The State of Late Night TV as Letterman Makes His Exit

My friend Jennifer took note on Facebook of the "Last week countdown of the Late Night Top Ten List" That prompted me to make a comment. In turn Jennifer and I had an exchange that resulted in me posting am overview of late night TV, which to me reflects a certain state of Pop Culture. 

Jennifer got me to thinking.  With a preface and then quoting the exchange in full, here's what occurred.  

Those Year-End Recap Letters

The Year-End Letter

Back about 25 years ago...

Some call it the Christmas Letter. Others call it the Year-End letter, or the Yearly Recap. Some call it the Personal or Family Annual Report. Others refer to it as ”that damn letter from the Smiths about their perfect f*#%cking family.”  That’s usually followed with a glare or subtly implied grrr.

We all know what this is: the year on a page or two.   The accomplishments and kudos, the travels report and update on who got a new job or promotion,  who graduated, who had a baby, who won an award, who got married, and so forth.  Some even include who happily got divorced.

November 22nd: Recalling 50 & 34 Years Ago

November 22nd is a day of major note.  All day this year, more so than in others, the significance and memories were on my mind.  Perhaps it being 50 years since the JFK assassination, that being a milestone of note, is the reason.  As the day wore on it became more top of mind and as evening came close to the clock turning to November 23rd, I posted on Facebook what follows below. As sometimes occurs,after posting to Facebook I realize that it really should be a blog post.  Or be expanded and then a blog post.

Memory of Jack Klugman at a NYC Steakhouse

Back in the wild and carefree late 1980s, when money was abundant and mild corporate excess was not purely the province of the 1%, I was part of a company that used NYC's swank steakhouse Smith & Wollensky as our lunchroom. The maitre' D knew us, we could always get a table (back then it was always jam packed, lunch through dinner), and it was a rather luxurious and posh perk we gave ourselves. The company was doing well, things were good. It got that we were there so often that we were ever so slightly chummy with some of the other regulars. Some we knew by name, some we spoke with,others we nodded to or acknowledged as familiar faces. Among those in the latter group, Jack Klugman and Tony Randall.
The two of them had a standing weekly or bi-weekly lunch date there, and they always were seated in a table that was in a slight alcove, away from the general restaurant floor on the ground level. Tony Randall would graciously stop, shake hands with admirers, and with as much class and style as you can imagine, be the warmly appreciative star. Jack Klugman, on the other hand, would make a beeline for their table, keeping his head down and steering clear of interactions with the crowd.
One afternoon Tony Randall, chatting with a group of fans at a table, called to Klugman to come over. Klugman, two-thirds of the way to their table --and directly beside where my partners and I were seated-- turned around, and gave a nod to indicate that he was headed straight to the table, and not joining Randall. This elicited a groan from a good many diners at the restaurant. Klugman grinned, looked at us, and said, "Somedays I think he'll never get to the table, I could be on dessert before he gets there." Stunned that he spoke, much less spoke to *us*, I responded by saying, "Wow, Jack, you spoke to us!" He gave us a grin that could light up the room, and said, "You guys, I see you here all the time, it's like I know you." And then, to top it off, he said. "And you guys never stop either of us, you let us get to our table in peace!" Then he winked, turned around and walked to that recessed table they always shared.

Rest in Peace Jack Klugman.


The NY Times notice of Jack Klugman's passing: Jack Klugman Dies in Los Angeles

We Made This Movie

Worldwide Pants is the corporate entity for David Letterman's The Late Show, Craig Fergusen's The Late Late Show and other projects and productions. Late Show Executive Producer and Worldwide Pants CEO Rob Burnett produced a film, We Made This Movie, and here I sit in the legendary Ed Sullivan Theatre at a bloggers and NY Tech Community Screening.

Eleven Years

Eleven years ago it was September 11th. The September 11th permanently etched in our minds.

In New York it was a gorgeous morning, spectacular azure skies and early Fall temperatures.  It seemed a beautiful day was ahead.

