tv United Shades of America CNN August 27, 2016 6:00pm-7:01pm PDT
♪ it's a time of enormous turmoil. >> shut up in here. >> '60s are over. >> here's michael at the foul line. good! >> we intend to cover all the news all the time. we won't be signing off until the world ends. >> isn't that special. >> any tool for human expression will bring out both the best and worst in us. and television has been that. >> they don't pay me enough to deal with animals like this. >> people are no longer emboors -- embarrassed to admit they watch television. >> we have seen the news, and it is us. ♪
>> as we began the '80s in the television world, the landscape was on any given evening, 9 out of 10 people watching only one of three networks. >> more than 30 million people are addicted to it. social critics are mystified by its success. what is it? it's television's primetime prairie pot boilers "dallas." >> a move like that will destroy all of ewing oil and ruin our family name. >> i assure you a thought like that never crossed my mind. >> brother or no brother, whatever it takes, i'll stop you from destroying ewing oil. >> "dallas" established new ground in a weekly hour-long show. that literally cap vat -- captivated america for 13 years. >> "dallas" is a television show which is rooted in the 1970s and one of the crazy things that emerges is this character j.r. ewing as a pop phenomenon. >> tell me, j.r., which slut are you going to stay with tonight? >> what difference does it make? it's got to be more interesting
than the slut i'm looking at right now. >> he was such a delicious villain. everyone was completely enamored by this character. >> at this point, so many people were watching television that you could do something so unexpected that it would become news overnight. >> who's there? [ gunshots ] >> the national obsession in 1980 around who shot j.r. it's hard to imagine how obsessed we all were with that question. but we were. >> who shot j.r. is about as ideal a cliffhanger as you possibly could get. >> who did shoot j.r.? we may never get the answer to that question. i mean, the people who produced that program are going to keep us in suspense as long as they possibly can. >> who shot j.r. and then we broke for the summer. then the actors went on strike.
it delayed the resolution, and it just started to percolate through the world. >> i remember going on vacation to england that summer and that's all that people were talking about there. >> well, we know you don't die. you couldn't die. >> we don't know that. >> how could you die? you couldn't come back next season. >> i couldn't come back but the show could still go on. >> but you wouldn't. what is that show without j.r.? >> that's what i figure. >> i guess if you don't know by now who shot j.r., you probably do not care. last night some 82 million americans did. and they watched the much touted "dallas" episode. it could become the most watched television show ever. >> who shot j.r. is a reflect job of old-fashioned television. it gathers everybody around the electric fireplace which is now the television set. >> one special american television program. critics said it transcends in popularity ever other american statement about war. and something special today happened today to mobile
hospital 4077th that will touch millions of americans. it was the kind of event that would grab the world's breath. the end of the korean war. the television version "m.a.s.h." >> it's been an honor and privilege to have worked with you. i'm very, very proud to have known you. >> there were those landmark times when shows that had been watched through the '70s and into the '80s, like "m.a.s.h." had its final episode. and we were all sad to see them go. >> i'll miss you. >> i'll miss you. a lot. >> all over the country, armies of fans crowded around television sets to watch the final episode and to bid "m.a.s.h." farewell. >> the finale of "m.a.s.h." was unprecedented. 123 million people watched one television program at the same time. >> i really should be allowed to go home. there's nothing wrong with me.
>> when we ended the show, we got telegrams of congratulations from henry kissinger and ronald reagan. the size of the response and the emotional nature of the response that we were getting was difficult for us to understand. >> who shot j.r. and the last episode of "m.a.s.h." are the last call for the pre-cable world of television. it's like they are the last time that that huge audience will all turn up for one event. >> all right. that's it. let's roll. hey. let's be careful out there. >> dispatch, we have a 911. armed robbery in progress. >> when quality does emerge on television, the phrase "too good for tv" is often heard. one recent network offering
that seems to deserve that phrase is "hill street blues." >> "hill street" is one of the changing points of the entire industry in the history of tv. >> we had all watched a documentary about cops and had this real hand-held in the moment quality that we were very enamored of. >> the minute you looked at it, it looked different. it had a mood to it. you could almost smell the stale coffee. >> we didn't want to do a standard cop show where, you know, you've got a crime and you've got your two cops and you go out and catch the bad guy and you sweat him out and he confesses and that's it. cops have personal lives that impact their behavior in profound ways. >> is he here or elsewhere? >> don't get excited. we're working on it. >> how is this for logic. if he's not here, and if he's not elsewhere, he's lost.
>> we didn't say that. >> you lost -- >> never in my entire life have i listened to so much incompetence covered up by so much unmitigated crap. find my client or i swear i'll have you up on charges. >> there would be these ongoing arcs for these characters that's would play out over five, six episodes, sometimes an entire season. and in a way for certain stories, over the entire series. and no one had really done that in an hour-long dramatic show. >> these past four months, i've missed you. i had to find that out. come on, pizza man. >> i think in the past people had watched television passively. and the one thing i think we did set out to be were provocateurs. >> you fill it out. >> what the hell is the matter with you, man? >> i'll tell you something. they don't pay me enough to deal with animals like this. all they see is a white face and all they -- >> listen to me. it was a white man that pulled the trigger, not a black one.
it was a white. >> it set a trend. the audience can accept characters being deeply flawed even though they're wearing this uniform. and i thought that was important to finally get across. >> we wanted to make a show that made you participate. made you pay attention. and i think that worked pretty well. >> and the winner is -- >> "hill street blues." >> 21 nominations. and we went on to win eight emmys. it put us on the map, literally. that's when people finally checked us out. >> programming chief of one of the networks used to say to me about shows like "hill street" and "st. elsewhere" what the american people want is a cheeseburger and what you are trying to give them is a french delicacy. and he said your job is to keep shoving it down their throat until after a while, they'll say, that's doesn't taste bad.
and maybe they'll even toward order it for themselves when they go to a restaurant. >> nice for you to join us. >> the success of "hill street blues" influenced everything that's came after. and then "st. elsewhere." >> you know what people call this? st. elsewhere. a place you wouldn't want to send your mother-in-law. >> when it first came on, it was promoted as "hill street hospital." >> you gave your patients the wrong antibiotics. you write the worst progress notes. you're pathetic. pathetic. >> bill? >> what? >> dr. morning needs you right away. >> i'm sorry. >> "st. elsewhere" broke every rule there was and then built some new rules. >> the blood bank called a little while ago. they ran a routine panel on a pint of blood and the c-cell count was off. >> they would have tragic things happen to these characters. there was real heartache in these people's lives and you really felt for them. >> i've got aids? >> television at its best is a mirror of society in the moment. >> "st. elsewhere" challenged
people and challenged you as an actor, much less the audience to think the stuff they gave you was extreme. and what they did, whether dealing with aids or having one of their main doctor characters raped in prison, they tackled lots of difficult subjects. >> "st. elsewhere" was run by people trying to stretch the medium and in the '80s, television producers were encouraged to stretch the medium. >> clear. ♪ is it a force of nature? or a sales event? the summer of audi sales event is here. get up to a $5,000 bonus on select audi models.
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a lot of people used to say, i was there. now people say they watch it on television. >> there is just a lot of excitement connected to sports in the 80s. you used to have to depend on the five minutes at the end of your local newscast. there just hadn't been enough. give us a whole network of sports. >> there's just one place you need to go for all the names and games making sports news. espn "sportscenter." >> what happened in the 1980s is sports becomes a tv show. and what are tv shows built around? they're built around characters. >> you can't be serious, man. you cannot be serious! you got the absolute -- >> mcenroe, the perfect villain. the new yorker that people loved to hate.
borg, the cool swede never giving any emotion away. >> what tennis really wants is to get its two best players playing over and over again in the final. whether they are john mcenroe and bjorn borg or chrissy and navratilova. that's what we want to tune into over and over and over. >> three match points to martina navratilova. >> this man has a smile that lights up a television screen from here to bangor, maine. >> and then there is magic johnson, this urban kid from michigan and larry bird, this guy who worked carrying trash. one plays for the los angeles lakers. the other plays for the boston celtics. it's a great story. >> lakers had several chances. here's larry bird. >> magic johnson leads the attack. >> look at that pass. oh, what a show! oh, what a show!
