How I am reminded currently of what television was or is in the late evening. From local news, talk shows, to re-runs, the variety of television can be both entertaining but also a mystery. So as we say farewell to first Jay Leno and soon David Letterman the history of television after 11 pm is something of both memory and the urge to get to bed.
I was too young to experience Johnny Carson, but I do remember my grandparents having it on after shows like Falcon Crest, Dynasty or Fantasy Island. As usually heading to bed, I still remember hearing the Tonight Show’s music and the muffled laughs of my grandparents as they watched this show and would talk about it the next day. From the costumes, to the decade’s stars conversation revolved what happen or who said what.
Though growing up we always were up later with the different vacations, I think it was a summer back when I was either 13 or 14 that I became a David Letterman watcher. Living in the Green River Valley frying pan, it became a nightly thing for us to watch first Star Trek Next Generation and then onto watching Letterman. I don’t remember why now but I do remember staying up late and then dragging myself out of bed for the farm job I had the following morning.
College Life and Late Night TV
As I set off on my first year of college working till 11 pm at nights and then getting home just as the late show was starting. From winding down from the day of school, study and then 8 hours of work more the norm became catching the show just as I walked in the door. At the time, it seemed like hell but that is for a different post. Still though Letterman or some old rerun would be the nightcap.
On into Today
With the advent of Netflix and having a vast library of movies, late-night television has become less of a priority and more of a weekend thing. As Jay Leno first retired, then came back and retired again his replacement Jimmy Fallon has been a great fit at least so far. Letterman retires next, and I can only hope his replacement can keep the interest. But either way from the days of Carson to Star Trek or even Seinfeld reruns today late night tv at the very least can still be interesting.