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For other uses, see Cold Feet (disambiguation).

Cold Feet is a British comedy-drama television series produced by Granada Television for the ITV network. The series was created and principally written by Mike Bullen as a follow-up to his award-winning 1997 Comedy Premiere special of the same name. The series follows three couples experiencing the ups-and-downs of romance, originally Adam Williams and Rachel Bradley (James Nesbitt and Helen Baxendale), Pete and Jenny Gifford (John Thomson and Fay Ripley) and Karen and David Marsden (Hermione Norris and Robert Bathurst). As the original series progressed, the Giffords divorced and Pete married Jo Ellison (Kimberley Joseph), whilst Karen and David also separated forming relationships with Mark Cubitt (Sean Pertwee) and Robyn Duff (Lucy Robinson).

The original series was executive-produced by Bullen with Granada's head of comedy Andy Harries, and produced by Christine Langan, Spencer Campbell and Emma Benson. 32 episodes were broadcast over the original five series from 15 November 1998 to 16 March 2003. A revival with all of the original cast except Baxendale began airing from 5 September 2016.[1]

The revived series introduced Ceallach Spellman as Matthew, Adam and Rachel's now teenage son, alongside Karen David as Adam's second wife Angela Zubayr following the death of Rachel, and Art Malik as Angela's business tycoon father Eddie, a love interest for Karen Marsden. Pete and Jenny had remarried whilst David's marriage to Robyn was crumbling. Leanne Best was introduced as Tina Reynolds, Adam's partner following his separation from Angela. After his separation from Robyn, Nikki Kirkbright (Siobhan Finneran) is introduced as David's new partner.

Contents

Background[edit]

Main article: Pilot (Cold Feet)

Series creator Mike Bullen's working relationship with Granada Television began in 1994 when his agent sold his first screenplay, a one-off comedy-drama called The Perfect Match, to the company's head of comedy Andy Harries. Harries had been looking for television scripts that would reflect the lives of people from his generation—people in their 30s who were under-represented on television.[2]The Perfect Match, about a man who proposes to his girlfriend at the FA Cup Final and has to deal with constant media attention afterwards, was made and then broadcast in 1995. Harries asked Bullen to pitch more ideas for television to The Perfect Match's assistant producer Christine Langan.[3] As a fan of American television such as Thirtysomething, Frasier and Hill Street Blues, Bullen pitched Cold Feet, a traditional "boy-meets-girl, boy-loses-girl, boy-wins-girl-back" story told from both sides of the relationship but using elements of fantasy and flashback to distort events to fit a character's point of view.[4][5] The initial pitch centred on Adam Williams and Rachel Bradley (James Nesbitt and Helen Baxendale), which Harries believed would diminish the storytelling potential if the ITV Network Centre commissioned a full series after the pilot, so Bullen "tacked on" plots for two other couples—Adam and Rachel's respective friends Pete and Jenny Gifford (John Thomson and Fay Ripley) and David and Karen Marsden (Robert Bathurst and Hermione Norris).[6]

The pilot was directed by Father Ted's Declan Lowney over 12 days in 1996 on location around Greater Manchester.[7][8] The programme was one of four one-off Comedy Premieres made by Granada for ITV. Cold Feet was eventually broadcast on 30 March 1997. It received only 3.5 million viewers and little critical attention. As ITV's comedy portfolio was so thin, Cold Feet was submitted as the network's comedy entry at the Montreux Television Festival in May 1997. There it won the Silver Rose for Humour and the Rose d'Or, the highest accolade of the festival. ITV scheduled a repeat broadcast a few days afterwards but did not commission a series. Not until David Liddiment's appointment as director of programming at ITV in August 1997 was a six episode series ordered.[9][10]

Series synopses[edit]

See also: List of Cold Feet episodes

Series 1[edit]

Main article: Cold Feet (series 1)

The first series begins nine months after the pilot episode. After Pete and Jenny's baby is born in Episode 1, the couple have a hard time getting any sleep. Pete has to cope with the death of his father in Episode 4. Adam and Rachel decide to rent a house together. He is horrified to discover in Episode 2 that she is married to another man. While he is staying with Pete and Jenny, Rachel has sex with her visiting husband (Lennie James)—who leaves soon after—and is pregnant by Episode 6. Just as hers and Adam's relationship is recovering, she tells him that he might not be the father, and that she is moving to London until the birth. Karen and David have recently hired Ramona as a nanny to their young son Josh. At her publishing job, Karen edits the novel of a renowned author (Denis Lawson), whom she becomes attracted to. She plans to sleep with him on a book tour but is humiliated when she finds out he is not attracted to her. David tries to sleep with Ramona to get back at Karen, which causes friction between the couple. They seek guidance counselling to repair their marriage.

Series 2[edit]

Main article: Cold Feet (series 2)

Six months after the last series, Rachel returns from London and tells Adam that she aborted the baby, and their relationship seems over for good. They both start seeing other people—he one of Pete's colleagues (Rosie Cavaliero) and she a man much younger than her (Hugh Dancy)—but reconcile after Adam is diagnosed and treated for testicular cancer in Episode 5. David is made redundant at work and decides to be a stay-at-home dad for Josh. After some interference from Karen, he takes a new job. Their relationship improves from the first series; they spend their wedding anniversary in Paris and Karen announces in Episode 6 that she is pregnant. Pete and Jenny's marriage deteriorates when she reveals she had a crush on Adam. Pete later sleeps with a co-worker— with whom Adam was also briefly involved—and Jenny tells him to move out of the house. They decide to give their marriage another chance when Adam's cancer puts things into perspective. In Episode 6, all three couples see in the new millennium on a trip to Lindisfarne, where Pete and Jenny's relationship worsens again as the others' improve.

Series 3[edit]

Main article: Cold Feet (series 3)

Half a year after the Lindisfarne trip, Pete and Jenny have separated. He moves from house to house, eventually finding a houseshare with a gay landlord. He has a brief fling with Ramona, which is followed by some dates with a teacher (Pooky Quesnel). Jenny begins a relationship with a dotcom millionaire (Ben Miles), who decorates her house with flowers and takes her on a trip to New York. The fling ends when Jenny realises he does not love her. She and Pete reconcile after briefly considering a divorce. David and Karen bring home their newborn twins, and Karen's ex-pat mother (Mel Martin) moves in for a couple of episodes. Karen is reunited with an old boyfriend (Richard Dillane), who is in Manchester for a photography exhibition. Karen is rivalled by Jenny, who has returned to working to pay the bills while Pete is living elsewhere. David takes a sudden interest in politics after meeting local residents' activist Jessica (Yasmin Bannerman). He starts an affair with her but she dumps him after being offended by his insensitivity when he tries to end it. Karen finds out about the affair in Episode 8 but is adamant that she and David will stay together for the children. Adam and Rachel decide to have children but are distraught to discover that she is infertile from complications with her abortion. They decide to get married instead but Adam is briefly tempted when he reunites with a long-lost love (Victoria Smurfit) on his stag weekend to Belfast.

Series 4[edit]

Main articles: Cold Feet (series 4) and Series 4, Episode 8

Jenny and Pete await the birth of their second child but after a miscarriage, Jenny rethinks her current lifestyle. In Episode 2 she decides to take a job in New York, and leaves with little Adam. Pete is unhappy for a time but begins a relationship with Jo Ellison, a friend of Rachel's. The relationship goes well until Jo has to return to Australia after her visa expires. Pete follows her and declares his love and they get married in Episode 8. Karen and David are sleeping in separate beds until she decides he should move out. He moves into Pete's spare bedroom and starts seeing a therapist (Michael Troughton). Karen develops alcoholism and decides to seek therapy too. She and David reconcile and he moves back in. Soon, she starts an affair with a publisher, Mark (Sean Pertwee), which is revealed to David in Episode 8. Having had enough of the lies, he leaves Karen. Adam and Rachel decide to adopt a child and begin going through the procedures. They are pleased when they later discover that Rachel is pregnant but are distraught when their social worker tells them that the adoption cannot proceed. In Australia for Pete and Jo's wedding, Rachel goes into premature labour and gives birth to a boy.

Series 5[edit]

Main article: Cold Feet (series 5)

Three months after the birth of their baby, Adam is made redundant. He gets a new job, but then he and Rachel are told that after the death of their landlord they will be evicted from their house. As they search for a new place to live, Adam's estranged father, Bill (Ian McElhinney), arrives. Bill and Adam patch up their relationship and he offers Adam and Rachel the money to buy their own house. On the way to the auction, Rachel is killed in a car crash, leaving Adam devastated. Her ashes are scattered in the final episode. Karen and David are going through an amicable divorce but when she starts seeing Mark again and David starts seeing his new lawyer Robyn (Lucy Robinson), it escalates, as they begin using each other's adultery and her alcoholism as a basis for custody of the children. Karen stops seeing Mark and the divorce cools down. Both re-evaluate their lives after Rachel's death; David develops his relationship with Robyn and Karen plans a trip with Ramona. Pete and Jo's marriage deteriorates when she sleeps with a co-worker (Richard Armitage) on a work weekend away. Jenny returns from New York in Episode 4 and moves back in with Pete after he asks Jo for a divorce.

Series 6[edit]

Main article: Cold Feet (series 6)

After a jet-set life in Singapore, Adam returns to Manchester to visit his old friends and to see son Matthew (now portrayed by Ceallach Spellman), breaking the news of his upcoming nuptials with businesswoman Angela Zubayr (Karen David). This isn't well received amongst the group, especially Matthew who sees Angela as a replacement for his mother Rachel. Struggling to support his family, Pete finds himself in two run down jobs and suffering from depression, which Jenny seems oblivious to. Seeing a fault in their love life, she pursues a fling with client Trevor Green (Nicholas Gleaves), who begins to stalk her. Torn apart after the death of Harry (James Bolam), an old man who he was caring for, Pete considers suicide. David is entangled through a wrongdoing at work and is arrested, something which his wife Robyn finds humiliating and throws him out of their luxury Cheshire home. Karen finds herself on the dating game, and soon falls for Adam's father-in-law Eddie (Art Malik), though later discovers that they live in two very different worlds, with Karen's twin daughters Ellie (Ella Hunt) and Olivia (Daisy Edgar-Jones) still dependent on her. Jenny's ex-partner Grant (Robert Webb) from her time in New York City turns up on her doorstep determined to see their daughter Chloe (Madeleine Edmondson), who still believes that Pete is her father. Struggling to cope with living in Manchester and being step-mother to Matthew, Angela decides to end her marriage with Adam, who fell quickly for his landlord Tina Reynolds (Leanne Best). At Adam's 49th Birthday party, the Marsden's eldest son Josh (Callum Woodhouse) arrives from Spain with former nanny Ramona (Jacey Salles), and it is later revealed that he is gay.

Series 7[edit]

Main article: Cold Feet (series 7)

Setting up her own publishing house Marsden House, Karen is relying on useless Ramona as personal assistant. Adam is determined to take things one step further with Tina so they can move in with one another, though she doesn't want to rush things and especially not with David now living with Adam and Matthew following his divorce from Robyn. Pete has landed on his feet as a chauffeur, and Jenny is finding herself seeing a lot less of her husband. Matthew's relationship with Olivia is taken to the next level, to the shock of Karen and Adam.

