By Rachel Krueger
Last Thursday night, David Letterman admitted to having doinked some of his female staff, and hearts could be heard breaking all over the country. And not like they did the night previous when Nigel Barker’s wife showed her sleek, feline face on “America’s Next Top Model,” but like they do when you find out that your lovely neighbor drowns kittens.
And maybe it’s because Letterman has always struck me as the least likely late-night talk-show host to be sleeping with his employettes (sorry, Conan), and maybe it’s because he reminds me, not of my dad, but of someone’s dad, and maybe it’s because he and his long-time-girlfriend-now-wife-and-baby-momma are so damned adorable that I hate to even think about him diddling the staff and then going home to her.
That he managed to whip up a froth of laughter telling this hilarious tale about having been attempted-blackmailed for having done “creepy things” (What a hoot! What a great yarn for the water cooler!) attests both to his skill as a comedian, and to the power of expectations. He is DAVID LETTERMAN and he is TELLING A STORY! I must be amused!
He carried the joke still further on Monday, delivering a pile of witty zingers at his own expense and making light of his domestic drama. Subject matter aside, it was pretty damned entertaining. And I GET it, he is a COMEDIAN and it is his JOB to make heavy things light.
And that saddens me most of all. I want to laugh over this and then forget it, because Letterman is just so bloody affable. I want his foibles to continue to be endearing. I do not want to have serious, heart-breaking information relayed to me as a joke because I don’t want to spend my Late Show suspecting a trap in every gag. That’s what The Comedy Network is for.