Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It's Not Christmas Without...David Letterman's Christmas Episode!

There are a few Holiday movies, specials, episodes, etc, that RigbyMel and I simply must watch every year.
One of our favorite ongoing TV Christmas traditions is the annual Christmas episode of The Late Show With David Letterman.

One recurring Holiday bit is band leader Paul Shaffer’s hilarious impersonation of Cher singing "O Holy Night," which he began performing in 1983 on Letterman’s old NBC show.  For many years, I had only heard the Shaffer version.  But a clip of the song from The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour recently showed up on dvd and youtube.  It originally aired on December 19, 1973, the special guest that week was actor William Conrad, who sings "The First Noel" in the same scene (and don't miss Terri Garr in this scene, she was a regular back-up singer & dancer on Sonny And Cher). 

I always enjoyed Cher's work in comedy sketches with Sonny, but this is not her finest moment.  Here it is, if you find the “Holiday medley” unbearable, go to the 3:55 mark in the video to hear "O Holy Night":

And here’s Shaffer’s take on Cher singing "O Holy Night", from 2009, for some reason it didn’t appear on ‘The Late Show’ that year, but was released as a web-exclusive:

Another Letterman show tradition is Darlene Love’s performance of her classic song "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)". The song was first released in 1963, Letterman calls it his favorite Christmas song of the Rock Era, and it’s one of my favorites as well.
Love began performing the song on Late Night  in 1986 and in recent year's she's become a permanent fixture on Letterman's last show before Christmas.  Here’s Love's 2008 Late Show appearance:

Darlene Love returns to ‘The Late Show’ on Thursday, December 23, don’t miss it!

1 comment:

K said...

thx for providing the airdate of that sonny & cher special. William Conrad deserved a longer solo. Helluva voice! And thx or pulling together both cher and shaffer's O Holy Night.