Anorak | What We Learnt From David Letterman’s Retirement: Be Online And Be A White Male

What We Learnt From David Letterman’s Retirement: Be Online And Be A White Male

by | 14th, April 2014

David Letterman at the taping of his first talk-comedy hour Date: 01/02/1982

FOR years, David Letterman has been a televisual tour-de-force. However, the rug was getting pulled from under his feet, thanks to being old-school.

Of course, the only thing more old-school than Letterman himself, is the business he works in.

Letterman announced that he’s going to retire next year and there’s been a lot of nodding about how this was probably a good time for him to go. Sure, Letterman is great at being a nice guy who cracks jokes with celebrities, but he was fast becoming out of step. These days, you can’t simply be a great host to maintain an  audience.

If you look at Jimmy Fallon and Jimmy Kimmel, they’ve incorporated a certain online quality, merging snappy clickbait stuff, with sketches and skits that rely heavily on social media. You’ve seen the celebrities reading out nasty tweets that have been aimed at them? You’ve seen the way the History Of Hip Hop videos with Fallon and Justin Timberlake have gone mental online?

Letterman wasn’t likely to be able to keep up with that. The world has shifted around him and he’s thinking with one foot on the beach already. And who can blame him?

However, there’s something more troubling about the departure of Letterman. His replacement was quickly announced in the shape of Stephen Colbert.

Of course, Colbert is great at his job and richly deserves all the praise and plaudits he’s received over the years – however, isn’t it lousy that we’re now faced with yet another middle-aged white man presenting a prestigious chatshow?​

The number of options available to American TV execs in 2014, away from older, white men, was huge. Arsenio Hall, Dave Chappelle, Sarah Silverman, Tina Fey, RuPaul, Amy Poehler, Chelsea Handler and Nicole Byer are just some of the names that people got excited about seeing.

Of course, some

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Posted: 14th, April 2014 | In: TV & Radio Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink