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The David Letterman Show Must Go On, with Denzel Washington and No Audience (VIDEO)

Photo of Anne Thompson By Anne Thompson | Thompson on Hollywood October 30, 2012 at 12:44PM

There's something to be said for making a silk purse out of a sow's ear. David Letterman, Paul Schaffer and a "skeleton crew" put on a low-tech show with hand-held cards but no teleprompter and no studio audience the afternoon Hurricane Sandy hit Manhattan, and it was terrific. Denzel Washington blew onto the stage in a wet yellow slicker, seemingly out of breath, and gamely went through his "Flight" promo paces.
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Denzel Washington and David Letterman
Denzel Washington and David Letterman

There's something to be said for making a silk purse out of a sow's ear. David Letterman, Paul Schaffer and a "skeleton crew" put on a low-tech show with hand-held cards but no teleprompter and no studio audience the afternoon Hurricane Sandy hit Manhattan, and it was terrific. Denzel Washington blew onto the stage in a wet yellow slicker, seemingly out of breath, and gamely went through his "Flight" promo paces.

"This storm could mean the biggest power outage since the Yankees," quipped Letterman. "I haven't seen people soaked this bad since the Facebook IPO...The storm has stopped the presidential campaign so at least some good has come of it...Donald Trump has boarded up his hair."

David Letterman
David Letterman

Here's the full show, which ironically will wind up among Letterman's most-watched classics.

Here's the Top Ten, bottom to top, names rejected for the Frankenstorm.

  • Al Frankenstorm
  • Rokergeddon
  • Count Dampula
  • La Chupacabracane
  • Trumpical Storm
  • Power Outage Palooza
  • Wetzilla
  • The New Hurricane Loco from Taco Bell
  • iPaddle
  • Oprah Windy

This article is related to: Television, Television, TV


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Thompson on Hollywood

Born and raised in Manhattan, Anne Thompson grew up going to the Thalia and The New Yorker and wound up at grad Cinema Studies at NYU. She worked at United Artists and Film Comment before heading west as that magazine's west coast editor. She wrote for the LA Weekly, Sight and Sound, Empire, The New York Times and Entertainment Weekly before serving as West Coast Editor of Premiere. She wrote for The Washington Post, The London Observer, Wired, More, and Vanity Fair, and did staff stints at The Hollywood Reporter and Variety. She eventually took her blog Thompson on Hollywood to Indiewire. She taught film criticism at USC Critical Studies, and continues to host the fall semester of “Sneak Previews” for UCLA Extension.