>> when those championship games are in primetime and people are paying attention to that, television feeds into those rivalries and makes them bigger than they've ever been before. >> primitive skill. they're just as good as dead. >> every mike tyson fight was an event. because every fight was like an ax murder. when he fought michael spinks, the electricity you could just feel it on tv. tyson was made for tv because there was drama. >> not a lot of junior high school kids can dunk. especially at -- >> everybody tries. everybody tries. >> i think that he is starting to transcend his sport that he's becoming a public figure. >> michael jordan becomes the model that every athlete wants to shoot for. they want to be a brand. and that's what television does for these athletes. turns them into worldwide iconic brands. >> the inbounds pass comes in to jordan. here's michael at the foul line.
good! the bulls win. >> athletes in the '80s became part of an ongoing group of people we cared about. we had an enormous pent-up demand for sports and the '80s began to provide. thank goodness. cable television is continuing to grow. it's estimated it will go into 1 million more u.s. households this year. >> with cable television suddenly offering an array of different channel choices, the audience bifurcated. that's an earthquake. >> i want my mtv! >> i want my mtv! >> i want my mtv! ♪ >> a new concept is born. the best of tv combined with the best of radio. this is it. welcome to mtv music television. the world's first 24-hour stereo video music channel. >> music television, what a concept. mtv was, pow, in your face. you were not going to turn us off.
>> mtv did nothing but play current music videos all day long. so let me get this straight. you turn on the tv, and it's like the radio? >> i'm martha quinn. the music will continue nonstop on mtv's music television, the newest component of your stereo system. >> when mtv launched a generation was launched. 18 to 24-year-olds were saying, i want my mtv. i want my mtv videos. i want my mtv fashion. >> yo. >> mtv was the first network really focused on the youth market and becomes hugely influential because they understand each other, the audience and the network. >> mtv had a giant impact. visually and musically on every part of the tv culture that came next. >> freeze, miami vice. ♪ >> friday nights on nbc are different this season thanks to "miami vice." it's a show with an old theme but a lot of new twists. described by one critic as containing flashes of
brilliance, shot entirely on location in south miami, the story centers around two undercover vice cops. >> i don't know how this is going to work, tubbs. i mean, not exactly up my alley style and persona-wise. heaven knows i'm no box of candy. >> television very much was the small screen. it was interesting about tony's pilot screen play for "miami vice." it was exactly not that. very much the approach was, okay, they call this a television series. but we're going to make one-hour movies every single week. >> here we go. stand by. >> action. >> police. >> they were just describing the show as sort of a new wave cop show. >> it's a cop show for the '80s. we use a lot of mtv images and rock music to help describe the mood and feeling of our show. >> in a lot of ways you don't get "miami vice" without mtv because in a lot of ways "miami vice" was a long video. the music was such a big part of that show.
>> there was an allure to using great music that everybody was listening to as opposed to the routine kind of tv scoring of that period. ♪ i can feel it coming in the air tonight ♪ >> it was only not afraid to let long scenes play out. it would drag -- a car going from point a to point b could be a four-minute phil collins song. and it was. ♪ >> being able to take a television series like "miami vice" and let's rock 'n' roll with this until somebody says stop, are you guys crazy, you can't do that. and nobody ever did. >> freeze! police. for the strength and energy to get back to doing... ...what you love. ensure.
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♪ [ goat noise ] magnum? >> hammond? >> private investigator? >> oh, you are probably wondering about the goat. just let me drop off my friend, and then we'll talk. >> when we entered the '80s, a lot of one-hour dramas that were light hearted like "magnum p.i." were very popular. after "m.a.s.h." went off the air, the next season there
wasn't a single sitcom in the top ten. first time that had ever happened in tv history. the prevailing feeling was that the sitcom was dead. >> brandon tartikoff, nbc programming chief, says reports of the sitcom's death were greatly exaggerated. >> time and time again, if you study television history, just when someone is counting a forum out, that's exactly the form of programming that's leads to the next big hit. ♪ >> so 1984 "the cosby show" comes along. bill cosby is not new to tv but "the cosby show" is different. stands apart from everything else he's done. >> i want my eggs scrambled. >> coming up. >> they talked about parenting. before that, the kids were cool and the parents were idiots.
