his life. Fairly quickly, Thompson would break down under the "grilling", and would then hear the approach of "the one-legged man" and flee. This sketch was a parody of The Fugitive, and eventually included a title sequence that parodied the original Quinn Martin TV series theme. The Fugitive Guy sketches concluded with a final episode where Thompson confronted the one-legged man on a water tower.

The Regulator Guy: A series of expensive-looking promos for a Terminator-like action character aired on "Late Night" over a period of several months, with Elliott playing the super-cool half-human, half-mechanical "Regulator Guy", even speaking with a bad Schwarzenegger-esque accent. Repeatedly promoted during "Late Night" as "Coming soon to NBC!" the "Regulator Guy" appeared only once in a sketch on the show, but this appearance was a (deliberately) cheap and poorly-done affair, which ended with Letterman interviewing the new sidekick character, Ajax, while completely ignoring Elliott (much to his faux-chagrin).

The New Regulator Guy: Shortly after "The Regulator Guy" was retired, Elliott came back with a re-tooled version called "The New Regulator Guy". This character similarly did not last long.

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