No matter where you fall in the David Letterman-Sarah Palin war of words, you have to admit the 62-year-old host is having a moment. Forget that he’s poised to sign yet another contract extension that will keep him at The Late Show until he’s at least 65; Madison Avenue appears primed and ready to declare him the new King of Late Night, even though its only been 13 days since Conan O’Brien took over The Tonight Show. After a splashly debut, O’Brien’s numbers slipped preciptiously over his first week — so much that by June 9, Letterman actually beat his NBC rival in the overnight ratings (though O’Brien looks like he could wind up the man to beat with younger audiences). Obviously, this is a marathon, not a sprint, but the fact that a grey-haired funny man is (still) kicking some serious ass is a blissful and welcome diversion from the barrage of kids that Hollywoods continues to force feed us.
Of course, I think Megan Fox and Shia LaBeouf are looking well above 200 degrees fahrenheit, but I’d gladly forgo the picture-perfect stars of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen if it means boosting the backend profits for another sorely underappreciated member of the 60-and-over crowd, Ed Asner, the voice of Up‘s beloved Carl Fredricksen. Up until a month ago, it would have seemed unthinkable to base an animated movie around a crochety, 78-year-old character — but aren’t we glad Disney did? The flick’s still rocking the second place spot at the box office, which makes the 79-year-old Asner a humongous box office draw (so what if he’s in cartoon form? It still counts). Who says you need a scantily-clad “actress” hovering over an exposed engine to get our motors running?
What do you think, P-Dubs? Is 78 the new 23? Is it nice to see the old guys finish first?