"cosby" says the parents are in charge and that was something new. >> instead of acting disappointed because i'm not like you, maybe you can just accept who i am and love me anyway because i'm your son. >> that's the dumbest thing i've ever heard in my life! >> it helps the casting a lot in television. the kids were just great. >> if you were the last person on this earth, i still wouldn't tell you. >> you don't have to tell me what you did. just tell me what they're going to do to you. >> unlike every other show on tv, it's showing an upper middle class black family. this wasn't "all in the family." they weren't tackling deep issues, but that was okay. the mere fact they existed was a deep issue. >> the decade was waiting for something real. in other words, unless it's real, it doesn't seem like it moves anybody. if someone is feeling something, you gret -- get to the heart. you get to the mind.
and if you can get the hearts and minds, you've got yourself a hit. >> how was school? >> school? dear, i brought home two children that may or may not be ours. >> "the cosby show" brought this tremendous audience to nbc. and that was a bridge to us. our ratings went way up. ♪ sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name ♪ >> even the theme song to "cheers" puts you in a good mood. >> evening, everybody. >> what's shaking, norm? >> all four cheeks and a couple of chins, coach. >> by the end of the "cheers" pilot, not only did you know who everybody was, but you wanted to come back and see what was going to happen. it's like all you have to do is watch it once. you're going to love these people. these are universal characters, and the humor worked on so many levels. >> i was up until 2:00 in the morning finishing off kierkegaard. >> i hope he thanked you for it. >> you have to create a community that people are
identifying with. and "cheers" gives you that community. >> i've always wanted to skydive. i've just never had the guts. >> what did it feel like? >> i imagine a lot like sex. not that i have to imagine what sex is like. but i have plenty of sex. and plenty of this, too. why don't you just get off my back, okay? >> in the first episode, there was a rather passionate annoyance. something is going on here. >> a really intelligent woman would see your line of bs a mile away. >> i never met an intelligent woman that i would want to date. >> on behalf of the intelligent women around the world, may i just say, phew. >> when you saw what ted and shelly had together, we said,
oh, no. we've got to do this relationship. >> ted and i understood what they were writing right away. >> if you'll admit that you are carrying a little torch for me, i'll admit that i'm carrying a little one for you. >> well, i am carrying a little torch for you. >> well, i'm not carrying one for you. >> diane knew how to tease sam. sam knew how to tease diane, and i guess we knew how to tease the audience. >> this incredible chemistry between the two of them ignited the show and that's what drove the show for the first five years. >> what's the matter? >> i'm devastated. i need something brutal to blast me into sweet oblivion. make it a mimosa. >> we had the luck to be able to rotate cast, and every time we put somebody in, there were explosions. >> there was something very special about that setting,
those characters, that i never got tired of writing that show. >> sophisticated surveys, telephonic samplings, test audiences. all of those things help to separate winners from losers and make midcourse corrections, but you can't cut all comedies from the single cookie cutters. all you can hope is every night turns out like thursday. >> yo, angela! >> next. >> how rude. >> quick, i'll give him that. >> all of television said, oh, maybe sitcoms are alive again. and that's all that it took. it took one success. >> a few years from now, something new may tempt the people that pick what we see. it's save whatever gets hot for a season or two those who create good television comedy will be laughing all the way to the bank.
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this is my last broadcast as the anchorman of the "cbs evening news." for me, it's a moment for which i long have planned but which nevertheless comes with some sadness. for almost two decades, after all, we've been meeting like this in the evenings, and i'll miss that. and that's the way it is, friday, march 6th, 1981. i'll be away on assignment and dan rather will be sitting in here for the next few years. good night. >> uncle walter had dominated,
certainly cbs, but in a way, the country. people used to say he was the most trusted man in the country. >> once walter cronkite retires, all three network news anchors within a period of a couple years switch over to a new generation. the '80s may have been the last gasp where people liked and trusted the media. >> nuclear arms and how to prevent global destruction are expected to be the major topic of president reagan's news conference tonight. that conference will be nationally televised within the hour. leslie stahl is at the white house. >> the white house is hoping -- >> in the '80s, women came into the newsroom. when i first joined, it was '72. there were very few. by the '80s, there were more and more. the decade of the '80s was still sink or swim. you had to be resilient in your own way to survive in a period when you were going up against a lot of people who still didn't think women had what it took.
