Friday, February 1, 2013

The only commercial I want to see on Sunday - and I don't know if Letterman will do it

Hey! It's 2013! Time to look back at a 2011 blog post.

First there was the 2007 ad with David Letterman and Oprah Winfrey.

Then there was the 2010 ad with Dave, Oprah, and Jay Leno.

The 2007 spot aired after a 2005 reconciliation between Letterman and Winfrey, while the 2010 spot aired during the midst of the Conan-Jay moves at NBC which had elicited comment from Letterman.

As I started thinking about the upcoming Super Bowl, I began wondering - would this be the time for a foursome, with Conan invited to the party?

But as I looked into it further, I realized that this was not to be - at least in 2011.

Why? Because CBS, where Letterman's show airs, did not have the rights to the 2011 Super Bowl.

NBC had the rights to the 2012 Super Bowl, but for Leno to tape a similar ad would require Leno to be creative.

Back in that 2011 post, I did note:

But CBS has the Super Bowl rights in 2013. Now there's a commercial to look forward to...assuming that Letterman is still at CBS in 2013.

Well, Letterman hasn't lost his job, and it turns out that CBS really wants a Letterman promo on Sunday:

In a quick a CBS media event about the network's Super Bowl plans, CBS CEO Leslie Moonves strongly hinted that Mr. Letterman may once again serve in a Super Bowl slot. Securing the wee-hours comedian's services, however, has previously proved to be "a pretty tall order," Mr. Moonves said then. "Whether we can pull it off we don't know yet."

If you have not seen Letterman's previous ads, Ad Age explains their appeal:

Part of the appeal of the Letterman work is its easy feel. Each shows Mr. Letterman sitting on a couch watching football. The surprise comes after viewers discover who is sharing the sofa. In a time when so many Super Bowl ads are previewed endlessly in the weeks before the Big Game, the CBS promos have provided nice curve balls, showing feuding personalities putting aside their differences to enjoy the simple pleasures of watching a big sports event.

But who would join Letterman on the couch? Conan O'Brien, subject of much discussion back in 2011, is old news today. (Yes, Conan is still on the air, although I don't know if his show airs in Finland yet.) Ad Age tosses out names such as Paris Hilton or Sarah Palin, but neither of those people are topical either. Even Robert "Joe" Halderman (the guy who blackmailed Letterman and led to the revelations which could have cost Letterman his job) is old news.

Well, there is one person who would make for an attention-getting commercial. A person who has been the subject of Letterman's wit in the past. Someone who just resigned from her government job today, and therefore has no pressing commitments.

Yes, Hillary Clinton. And yes, Letterman has joked about her over the years. Here's one:

"Hillary Clinton is going to be secretary of State in the Obama Administration. Well, political insiders are now saying that Barack and Hillary actually have a good working relationship, but they don't have a close personal relationship. No, wait a minute, that's Hill and Bill."

However, it's doubtful that my dream of Clinton on Letterman's couch could come to pass. The spot would have to be taped in advance, and because no one could predict when John Kerry would be confirmed as Secretary of State, Clinton wouldn't be able to shoot up to New York for a quick taping.

So if Letterman does appear, I'm not sure who could appear on the couch that would grab our attention.

Well, I can think of one other name - Johnny Carson. Hey, if Tupac Shakur can appear in holographic form, Carson could.
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