UPDATED: David Letterman’s Late Show writers go back to work tomorrow. An insider tells me, “Believe me, we understand this is the beginning of a real opportunity to call attention to what has had almost no television coverage in the last two months. So, it’s pretty simple. Get the message out, be hysterically funny in the execution, and in so doing, embarrass the AMPTP into full capitulation no later than January 7th. Okay, the 8th.”
Previous: There’s no doubt now that the writers strike will be Topic A when David Letterman returns to The Late Show. Not just because his writers will be with him. (“You better believe we’re going to bring attention to the strike as long as it lasts,” Justin Stangel, head writer along with his brother Eric, said on LateShowWritersOnStrike.com which will continue.) But because Robin Williams will be the first guest. I, for one, can’t wait to see the film comedian spoof the Hollywood moguls. Thursday will spotlight comedian Bill Maher, who’ll also dump on the Big Media CEOs, I bet. Donald Trump, who’d been previously booked, has now been relegated to Friday’s Late Show. Also, Howard Stern has repeatedly said that he would be one of Dave’s first guests when Letterman went back to work.
Mike Huckabee will be Leno’s first guest on the eve of the Iowa caucuses, even though the GOP presidential frontrunner is the only Republican in the race courting union endorsements. This summer, the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers backed Huckabee because the former governor of Arkansas was the only Republican to address the labor group at its national conference. The union praised Huckabee for “trying to figure out where and how we might work together.” Yet here he is eager to cross the WGA’s picket line, which will be beefed up outside NBC tomorrow by striking writers. Anyway, it’s likely that bookings on both shows will change day to day as more guests become available, and unavailable, during the strike.