Series 8[edit]

Main article: Cold Feet (series 8)

The series began filming in Manchester on 19 March 2018 and continued until July. It began airing on 14 January 2019 and concluded on 18 February 2019 after 6 episodes. Bullen has described it as the best of the "rebooted series".[11]

Cast and characters[edit]

James Nesbitt plays Adam Williams in all eight series, while Helen Baxendale appeared as Rachel Bradley until series five.

Cold Feet began its first series with the six main cast members—James Nesbitt, Helen Baxendale, John Thomson, Fay Ripley, Hermione Norris and Robert Bathurst—who had appeared in the pilot. Thomson's character Pete Gifford was written specifically for him after his performance in The Perfect Match made a positive impression on Christine Langan.[12] Norris originally auditioned for the part of Rachel but was cast as Karen because the role suited her social class.[8] Nesbitt got an audition through a mutual friend of pilot director Declan Lowney, and read the part in his natural accent because he was keen to play a Northern Irish character in a contemporary drama unconnected to The Troubles.[13] Baxendale was best known for her role in Cardiac Arrest and was hesitant to star as Rachel because she did not believe she could perform comedy.[3] Bathurst was known to Langan for his starring role in Joking Apart.[2] Ripley thought she would be auditioning for the part of Rachel, and had to put on an accent for her role as natural Mancunian Jenny. When the fourth series was commissioned, Ripley announced that she was leaving the show to broaden her career options.[14]Kimberley Joseph was cast as Jo Ellison, a replacement character who remained on screen until Cold Feet's conclusion.[15] Bullen makes numerous Hitchcock-esque cameo appearances; he plays a neighbour and a husband in the first series and a workman in the third.[16]

Despite all receiving equal billing in the credits, the original principal cast members were paid different salaries in the first few years; Baxendale and Nesbitt were the most well-known, so received more than Ripley, Thomson, Norris and Bathurst, who were comparatively less well known to audiences. Prompted by the continued success of the show, Andy Harries reviewed the salaries in 2000 and decided to pay all six actors the same amount.[17] The amount was not publicly disclosed but was believed to be £20,000 per episode, plus repeat broadcast royalties.[18][19] Another pay deal for the fourth series in 2001 increased the salaries of the cast to £50,000. For the final series in 2003, they each received £75,000 an episode.[20]

Main cast[edit]

Main characters[edit]

(from left): Robert Bathurst, Hermione Norris, James Nesbitt, Helen Baxendale, John Thomson, and Fay Ripley

The main characters are six core characters were devised to be "regular people, not distinguished by their careers or by crime" and were based on people from Mike Bullen's life,[2] along with characters who became integral to the programme as Cold Feet progressed.

  • Adam Williams is a serial womaniser who lives a carefree lifestyle until he settles down with Rachel—though he is still tempted by the next-door neighbour and women in fast cars.[e 1][e 2] Bullen based Adam's womanising personality on how he saw himself during his twenties. He is diagnosed and treated for testicular cancer during the second series,[e 3] a storyline developed by Bullen to directly contrast Adam's Lothario characterisation. Adam marries Rachel in Series 3 and their son, Matthew, is born in Series 4.[e 4][e 5] In Series 5, Adam's estranged father Bill Williams arrives in Manchester. Adam moves to patch up the relationship after Bill comes out as a bisexual.[e 6] After Rachel's death, Adam and Matthew leave their old house to see Bill.[e 7] Adam's backstory was inconsistent; the first series established that Adam and Pete had known each other since their childhood when they attended the same school in Manchester. To justify Adam's accent, his Northern Irish origins were developed in Series 3 and it was explained on screen that he spent his school holidays there. His background is reinforced when his father is introduced in Series 5. Bullen admitted that Adam's biography was never fully planned but conceded that Cold Feet was "full of gaffes".[21]
  • Rachel Bradley is an advertising executive. After being with Adam for nine months, she admits to him that she is married but promises to ask her estranged husband for a divorce.[e 8] Unknown to Adam, while her husband is in Manchester, she has sex with him and later finds out she is pregnant.[e 9] Unable to cope with not knowing who the father is, she terminates the pregnancy.[e 10] The abortion causes her to become infertile. She marries Adam at the end of Series 3 and has a surprise conception in Series 4, which leads to the birth of her child. She is killed in a car crash in Series 5. Helen Baxendale became pregnant during Series 4, which meant the plot of Rachel being infertile had to be abandoned and the rest of the series re-written.[17] Baxendale found the character limiting and hard to play when she was just "the woman that Adam saw through rose-tinted glasses". She found that, as the series progressed, Bullen learned how to write for the character, giving her a clearer idea of how to play her. She found the death of Rachel "unfair" and believed the character was being punished for terminating her pregnancy.[22]
  • Pete Gifford is Jenny's husband and has been Adam's best friend since childhood. Bullen based Pete on his own childhood friend, with whom he went through university.[23] Pete is often deliberately insensitive towards Adam, which Thomson attributes to Pete thinking Adam is jealous of his achievements.[24] In Series 2, Pete has an affair with co-worker Amy.[e 11] It upsets his marriage to Jenny and by Series 3 they are separated.[e 12] At the beginning of Series 4, they are back together and expecting a second child. After Jenny miscarries, she leaves Pete and takes little Adam with her.[e 13] Pete has a rebound relationship with Jo, and marries her at the end of Series 4.[e 5] They break up at the end of Series 5.[e 7]
  • Jenny Gifford (née Blyth) is Pete's wife. She spends much of the first series raising their baby. In Series 2, she develops a brief crush on Adam.[e 14] She throws Pete out of the house when she finds out about his affair with Amy but they try to repair the marriage after Adam's cancer treatment.[e 3] When she and Pete separate in Series 3, she asserts her independence in a series of short-lived secretarial jobs, and by dating millionaire Robert Brown.[e 15] She and Pete briefly consider a divorce but get back together after Robert dumps her. In Series 4, the couple are expecting a second child. Jenny miscarries and re-evaluates her life in Manchester. She is offered a job in New York by the head of the company she works for and decides to divorce Pete and leave for America with their son.[e 13] She returns for Rachel's funeral in Series 5 and moves back in with Pete.[e 7] Ripley said of her character, "Jenny's very ballsy and speaks her mind, but she's more sensitive than people give her credit for. She's seen as very hard but I don't think she is—it's just that she won't show her vulnerability to everyone."[25]
  • David Marsden is a management consultant and the husband of Karen. The Marsdens were the least-developed characters when the pilot was produced; Robert Bathurst noted that David was "set up as a post-Thatcherite boo-boy to represent all that is evil about materialism".[26] He was concerned that the only character note in the script related to David's high salary and that, to make more than a brief cameo appearance in the series, the character needed to be significantly developed.[27] David is made redundant in Series 2 and Karen arranges for him to take a new, better-paid job.[e 14] In Episode 3, the couple celebrate their wedding anniversary in Paris. The episode originally had a downbeat ending scripted but was changed on the advice of Andy Harries and the editor of the episode.[28] David and Karen both then have affairs; David with local residents' campaigner Jessica in Series 3, and Karen with publisher Mark in Series 4. The affairs lead to the end of their marriage, which was discussed to great lengths by the production staff.[17] David starts a relationship with his solicitor, Robyn Duff, in Series 5 and divorces Karen.[e 7]
  • Karen Marsden (née Childs) is a publishing editor and the wife of David. Of Karen, Norris said "[S]he's the strength behind the marriage. David thinks he wears the trousers and she is prepared to think that to an extent. So she manages to massage his ego and then does her own thing anyway."[29] Karen becomes an alcoholic in Series 4 and seeks therapy to control her urges.[e 16] After trying to put David's affair with Jessica behind them, Karen starts an affair with publisher Mark. She breaks up with him via email while in Australia but he flies down and reveals their relationship to David.[e 5] She briefly gets back together with Mark during her divorce from David in Series 5 but ends the relationship again when he wants nothing to do with her children.[e 17] After Rachel's death, Karen sees a grief counsellor.[e 7] Norris and Bullen changed Karen's personality significantly between the pilot and the series; Norris altered the character's accent to be less "posh" and Bullen wrote her to be more sympathetic.[30] Bullen found it difficult to write situations for Karen that took place outside the character's house. Eventually, he wrote a storyline for her in Series 2 where she rebels against her upper-middle-class lifestyle by smoking cannabis at a dinner party.[31] Norris was disappointed that the plot of Karen and David's divorce could not be developed further in Series 5, as the majority of screen time was given to Adam and Rachel.[32] In the rebooted series, Karen and Adam develop a friendship, embarking on a romance by the eighth series.
  • Joanne "Jo" Ellison is introduced as a co-worker at Rachel's advertising agency in Series 4. After Jenny leaves England and Jo is evicted from her flat, she moves into Pete's spare room.[e 18] The two fall in love and marry in Australia in Episode 8.[e 5] In Series 5, Pete suspects that Jo may have married him as a visa scam to stay in Britain.[e 17] Their relationship is damaged and Jo sleeps with a colleague on a work weekend away. Pete asks her for a divorce when he finds out.[e 7] Jo was devised when Bullen and Harries wanted Pete to fall in love with an Australian woman so they could film the Series 4 finale in Sydney.[33] Kimberley Joseph was based in Los Angeles and had been out of work for 18 months before getting an audition with Spencer Campbell. Two weeks later she had moved to Manchester and was doing read-throughs with the rest of the cast.[34] Joseph thought Bullen had envisioned the character as a coarse "big fat truck-driving lesbian type" before he met her.[35] Thomson thought Pete's lust for Jo was a rebound from Jenny and that, while Jo genuinely liked Pete, she did not actually love him, which Pete suspects when he reads Jo's emails in Series 5, Episode 2.[24]
  • Tina Reynolds is introduced as Adam's Landlady upon his return to Manchester in Series 6. Over the course of the series, she and Adam grow closer before both amicably beginning a relationship at its conclusion. At the beginning of Series 7, Tina and Adam move in together and decide to start a family together. However, due to Adam's infidelity and his inability to solidly declare his feelings for Tina, the two amicably decide to break up. Despite this, Tina had firmly established herself as one of the six Cold Feet-ers, making friends with Jenny and Karen.
  • Ramona Ramirez is introduced as the Marsdens' Spanish nanny, originally a minor character that was intended to be in the programme for only 2 episodes, believing that the Mardens' would regularly replace their son's carer. She subsequently became a series regular and an important supporting character and friend to the main 6 characters eventually appearing in all 5 series of Cold Feet's original run and appeared in nearly every episode. Ramona was developed to be the complete opposite of the typically English Karen and David. David finds her continental personality annoying but Karen enjoys it. Ramona's role in Series 2 developed beyond just child-caring—in Episode 2, she bribes David for £30 to cook dinner for his former boss.[36] By Series 3, she has a major storyline where she dates Pete.[37] In Series 4, she gets caught up in Karen and David's deteriorating marriage and briefly quits to work for their neighbours, and to work part-time at a strip club. In Series 5, she dates Lee, a fitness instructor who is the catalyst of Pete and Jo's break-up when he sleeps with Jo.[38]

