Jay Thomas takes one more shot at David Letterman's Christmas-tree meatball
Jesuit High School product Jay Thomas will topple his last Christmas-tree-topping late-night meatball Friday night (Dec. 19), concluding a longstanding holiday tradition on "The Late Show With David Letterman," scheduled to air at 10:35 p.m. on WWL-TV. Thomas does the deed with a football toss, an odd Letterman rite that dates to December 1998.
Friday's "Late Show" will also feature a Darlene Love performance of "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)," a Letterman tradition dating to 1986, as well as a just-a-guest-appearance by actor Josh Brolin.
Letterman is retiring next year, to be replaced by Stephen Colbert. Jay Thomas, meatball-slayer, will retire, too.
"It hasn't struck me yet," said Thomas during a recent phone interview from his California home. "It hasn't hit me. Maybe next year."
Thomas first felled the meatball (supplied by Rupert Jee's Hello-Deli) when then-New York Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde, another guest on the 1998 show, tried the stunt but missed.
The toss, later accompanied by Thomas re-recounting a weird encounter with "Lone Ranger" star Clayton Moore, became an almost-every-year thing.
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LETTERMAN to present final holiday broadcast December 19
The LATE SHOW with DAVID LETTERMAN rings in the holidays one final time when musician Darlene Love and actor Jay Thomas return for the show’s annual holiday broadcast, Friday, Dec. 19
(11:35 P.M.-12:37 A.M., ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network and WUSA9.
Legendary singer Darlene Love will perform her classic ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’ on the broadcast, backed as always by LATE SHOW musical director Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra. Love, who first performed the song for Letterman on ‘Late Night’ Dec. 16, 1986, will mark the 21st time in 28 years that she has sung this on the show. In recent interviews, Love has stated that her Dec. 19 LATE SHOW performance of the classic holiday song will be the last time she will sing it on television.
In another favorite LATE SHOW holiday, tradition, Jay Thomas returns to participate in the show’s final holiday quarterback challenge, where he and Letterman take turns throwing footballs at the LATE SHOW Christmas tree to try and knock off the giant meatball perched at the top. This tradition started on Dec. 30, 1998, when former New York Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde was on the broadcast. He and Letterman tried unsuccessfully to knock the meatball off the tree, so Thomas, also a guest on the show that night, came on stage, took a throw and hit the meatball off the tree immediately. Thomas will also recount his hilarious encounter with ‘Lone Ranger’ star Clayton Moore, one of Letterman’s favorite stories, which Thomas recounts each year during his holiday visit. Source: www.WUSA.com
Jay Thomas on
Studio 11 LA KTTV on the
Letterman Holiday Tradition
3 PM ET Rod Man hangs out on the Jay Thomas Show. See him at Levity Live
Thursday 12/18 -7:30pm Friday 12/19 – 7:30pm & 10pm Saturday 12/20 – 7pm and 9:30pm & Sunday 12/21 – 7pm
www.levitylive.com for tickets
3:30 PM ET Sherri Shepherd joins Jay to talk about her upcoming shows at Gotham Comedy Club on December 19th & 20th.
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