>> these are some of the most famous faces in broadcasting. all of them happen to be women. >> the best producers, i'm going to get fired -- the best producers at cbs news are women. and they're at the level of taking hold and making decisions about individual pieces. they are not yet executive producers of all the news shows. but they will be. >> for the past 24 hours, christine craft has taken her cause to many of the nation's news and talk programs. >> i didn't set out to be joan of arc, but i think what happened to me deserves some attention. >> reporter: christine craft had a very successful career but there she was in her late 30s and the tv station said to her, we're taking you off the air because you've gotten older and you aren't as attractive as you once were, which was outrageous. she decided to make an issue of it. she filed a lawsuit and it became a huge national topic of discussion. >> a jury said she got a raw deal because she is a woman. >> women in television news everywhere were asked, what do you think about christine craft.
>> i think unfortunately in recent years the emphasis has been increasingly on physical appearance and to the extent this decision helps swing the emphasis back to substance and good journalism, i think we have something to be happy about. >> it was important to make the point that what mattered was, what kind of reporter are you. it took the christine craft incident, i think, to bring that conversation out into the open. >> this coming sunday, a new television network opens for business. cnn. cable news network. you are throwing all the dice on this one. >> why not? nothing ventured, nothing gained. >> well, on that original point, mr. turner, thank you very much, indeed. >> i wanted to see what was going on in the world. and there was no way you could do it watching the regular television stations. news only comes on at 6:00 and 10:00. but if there was news on 24 hours, people could watch it any time. >> we decided on june 1 and barring satellite problems in the future, we won't be signing
off until the world ends. >> it was a widely spread belief it was a fool's errand. how could this possibly find an audience? well, he did. >> camera three. >> good evening. i'm david walker. >> i'm lois harp. now here's the news. >> television news before this was stuff that had already happened. for the first time, cnn brought the world to people in realtime. >> cnn, the world's most important network. >> i didn't do cable news network because somebody told me it couldn't be done. i figured it was a very viable concept, and i went ahead and did it. it was after we announced we were going to do it that the detractors showed up. >> is cable news network just going to be a new means of delivering the same kind of fare? >> no. it already does provide different fare. cable news network is a perfect and maybe the best example of that. >> people love news. and we had lots of it.
and the other guys had not very much. so choice and quantity won out. >> new york city, hello. >> the major catastrophe in america's space program. >> i am lou dobbs along with myron kandel. >> jessica mcclure trapped for almost three days now in a dry artesian well. >> the iron curtain between east germany and west berlin has come tumbling down. >> i'm pat buchanan, the conservative on "crossfire." >> the american people appreciated the new television. they certainly came to cnn in droves. >> mr. gorbachev and i both agree on the desirability of freer and more extensive personal contact between the peoples of the soviet union and the united states. >> we began to realize that the best way to get a message to a foreign leader was to have the president go in the rose garden and make a statement because everybody was watching cnn. >> cnn was a breakthrough. it changed the whole world.
>> it changed quickly. the network news business. that business that we weren't the only ones. and it was hard. you know, it's hard to be on the top little perch and have to come down off it. >> a special segment tonight, the network news. the first in a two-part series on the profound changes taking place in television news. changes being brought about by business, competition, and technology. >> there are a variety of reasons why people who worked at the broadcast networks were freaked out in 1980s. one of them was cnn. and the rise of cable. another was being taken over by foreign entities in corporate america. >> new owners spend billions buying the networks recently, and all of them want their money's worth. >> people began to find out that news could be a profit center, and that focused a lot of attention on us. a lot from people in wall street, for instance. >> if you think about the news divisions of cbs, nbc and abc, they were part of a really proud tradition.
