There’s a reason they’re called talk shows, although much of the time, the actual “talking” heard on the late-night shows is the dullest part of the show.
Not so when Howard Stern shows up because he has almost no peer in the talent department when it comes to just talking. He’s hilarious. And that’s why his appearance this week on David Letterman’s “Late Show” is No. 1 on our Top Five this week.
1) Happy anniversary, Dave: It was a relatively low-key anniversary “celebration” Wednesday on “Late Show” (30 years to the day since Letterman became a late-night host on NBC), but Howard Stern livened up the proceedings when he came on and demanded that Dave talk about a subject Dave generally shuns — namely, his relationship with Jay Leno. The appearance was vintage Howard. He and Dave also had an uproarious conversation about Rosie O’Donnell. And, as luck would have it, we have both segments.
2) Dave, way back when: As we noted earlier this week, NBC has been stingy over the years about allowing Letterman to use videotape from the days when he was employed by NBC, so Dave had no clip retrospectives to play on his CBS show this week — at least not from before 1993. But Brian Williams of “The NBC Nightly News” had no problem putting together some clips, including one very old Letterman clip in which Dave told Tom Snyder what his “ultimate” goal in life would be — anchoring “The NBC Nightly News”!
3) But Leno had a strong guest lineup too: We don’t know how long it’s been since Madonna last came on “The Tonight Show,” but there she was Monday night (competing with Jennifer Lopez on “Letterman” that evening). We’ve always thought of Madonna as more of a Letterman partisan (and her appearances on “Late Show” over the years have always been flirtatious and fun). On “Leno,” though, Madonna was kind of stiff, even reserved, though she loosened up eventually. We have a feeling NBC somehow insisted that she get out to L.A. this week to do the “Leno” show because she’s the halftime entertainment this Sunday at the Super Bowl, which is on NBC this year. We have Madonna’s appearance on “Tonight” here, in three parts.
4) Eleven Oscar nominations for “Hugo”? We still wanna talk about “Goodfellas”!: Jimmy Kimmel achieved a milestone of sorts this week when he had director Martin Scorsese on “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” Sure, Jimmy gets some A-list guest, but this was a big “get” for him. And sure enough, Marty’s entrance was given the “Goodfellas” treatment. And we loved it.
5) Eye of the Liger: The “liger,” of course is the lion-tiger hybrid that is Napoleon Dynamite’s favorite animal (though it’s doubtful such a creature exists). He said so in the great “Napoleon Dynamite” movie, which we revere so highly that we’re leery of this new animated series adapted from it on Fox. Still, in the interest of open-mindedness, we’ve been keeping up with the animated show since it premiered a few weeks ago. And we invite you to check it out here.