Supporting characters[edit]

Significant supporting roles in the series are played by Rosie Cavaliero (Amy, Series 2),[39]Ben Miles (Robert Brown, Series 3),[40]Yasmin Bannerman (Jessica Barnes, Series 3),[41]Sean Pertwee (Mark Cubitt, Series 4–5),[42]Richard Armitage (Lee, Series 5),[43]Lucy Robinson (Robyn Duff, Series 5-6),[41] and Eve Myles (Caitlin Henderson, Series 8).[44]

Doreen Keogh is introduced in Series 1, Episode 4 as Pete's mother Audrey Gifford. She makes a cameo appearance in Series 3, Episode 1, and reappears in Series 4, Episode 4 and Series 5, Episode 1. The character's recurrence was based on the good chemistry between Keogh and Thomson.[24]

Yasmin Bannerman played local residents' campaigner Jessica in Series 3. Bannerman and Bathurst did not know that Jessica and David would have a full-blown affair after their kiss in Episode 3, as David was seen as too much of a "jittery type".[45] The character appears in five episodes. Bathurst was more impressed with the storylines that came out of the affair, rather than the affair itself: "It was the deception, the guilt and the recrimination rather than the actual affair, which was neither interesting nor remarkable".[46]

Series 6 introduced Cel Spellman as the now teenaged Matthew, who in Adam's absence, was raised by his godmother Karen and attended a private school.[47]

Production[edit]

Writing[edit]

Mike Bullen has sole writing credit on 26 episodes of the series; four episodes of Series 3 were written by David Nicholls, and Bullen co-wrote one episode of Series 4 and 5 with Mark Chappell and Matt Greenhalgh respectively.[48][49] Bullen usually wrote ten pages of script per day, whatever the quality of his writing. His own third draft was usually submitted to the producers as the "first" draft.[9] As he was still an inexperienced writer by the time production of the first series began in January 1998, Bullen was aided by Christine Langan, who pitched in as a script editor.[50] Storylines were planned in advance—the producers knew that they wanted to split up Adam and Rachel at the end of Series 1—but the later scripts were written once filming on earlier episodes had already begun.[51] The number of people on the development team varied; the third series' comprised Bullen, Langan, Harries, producer Spencer Campbell, script editor Camilla Campbell, ITV's controller of comedy, and a team of five writers.[48]

Many storylines were based on life experiences of the production team; Bullen and his wife Lisa had their first child in late 1997, which made Bullen identify with the Pete character, whose son is born in the first episode. Bullen incorporated his experiences of the first few months of parenthood into the Pete and Jenny storyline.[6] Adam's testicular cancer storyline in Series 2, Episode 5 was influenced by a similar condition that afflicted Harries, and was supplemented by the newspaper columns written by terminal cancer sufferer John Diamond.[17][52] If a storyline was not drawn from real life experiences, it was researched by communicating with experts; Bullen consulted the relationship support charity Relate for the scenes of Karen and David's marriage guidance session in Series 1, Episode 5, and consulted Dr Sammy Lee for information about Rachel's intracytoplasmic sperm injection in Series 3.[17][53] When it was decided to have Rachel's abortion lead to her developing Asherman's syndrome in Series 3, the British Pregnancy Advisory Service (BPAS) were contacted. BPAS strongly recommended that the plot be developed in a different direction, on the basis that infertility from what would appear to have been a routine abortion would be an "improbable link", though the producers proceeded with their original story anyway.[54]

By the time pre-production on the third series began, Bullen had grown tired of writing the series single-handedly and believed all the stories that could be told had been told. ITV were keen to increase the number of episodes per series to 20 but Granada refused, though did agree to add two more, bringing the total to eight. A writing team of five was assembled, overseen by Bullen. Four of the scriptwriters were deemed not good enough and they parted company with Granada. David Nicholls remained and scripted four of the eight-third series episodes; Bullen wrote the other four and his interest in the series was revived.[48][55]

At the conclusion of the third series, Bullen announced that he did not want to write a fifth series, and that the fourth would be the last.[55] Series 4, Episode 8 was produced as the final episode but the cast and crew realised that they would like to make one final series for proper closure. Bullen agreed to write the final episodes on the condition that there would be just four, and that he could kill off a character.[17] Matt Greenhalgh co-wrote Series 5, Episode 3 with Bullen, specifically the scenes depicting Rachel's death. Greenhalgh worked on the script at the same time as he was writing his BBC Three series Burn It, also set in Manchester. In a 2007 interview, he said that he was not a fan of Cold Feet—decrying the depiction of Manchester in the series—and that killing off Rachel was "a privilege".[56]

A reunion episode was speculated after the fifth series ended; in the 2003 documentary Cold Feet: The Final Call, executive producer Andy Harries stated, "By killing a character, you are truly saying 'this series is over' … until, of course, in 10 years time when money is running a bit short for all of us, we bring it back. What we do with Rachel, I don't know yet—but I have got a few theories."[57][58] In an interview published in October 2003, Harries told The Daily Telegraph that ITV would "probably" bring back Cold Feet ten years after it ended, and said, "There's a tacit understanding with the actors that we will re-visit it again at the appropriate time."[59] In 2007, a tabloid newspaper quoted an ITV "insider" as saying that a reunion episode would be broadcast to mark ten years since the pilot aired.[60] The report turned out to be a fabrication.[61] At the 2010 Edinburgh International Television Festival, Harries stated that discussions about the series' return were "ongoing", but highlighted a number of factors that would prevent a reunion in the near future.[62] The following day, Harries told Kate Silverton that he had held discussions with Mike Bullen about the series returning, but that it would not be back on television screens in 2011 or 2012.[63]

Filming[edit]

Man
Cold Feet had a number of directors, including Tom Hooper, who directed two episodes of the second series in 1999

All episodes of Cold Feet were shot on film stock on locations in and around Greater Manchester.[2] Sets were designed by Chris Truelove to reflect the characters; Karen and David's home was designed as a spacious detached house intended to be located in Bowdon, while Pete and Jenny and Adam and Rachel had smaller middle-class abodes intended to be located in Didsbury. All exteriors of the characters' houses were shot on location.[64] Christine Langan was keen to avoid a generic sitcom style of filming, citing the formulae of such programmes as "tired and dreary" and lacking emotional depth.[65] To achieve this goal, she and Harries recruited directors with little background in television. These included Nigel Cole, who came from an advertising background and was keen to use the two episodes of the first series he was allotted to "make his mark" and establish himself as a good television director.[66] Other directors included Mark Mylod, Tom Hooper, Tom Vaughan, Pete Travis, Jon Jones, Ciaran Donnelly and Tim Sullivan.

For the first series, interior sets were built at the Blue Shed Studios in Salford. Three directors and three film crews were used to film the six 50-minute episodes over 14 weeks from March to May 1998.[67] Locations included an empty shop unit near Piccadilly station for the charity shop sex scene in Episode 3 and a Masonic Lodge for the gala dinner scenes in Episode 6.[68] In the second year, the sets were moved to the Spectrum Arena in Warrington, where filming ran from March to June.[69] The series featured the first location shoots outside Manchester; a short scene in Episode 2 featuring Bathurst was filmed over half a day in Blackpool; Bathurst, Norris and a small production crew filmed scenes in Paris for Episode 3; exterior location scenes of the characters on holiday in Episode 6 were filmed on Lindisfarne, though the castle interiors were shot at Hoghton Tower.[70] The second series also featured more visual effects; in Episode 5 Adam dreams about being chased by a giant testicle (which was computer-generated) and in Episode 6 a fireworks explosion was supervised by pyrotechnics experts.[71] The testicle dream scene drew mixed reaction. The Mirror's television critic Charlie Catchpole praised it[72] but Robert Bathurst was critical: "I hated that sequence. I thought it was really unfunny. It was a lousy prop and awful graphics and there was too much of it—it would have been much better if it was like a Monty Python foot come smacking down like that and get it over with. You couldn't keep up that surprise and hilarity for all the minutes it was on the screen."[27] By the third series, Cold Feet's sets were permanently located on a Granada warehouse stage and were left intact between series. This meant the basic sets could be used on other Granada programmes, such as The Grimleys and My Beautiful Son. After the final episode was filmed in 2002, the sets were dismantled and taken to a landfill.[64]

Building
Cold Feet was filmed on location around Manchester, such as at Bridgewater Hall in the city centre

In Series 3, Cold Feet shot outside England for the first time for Episode 5. A storyline featuring Adam's stag weekend was originally scripted to take place first in Blackpool and then in Dublin.[33][73] James Nesbitt suggested that it should be filmed in Belfast and Portrush, near where he grew up. He, Andy Harries and producer Spencer Campbell scouted the locations in April 2000 before filming went ahead later that year.[74] Local businesspeople were so eager to promote the area that they waived any fees Granada would have given them for allowing filming, meaning the location manager only spent £20, considerably less than the £3,000 a typical shoot of that length would have cost.[75] This location shoot inspired the producers to film even further away from Manchester; in November 2000, Bullen and Harries spoke at the Screen Producers Association of Australia conference, where they decided to base the fourth series finale in Sydney.[17][76] The episode was written to be a "normal episode" of Cold Feet that just had a different background.[33] The main cast—except for Helen Baxendale who was pregnant—the producers and Ciaran Donnelly shot for 18 days in October 2001 in locations that included Hyde Park, Kirribilli, Double Bay and the northern beaches.[77] Budget problems meant an overseas location could not be secured for Series 5, so scenes in the final episode were shot in Portmeirion, Wales.[33]

Screen time was divided up equally between the couples over the course of an episode, though occasionally some scenes would run longer; in Series 4, Episode 3, the scenes of Karen clubbing went on for ten uninterrupted minutes.[78] These scenes were also a rarity for location filming; usually filming in public places was done on a Sunday during closing hours but the clubbing scenes in this episode were filmed during opening hours at the Music Box in Manchester. A hand-held camera was used to enhance the frenetic pace.[79]

Music[edit]

Incidental music for the series was composed by Mark Russell. He also composed a theme tune, which was used as an alternative to Space's "Female of the Species". Christine Langan heard "Female of the Species" on The Chart Show while the pilot was being produced and decided to make it the theme song. She remained involved in choosing popular music used on the show for the three series she worked on it.[2] "Female of the Species" was used as a closing theme throughout the first series. For the second series, it was replaced by Morcheeba's "Let Me See", except for the last episode when John Lennon's "Love" was used. The Mirror's Charlie Catchpole described the diagetic popular music in the school reunion scenes of Series 2, Episode 4—"Don't You Want Me" (The Human League), "Relax" (Frankie Goes to Hollywood), "Temptation" (Heaven 17), "True" (Spandau Ballet), "Do You Really Want to Hurt Me" (Culture Club) and "Tainted Love" (Soft Cell)—as "[catching] the changing mood with devastating precision".[80] Catchpole's positive comments about the music led to a previously shelved soundtrack album being released.[72]

