FRIDAY MAY 15, 2015. Show #4211

Oprah Winfrey, and Norm Macdonald.  Plus: Everything’s Better With Music; Tom Brady’s new job; Famous TV Finales; Free George Clooney; a Top Ten List; and Highlights of the Late Show Outdoors


From the Arctic tree line, it’s the Late Show with David Letterman.  Tonight: Oprah Winfrey, and Norm Macdonald.  Plus: Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra.  I’m Alan Kalter.  And now, the hairdresser of Seville. . . . . . . . . David Letterman


Dave and George Clooney run across the stage, still handcuffed from the night before.   Dave calls Paul over to see if he can help them cut the handcuffs.  Luckily, Paul had huge bolt cutters behind the piano.   The three of them walk over the desk and set the cuffs atop.  The bolts cutters are positioned and attempt to cut the cuffs.  But no luck.  Try again; again nothing.   George sort of takes charge, moving the metal bracelets deeper into the jaws of the bolt cutter.  And that did the trick.   George is now free from Dave and makes his exit post-haste.   He did not look back, fearing Dave may want him to hang around a bit longer.


ACT 1:

– “It’s prom season.  I remember my prom.  I rented a tux.  I rented a limo.  I rented a date.”   Ahhh, it was nice to hear that joke one last time.

  • “What will I do in retirement? I’m going to start my own line of salad dressing, like Paul Newman.  But instead of all the profits going to charity . . .  they don’t.”
  • “People ask if I’ll get bored in retirement. Well, no.  I only have an extra hour a day to fill.”



Dave says that ten years ago if someone on the staff suggested he be handcuffed overnight to George Clooney, he would have said no.  It’s different now.  How so?  Well, I wouldn’t be surprised if Regina said it would be a good idea.


Here’s something: Everything Is Better With Music.

ART CARD: Everything Is Better With Music

ANNOUNCE: “Without music.”

We see Harrison Barnes of the Golden State Warriors in a playoff game against the Memphis Grizzlies.   He is playing defense.  He steps to stop a drive, but his foot slips and he ends up doing a 180-degree split.   It’s bad enough when I see a woman do the impossible, but when a guy does a full-split, even I feel it.  That did not look good.

ANNOUNCE: “With music.”

We see the same clip of Harrison Barnes doing the full, 180-degree split.   But this time it doesn’t seem so bad because the clip was accompanied by music.

ART CARD: Everything Is Better With Music

ANNOUNCE: “This has been ‘Everything’s Better With Music.’”


Tom Brady was suspended four games for deflating footballs, but he’s already secured a part-time job to earn money during his time off.   We take a look.

ANNOUNCE: “While serving his suspension for deflating footballs, Tom Brady will earn extra money as the security guard who deflates beach balls thrown onto baseball fields.”

We see Tom Brady at a baseball game squeezing the air out of a beachball.

ANNOUNCE: “Tom Brady: Too pretty for suspension.”


The “Mad Men” show is coming to an end this Sunday.  The series finale is set to air.   It’s been an extremely popular program and the end will be watched my millions.   We take a look at some of television’s most memorable series finales.

ANNOUNCE: “’Newhart’: the entire series is revealed to be a dream of Bob’s character from his previous sitcom.”

‘M*A*S*H: After eleven seasons, members of the 4077 finally go home.

‘The Honeymooners’: Ed and Ralph leave their wives to explore the full extent of human sexuality.”

We see Ed and Ralph sharing a bed.   At one point, Ed’s privates have to be mosaicked. 

ANNOUNCE: “This has been, ‘Memorable Series Finales.’”


ACT 2:

TOP TEN: THOUGHTS GOING THROUGH DAVE’S MIND WHILE PRESENTING THE TOP TEN LIST – The very first Top Ten was September 18, 1985.  The category: Top Ten Words That Almost Rhyme With “Peas.”   35 years later, Dave has presented over 4,600 Top Ten lists.



  1. 10. “Nine more to go.”
  2. 9. “Forgot to make sure these were good.”
  3. 8. “How are we only on Number 8”
  4. 7. “Hey, my license plate has a seven in it.”
  5. 6. “Is that a giant walking stick or are you just enjoying the show?”
  6. 5. “If we’d done a Top Five list, America could’ve been spared half these lame jokes.”
  7. 4. “What self-respecting man recites lists for a living?”
  8. 3. “Why does he look at me like that?” (cut to creepy-Alan stare)
  9. 2. “If Number One ain’t funny, I’m retiring.”  
  10. 1. “Johnny never had to do this ‘djoy.’”


