Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Peeping Times with David Letterman (1978)

A wonderful, rare obscurity. Quoting from my own article on David Letterman's early career:

"Letterman taped a pilot that was supposed to be a spoof of 60 Minutes called Peeping Times. 'The week before we started shooting,' Dave remembers, 'I get a call from a secretary who says, 'We've been trying to get hold of your agent but we can't reach him, so we're just going to tell you - you've got to get your teeth fixed.' I fought it but finally they said you can get inserts. Which was fine except that when I wore them, I couldn't speak properly.' It was just as well he didn't invest in the dental procedure as the show never went beyond the initial episode."

Although the show is touted as a take-off on all news magazines, the resemblance to CBS' hit 60 Minutes is clear. Alan Oppenheimer as anchorman Miles Rathbourne and David Letterman as co-anchor Dan Cochran are the counterparts of Mike Wallace and Morley Safer. A third correspondent is on assignment, but his chair is there. Among the reports is an interview with a border guard, who is extolling the job he and his co-workers are doing to prevent illegal aliens from slipping into the U.S. as he goes on and on ... many illegal aliens [are] seen tiptoeing across the border. This sort of zaniness seems to fall somewhere between NBC's Saturday Night Live and long defunct, but much-lamented That Was The Week That Was, which first brought David Frost to the attention of U.S. audiences. Frost, in fact, is the man behind Peeping Times ... The pilot hour is part of his new deal with NBC, which also calls for a series of six weekly live interview shows to be done in prime-time beginning in May.

-Sherry Woods, The Miami News, January 25, 1978

No comments: