‘David Letterman: A Life on Television’ Review Roundup

May 5, 2015

‘David Letterman: A Life on Television’ celebrated the iconic host of ‘The Late Show’ with a retrospective of his decades on the air at the Ed Sullivan Theater. Now the critics have weighed in. Check out a roundup of reviews and see video highlights of the lively evening of memories and laughter.

As is becoming a tradition when a late-night talk show host departs, the network throws an enormous, star-studded party and invites the television audience in primetime. This time around, it’s David Letterman passing ‘The Late Show’ torch to Stephen Colbert who in turn has left his own show, ‘The Colbert Report’ on Comedy Central.

And it is quite an occasion. After all, when a host departs after more than 20 years, with 6,028 episodes, it is such an occasion. The show began in 1993, well before our era of social media and the Internet, save for a few early adapter on CompuServe and AOL.

The host was Ray Romano who set the tone and reminded us that this is indeed a moment of television history unfolding, as he said, “I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for David Letterman.” And indeed, it’s not an overstatement, as Letterman himself was later the producer of his eponymous ‘Everybody Loves Raymond.’ And with that, we saw an hour and a half of video clips taking us down memory lane.

The program was also a hit on social media, as it inspired the #ThanksDave hashtag which saw many, celebrities and fans alike, offering words of gratitude and appreciation.

Here’s a roundup of what TV critics are saying.

“….The special highlighted Letterman’s signature segments, including Stupid Pet Tricks and Stupid Human Tricks. A best-of Top Ten list ended in Betty White telling people that the secret to longevity is not to “waste your time watching this crap.”….” — The Hollywood Reporter

“….I say this as a huge fan of David Letterman: This special was boring as hell. It is the nature of late-night talk shows — or was, I guess we have to say now — to unfold at the pace of the conversation being conducted. The surprising moments may be rehearsed or expected by the participants (most of them are, to be sure), but they still work on the audience, in the studio and at home, as spontaneous. The big moments comes as interruptions, eruptions of surprise. But when you have a show that’s edited into all big moments, they quickly become tediously big, or much smaller….” — Yahoo

“….Among the memorable clips were a very young Justin Bieber showing off one of his first tattoos, Letterman dropping an F-bomb with Sienna Miller, Howard Stern taking off his pants and jiggling his belly, and the late Chris Farley doing cartwheels onto the set — before falling over a chair……” — The Wrap

And with this special, the long goodbye is on. Later that night, Letterman welcomed as a guest for the third and final time, President Barack Obama. The final episode will be on May 20th and we can expect quite a list of celebrities and public figures will make their final visit.

Watch a behind-the-scenes video of the making of ‘David Letterman: A Life on Television’ below!

Pictures: PR Photos

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