We’ve been fortunate to have this beautiful theater right here in midtown Manhattan and over the years we’ve tried to make the most of the outdoors here on 53rd Street and Broadway.  We take a look at some of the highlights.

There were a lot of “Oh, yeah!  Remember that one?”


ACT 3:


The great Ms. Oprah!   Oprah had worked a long time on television, then took off.   How was the change?   How did she adjust?  She says it is quite an adjustment and sees Dave having some trouble with that.  In a motherly/therapist voice she invites Dave to call her if he needs.

Dave is concerned because for years and years, everything has been done for him.  Plus, his life had structure, it was organized, the day had a beginning and end.  Now, there is no schedule.  Dave is afraid all the free time he has will reveal how dumb he is . . . or has become.   He’s had people make phone calls for him for a long time.  Now he has to make those phone calls himself.   What will he do with himself?  Dave says he has ideas but hasn’t really talked about them yet.  HE HAS IDEAS!  I’m ready when you are, Dave.  I feel like Max Weinberg working on Conan but ready to up and go whenever Bruce calls.


Oprah is very proud of the “Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy For Girls.”     Dave praises the Academy and calls it “the real deal.”  Oprah says she had the fame and the money and felt she should do something with it.   The 33-building school is outside Johannesburg built on 52 acres, with state-of-the-art classrooms, computer and science labs, a library, theater, and wellness center.  The school currently has 275 girls and will have its 5th graduation this fall.   193 of her girls are now in college across the United States.   Oprah says that everybody has “their thing,” and helping these girls is hers.    She finds deep personal satisfaction helping these girls who have the ability but not the funds.


Is Dave cleaning out his office? What is he taking?   What is the one thing he is going to take with him that he will long remind him of his time here at the Late Show?  Dave has a quick, ready answer, something he’s already thought of.   It’s a rubber stopper in the sink in his office.  The stopper is on a chain, but the chain was too long.  Instead of CBS getting a new chain the right size, they instead tied the chain in a knot, and then another knot so it hangs just right.  The chain could have just as easily been snapped to the right length.  Nope.  Just tie it in a knot.  And that’s what he’s taking with him.  Silly?  Yes, but it makes complete sense to me.  I would keep the same.  It would be a reminder.    Dave is coming to CBS to host the new 11:30 talk show.  Millions is poured in to make the theater the treasure it is.   Dave is coming in as the new king.  And yet, the new King can’t get a chain the right length.  “It’s just Dave . . . tie it in a knot.”  When you allow yourself think good of yourself, the knots in the chain will always be a reminder that you’re not quite worth a new chain to a rubber stopper.  Who knows if that’s why Dave is keeping the knotted chain, but it’s why I keep little mementos like that. 


And then Dave asks Oprah if she is smoking the weed?  It was a surprising question I wasn’t expecting, and I don’t think Oprah was expecting.   She says she hasn’t tried the stuff in 30 years, but she is moving to Colorado.   It used to be that if you were moving to Colorado, you would have to ski when you got there.  Now it seems you have to do the weed.   Oprah says she will probably have to try it when she gets there, you know, experiment.  Dave hasn’t had the herb in years and years.  He is curious about it, too, and has heard that it is much stronger than it was back in his college days.   Dave stopped the smoke when he ate two pints of ice cream while standing in front of the opened freezer.  Oprah’s weakness was a sleeve of Oreos.  That’s the thing about cookies in a sleeve; once opened, you almost have to finish the sleeve.  I know this, and it’s why I try to buy cookies in the longest box I can find.


Before goodbye, another for Dave’s collection.  Dave snaps an Oprah/Davey selfie.


ACT 5:

ANNOUNCE: “Join us again Monday as Dave welcomes Tom Hanks, and Eddie Vedder.   Anyone know how I can delete the search history from a CBS-owned computer?”


ACT 7:


I went out into the audience for Norm tonight.   I wanted to see one of my favorites LIVE.   I liked how he opened with some side-comments about Dave and Oprah.  Crazy . . . the two of them talking about doing drugs.  Norm does say he’s proud to announce that he and Oprah are making the same money tonight.

And to close, Norm shares his very personal thoughts and love for Dave.  The silly Norm isn’t such a silly man at all.


And that was our show for Friday May 14, 2015. 