Eleven years ago the world as we know it changed.  Changed forever.  Changed in horrible ways.  Thousands of lives lost.  Hundreds of First Responders ill or since dead from breathing in the dust.  Countless others wounded in NY, Washington and Pennsyvania.

Things To Do On Facebook When You're Dead

This was posted on Facebook as a status update.  But it just makes so much sense to post it on the blog.  And who knows ... on Facebook it might cross over to the other world!



My friend Stu just called.  His friend Glenn, who died about 7 months ago, apparently is active on Facebook.  Either this is a hack, or Glenn has come back.

Stu never uses Facebook.  Never.  He only joined in order to look at Glenn's  page when he received an email from Glenn alerting him to some pictures being shared there.  And only there.  And only then did Stu ever visit Facebook.

Those pictures, Stu felt, foreshadowed Glenn's demise, but that's a different story.

Stu hasn't been back on FB since Glenn's death.  Not once, not at all.  As in NEVER, since Glenn died.

Bobbie Landsman

Late in the afternoon last Friday, December 9, 2011, my mother passed away in her sleep.  My father was by her side, and it was peaceful.

The funeral was held this past Tuesday at Riverside Memorial Chapel in NYC.  Rabbi Joe Potasnik officiated.  My mother was a longtime fan of Joe and of his show on WABC Radio, "Religion On The Line."  Joe also officiated at the naming of both of my children; he and know I each other for over 30 years. 

Joe spoke of the incredible supportive and loving relationship my parents enjoyed, a 66 year long marriage.  He also spoke of how when my father discussed my mother, he would always characterize her as, "the best."  The best wife, the best Guidance Counselor, the best Chairperson, the best Supervisor in the NY State School System.

We sat Shiva at my father's apartment through yesterday.

My mother was a woman of significant accomplishment. She was also the most educated ("degreed") member of our family.  Before women in the work place was the norm, or the phrase "Working Moms" had come into the vernacular, my mother was in the work force.  My cousin Deborah, speaking at  the funeral, noted that yes, some women went to work, but my mother was a woman with a career, not something one heard of often back in the early 1960s.

My cousin Elaine was unable to attend, but she sent words of loving memory and appreciation.  Rabbi Potasnik read them at the funeral:

I am truly at a loss at how to begin to express how sad I am to lose the loving relationship I have shared with my Aunt Bobbie for so many years.

My aunt was such a special person in my life, always there to make me feel wonderful about myself.  At times when I would question myself after going through life’s traumas, as we all do, she would always make me feel like a million dollars.

I looked so forward to her visits to Florida every year and being able to spend some real time with her – I used to be amazed at how dazzling she would look all the time and I’m sure she has brought that with her even now in Heaven.

We had a very special bond with each other and the time spent with her here or on the phone are moments that I will never forget and will truly miss. When I met my husband, Barry eight years ago, she rearranged her bridge night plans so we could meet Aunt Bobbie and Uncle George at a restaurant and they so charmingly welcomed him to the family. He too is very fortunate to have known Aunt Bobbie. We are very sorry we are not there today.

We love you dearly, Aunt Bobbie, and hope you are at peace.

All our hugs & kisses, Elaine & Barry

My mother was active in Women's ORT in Delray Beach, FL.  Mom would have wanted any donations to go to ORT.

I delivered the eulogy, a copy of which follows as an attachment to this post, below.



Apples & Honey Revisited

On September 14, 2004 I posted a very long blog entry, entitled, "Apples, Honey, Caution."  It was only three years after September 11th, the wounds were still fresh, the impact of that day ever-present in the lives of many New Yorkers.  Even on this day, as the anniversary approaches, the memory and the feelings are as though it was a very recent event.

Super Genius Session 4: David Witt

11: 55 AM Tuesday, July 20, 2010.  David Witt from General Mills speaks on How to Work with Bloggers and Influencers.  They use Consumer Engagement Networks.  This gives direct relationships with consumers.  My Blog Spark (bloggers, online), Pssst! (influential consumers, a screening panel) and My Get Together (in home get togethers).  Two of three are off line, non public.

Learn *who are your influencers* -- in the consumer segment this can be bloggers, tweeters, people who have developed a following.

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