Kempt

world of men's style / fashion / grooming

An UrbanDaddy Publication

David Letterman, a Style Retrospective

041114_Letterman_5

If you haven’t heard, David Letterman is riding into the late-night sunset “sometime in 2015,” to be replaced by Stephen Colbert. (Also: how are you enjoying that rock you’re living under?)

It’s somewhat earth-shattering news, really. Letterman is the last of the old guard—he spent the better part of the past four decades defining what a late-night host is supposed to be in America. And what one's supposed to look like. There were the big-rimmed glasses. Then came the giant shoulder pads. Followed by a whole lot of pinstripes. Then there was that run of billowy double-breasted suits that he just refused to button. But toward the end he’s reverted back to his sartorial sweet spot, the trad two-button blazer and power tie. What we’re saying is: it’s been one helluva ride.

Here’s what we mean...»

Great Moments in Sitcom History: A Eulogy – Part 5

Part One: “We Gather Together” -- The Cosby Show Part Two: “The 20 Year Callback” -- The Newhart Finale Part Three: “Delightful Accidents and Fortuitous Blunders” – Friends, The Jack Benny Program, Seinfeld Part Four: “The Hams” Lucy, Gervais, Silvers, AbFab, SCTV, and The Mary Tyler Moore Show Ensemble

WE’RE IN THIS THING TOGETHER: Honeymooners, All in the Family, The Dick Van Dyke Show, Roseanne

The remains of the World Trade Center were still smoldering less than a week after 9/11 when The Late Show with David Letterman returned to regular programming, the first non-news broadcast to do so. The show that night opened in silence – no music, no credits, no monologue – just a pensive, shaken David Letterman seated at his desk. David Letterman: Welcome to The Late Show. It's terribly sad here in New York City. We've lost [thousands of] fellow New Yorkers, and you can feel it. You can feel it. You can see it. It's terribly sad. Terribly, terribly sad. And watching all of this, I wasn't sure that I should be doing a television show, because for twenty years we've been in the city, making fun of everything, making fun of the city, making fun of my hair, making fun of Paul

Letterman gestures to his loyal sidekick who, true to form, smiles and bows his head in deference. The audience laughs. Not a big laugh, but certainly the biggest on national television that week. And as Archie Bunker once said…

“Laughter puts years on your life."»

Great Moments In Sitcom History: A Eulogy – Part 2

PART TWO: "The 20 Year Callback"

As we introduced yesterday, the “sitcom moment” (i.e., Sam proposing to Diane on the boat, Seinfeld’s “Master of Your Domain,” Lucy at the chocolate factory) has died. In memoriam, we asked some of the most respected sitcom writers and actors working today to pick their favorite moment in sitcom history.

Which is kind of like asking a fat kid to pick his favorite slice of pie...»

Elena Dementieva Hits Very Hard

elenadementieva_crop.jpg

Tennis is War: The Gray Lady indulges her softcore impulses with a slideshow of female tennis pros in mid-swing. Imagine a soundtrack of grunts. [NYTimes]

The Late Shift: Jesse Thorn raves about David Letterman’s suit selection. We don’t mind the glasses either. [Put This On]

Slowly Sinking: Daniel Engber compiles a history of quicksand in movies. We’re just impressed he was able to finish it before he disappeared beneath the surface. [Slate]

Can It: Gizmodo thinks canned beer is the future of good beer. There’s always Porkslap… [Gizmodo]

No Bullshit

harveypekar_crop.jpg

We’re not much for posthumous praise, but now that he’s gone, it seems worth taking a moment to remember why everyone cared about Harvey Pekar in the first place.

When new art forms pop up, all sorts of strange voices can suddenly bubble up to the surface. In Pekar’s case, it was a kind of curmudgeonly skepticism, which happened to dovetail perfectly with the loving grotesque school of comics pioneered by R. Crumb. The result was funny, aggressive autobiography from someone who seemed to genuinely have no illusions about the world. (You can see good examples here, here and here.)

A lot of buzz today has focused on his ongoing Letterman feud—a tragedy in two acts— but it’s a pretty good example of what modern culture has lost. Unlike everyone else on the talk show game, he thought behind-the-curtain corporate shenanigans were more important than ever appearing on television again. It’s a high standard for honesty, and it’s unlikely anyone will live up to it again.

Catherine Deneuve is Timeless

cdeneuve_crop.jpg

Catherine the Great: The World’s Best Ever justifies its name by posting vintage pictures of the world’s best, ever. [The World’s Best Ever]

Smarter than the Av-e-rage Foodie: An etiquette-obsessed guide to the weekend picnic. The good news is, it involves suspenders. [MIEN Magazine]

From the Hip: Filson leaks details on our favorite hip flask of the moment. We may have to take up surreptitious drinking. [Selectism]

America’s Crotchety Uncle: Even in the presence of Dr. Phil, David Letterman is pretty awesome. [YesButNoButYes]

Late Bloomers

Beard

As intrigued as we are that the networks' nightcaps are back on the air, we (and the entire viewing audience) couldn't help but notice the new sidekicks on both the Late Show with David Letterman and Late Night with Conan O'Brian—big, fuzzy beards.

According to their respective owners, both wooly patches were inspired by a confluence of strike solidarity and the typical lax in fine grooming that most TV stars adopt when on hiatus.

What is Dave hiding?»