There was a lot of pre-show work on cutting the handcuffs.  We had a second pair that a few were working on.  The simple snip of the cuffs somehow was harder than anyone expected.   It seemed as if the jaws wouldn’t clamp down completely.  Head Carpenter Harold Larkin looked on with a bit of a smile, wondering how so many college-schooled adults couldn’t figure out the bolt cutter.   I didn’t attempt an attempt just so I could shake my head with Harold and mutter, “Can you believe those guys?”   I pitched the idea of getting the sleeping cop downstairs to be standing by to undo the cuffs in case they couldn’t be cut, but no dice.   Harold showed a producer how to properly cut the handcuffs, who then would pass on that information to Paul.  Oh, it’s the game of telephone.   By the time the original message goes through many people before it gets to the final destination, the message has been mangled and tangled.    Things didn’t look good out there until Clooney took over.   You have to figure the guy who wanted to escape the most would eventually get it to work.


Yes, one more time!  It’s the Oprah song!

“I called up and asked him ‘Did you hear from Oprah?’

And he said ‘Sorry, Dave, Noprah.’

But it ain’t Oprah ‘ill it’s Oprah

It ain’t Springer ‘till someone lands a zinger

It ain’t Ricki ‘till there’s some chick with a hickey

It ain’t Maury ‘till that transsexual love story

No, it ain’t Oprah ‘till it’s Oprah


I wrote this up the other day, but like Joe Dimaggio once said, “You never know when somebody is reading the Wahoo Gazette for the first time.”

The very first Top Ten?  September 18, 1985



10. Meats

9. Leaks

8. Nurse

7. Ice

6. Lens

5. Needs

4. Ties

3. Moss

2. Rice

  1. Heats


I have a pretty good idea of what we have planned for Monday and Tuesday on the Late Show, but for Wednesday . . . . . nothing.  I have no idea.   I’ll be reading the Facebook this weekend in hopes of finding something out.    When you let me know I’ll let you know.


I don’t know where he’s going to find the time, but catch Will Lee and the Fab Faux at the following:

June 6 – The Wilbur Theater in Boston, Massachusetts – “Meet The Beatles”

June 13 – The Count Basie Theater in Red Bank, New Jersey – “Rubber Soul” and “Magical Mystery Tour”

June 20 – The Capitol Theater in Port Chester, New York – “Rubber Soul” and the Beatles psychedelic era hits


And plan ahead for the John Ono Lennon 75th on October 24th at the famed Beacon Theater here in New York City.

For more Will Lee, check out:


The Yankees P.A. announcer . . .  he sounds too Middle America.   He sounds like he could be from anywhere announcing any team, but he isn’t from anywhere and he isn’t the PA announcer for any team.  He’s from New York and he’s working for the Yankees.  Now there’s nothing wrong with middle America, in fact it has a lot more going for it than New York, but New York should try to be like New York.   We’re not Disney . . .  yet.


The Wahoo Gazette may be going away, but I’m not.  In a bare-bones, not yet developed website, I will continue at    I’m waiting for my daughters to make it something more eye-appealing.    It’ll have some great stuff like this:

In school, I had terrible eyesight.   I was so embarrassed that I would memorize the eyechart. True.  

First line: E

Second line: FP

Third line: TOZ

Fourth line: LPED

Of course I knew it was stupid, but how stupid are the eyechart people?  Didn’t they expect kids to cheat?

Yeah, you’ll find stuff like that at  I’m not going away so you can relax.


The Wahoo Gazette . . . . it was a blog before there was the word “blog”.   A lot of TV shows now have a blog recapping their shows but the Wahoo was first.  November 1996, even older than some of our interns.   I like mentioning “The Wahoo Gazette” at staff gatherings and meetings and stuff because I want to see who is the first to say, “The what?”    And if they ever do take a look at it, they will come up to me and say, “Every day!?  You do that every day?!”


Anyone looking to hire the author of the longest, continuous-running blog on the internet?  Here’s your chance to be a part of history.



From Sandown, New Hampshire, it’s Chris Shuker.   Is Chris Shuker still reading the Wahoo Gazette?

This concludes another installment of ARE THEY STILL READING THE WAHOO GAZETTE?



Side-by-side forever, it’s Lucy and Ethel and Traci Gilland

This concludes the debut of a Cameo Mention of an AFL Original.



The toughest bandleader in the CFL, it’s Toronto Argonaut fan Steve Hayman

This concludes another installment of CAMEO MENTION OF A WAHOO READER


The Wahoo Gazette . . .  where the first draft is the final draft.


Surprise me in your will!


Michael Z. McIntee


One comment

  1. Susan Peterson · May 17, 2016

    So good to see the Wahoo again, even in reruns. Thanks for bringing it back, Mike, to commemorate the anniversary of the final week. Those were great shows.


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