Darlene Love on David Letterman For Christmas: The Tradition Continues
Around here, it really doesn’t feel like Christmastime until Darlene Love appears on David Letterman’s last show before Christmas to sing her classic “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)”, one of the greatest all-time Christmas songs. She first did this in 1986, which makes this her 27th appearance!
I don’t remember when I first caught her on Letterman, but my guess would be the early 90’s, when I started watching Late Night every night. Ms. Love simply dazzles every single year, and her performances just get better and better. So does the production: Paul Shaffer and his band recreate Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound live on-stage, with a choir, string section, multiple keyboardists, horn players, and of course that glorious baritone sax solo. As the snow drifts down to the stage, the musicians flat-out destroy with this song every single year. If this doesn’t lift your holiday spirits, brother check your pulse.
In case you missed it, here is Darlene Love singing Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) last night:
The second part of the Letterman Christmas tradition is having actor Jay Thomas come on to tell his classic show-biz story “The Lone Ranger”, then participate with Dave in the Annual Quarterback Challenge, where they attempt to knock a meatball and pizza off the top of the Christmas Tree. (It’s a long story how this came to be, but it’s always entertaining to hear it.) I can’t tell you how much joy this entire show brings me every year…. Sadly, Jay Thomas couldn’t be on this year due to a medical procedure. I thought all was lost upon hearing that John McEnroe was to be the guest on the show, not Jay Thomas.
Dave allayed all of our fears (work with me here) when Mr. McEnroe came out not as a regular guest, but as a last-minute replacement for Jay Thomas. He told Jay’s Lone Ranger story (very well too, by the way) then took the Quarterback Challenge, substituting a tennis racket and tennis balls for the customary football. Christmas is saved!
Here’s John telling Jay Thomas’ Lone Ranger story:
Letterman’s Christmas show gives me great joy each and every year. It’s always the same, but that’s what’s so great about it. Christmas is all about traditions, and this is one I’ll never miss as long as Dave will have it on. Cheers.