Broadcast[edit]

The ITV Network Centre originally scheduled the first series to be broadcast in the 10 pm timeslot on Sunday nights. This went against the wishes of Andy Harries, who wanted it broadcast at 9 pm in the so-called "ironing slot"—generally used for programmes that an audience does not have to concentrate on. David Liddiment compromised by allowing the show to start at 9.30 pm[81] Harries was able to get the second series moved to 9 pm, which annoyed advertisers.[59] The third series remained in the same timeslot but, like other series on the network, suffered from ITV's late decision to add a third advert break to hour-long shows.[82] Episode 8, featuring Adam and Rachel's wedding, was broadcast on Boxing Day—the first time the show was aired on a Tuesday.[83] The eighth episode of Series 4 and all four episodes of Series 5 were extended to fill a 90-minute timeslot.[33]

The series was repeated when ITV launched digital channel ITV3, then marketed towards over-35 viewers.[84] In the United States, Cold Feet was first broadcast on the cable network Bravo. Bravo bought the pilot and first three series for  million.[85] The pilot was broadcast as a "sneak peek" before the regular series run began.[86] From 2005 the series was broadcast by BBC America.[87] When broadcast on SABC 3 in South Africa, the series is retitled Life, Love and Everything Else.[88] Worldwide, it has been broadcast in over 34 countries.[7]

Reception[edit]

Critical reaction[edit]

Critical response to the first episode was not favourable; in The Independent, Nicholas Barber called it the most depressing TV programme he had ever seen. He wrote of the six main characters, "Are we supposed to care about these people? The theory, I think, is that we should relate to them, because their lives are as prosaic as our own, and because Cold Feet is a portrait of urban life as it really is in the Nineties. This is another way of saying the writer hasn't bothered with research or imagination." He criticised the conclusion of Episode 1 but praised the other five, which he had seen on preview tapes.[89] On The Late Review, Germaine Greer and Tony Parsons singled out Nesbitt's acting; Greer called him "especially awful" and Parsons wished that he had plunged to his death from the scissor lift Adam appears on at the beginning of the episode.[90] General reaction improved as the first year went on. At the conclusion of the first series, Andrew Billen compared it with Vanity Fair in the Evening Standard and was pleased that it offered a televisual outlet for the "forgotten" twentysomethings.[91]Paul Hoggart for The Times wrote positively of the writing, directing, acting, and editing and looked forward to how Rachel's pregnancy plot would be resolved in the second series.[92]

Other critics hailed it as "the British answer to Thirtysomething"; in 1998, Meg Carter wrote in The Independent, "More than 10 years on, Granada Television has finally produced a modern show that mines the rich seam of a generation that is as confused as it is liberated by increased choice and freedom, and that caters for an audience which has not, traditionally, watched very much ITV."[65]Mark Lawson compared it to the American sitcom Friends, a series that is also based around three men and three women, and featured Helen Baxendale in a guest role.[93] In a 2003 interview with Bullen on BBC Radio 4's Front Row, Lawson asked whether Friends had influenced Cold Feet. Bullen explained that the connection was made by media as "a useful shorthand", that he was irritated by the characters in Friends and "would liked to have taken a baseball bat to them".[94]

In 2001, Andrew Billen compared the contemporary cultural relevance of the series to The Way We Live Now, as a follow-up to his comparison of the first series with Vanity Fair: "In previous years we have seen the anguish caused by infidelity, impotence and infertility. This season the characters face the hazards thrown up by miscarriage, alcoholism and a late-flowering career. Sustaining relationships looks as hard as ever. Yet there is nothing each protagonist wants more than old-fashioned domestic bliss."[95] The review resonated with other critics; in The Scotsman, Linda Watson-Brown wrote an overall positive review of the series in general—dismissing the spate of "anti-Cold Feet" reviews—but criticised "the ease with which problems are resolved and morality used to slap the viewer in the face".[96] The final episode set in Australia polarised critics; in a column focusing on Chewin' the Fat, Scotsman critic Aidan Smith accused the big-budget episode "which somehow managed to squeeze the Harbour Bridge into every shot" of being the point the series jumped the shark, and Times columnist Caitlin Moran complimented it, but was concerned that the series' original main characters—Adam and Rachel—were being sidelined by everyone including Mike Bullen.[97][98]

When the fifth series began in 2003, critics welcomed its end. Paul Hoggart wrote in The Times that the flashback and fantasy scenes were becoming so overused on television that their use in Cold Feet was less surprising than it was in 1998.[99] In Scotland on Sunday, Helen Stewart lamented the loss of Fay Ripley and Jenny's replacement by "the bland but international crossover-friendly Jo, [...] who is sufficiently pointless to be dismissed even by her fellow characters as 'not as good as Jenny'." Stewart also criticised Hermione Norris's acting and Karen for being a "spoon-faced moaner".[100] A brief article on the MediaGuardian website described a "revisionist backlash" as critics' negative opinions of the series contrasted with the positive reaction that greeted it in 1998.[101]

Depiction of social issues[edit]

Cold Feet's cast and crew were frequently praised for their depiction of real-life social issues on the series. When Cold Feet began, Christine Langan stated, "The real challenge was to overcome the traditional view that many of the issues we cover—jealousy, guilt, money, sexual problems, parental death—are ordinary issues, hardy perennials and, as such, not interesting enough for drama."[65] The fourth episode of the first series was controversial due to its depiction of the characters freely discussing their sex lives; in the left-wing New Statesman, Andrew Billen praised it as a homage to La Ronde and, despite the sex-talk, being "intricately constructed as a farce".[102] The right-wing tabloid Daily Mail's critic wrote that the episode "veered a little too close last night towards the category of 'adult entertainment', with all its connotations of sleaze and smut" and "we found ourselves immersed in their sex lives on a level of embarrassing intimacy which most people would share only with their doctor".[103] A complaint was made by a viewer to the Independent Television Commission—the commercial television regulator—about the depiction of sex, but it was not upheld.[104]

A scene in Series 2, Episode 4 showing Karen smoking a joint at a dinner party was debated at the writing stage; all scripts were required to be sent to Granada's Compliance department to ensure they maintained the ITC's code of conduct. The department would not allow Karen's drug use to be portrayed without some cost to her, so suggested that Karen and Adam could be arrested while rolling joints at the school reunion. Bullen thought the idea was "ludicrous" so added a scene where David berates Ramona for her drug use.[105] Despite the measures taken, four people complained to the ITC about the glamorisation of drugs. The ITC dismissed the complaints.[106] The scenes of Jo and Audrey smoking cannabis in Series 5, Episode 1 drew seven complaints to the ITC by people who thought it would give children the wrong impression of drugs. The ITC dismissed the complaints on the basis that the episode was broadcast after the watershed.[107] Mark Lawson was unappreciative of the scene, writing that the drugs plot was a "forced jollity" compared to the other humorous scenes in the episode.[93]

In Series 3, Adam and Rachel seek intracytoplasmic sperm injection (ICSI) when they have trouble conceiving a child naturally. The characters take out bank loans of thousands of pounds to pay for the treatment, which is unsuccessful each time. The producers devised this storyline because IVF was a major contemporary issue and wrote the treatment as a failure because it was representative of the odds of conception in real life.[17]

Rachel's problem with conception is soon diagnosed as being due to "partial Asherman's syndrome", a storyline that runs through Series 3 and 4. The plot was analysed on an episode of BBC Radio 4's Woman's Hour. Ann Furedi of BPAS, which had supplied information to the writing team during the research stages, stated that there had not been a recorded case of Asherman's syndrome in the United Kingdom since the Second World War. Further to that, she stated that the consensus among medical groups was that there was no real direct link between abortions and infertility; rather an untreated infection could increase the chances of fertility problems if it interfered with an abortion. Christine Geraghty[108] countered that the factual accuracy of the storyline depended on how the producers wanted to portray the issue to viewers. Her opinion was backed up by an ITV statement, which said that "stories for Cold Feet are not just chosen in order to make people aware of the issues involved; they're also chosen for their dramatic potential and relevance to modern living".[54]Woman's Hour presenter Jenni Murray developed the discussion in an article for The Guardian; she mentioned that no impression was given that Rachel had suffered an incorrectly performed operation or had had to travel to eastern Europe for it, and that it was improbable that Rachel managed to conceive a child after all.[109]

Cold Feet continued to cover social issues when it returned in 2016. The character of Pete was diagnosed with depression. Writer Mike Bullen himself has battled depression.

Influence on television[edit]

In a 2007 feature for The Guardian's G2 supplement, screenwriter Danny Brocklehurst discussed the impact the series has had on British television, including inspiration for one of his programmes, Talk to Me. He opined that until Cold Feet there had not been a significant television series depicting "the wants and needs of ordinary young adults" since Thirtysomething concluded in 1991. Brocklehurst developed Talk to Me in the same manner as Bullen developed Cold Feet, namely by basing its characters on his own experiences and friends.[110] Both Brocklehurst and Mark Lawson have discussed similar "copycat" series, including Hearts and Bones, Metropolis, Couples and Wonderful You.[93][110] Brocklehurst noted that these series "lacked [Cold Feet's] warmth and believability" adding that they were "unrealistic and cynical".[110] In 2007, Brocklehurst said:[110]

Cold Feet proved that you didn't have to have a high concept to make compelling, heartwarming, sometimes profound drama. And, while the show dealt with issues such adoption, alcoholism and testicular cancer, it was always at its most successful when bouncing playfully between the three couples, neatly exposing the differences between men and women.

Over four years after Cold Feet ended, ITV executives were still looking for a series that could comfortably replace it. On his appointment as chairman of ITV plc in 2007, Michael Grade announced that he wanted the ITV network to be broadcasting long-running series like Cold Feet to attract the younger, upmarket viewing demographic.[111]

In 2008, BBC One broadcast Mutual Friends, a six-part television series written by Anil Gupta, which was compared to Cold Feet. While the BBC wanted the series to match the success of Cold Feet, producer Rob Bullock stressed that "Cold Feet is about a different period of life. It's about people in their early thirties. Mutual Friends moves things on—what's happening to our characters as they approach 40 is very different. Why do so many lives fall apart at 40? Because things haven't worked out how we hoped and we've had to turn to Plan B. The drama is all about the crisis caused by things not turning out as the characters planned."[112] Later in 2008, ITV commissioned Married Single Other, a comedy drama executive-produced by Andy Harries and directed by Declan Lowney, about three contemporary couples living in Leeds.[113]

Granada Entertainment USA, the American arm of Granada Productions, tendered the series format to American networks and cable channels from late 1997.[114] The format was sold to NBC, which commissioned 13 x 60-minute episodes in May 1999 for the fall season, to be produced in association with Kerry Ehrin Productions.[115]The US series starred David Sutcliffe as Adam Williams and Jean Louisa Kelly as Shelley Sullivan (the Rachel role). Low ratings lead to the series being cancelled after four episodes.[116] In 2003 the format was sold to Italian network Mediaset for a 2004 broadcast.[117] In 2008, Polish broadcaster TVN secured the rights to a remake from Granada International.[118] This version, entitled Usta, usta, is set in Warsaw.[119] The thirteen-episode series began filming in May 2009 and was broadcast from 6 March 2010.[120][121] An adaptation entitled Přešlapy has also been developed for television audiences in the Czech Republic.[122] The creators intend the show to run for three series of 13 episodes and tell a story over seven years. The first series was broadcast from September 2009.[123]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Main article: List of awards and nominations received by Cold Feet

During and after its original run, Cold Feet won over 20 major awards.[7] For its first year, Cold Feet received three British Comedy Award nominations; the series won in the Best TV Comedy Drama category and Nesbitt and Ripley were respectively nominated for Best TV Comedy Actor and Best TV Comedy Actress.[124][125] The series also won the Royal Television Society Programme Award for Situation Comedy & Comedy Drama, and the Broadcasting Press Guild Award for Best Entertainment.[126][127] For the second series, it received four British Academy Television Award (BAFTA) nominations—Best Drama Series, Best Original Television Music, Best Graphic Design, and Best Editing (Fiction/Entertainment).[128] At the Television and Radio Industries Club Awards it won TV Comedy Programme of the Year, and a second Best TV Comedy Drama award at the British Comedy Awards.[129][130] The awards for the television industry magazine Broadcast presented it with the Drama: Series or Serial award.[131] In year three, Fay Ripley became the only actor to receive a BAFTA nomination for their work on the series; she was nominated for Best Actress.[132] At the BAFTA Craft awards, David Nicholls was nominated in the New Writer (Fiction) category, and Jon Jones was nominated in the New Director (Fiction) category.[133] It lost out on four British Comedy Award nominations (Nesbitt and Thomson for Best TV Comedy Actor, Norris for Best TV Comedy Actress, and the third series for Best TV Comedy Drama) but won the People's Choice Award (a viewer poll).[134][135] The series also scored an International Emmy Award drama nomination.[136] Series 4 won the BAFTA for Best Drama Series and the National Television Award for Most Popular Comedy Programme.[137][138] At the British Comedy Awards 2003, Series 5 won Best TV Comedy Drama and Mike Bullen was named Writer of the Year.[139]

Merchandise[edit]

Four non-fiction tie-in books have been released by Granada Media, an imprint of André Deutsch Publishing. 2000 saw the release of Cold Feet: The Best Bits (ISBN 0-233-99924-8) and Cold Feet: A Man's/Woman's Guide to Life (ISBN 0-233-99732-6). The Best Bits, compiled by Geoff Tibballs, features script extracts and behind-the-scenes information from directors, producers and actors in the first two series. A Man's/Woman's Guide to Life, compiled by Jonathan Rice, is in a "flip-book"-style format, and is presented as if written by the characters. It features backstories for the characters, drawn from Bullen's scripts for the first two series. The Little Book of Cold Feet: Life Rules (ISBN 0-233-05088-4), a book of quotes from the series, was compiled by Rice and released in 2003. The same year, The Complete Cold Feet Companion (ISBN 0-233-00999-X) by Rupert Smith, featuring interviews with the actors and production staff, was released. The book sold 961 copies in the first week of publication, making tenth position on the hardback non-fiction chart.[140]

Five soundtracks have been released, featuring music from the series. Global TV released Cold Feet: The Official Soundtrack on two CDs in 1999. The soundtrack had been shelved before release but was put back on the schedule when Mirror journalist Charlie Catchpole wrote a column that desired for it to be released.[72] Global followed the first OST with More Cold Feet in 2000. In 2001, UMTV released the two-disc soundtrack Cold Feet, followed by The Very Best of Cold Feet in 2003. EMI Gold released Cold Feet in 2006. Cheatwell Games issued a licensed board game in 2001.[141]

All series have been released on DVD in the United Kingdom and Australia, by Video Collection International and Universal respectively. Series 1–3 have been released in the United States by Acorn Media. A collection of all five series was released in the United Kingdom in 2003. A version exclusive to Play.com had a bonus disc that contained the retrospective documentary Cold Feet: The Final Call, new interviews with John Thomson, Andy Harries and Spencer Campbell, and a locations featurette presented by Thomson.[142] This 11-disc version had a general release when Granada Ventures re-released all five series in new packaging in 2006.[143] All DVD and VHS releases of Series 5 have been edited from the original four episodes into six episodes of various lengths.

The pilot and first series was made available as streaming media on ITV plc's revamped itv.com website from 2007[144] to 2009. All episodes have been available from ITV's iTunes Store since 2008.[145]

A novel based on the series, Cold Feet: The Lost Years by Carmel Harrington was published by Hodder & Stoughton on 7 September 2017. The official tie-in to the series, it fills in the missing years between series 5 and series 6.

DVD Release date Region 2 Region 1 Region 4 The Pilot and Complete 1st Series The Complete 2nd Series The Complete 3rd Series The Complete 4th Series The Complete 5th Series
25 September 2000[146] 25 January 2005[147] 4 February 2002[148]
16 October 2000[149] 26 April 2005[147] 5 December 2006[150]
5 November 2001[151] 26 July 2005[152] 2 February 2007[153]
25 November 2002[154] 3 April 2007[155]
24 March 2003[156] 1 June 2007[157]

References[edit]

Primary sources

  1. ^ Series 1, Episode 4. 6 December 1998.
  2. ^ Series 4, Episode 6. 3 December 2001.
  3. ^ a b Series 2, Episode 5. 24 October 1999.
  4. ^ Series 3, Episode 8. 26 December 2000.
  5. ^ a b c d Series 4, Episode 8. 10 December 2001.
  6. ^ Series 5, Episode 3. 9 March 2003.
  7. ^ a b c d e f Series 5, Episode 4. 16 March 2003.
  8. ^ Series 1, Episode 2. 22 November 1998.
  9. ^ Series 1, Episode 6. 20 December 1998.
  10. ^ Series 2, Episode 1. 26 September 1999.
  11. ^ Series 2, Episode 3. 10 October 1999.
  12. ^ Series 3, Episode 1. 12 November 2000.
  13. ^ a b Series 4, Episode 2. 18 November 2001.
  14. ^ a b Series 2, Episode 2. 3 October 1999.
  15. ^ Series 3, Episode 2. 12 November 2000.
  16. ^ Series 4, Episode 3. 25 November 2001.
  17. ^ a b Series 5, Episode 2. 2 March 2003.
  18. ^ Series 4, Episode 5. 2 December 2001.

Secondary sources

  1. ^ Sherwin, Adam (19 November 2015). "Cold Feet: Hit drama series following group of thirtysomethings to return to ITV after 12 years". The Independent. Retrieved 20 November 2015.
  2. ^ a b c d e Smith, pp. 60–66.
  3. ^ a b Tibballs, pp. 9–10.
  4. ^ Smith, p. 6.
  5. ^ Tibballs, p. 7.
  6. ^ a b Tibballs, p. 18.
  7. ^ a b c Beesley, Max (narrator). (2003). Cold Feet: The Final Call [Television broadcast]. Granada Television.
  8. ^ a b Tibballs, p. 14.
  9. ^ a b Strenske, Bettina (September 1997). "Golden Rose of Montreux for Mike Bullen". London Screenwriters' Workshop. Retrieved 17 July 2008. Archived from the original on 13 February 1998.
  10. ^ Smith, Christine (15 August 1997). "Cold Feet heads up triple commission for Granada". Broadcast (Emap Business): p. 2.
  11. ^ Lyng, Eoghan (17 December 2018). ""I could see the opportunity for new stories and dilemmas. There was stuff I wanted to write about" An interview with Cold Feet creator Mike Bullen". The Digital Fix. Retrieved 18 December 2018.
  12. ^ Tibballs, p. 12.
  13. ^ Smith, p. 27.
  14. ^ Smith, p. 76.
  15. ^ Smith, p. 170.
  16. ^ Smith, p. 11.
  17. ^ a b c d e f g h Harries, Andy. (2003). Interview on bonus disc of "Cold Feet: The Complete Story" DVD [DVD]. Video Collection International.
  18. ^ Starrett, Ian (9 October 2000). "Cold Feet puts Nesbitt into the Best Bits". The News Letter (Johnston Press): p. 7.
  19. ^ Quigley, Maeve (8 October 2000). "£20,000 a Show; 'Gold feat'". Sunday Mirror (MGN): p. 32 (archived Archived 19 October 2015 at the Wayback Machine at findarticles.com. Retrieved 2 April 2009).
  20. ^ Conlan, Tara (17 December 2001). "Gold Feet". Daily Mail (Associated Newspapers): p. 5.
  21. ^ Smith, p. 25.
  22. ^ Smith, pp. 225–226.
  23. ^ Smith, p. 207.
  24. ^ a b c Thomson, John. (2003). Interview on bonus disc of "Cold Feet: The Complete Story" DVD [DVD]. Video Collection International.
  25. ^ Smith, pp. 181–182.
  26. ^ Tibballs, p. 15.
  27. ^ a b Robins, Craig (October 2004). "In conversation with Robert Bathurst—Part Four". jokingapart.co.uk. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
  28. ^ Tibballs, p. 164.
  29. ^ Tibballs, p. 86.
  30. ^ Smith, p. 165.
  31. ^ Smith, p. 162.
  32. ^ Smith, p. 166.
  33. ^ a b c d e Campbell, Spencer. (2003). Interview on bonus disc of "Cold Feet: The Complete Story" DVD [DVD]. Video Collection International.
  34. ^ Driscoll, Rob (18 February 2003). "Aussie rules". Western Mail (Western Mail & Echo): p. 18.
  35. ^ Smith, p. 171.
  36. ^ Tibballs, p. 156.
  37. ^ Smith, p. 120.
  38. ^ Smith, pp. 179, 252.
  39. ^ Smith, p. 228.
  40. ^ Smith, p. 104.
  41. ^ a b Smith, p. 159
  42. ^ Smith, p. 219.
  43. ^ Smith, p. 105.
  44. ^ "Eve Myles cast in Cold Feet". Female First. Retrieved 4 February 2019.
  45. ^ Ellard, Andrew (20 April 2001). "Smooth With A Capital Smoo". reddwarf.co.uk. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
  46. ^ Smith, pp. 115–116.
  47. ^ "Radio 1 presenter to star in Cold Feet". BBC News. 2016-02-08.
  48. ^ a b c Bullen, Mike (29 October 2000). "Cold comfort fame". The Observer (Guardian News & Media): p. 2 (Screen section).
  49. ^ Smith, pp. 182, 246.
  50. ^ Smith, p. 9.
  51. ^ Tibballs, pp. 120, 124.
  52. ^ Tibballs, p. 188.
  53. ^ Hattersley, Giles (29 January 2006). "Making babies the Noughties way". The Sunday Times (Times Newspapers): p. 10 (News Review section).
  54. ^ a b Furedi, Ann; Christine Geraghty. Interview with Jenni Murray. Woman's Hour. BBC Radio 4. 21 November 2001. Retrieved 29 March 2009.
  55. ^ a b Wells, Matt (27 December 2000). "Cold Feet over a fifth series of hit show". MediaGuardian (Guardian News & Media). Retrieved 29 March 2009.
  56. ^ Hennigan, Adrian (24 September 2007). "The Writing of Control". BBC Film Network. Retrieved 14 January 2011 (archived by WebCite on 14 January 2011).
  57. ^ Simpson, Richard (11 March 2003). "Is this the end for Cold Feet?". Evening Standard (Associated Newspapers): p. 3.
  58. ^ Harries, Andy (2003). Cold Feet: The Final Call [Television broadcast]. Granada Television.
  59. ^ a b Leonard, Tom (31 October 2003). "Viewers get cold feet over drama". The Daily Telegraph (Telegraph Media Group): p. 21.
  60. ^ Gould, Lara (29 July 2007). "Cold Feet last get toegether" Archived 5 June 2011 at the Wayback Machine. Sunday Mirror (MGN): p. 35.
  61. ^ Spencer, Kathryn (19 September 2007). "Fay's shock at reunion gossip". Sunday Express (Express Newspapers).
  62. ^ Plunkett, John (28 August 2010). "Cold Feet 'might return' – Andy Harries". guardian.co.uk (Guardian News & Media). Retrieved 28 August 2010.
  63. ^ Harries, Andy. Radio interview with Kate Silverton. BBC Radio 5 live. 29 August 2010.
  64. ^ a b Smith, pp. 106–109
  65. ^ a b c Carter, Meg (9 November 1998). "On Air: Our friends in the North". The Independent (Independent Newspapers): p. 18.
  66. ^ Cole, Nigel. (2003). Cold Feet: The Final Call [Television broadcast]. Granada Television.
  67. ^ Staff (October 1998). "ITV's case of cold feet". Televisual (Televisual Media UK).
  68. ^ Tibballs, pp. 58, 95.
  69. ^ Staff (19 March 1999). "Warm welcome for Cold Feet stars". Warrington Guardian (Newsquest).
  70. ^ Tibballs, pp. 142, 165, 211.
  71. ^ Tibballs, pp. 190, 217.
  72. ^ a b c Catchpole, Charlie (26 October 1999). "My turn to call the tune". Daily Mirror (MGN): p. 9 (features supplement).
  73. ^ Nesbitt, James (2000). Cold Feet Backstage [DVD]. Video Collection International (under license from Granada Interactive).
  74. ^ Staff (26 April 2000). "Cold Feet dip into the north-west". The News Letter (Century Newspapers): p. 12.
  75. ^ Nesbitt, James (18 June 2009). "James Nesbitt on Northern Ireland: Drama is borne out of conflict". Broadcast (Emap Media). Retrieved 30 June 2009.
  76. ^ Harty, Jason (6 September 2000). "Olsberg, Towne, McGovern for SPAA[permanent dead link]". Encore Magazine (RBI Australia).
  77. ^ Miller, Kylie (23 May 2002). "Travelling south". The Age (Fairfax Media): p. 8 (Green Guide section).
  78. ^ Smith, Greg M. (2006). "A Case of Cold Feet: Serial Narration and the Character Arc" (subscription access). Journal of British Cinema and Television (Edinburgh University Press) 3 (1): pp. 82–94. doi:10.3366/JBCTV.2006.3.1.82.
  79. ^ Smith, p. 184.
  80. ^ Catchpole, Charlie (19 October 1999). "Truly Remarkable Feet". Daily Mirror (MGN): p. 9 (features supplement).
  81. ^ Tibballs, p. 11.
  82. ^ Walsh, Nick Paton (22 October 2000). "ITV drama in turmoil over new ad breaks". The Observer (Guardian News & Media): p. 11.
  83. ^ Phillips, William (19 January 2001). "Christmas Day audience peak neared 30 million". Broadcastnow (Emap Media).
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Bibliography

