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Television
John Kiesewetter on the world of local and national TV


Senior Entertainment Reporter John Kiesewetter has been covering TV and media issues for 20 years. After joining the Cincinnati Enquirer in 1975 as a summer intern, he worked as a county government and suburban reporter; assistant city editor and suburban editor; and features editor supervising the Life section. He has a B.S. in journalism from Ohio University.

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Thursday, January 03, 2008

Did You Like Letterman's New Look?

OK, let's get down to the really important issue of the day: Should David Letterman keep the beard or shave it off? How long will he keep it?

When I tuned in last night, the first new shows since the writers' strike began on Nov. 5, my first thought was: Gee, I'd better trim up my beard, it's getting too bushy... I think the beard would look better on Dave if he keeps it short. (And I wish I could say that WLW-AM's "Showbiz Stuff" by Rich Walburg was right, that Dave and I are separated at birth...) Conan's beard looked good. Maybe it's because Dave's was so gray. (When my son David was young, he once observed: "Dad, you're getting some brown in your beard!")

I watched Leno's monologue, which he claims to have written himself, and thought he was pretty funny -- though not as long as his usual opening. ("Do you know there are actually more people picketing NBC now than watching NBC?"). Presidential candidate Mike Huckabee was a funny guest for Leno... then he filled time with a cooking segment with Emeril Lagasse. Conan spun his wedding ring to kill time without writers, then brought out Bob Saget. Jimmy Kimmel's first guest was Andy Dick. Will the guest lists get better than Emeril, Dick and Saget? Or will Hollywood's big names refuse to cross the picket lines?

Did you watch Letterman, Conan, Leno, Kimmel or any of the late-night shows last night? What did you think?

And should Dave or Conan keep the beards?


14 Comments:

at 1/03/2008 11:09 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would say that Dave got sloppy about his personal appearance while on break. Fat and happy comes to mind. He should shave and take a shower.

 
at 1/03/2008 11:11 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leno should come out wearing a beard tonight.

 
at 1/03/2008 12:38 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I watch conan every night, I like the beard on him. Conan should get some broadway actors on the show. I personally love saget, so I had nothing against him.
Now is the time for these shows to showcase young comics.

 
at 1/03/2008 12:44 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I did not watch any of the shows last night. No special reason. I think Leno will be the class of the field just because he is constantly on the road. By the way, has anyone noticed the weather team "Switch" on fox 19?

 
at 1/03/2008 2:07 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I flipped between Jay and Dave, staying mostly with Leno. I agree that Jay did a great job with the monologue. Without the references to the strike, I don't think most listeners would notice the difference. Jay's reliance on video clips is another factor in his favor.

I am always ready to hit the sack if it's not "Headlines" night or there are no compelling guests or music acts. Last night, with Huckabee and Emerell was a good excuse to dial away a little earlier than usual.

In other words, the "writerless monologue" was the best part of the Tonight Show.

Dave looks a bit creepy with the beard but it's funny! I'll remain loyal to Jay if he'll give me 8-10 minutes of entertainment in the mono!

 
at 1/03/2008 2:34 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked the beard on Dave. He should keep it.

 
at 1/03/2008 3:28 PM Blogger Toddy-O said...

I thought Letterman looked more like Captain Kangaroo. I was awaiting for Bunny Rabbit to appear!

 
at 1/03/2008 5:11 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Leno...to me he seems that he says on one hand he is supportive of the writers but went back to work.

He mentioned a number of people that apparently are employed on his show and the writers were a small number.

At least he gave a reason for his action.

Some of his material was not well, but he gave his wife credit.

It seems we all gotta have a politician running for Prez for sweeks and the first show back and if you are running play a tune with the band.

Wny the heck not have HUCK say that he wants us to vote for him because he is proud to be a Christian?

Letterman...on air gave credit to the dancers and writers.

Whom am I to say what his new appearance looks like.

His band members always dress so professionally like Conan...

Leno's band play well, but dress so damn informally.

I do not really care for Conan and if the ratings for NBC with Leno now are tanking help us all when Leno goes and Conan comes on.

Happy New Year

 
at 1/03/2008 6:58 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

I liked both Letterman's and Conan's beard. I think Dave will shave his very soon;he was already talking about it on last night's show. It wouldn't surprise me to see him clean shaven tonight or possibly Monday. I also enjoyed the pre-recorded segment on Conan in which he annoyed staff members with his guitar playing. But Conan will be in trouble if the strike doesn't end soon. I don't watch Leno except for the headlines segment.

 
at 1/03/2008 10:59 PM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Here's the solution to the strike. Producers agree to pay the royalties the union is demanding...then much like radio did to AFTRA, no longer release programming via new media which would give the writers absolutely nothing.

 
at 1/04/2008 12:13 AM Blogger SophiaZ123 said...

I saw a clip of Conan and his beard looks great.

Letterman's could look BETTER if he trimmed it and gave it a better shape. Some men are better at trimming their beards than others. I could get better used to it if it were trimmed but I think Dave should keep it if he is tired of shaving..and if his son and partner like it.

It looks a little Grizzly Adams but a beard trimmer could make it look more distinquished. :-)

 
at 1/04/2008 7:36 AM Blogger Aviator said...

I watched Dave on Wednesday, looked like he ate a little too much pork during the New Years celebration. The opening was pretty cool with Hiliary (guess she should have focused a bit more on her campaign after coming in THIRD!) and the "picket dancers." Leno last night seemed to keep on normal pace. We'll see what happens in the coming days/weeks. I agree with the poster about the shows bringing on newer or younger talent. Take a few guys who appear on Bob and Tom. As it has been a good spring board for a few comics (Foxworthy, Engel, and Larry, Pascattelli).

 
at 1/04/2008 10:38 AM Anonymous Anonymous said...

Letterman looks like a pregnant goat.

 
at 1/04/2008 12:49 PM Anonymous Brink said...

Every shot of the new, bearded Letterman I see looks more and more like you. If he starts signing off the show with "Nighty night," I'll be even more suspicious.

 
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