Olbermann: A $10 Million Chandelier

Appearing on Dave Letterman’s show last night, Keith Olbermann talked about being fired by Current TV the other week. “I screwed up really big on this,” he said. “It’s my fault that it didn’t succeed, in the sense that I didn’t think the whole thing through.”

“I didn’t say, ‘You know, if you buy a $10 million chandelier, you should have a house to put it in.’ Just walking around with a $10 million chandelier isn’t going to do anybody a lot of good.” Olbermann went on to quip, “And then it turned out we didn’t have a lot to put the house in… or a building permit.”

Hmmm. We should all be so lucky to get $50 million (the reported amount of Olbermann’s contract) for a thoughtless, ill-fated decision that quickly turned out to be a big screw up that eventually terminated in complete failure.

Rachel Maddow on Letterman

Towards the end of the interview, after expressing utter dismay at the relentless barrage of criticism that’s levelled against Barack Obama, Dave asks: “I would like to know, how would we be better off, how would our lives be now if John McCain had won and he was the President? How would it be better?”

Unless you’re a hardened cynic who believes (not altogether unjustifiably, it has to be said) that, for various reasons, the occupant of the White House is largely an irrelevance these days, then Dave’s hypothetical is an interesting one to ponder…

Side Note: I just want to take a moment to thank Youtuber “MiniRtist” who posted this clip and who has been doing just yeoman work in recent months posting full-length excerpts from Keith Olbermann’s new iteration of “Countdown” on Current TV.

A Letterman-Python Confluence

Jeff Horwich riffs on the recent Letterman “scandal” with a brilliant, Pythonesque ditty.

Speaking of Monty Python, here’s a supremely scary thought: it’s the 40th anniversary of that program. Yikes! Make you seem ancient, or what? So feel free to share your favourite Python sketch in the comments (embed the video if you can). One of my faves is a somewhat obscure one called “Mr. Neutron” (“the most dangerous man in the universe”)…

Skip the last half of it which drags on a bit and just gets altogether too silly, but the opening sequence is wonderfully absurd and Chapman’s deadpan acting is absolutely hilarious.

Andy Kaufman Called… He Wants His Act Back

In case you missed Joaquin Phoenix’s extremely odd performance on Letterman the other night, here it is for your, um, enjoyment. Very, very weird.

James Wolcott has more here. Note that the above clip may well end up getting removed by CBS as they’ve pulled down other ones due to copyright infringement, but I’m quite certain that you’ll be able to find one around someplace. It’s definitely worth checking out. You know, in a gruesome, train-wrecky sort of way.

John McCain’s Late Show Redemption

To borrow the “nut graph” (now there’s an old timey journalistic expression) from Newsday: “Presidential campaigns are brutal and divisive affairs. It was nice last night to almost forget that the last one ever even happened.”

David Schuster talks with Bloomberg columnist Margaret Carlson to speculate about how the election might have been different if “that guy” had shown up instead of the nerve-jangling trainwreck that was Sen. McCain during the latter stages of the campaign, as well the more general issue of how high priced handlers distort (and in this case thwart) the image of the candidates they’re charged with protecting (presumably from their “authentic” selves).

And here’s the complete Letterman interview (or most of it, anyway).