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Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night

Jason Zinoman

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ISBN 10: 1538411997 / ISBN 13: 9781538411995
Published by HarperCollins Publishers and Blackstone Audio, 2017
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Bibliographic Details

Title: Letterman: The Last Giant of Late Night

Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers and Blackstone Audio

Publication Date: 2017

Binding: Audio CD

Book Condition:New

Edition: Unabridged Audio.

About this title

Synopsis:

In a career spanning more than thirty years, David Letterman redefined the modern talk show with an ironic comic style that transcended traditional television. While he remains one of the most famous stars in America, he is a remote, even reclusive, figure whose career is widely misunderstood. In Letterman, Jason Zinoman, the first comedy critic in the history of the New York Times, mixes groundbreaking reporting with unprecedented access and probing critical analysis to explain the unique entertainer's titanic legacy. Moving from his early days in Indiana to his retirement, Zinoman goes behind the scenes of Letterman's television career to illuminate the origins of his revolutionary comedy, its overlooked influences, and how his work intersects with and reveals his famously eccentric personality. Zinoman argues that Letterman had three great artistic periods, each distinct and part of his evolution. As he examines key broadcasting moments -- Stupid Pet Tricks and other captivating segments that defined Late Night with David Letterman -- he illuminates Letterman's relationship to his writers, and in particular, the show's cocreator, Merrill Markoe, with whom Letterman shared a long professional and personal connection.To understand popular culture today, it's necessary to understand David Letterman. With this revealing biography, Zinoman offers a perceptive analysis of the man and the artist whose ironic voice and caustic meta-humor was critical to an entire generation of comedians and viewers -- and whose singular style ushered in new tropes that have become cliches in comedy today.

From the Back Cover:

The New York Times comedy critic, Jason Zinoman, delivers the definitive story of the life and artistic legacy of David Letterman, the signature comedic voice of a generation.

In a career spanning more than thirty years, David Letterman redefined the modern talk show with an ironic comic style that transcended traditional television. While he remains one of the best-known stars in America, he is also a remote figure whose career has been widely misunderstood. In Letterman, Jason Zinoman, the first comedy critic in the history of the New York Times, mixes ground- breaking reporting with unprecedented access and probing critical analysis to explain the unique entertainer’s titanic contributions. Moving from Letterman’s early days in Indiana to his retirement, Zinoman has explored behind the scenes of Letterman’s television career to shed light on the origins of his revolutionary comedy, its overlooked influences, and how his work intersects with and reveals his famously eccentric personality.

In arguing that Letterman had three great artistic periods, each one a distinct part of his evolution, Zinoman examines captivating segments that defined Late Night with David Letterman—for example, Stupid Pet Tricks and other key broadcasting moments—to illuminate Letterman’s relationship with his writers and, in particular, the show’s co-creator, Merrill Markoe, with whom Letterman had a long professional and personal connection. To understand popular culture today, it is necessary to understand David Letterman. With this enlightening biography, Zinoman offers a perceptive study of the man and the artist whose caustic voice was crucial to an entire generation of comedians and viewers—and whose singular style ushered in new tropes that have become clichés in contemporary comedy.

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