a journalistic tradition that really matters. we serve the public. this is not about profit and loss. the people who worked at those news divisions were totally freaked out by what it meant that they were now owned by these larger corporate entities. >> the television news isn't profitable at some point there won't be any more television news on the networks. >> i worry about people only interested in money and power getting ahold of television. it has higher purposes than that. >> we have seen the news, and it is us. with quicksilver from capital one. you're earning unlimited 1.5% cash back on every purchase, everywhere. like on that new laptop. quicksilver keeps things simple, gary. and smart, like you! and i like that. i guess i am pretty smart. don't let that go to your head, gary. what's in your wallet?
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is it a force of nature? or a sales event? the summer of audi sales event is here. get up to a $5,000 bonus on select audi models. the possibility of a flare was almost always on my mind. thinking about what to avoid, where to go... and how to deal with my uc. to me, that was normal. until i talked to my doctor. she told me that humira helps people like me get uc under control and keep it under control when certain medications haven't worked well enough. humira can lower your ability to fight infections, including tuberculosis. serious, sometimes fatal infections and cancers, including lymphoma, have happened; as have blood, liver, and nervous system problems, serious allergic reactions, and new or worsening heart failure. before treatment, get tested for tb. tell your doctor if you've been to areas where certain fungal infections are common, and if you've had tb,
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♪ sometimes ambition in a woman is considered to be a dirty word unfortunately. >> i don't hear a lot of female voices reverberating in the halls of power in this business. >> i'm sure there aren't more shows about women. >> it seems to be an area almost impossible to break through. >> i think the '80s were the era when women were being looked at with a little skepticism, but definitely with more acceptability. you could see the door opening, but it wasn't wide open. >> cagney and lacey was huge.
that there would be two women and they had a serious job and they solved crimes and were out on the streets. they were tough. that was emblematic or out in front of what was happening in the country. >> so we're a terrific team. >> by that point, hundreds of buddy cop shows. u but these buddies were women. that'd never been done before. >> i didn't go after this job because i couldn't find anything else. all right. i did not come here because i needed some kind of work to help pay the orthodontist. this means something to me. >> what the hell are we talking about here? >> we didn't even realize this was going to be such a big deal. and strangely, all these guys would say to us, well, yeah. i mean, it's a good script, but who is going to save them in the end? >> come on. we're taking you out of here. >> where you taking my wife?
>> you don't take one more step. you hear me? >> sergeant nelson, you have until 8:00 tomorrow morning to turn yourself in. if you don't, i will. >> it was the time where you really saw an emergence of women on television who were not necessarily just 20 and blond and had a small role. but women who had substantial roles. ♪ thank you for being a friend traveled down the road ♪ ♪ and back again >> it was unpredictable that an audience, a young audience, a not so young audience and lots in between could relate to those older ladies. >> ma, if you couldn't see, why didn't you call me to come get you? >> i tried to. every time i put in a dime and dialed, a condom popped out. i got five in my pocket. here, dorothy. a lifetime supply.
>> she was recently named as one of television's most gifted creative writers. when you look back at the past women role models on television, it is easy to see susan harris' impact. >> susan harris was the greatest writer of her generation at that time, singularly. so all credit to her for coming up with so many iterations of something so amazing. >> do you think there is a woman's voice as a writer? >> woman's voice? well, generally they speak higher, softer. >> i should know not to ask that of a writer. >> yes, of course, there's a woman's voice. women have a different perspective. women laugh at different things. so, yes, there very definitely is a woman's voice. >> oh, do you know how many problems we have solved over a cheesecake at this kitchen table? >> no, dorothy. exactly how many? >> 147, rose.
>> all right. it is >> oh, do you know how many problems we have solved over a cheesecake at this kitchen table? >> no, dorothy. exactly how many. >> 147, blanche. >> cut-throat primetime time this fall as some 23 new shows compete in one of the hottest ratings races in years. >> they were feisty and sexy and linda's voice came through shining. >> a man can get away with anything. look at reagan's neck, it sags down to here. >> and everybody raves about how great he looks. if nance had that neck, they would put her in a nursing home for turkeys.
