A Christmas Tradition Ends

My favorite television Christmas tradition came to an end last night. No, nobody shot The Grinch, and Charlie Brown will be picking out scrawny Christmas trees from now to the end of time.

But David Letterman has done his last Christmas show. He retires in May.

Letterman followed the same routine every year for his last “Late Show” before the holiday break. There was the monologue and the Top 10 list, as usual, then band leader Paul Shaffer would reminisce about an old holiday special that ended with his interpretation of Cher singing “Oh Holy Night.”

Then Jay Thomas — remember Jay Thomas? Of course you don’t — would come out to tell “the greatest talk show story ever told.” It involves The Lone Ranger. Look it up on YouTube if you’ve never heard it. Then Jay and Dave throw footballs at a Christmas tree in an attempt to knock off the meatball sitting on top.

n-DARLENE-LOVE-DAVID-LETTERMAN-large570After two dozen commercials a celebrity comes out for an interview segment and then it ends with Darlene Love singing “Christmas Baby, Please Come Home.” It’s always a high-energy, blow-out finale.

Same show, every year, for decades. I never missed it. Many a year I have missed “The Grinch” and “A Charlie Brown Christmas.” I haven’t seen either one yet this year. But I never missed “The Late Show” Christmas episode. I could probably tell The Lone Ranger story better than Jay Thomas at this point.

It just wasn’t Christmas until I saw that show. And now I don’t know what I’ll do next year. Guess I’ll have to keep this last performance on my DVR.


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