David Letterman, returning with writers, delivered an inspired show and tapped striking writers to deliver the Top-10 list, while writer-less Jay Leno held his own and seemed to revel in his underdog status.
For Americans who get their news from the opening monologues — network execs swear they exist — tonight was their first taste of the writers strike which has brought Hollywood to a halt over digital issues.
Said CBS’s Letterman: “By the way, you’re watching the ‘Late Show,’ the only show written by union writers. You’re thinking to yourself, this crap is written?”
Said Leno, who wrote his own jokes for the monologue: “It’s one man against the CBS monolith,” and “there are now more people picketing NBC than watching NBC.”
How do you do a comedy show without writers? NBC’s Leno pulled a page from “Today” and did a cooking segment with Emeril Lagasse and licensed comedy site Jibjab.com’s online video, “Year In Review.”
Plenty of thumbing noses at media’s corporate chieftains. Leno compared Jeff Zucker’s palatial accommodations to the writers’ shanty town, while Conan O’Brien, set to take over “Tonight” in 2009, said of the writers “I support their cause … and I believe what they’re asking for is fair.”
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.