[ laughter ] >> they had given me this 23 minutes to address whatever topic i want and is such a privilege, more than the president of the united states gets and it is thrilling to get that every week. i would be lying if i didn't say i put my opinions in the show. >> excuse me, but yu lovely ladies look like you are in need of male companionships. >> trust me when i say you have misassessed the situation at this table. >> i am a woman and i am a writer, but i don't really enjoy being called a woman's writer. i think labels are harmful to us.
>> with murphy brown, just about everything about that program felt new. the civil rights movement and the women's movement had just begun to be reflected in the programming you saw in television in the 80s. >> you know the club is for men only. >> and they have great dinners with great guests and i don't get to go for one reason and one reason only and it has to do with something you've got and i don't. a tiny, pathetic, little, y chromosome. >> murphy brown was change, because she was so popular and such a strong, independent, tough woman. >> no matter what you think of a guest or their views you are obligated to ask the questions in a dignified manner. >> she was unprofessional right? >> you think it is neat that his office chair swivels and he's calling me unprofessional.
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you are in a good mood tonight and we have put a great show together. it will be on a week from thursday. [ laughter ] >> johnny carson in the '80s is making the transition from the king of late night to being a national treasure. he was a throw-back to the old show biz stuff. >> i've been on with you for a long time. >> a long time. >> well, you've been busy with other things. >> and the tide is turning in terms of where late-night television is going to go and johnny was holding out and he was not of his time in the '80s but he did sustain a certain timelessness. he's the king. [ laughter ] >> my next guest not only has a college degree, but he also has a high school degree.
>> that is right, i do. >> as well. he's hosted the tonight show as long as johnny carson and now he has his very own show, weekday mornings at 10:00 on nbc. [ laughter ] what you're witnessing is a good idea gone awry. >> david letterman originally had a one-hour daytime show and nbc, after like 13 weeks, decided to cancel it. >> today is our last show on the air. monday in las vegas -- [ audience booing ] >> have these people been frisked? >> it was a dismal failure in terms of the ratings, but not in terms of introducing us to letterman. >> david, thank you for being with us tonight. >> thank you for having me. i appreciate it. >> despite of this nonsense that goes on in the background, stay with us and don't give up. stay with us here in new york.
we like having you. >> dave is back in new york. you're going to host a late-night television program that premiers on monday night. what are critics going to say on tuesday morning? >> i don't much care because i found a way to deal with that with pills. and whiskey. >> david, you're on. proceed. >> i'm enjoying listening you to snort. >> they gave him the late-night show, after the tonight show. and at the time, people thought who is going to watch television at 12:30 at night. who is up? i'll tell you who is up. young people. college people. >> i think this guy needs support, david letterman. >> he was anti-establishment at his core. he was thumbing his nose to any existing social structures. >> who are those women out there by the way? >> neighbors. >> i'll get rid of them. hey, excuse me. come on, get out. >> he kind of spoofed the whole
notion of talk shows. >> it is the late night guest cam. please say hello to tom hanks. here he is. >> no one could go on the david letterman show and try to steer it toward a point of view or push something in particular. he just won't stand for it. you are on to do one thing and one thing only and be as funny as the rest of the show. >> we could get in a two-shot here, david. >> we could actually send the cru crew home, couldn't we? >> as a comedian, you want the biggest audience that you could get. for dave, he knew a lot of things that he would do that were going to alienate people, but he didn't care. he wanted his thumbprint out there and that was the most important thing. >> paul. excuse me, paul, do you have any accompanying music here for small-town news? paul schaefer, ladies and gentlemen. >> the show making fun of itself
and turning it self-inside out that way was something kind of new. >> don't we look like guys you see hanging around together. >> absolutely. >> would you like to hang around with me? >> nope. >> i'll say it again, this is the stupidest show -- >> i thought i would never want to do this show with you. >> now why? >> because you thought i was -- >> an [ bleep ]. >> there is one rule i keep trying to abide by and unfortunately i only get to it about 12% of the time and that is, it is only television. we're not doing cancer research. if the 40-year-odd history of commercial broadcasting has taught uyt