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Top 10 Letterman Clips That Won’t Be on Anyone Else’s Top 10 Lists


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David Letterman’s retirement has prompted all sorts of tributes, and you’ll see a lot of the same moments referenced as the highlights of his career – the 9/11 return, the heart surgery, Drew Barrymore’s boobs, and so on. Those are all great moments, but this guy was churning out comedy on TV for a really long time – we’re talking 33 years of Dave here – and on a daily basis, no less. There are a lot more fun Dave moments than you’re seeing on all the “Best Of” lists, so let’s dig into some of the more obscure ones, shall we?

10. Big Red

Erstwhile announcer Alan Kalter is always game for anything, no matter how absurd. Randomly breaking out into song, throwing crazy shouting fits at Dave, and being a complete sleaze to Dick Cheney’s wife, Britney Spears, or Nancy Pelosi. Here he is putting the Big Red Moves on Barbara Walters.

9. The Morning Show

No, not The Dave Letterman Show, the short-lived morning program that Dave actually did back in 1980. The cancellation of that show might have left a sour taste in Dave’s mouth, resulting in this parody shtick giving him a co-host in Tawny Harper Reynolds and featuring Larry “Bud” Melman as a traffic reporter. This riff on shallow daytime gabfests would later return on CBS with occasional references to “seeing what’s coming up on the Weekend Late Show with Bruce & Linda,” then cutting to two strangers talking about meaningless drivel.

8. Pissed or Not Pissed

This wasn’t even on his own show, although technically it was the show he created. On the early days of Late Night with Conan O’Brien, Dave waltzed over from CBS to his old stamping grounds to steamroll the end of Conan’s interview with Joan Collins to confront her about reports that she’s angry with him.

7. Tina Turner Turns Tuna with a Tuna Turner

It’s exactly what it sounds like.

6. Gerard Mulligan as Everybody

Longtime writer Gerard Mulligan always gave us those “what the hell is going on here?” laughs when Dave would build up to having a very important guest, and it would turn out to be him cracking wise like a bombastic weirdo. Here he is as Hilary Clinton.

5. Lyle the Intern

This guy. You may know Jimmi Simpson from House of Cards, but before that, he had a hilariously weird recurring role as this too-cool-for-school d-bag who had the run of the Ed Sullivan Theater.

4. The Summertime Sunshine Happy Hour

In 1985, Late Night assumed the form of a variety show, not unlike the kind he used to work on back in the 1970s, when he and Michael Keaton wrote and danced for Mary Tyler Moore, footage of which is still able to make Dave climb under his desk in embarrassment. He might have had some chintzy demons to work out about that experience, since it traumatized him so much that he was afraid to ever host Saturday Night Live.

3. Pat & Kenny Read Oprah Transcripts

Veteran Late Show stagehands Pat Farmer and Kenny Sheehan provided a tour-de-force in entertainment by re-enacting important episodes of The Oprah Winfrey Show. Their emotional performances will bring you to tears.

2. Pro-Union Dave

Dave’s always been a friend of the workin’ man. Most of us remember the grizzled old beard he grew to support the writers’ strike, but fewer will recall the National Association of Broadcast Employees and Technicians strike from 1987, which resulted in an amusingly meta bit of comedy showing just how difficult it is to do a field piece with scabs instead of the rightful crew.

1. Joe Piscopo

As Dave always says, Number 1 on the Top Ten List is never funny. Thus, the ex-SNL star’s Letterman impression being used to shill for casinos fits the bill by being the polar opposite of comedy.


Final Countdown

The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at


Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.


Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…