  • Smith, Rupert (2003). Cold Feet: The Complete Companion. London: Granada Media. ISBN 0-233-00999-X.
  • Tibballs, Geoff (2000). Cold Feet: The Best Bits…. London: Granada Media. ISBN 0-233-99924-8.

External links[edit]



Latest Entry 

1/02/12: REPEAT FROM 12/14/11

1/03/12 [3603]: Tonight's audience shout out is to a drunk guy from British Columbia. ••• It's Dave's first impression of 2012! (He calls it a reenactment.) He takes a few moments to adjust his clothing, touch up his hair and prepare himself mentally to portray himself. He turns to face his audience, and in his best dumb guy voice delivers the line, "Uhhh... one senior for We Bought a Zoo, please." ••• It's the first telecast of 2011, and time for Dave's new year's resolutions. He claims he normally doesn't do this, but he did so one year ago today. Here we go:

  1. I'm going to begin grooming my son to be my successor.
  2. I would love to have a gallery showing of my clown paintings.
  3. I am going to speak up more at my book club.
  4. I'm gonna get myself a new yoga mat.
  5. Bring home a competitive eating trophy.
  6. At my next Scientology seminar, I'm gonna introduce myself to Tom Cruise.
••• "Hard Hitting News Clip of the Night" / video:

(title graphic and "Breaking Now" intro music)

(KGO ABC 7 San Francisco reporter): "Is it easy to coax a monkey into a backpack?"

(Jill Andrews, San Francisco Zoo employee): "I would venture to say that it is not."

(title graphic)

••• Premiere staff outburst of 2012:

(Dave): "Maybe you know about this. Aretha Franklin is getting married to her longtime friend, William "Willie" Wilkerson."

(Alan, screaming, moaning and weeping): "What! My God, no! No, Dave! Why? Why? Oh, come on. Don't... don't do that to me, please! Oh!"

(Dave, to Paul): "You know Willie Wilkerson."

(Dave, to Alan): "Alan. Alan. Excuse me, Alan. What is the problem?"

(Alan): "I'm sorry. Maybe I misheard you. What'd you say?"

(Dave): "I said that Aretha Franklin is getting married to a guy named Willie Wilkerson."

(Alan): "Oh, God, NO!"

(Alan, to camera operator): "Come in. Come in real close and tight. Tight, dammit! Tight!"

(Alan, to Miss Franklin): "Aretha, my darling... You're makin' a mistake. I want you to look me in the eye, and if you tell me you love him more than me, I will walk away."

(Dave): "OK, OK, that's... Three days, and he's already ruined the new year. Thanks. Alright, that's plenty. Thank you."

••• The Iowa presidential primary election's coming up. Dave likes it when a Republican front-runner is getting his way, and Mitt Romney throws some money to run a bunch of negative commercials. Then the guy starts whining. Newt Gingrich says every commercial — no matter what for — in Iowa has something negative to say about him. / video:

(clip): Hamburger Helper® ad / family eating dinner

(voice-over): "Looking for an easy dinner the whole family will love? Hamburger Helper® has 40 varieties to turn plain ground beef into a different dish every night! Also, Newt Gingrich is an ass      ."

(photo): Newt

(Hamburger Helper® hand): "Look at that guy!"

(voice-over): "Hamburger Helper®: Forty dishes. All delicious."

••• "Ron Paul: In It to Win It" / video:

(title graphic and trumpet fanfare)

(ABC interviewer, to Paul): "When you lay your head down on the pillow at night, do you see yourself in the Oval Office?"

(Ron Paul): "Not really."

(title graphic)

••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights and, "Oh, and thanks for inviting me to all those fun New Year's Eve parties I keep reading about on Facebook!" ••• desk chat: Dave's on the Twitter machine again, and he's decided to lie about who's on the show. He claims Norv Turner is on. Dave has 128,848 followers on Twitter now. ••• "Tom Hanks Tells Buddy Hackett Jokes" / Tom's in front of a green screen so he looks like a stand-up comedian in front of a curtain. ••• Tweet: Dave claims Buddy Hackett is on tonight, too. ••• Top Ten Signs It Might Be Time to End Your Presidential Campaign / The drunk guy from British Columbia gets #9! ••• desk chat: Dave's taking to piracy on Twitter. Instead of retweeting, he's cutting and pasting. He decides to rip off a Jimmy Fallon tweet.

(The censors blurred out the F in LMFAO.) ••• Will Arnett plugs Up All Night. Dave and Will tag team a tweet to Fallon. ••• desk chat: a tweet to Jimmy Fallon ••• Act 5 Audience Pan, and Alan Kalter proudly displays a new shipment of vacuum cleaner bags ••• Lisa Lampanelli ••• Guided by Voices sing. ••• Alan Kalter says good night.

1/04/12 [3604]: We have a different twist on the audience shout out tonight. Dave announces that he has appointed an audience leader. ••• Pat Farmer and Tommy O'Brien roll out a display of the Iowa presidential caucuses last night. Dave begins to point out something when the screen crashes to the floor and explodes. Oh, well. ••• "Marcus O'Bachmann: Gettin' It Done" / video:

(title graphic and Paul's "It's Raining Men")

(Michele O'Bachmann): "Yesterday, when we were out on Main Street in Des Moines, he was buying doggie sunglasses for our dog, Boomer."

(title graphic and Paul's "It's Raining Men")

••• rerun from 10/06/11: New Jersey's Governor Chris Christie isn't running for president after all. Here's another look at his press conference. What he has to say isn't quite the point, as we marvel at the governor's sandwich construction skills. / video: It's a multi-decker production, with a heaping helping of mustard on top, all made while the governor speaks. ••• "The Importance of the Iowa Caucus" / video:

(title graphic and "In Tune Today")

(voice-over): "The Iowa Caucus has long been considered one of the most important events in our election process. Congratulations to this year's victor, Mitt Romney, who joins previous winners President Huckabee, President Kerry, President Dole, President Gephardt and two-time winner, President Uncommitted. Mitt Romney: Stoked!"

(title graphic)

••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights and "Late Show Word of the Day": Cornucopia. ••• desk chat:
  1. Dave has to stop tweeting to Jimmy Fallon, because he's on NBC, and it's making the CBS network people sad.
  2. Dave got on the eharmony.comancestry.com, where he found out that his great great grandmother lived next door to Hitler.
••• "Insights and Analysis with Joe Grossman"

(Joe comes out in an Elvis black wig, with huge sideburns, a red jumpsuit and cape.)

(Dave): "Hi, Joe. Nice to see you! How're ya doin'?"

(Joe): "I got attacked by a pigeon."

(Dave): "Was that over the weekend you got attacked by a pigeon?"

(Joe): "Yeah."

(Dave): "I'm sorry to hear that. What do you have for us tonight, Joe?"

(Joe, to the audience): "With Mitt Romney eeking out a narrow victory over Rick Santorum in yesterday's Iowa Caucus, attention now turns to New Hampshire primary. If Rick Santorum is able to build on his momentum and finish strong in the Granite State, it could undermine the Romney campaign's claim of inevitability."

(Dave): "Now, Joe, excuse me. I'm gonna stop you right there. You know that you're dressed like Elvis?"

(Joe): "Yes."

(Dave): "Yeah. And, uh, was that in the script?"

(Joe): "No.

(Dave): "Did you write this segment?"

(Joe): "No."

