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The Late Show Strike Show
After his production company Worldwide Pants reached an interim deal with the WGA for The Late Show and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson, David Letterman went back on live TV last night sporting a strike beard and showing strong support for some very funny lines.
The show opened with a cameo by Hillary Clinton intoning: "Dave's been off the air for eight long weeks because of the writers strike. Tonight he's back. Oh well — all good things must come to an end." Letterman then delivered his monologue backed by a chorus line of high-kicking showgirls wielding WGA picket signs. Dave and guest Robin Williams discussed the strike and showed a picture of Williams walking the picket line.
The Top 10 list was delivered on air by striking WGAE members, a number of whom have also served on the WGAE Council. If you've been to the picket lines with any regularity, then some of their faces may have been familiar. Here are the Top 10 Demands of the Striking Writers:
10. WGAE Council member and Daily Show writer Tim Carvell: "Complimentary tote bag with next insulting contract offer."
9. The Colbert Report's Laura Kraft: "No rollbacks in health benefits, so I can treat the hypothermia I caught on the picket lines."
8. Daytime writer and WGA Negotiating Committee member Melissa Salmons: "Full salary and benefits for my imaginary writing partner, Lester."
7. Former WGAE President and Law & Order: Criminal Intent show runner Warren Leight: "Members of the AMPTP must explain what the hell AMPTP stands for."
6. The Colbert Report's Jay Katsir: "No disciplinary action taken against any writer caught having inappropriate relationship with a copier."
5. The Daily Show's head writer Steve Bodow: "I'd like a date with a woman."
4. Screenwriter/director Nora Ephron: "Hazard pay for breaking up fights on The View."
3. Law & Order: Criminal Intent's Gina Gionfriddo: "I'm no accountant, but instead of us getting 4 cents for a $20 DVD, how about we get $20 for a 4-cent DVD?"
2. Former WGAE President and Late Night with Conan O'Brien writer Chris Albers: "I don't have a joke – I just want to remind everyone that we're on strike, so none of us are responsible for this lame list."
1.Veteran TV comedy-variety writer Alan Zwiebel: "Producers must immediately remove their heads from their asses."
Craig Ferguson, who tapes in Los Angeles, decided to forgo guests in favor of an all WGA-written and -produced comedy show. Said he: "Strikes are not the same in LA. Strikers on the picket lines bring their yoga mats to the picket lines, they wear sexy outfits & high heels. Alright, that was just me – but it was fun. Was fun and Eddie Murphy gave me ride home. I might have made that up myself." (For more transcripts of all the late night monologues, visit Nikki Finke's Deadline Hollywood Daily.)
Both Ferguson and Letterman made repeated reference to the strike and their support of the striking writers, as did all the late night hosts.