YMMV: David Letterman

  • Colbert Bump: Inverted when Jay Leno permanently took the lead over Letterman in the ratings after his 1995 interview with prostitute-solicitor Hugh Grant. This came in the wake of Letterman's disastrous stint as host of the Academy Awards that year, where his style of humor clashed horribly with the tone of that event.
  • Fridge Brilliance: Paul and the CBS Orchestra playing LL Cool J's "Hey Lover" as entrance music for supermodel Elle MacPherson.note 
  • "Funny Aneurysm" Moment: When Margaret Ray committed suicide in 1998, Dave's older jokes about "that woman who keeps breaking into my house" turned into this.
  • Hilarious in Hindsight: In the wake of Stephen Colbert being announced as Letterman's replacement, Colbert couldn't help but point out, he had applied to work for Letterman a couple times before.
  • Seasonal Rot: Dave has been on broadcast TV for almost 30 years. In the mid-2000's, the quality of the Late Show has declined slowly. However, every so often, Dave will have his standout moments, such as the infamous Joaquin Phoenix interview or the mileage he got from the Jay Leno-Conan O'Brien controversy.
  • Seinfeld Is Unfunny: Letterman is undoubtedly the most influential figure in American comedy over the last three decades, and as this article points out, he pioneered a lot of the ideas and attitudes that now saturate the Web. But because his influence is everywhere (not to mention Seasonal Rot) he seems really passe these days. His early NBC shows come off a bit dry and awkward, and his peak period (the last few years at NBC and the first few at CBS) isn't easily available (though there's a fair amount of varying-quality YouTube video).