(Dave, smiling): "I think maybe your writer buddies are having some fun with you tonight. "

(Joe): "I think you're probably right."

(Dave): "Yeah. Yeah."

(Joe): "May I go?"

(Dave): "Yes, you can go now."

(Joe): exits the stage

••• desk chat: Dave says he wasn't going to name Hitler in the earlier desk chat. He meant to say Daniel Boone. Paul opines that Hitler is stronger. Dave just got confused. ••• Top Ten Surprises at Michele O'Bachmann's Press Conference ••• desk chat: Dave got on ancestry.match, where he found his parents. For example, his mother was Marilyn Monroe, and his father was Harvey Lembeck. ••• Brian Williams plugs Rock Center. Over time, Brian's been one of the show's greatest guests, along with his predecessor, Tom Brokaw, Tom Hanks, Julia Roberts and, of course, Amanda Peet. ••• Twitter update: Dave has 134,596 followers today. ••• Act 5 Audience Pan ••• another tweet ••• outside cam: Brian Williams beats up a punk on the sidewalk after his interview. Dude looked at Brian funny, I guess, so he needed a knee to the trousers. ••• Dave tweets to Larry King. ••• WU LYF sing. ••• Alan Kalter says good night.

1/05/12 [3605]: "Iranian Missile Test" / video from www.presstv.com: We see a highly mountainous area, and hear in a Middle-Eastern accent: "T minus three, two, one." A hand appears onscreen, guiding a toy missile through its launch and descent, complete with sound effects. ••• interruption: The Digital Twins, Jay Johnson and Walter Kim, as EMT dudes, rush in during the monologue.

(Dave): "Oh, my God! What? Hi. Hey. Holy crap!"

(Jay): "Are you Letterman?"

(Dave): "Yes."

(Jay): "Are you OK?"

(Dave): "I'm fine."

(Jay): "Quit playing with your Medic Alert® button, ass      !"

(Dave): "First of all, that's not what I was playin' with. Nice bedside manner, by the way."

(Scene.)

(The Digital Storm Troopers stand by, just offstage, for the remainder of the telecast.)

••• monologue:

"How about that Ron Paul? You know Ron Paul? Oh, my God. He... Ron Paul... says now he's really appealing to young people, and you can certainly see why. Nobody's ever seen his wife. You ever think about it... you've never seen his wife? It's because he keeps her in the factory, turnin' out those fish sticks."

••• On Sunday, Bob Schiefer of Face the Nation asks presidential candidates for their new year's resolutions. / video:

(Face the Nation graphic)

(Bob): "Did you ever wonder what the candidates' new year's resolutions are?"

(Mitt Romney): "This coming year, I will endeavor to say thank you more often."

(Ron Paul): "Make sure that when people come to hear me, that I deliver a proper message, and do a better job each time I do it."

(Michele Bachmann): "It's to work very, very hard and win the Iowa Caucus (Late Show "no" buzzer), and then win the New Hampshire Primary (Late Show "no" buzzer), and then win the South Carolina Primary (Late Show "no" buzzer), and then go on to win the Florida Primary (Late Show "no" buzzer). So my resolution is to win primaries next year. And become the nominee."

(graphic): "Way to go, Michele!"

••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights and, "Did you know Tina is short for Tinathy?" ••• desk chat:
  1. Dave complains about having to do his own tweeting. He doesn't know how it works, and can't get anyone to tweet him back. He tweets, "Don't play with your button."
  2. He went on match.comancestry.com, and you can find out interesting things. His great great great grandmother lived next door to Argentinian soccer superstar Diego Maradona!
  3. There's a woman on the staff who is a homosexual lesbian. (OK, it's executive producer Barbara Gaines.) Gaines needed to hail a cab. When it pulled over, she kissed her wife, Ari, goodbye. When she got in, the cab driver asked, "Are you French?"
••• Top Ten Signs Newt Gingrich Is Losing It (including a shout out to Jay and Walter) ••• Tina Fey plugs 30 Rock. She's a great guest. ••• desk chat: Dave tweets that he's had surgery on his face. Tonight's followers count: 136,974 ••• outside cam: Not to be outdone by last night's sidewalk indiscretion perpetrated by Brian Williams, as Tina Fey exits onto 53rd Street, she sees a vehicle by the curb, searches a dumpster and extracts a bat, then smashes the windshield of the unsuspecting vehicle. ••• Act 5 Audience Pan and, "The road to the White House is Pennsylvania Avenue." ••• Jeremy Irvine plugs War Horse. ••• The Barr Brothers sing. ••• Alan Kalter says good night.

1/06/12 [3606]: Dave says welcome to the Late Show clothing drive. It's a shout out to an audience guy who forced a shirt on him. ••• "CNN Slow News Day" / video:

(title graphic and "PM Theme")

(clip): It's two female anchors gobbling grapes as fast as they can.

(title graphic)

••• Dave insults Alan Kalter, so Alan has to have his lips blurred. ••• monologue: Dave does his execution gag, with full sparky sound effects and blinking lights. ••• "Newt Gingrich Fighting Dirty" / video:

(title graphic)

(voice-over): "Strategy 12-A: Boobytrapped debate podiums."

(Mitt Romney): "...thousand-dollar discount, if you are an illegal alien, to the University of Texas."

(animation): A mallet rises from the lectern on a scissor jack, then begins conking Governor Romney on the side of his noggin.

(clip): Newt Gingrich observes, amused, at his own lectern.

(voice-over): "Watch your back." (title graphic)

••• more electric chair ••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights and, "Remember, I'm a notary. Meet me outside after the show if you need an documents notarized." ••• desk chat: Dave's great great grandmother lived next door to Alex Trebek. ••• Bruce and Linda preview the Weekend Late Show. / video:

(Linda): "Thanks, Dave, and happy new year. Bruce, have you done any after-Christmas shopping yet?"

(Bruce): "A little, sure. I... mostly hunting gear."

(Linda): "Well, if you think the best of the after-Christmas bargains are gone, think again. We're gonna reveal some secret spots for deals so good, they should be called steals."

(Bruce): "Uh oh. Are you gonna shop 'til you drop?"

(Linda, laughing): "Maybe."

(Bruce): "And I will visit the sanitation department facility that recycles Christmas trees. Without a doubt, it's the biggest pile of mulch I've ever seen!"

(Linda): "Oh, I'll bet it smells wonderful! Mmm. Balsam! You know, it's also gonna smell like romance in our studio, because a charming gentleman is going to propose to his girlfriend, live on our show, and she doesn't know it yet."

(Bruce): "Yikes! I hope it goes his way. All that, plus I got my film developed from New Year's Eve on Times Square, and I'm bringin' in some crazy photos. Tomorrow on the Weekend Late Show. Back to you, Dave."

••• desk chat: Dave's Uncle's great great grandmother lived next door to Jimmy Hoffa. ••• Top Ten Signs You're Already Having a Bad Year / #6: You're Joy Philbin. ••• Tweet: @#HashTag. 30 years on network TV. Guy gives me a shirt. B  D!! (Yes, the censors blurred out the F in BFD.) ••• Kristen Bell plugs House of Lies on SHO. She enjoys novelty stink bombs. ••• desk chat: Dave gives a shout out to the CBS Orchestra, who's just finishing Steppenwolf's "Magic Carpet Ride." Alez Chez was in on the singing. ••• Tweet: @#HashTag. Kristen Bell beat a shark to death with her bare hands, blah,blah,blah,blah......... (He ain't buyin' it.) Dave now has 137,208 followers. ••• It's time for another "Coach's Corner with Mike Singletary," starring receptionist Art Kelly. ••• Act 5 Audience Pan ••• Dan Naturman does stand-up. It was all fresh and funny material. ••• Dave previewed Blind Spot for the next segment. They don't exist. Tony Mendez apparently had their name wrong on the cue card. ••• Tweet: @#HashTag. JOB OPENING! Late night talk show cue card boy. ••• Blind Pilot sing. ••• Alan Kalter says good night.

1/09/12 [3507]: Michael Z. McIntee has announcing duties tonight. ••• Tonight's audience shout out is to an audience guy from Iowa. ••• monologue: Dave cooks up a story about finding a little squirrel with early-onset pneumonia. He bundled it up and took it to the New York City Small Veterinarian Emergency Animal Hospital. The veterinarian (Jay Johnson, D.V.M.) is with us by live satellite hookup.

(Dave): "Doctor, can you hear me? There he is, right there! Doctor, I wonder if you could tell me... how is the squirrel doing?"

(Jay, holding the little bundle of joy on a doll bed): "Well, thanks to your swift action, the little guy is gonna make a full recovery."

(Dave): "Oh, thank you very much. That's great to hear! Going to make a full recovery. I feel so much better. Thank you. I think that makes us all feel... What a way to start the show, to get news like that!"

(Paul interjects): "I don't understand. I don't get it."

(Dave): "What's the problem?"

(Paul): "Well, you know, when I heard about a squirrel in Central Park, I thought it was gonna be something... about his nuts."

(Dave): "Well, no... no... it really... but you know, I'll tell ya, when I found him... when I found the squirrel... he was completely disoriented, he couldn't hold his nuts."

(CBS Orchestra): post-big-joke fanfare

••• "Meet the Press Debate Highlight" / MSNBC video: A lady right behind host David Gregory is sound asleep. ••• Many Hispanics are undecided about how they'll vote in the presidential race. Newt's reaching out to them. / C-SPAN video: We see a Mexican soap opera cat fight. One of the hotties lands in a swimming pool, just like the old days on Dynasty. ••• Michael Z. McIntee with Big Show Highlights ••• desk chat:
  1. Dave complains that the writers have left him floundering on material for tweets. Therefore, he's posted a placeholder tweet: @#HashTag! Same dream. Swallowed Giant marshmallow. Pillow missing. / Dave now has 142,347 followers.
  2. Snow Patrol's on, and Dave shows the album cover. He points out the difference between a bald eagle and an American eagle.
  3. Jerry Foley opens the TTL montage, but Dave has a detour for us: Here's an exciting new development for the Late Show, and it will forever change the way we think about television. (9th floor cam): Mike McIntee announces that there's new carpet on the hallway of the 9th floor of the office building. Two models in sparkly dresses are there to point at it. The founder and CEO of Metro Carpeting, Irv Morris, tells us, "It's made from synthetic, polypropylene-based fibers." (FX: Late Show "yes" bell.)
••• Top Ten Ways Kim Jong Un Celebrated His Birthday (Jong-Un wasn't hyphenated in the graphic.) ••• desk chat: Dave mentions the CBS Early Show. ••• Writers' tweet: @#Hash Tag. Bald and Golden Eagle not related, but do receive one another's mail. ••• Mark Wahlberg plugs Contraband. He shows us how his numerous tattoos are being vaporized with lasers or something. ••• Act 5 Audience Pan ••• Heather Morris plugs Glee. Let's just say it wasn't a memorable interview. She brought in a crazy video that looked like it was made by junior high kids, and didn't seem embarrassed in the least. ••• Snow Patrol sings. ••• Michael Z. McIntee says good night. ••• [Snow Patrol played a live webcast at 8 P.M. EST.]

