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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."»