Screencap © 2012 Worldwide Pants Inc.
David Letterman has been having fun with Twitter for a while now. He acts more befuddled than he actually is — mistaking the 17 feeds that the official Late Show Twitter account is following for how many followers it has, for example, when the latter number is actually over 150,000 at this writing, or literally typing in the words "hash tag" (which he's at least amended to "#HashTag").
I wasn't more than bemused with this ongoing bit, however — with one exception — until the moment frozen in the above screencap struck me. Dave is just a skitch younger than my parents, a generation older than I (unless you're counting in Base Dustin Hoffman... Golden Globes callback, baby!), and I've seen him age along with my folks from the time Late Night with David Letterman debuted 30 years ago. He was a wacky but still middle-America guy, in that quietly subversive way many comics born in the heartland who left to seek their destiny in Hollywood are, bucking the system from within, and a revelation to those of us in our high-school or college years as he rose to prominence (Late Night successors Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Fallon included, straddling that decade-or-so divide). As I wrote of Dave in a post some time back, "He's the establishment now, with Johnny's time slot and nearly three decades of hosting under his belt, but there was always some of the curmudgeon in his punk behavior; the ratio has simply flipped."
That squint and lean-in with the glasses on the forehead is a familiar one to me. I've watched my mom do it, and more recently my cousins — I'm probably not far from the bifocals myself, now. Seeing the always cranky, still quick-witted, increasingly world-weary Letterman do it too, especially hunched over a fancy laptop (or, as Dave would have it, "Twitter machine"), is just endearing.
As for the exception to my mere bemusement mentioned above, I direct you to Brian Williams' appearance a couple of weeks ago. The Nightly News anchor, who has shown considerable comedic chops on The Late Show (doing one hell of a Regis Philbin in his previous visit) and hosting Saturday Night Live, called Dave out on everything he was mock-mishandling. I can't find the segment by itself, but the full episode is up at the Late Show website — for not much longer, I suspect, given its second-to-last placement.
I have now for the first time in three days gone an entire post without mentioning Ricky Gervais — a statement that was originally intended as a joke, oxymoron as it made itself, but Gervais is/was actually a guest on The Late Show with David Letterman tonight. I'm not able to verify how worth watching his spot is as I haven't seen it yet, and there's only a clip up so far, although the whole episode should be online soon.