1/10/12 [3608]: [Dave's tie is tied way too short tonight, by the way.] ••• Michael Z. McIntee announces. ••• Tonight's audience shout out is to a guy who can tell you the value of your home. ••• monologue: Dave enjoys the electric chair FX gag (Old Sparky buzzing and dimming lights) a couple of times tonight. "More juice! Dave exclaims." ••• "FOXNews Clip of the Night" / video:

(title graphic and "PM Theme")

(Shepard Smith): "What happens when you put a mouse in Mountain Dew®?"

(title graphic)

••• monologue: Dave announces that a certain Scotch whiskey manufacturer's selling the potion in a can. It has to be a quality item, because the label image is Nick Nolte's 2002 booking photo! ••• monologue: Anybody ever been pregnant? (besides the horn section) / photo: Gov. Chris Christie ••• Action clips are circulating of Barack Obama's Hawaiian vacation a few days ago. / "Politicians at the Beach" / video:

(title graphic)

(Barack Obama, 1/03/12): playing football on the sand

(Ronald Reagan, 6/15/62): tanning

(Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown, 8/12/11): naked!

(title graphic)

••• Michael Z. McIntee with Big Show Highlights ••• desk chat:
  1. Dave's back on the Twitter Machine, tonight with 143,307 followers. / Tweet: @#Hash Tag. I am so fat!!!!!!!!!
  2. Dave's trying to bulk up to 600 pounds to qualify for weight reduction surgery.
  3. Tried and true tactics used by all candidates on the campaign trail fall into four categories, and Dave has photos to prove it. The CBS Orchestra plays on the bit with the Gunsmoke theme.
    • sweater vest photo ops (Rick Santorum)
    • the fake laugh (Mitt Romney, Rick Perry, Newt)
    • Newt cannot take a bad photograph (Newt eating, Newt thumbs up, Newt grinning close-up)
    • "Looking good, Ron." (with Dr. Ron Paul, riding a bicycle in shorts)
••• Top Ten Little-Known Facts about Tim Tebow ••• Kate Beckinsale plugs Underworld: Awakening. Much is made of a parasailing photo of Kate and her daughter. She won't be repeating that experience. ••• Marv Albert interview ••• Mike McIntee with the Act 5 Audience Pan ••• year-end Albert Achievement Awards ••• The Little Willies sing. ••• Mike McIntee says good night. ••• [Some tweets were edited from tonight's telecast.]

1/11/12 [3609]: Tonight's audience shout out is to a lady who was whining about Dave's tie. ••• Dave claims Mayor Bloomberg has outlawed alcohol in New York City. / Photoshop fun: We see one of those red slashed circles over Nick Nolte's 2002 booking mugshot. ••• Remember Osama bin Laden? The government of Pakistan is tearing down his place in Abbottabad, so it won't be a shrine. / Photo: Oh, no... that's not it. That's Mrs. Tiger Woods' place. / Let's try again. Aw, that's Derek Jeter's place. Just forget it! ••• Dr. Ron Paul has a different approach as a candidate. / Morning Joe video: His voice is now a deep, distinguished baritone. ••• "CNN: I Think It's Going Well" / video: A touch screen display of primary results is misbehaving badly for anchor John King. ••• Conservatives are upset with Mitt Romney, since he's not the most conservative. What to do? / video:

(voice-over): "With Mitt Romney ever-closer to the nomination, conservatives believe that the only way to defeat him is for the alternative candidates to unite... not only politically, but biologically. / animation:

(clip): A talking Newt head is on the shoulders of Rick Santorum, standing behind a lectern.

(voice-over): "Rewt Santingrich 2012. 100% medically active."

••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights and "Your Lucky Numbers" ••• Dave now has 144,585 Twitter followers. / Tweet: @#HashTag! You know what they say about a guy with a short tie? Hey lady, nice sweater!!! ••• "Tom Hanks Tells Buddy Hackett Jokes" /

(Tom): "So a guy goes into a pet shop and tells the owner he needs a pet for his mother. The guy says that Mom lives alone, and could really use some company. The owner says he has just what she needs: a parrot that speaks five languages, and she'll have a lot of fun with that bird. And the guy says he'll take the parrot and make the arrangements to have the bird delivered up to his mother. Now a few days pass, and the man calls his mother: 'Well, hey, Mom, hey, did you like the bird that I sent?' And she goes, 'Oh, son, he was delicious!' The guy says, 'Mom! You ate that bird? Why, he could speak five languages!' And Mom says, 'Well, he should have said something.' "

••• Our old friend and spiritual leader, Gerard Mulligan, presents the Top Ten Things Kim Jong-Un Wants to Accomplish as Supreme Commander. [Unfortunately, Gerard didn't wear a flowered dress tonight.] ••• Tweet: @#Hash Tag. Dolly Parton is here. Kim Jong un. Three boobs. ••• Dolly Parton plugs Joyful Noise. She has inch-long fingernails, enhanced lips and bleached hair that looks like she's been in a hurricane. ••• Dave says that CNN's using some kind of hologram effect, and he visits with Mitt Romney campaign spokesperson, Kevin Madden. A small image of a gentleman, relaxing in a recliner, appears on Dave's desktop.

(Dave): "Mr. Madden? Kevin? Kevin, is that you? Hi. Thanks for joining us, Kevin."

(man, trying to use his remote control): "My name isn't Kevin."

(Dave): "Uh huh."

(man): "It's Al."

(Dave): "Oh."

(man): "What the hell happened?"

(Dave, to someone off-camera): "Well... Is this not Kevin Madden?"

(man): "No! It's Al."

(Dave): "We were trying to talk to you about the Romney campaign, and apparently we had a little... How are things in South Carolina?"

(man): "I'm not in South Carolina! Evidently something really did hap... I was sitting here, watching Ice Station Zebra on Turner Classic, and the next thing I know, I got sucked through the Samsung®!"

(Dave): "Uh huh."

(Dave, laughing): "Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Really!? Ha ha ha ha ha ha. Well... You know, I'm sorry. Is it Kevin, you said?"

(man): "Al!"

(Dave): "I'm sorry..."

(man): "Al!"

(Dave): "Alright, Al, settle down. I apologize for the inconvenience."

(man): "Well... Where's Karen?"

(Dave): "I don't know... Who's Karen? Who's Karen?"

(man): "Karen! You know, the, uh, the busty weather girl on Channel 7."

(Dave): "I don't... I... I'm sorry..."

(man): "Could you possibly... you know, introduce her?"

(Dave): "Look. Look, I'm sorry. We'll send you a check for your trouble."

(man): "Yeah. A small one, no doubt!"

(Dave): "Yeah. OK."

(man): "Hey!"

(Dave): "What?

(man): "Spock!"

(Dave): "Yeah."

(man): "Beam me up some ravioli, will you?"

(Dave): "Alright, we'll try to get the bugs... See, it's a holograph. It's technology."

••• Act 5: We see Gerard Mulligan in the green room, with Dolly. ••• Alan Zweibel plugs his book, Lunatics. ••• Dolly Parton sings. ••• Alan Kalter says good night.

1/12/12 [3610]: Tonight's audience shout out is to all the light honeymooners in the audience. Wait a minute. The audience lady who talked to Dave is from Australia. She said "late honeymoon," but Dave misunderstood her accent. ••• interruption: Pat Farmer has a fascinating item for show and tell. /

(Dave): "Oh, hi Pat!"

(Pat): "Hello, Dave, how are you?"

(Dave): "Pat Farmer, ladies and gentlemen... one of our stagehands. Good to see you, Pat. How're ya doin'?"

(Pat): "Same, Dave. Good to see you. Dave, you like science?"

(Dave): "I'm sorry?"

(Pat): "Do you enjoy science?"

(Dave): "Ooh, science! Oh, my God, I love science! I really do... almost as much as I enjoy being interrupted."

(Pat): "Good. Good. You'll appreciate this, then."

(Dave): "OK, what've you got?"

(Pat): "It seems that in the news, scientists in New Guinea have discovered the world's largest dime."

(photo): We see one U.S. dime, with a tiny little froggie sitting on it. (It's a Paedophryne amauensis.)

(FX): Boing sound.

(Pat): "Science: You can't live with it. You can't live without it. Am I right, folks? Catch you later, Dave."

(Pat exits the stage.)

(Dave): "He made a valid point. I just wish he'd made it somewhere else."

••• Hostess® is bankrupt. They're closing their doors. The folks at Hostess® have been very good to the Late Show over the years, so here's a video to thank them. (And if you didn't see this joke coming down Broadway, you haven't been watching the show this winter.) / video:

(graphic): The Hostess® logo

(voice-over): "The Late Show wishes to thank Hostess®, whose many delicious products helped make this man an easy target for our lazy writers."

(background music): Whitney Houston's "Didn't We Almost Have It All"

(clips of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie)

(9/30/11): A Japanese chef is right next to Christie's lectern, doing that really fast chopping thing with a couple of knives. The chef pauses, loads a bite on a knife blade, and flings it toward the governor, who gobbles up the airborne grub!

(10/13/11): Governors Christie and Romney are side-by-side on a podium. There's an explosion, and Governor Romney turns into a giant hotdog with mustard.

(?): The governor is gobbling multiple airborne donuts with sprinkles.

(6/27/11): The governor, on Meet the Press, sinks lower and lower, until his chair collapses.

(10/06/11): We marvel at the governor's sandwich construction skills. It's a multi-decker production, with a heaping helping of mustard on top, all made while he speaks.

(voice-over): "God bless you, Hostess®."

••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights and, "Hey, do you guys like pistachio nuts?" ••• desk chat:

[On January 12, a Steak 'n Shake opened next door to the Ed Sullivan Theater marquee, at 1695 Broadway. On January 10, they invited Late Show staff to come over and taste their offerings. I know this from Justin Stangel's tweets.] / desk chat: Dave tells about his excitement as a boy in Indiana, going to the local Steak 'n Shake for a burger and shake. / outside cam: Dave visits with Jayci from Dayton, Ohio, who's at the cash register. She introduces her co-workers, and District Manager Dawn Arnold. Dave tells Jayci that Steak 'n Shake meant his whole life to him as a boy. She takes an order for burgers and shakes (one vanilla, one chocolate) for Dave and Paul. ••• After commercial: the order's ready, and Jayci scampers into the Ed Sullivan Theater with the grub. (Obviously she'd been given a tour earlier, because she knew all the turns to make as she sped by the audience waiting to tape the Friday episode, into the inner lobby and through a back door of the theater, held open for her.) By the time this is over, Steak 'n Shake will have gotten 11.5 minutes of CBS airtime for free, including a theme song from the CBS Orchestra. (video clip)

Look at the publicity:

  • Roger Ebert tweeted:
    • "Letterman grew up with Steak 'n Shake. No coincidence their first NYC restaurant is NEXT to the Late Show theater."
    • "David Letterman and I once traded Steak 'n Shake trivia during a commercial break. In Sight, It Must Be Right! Gus Belt, founder!"

    • "I take full credit for Steak 'n Shake opening in Manhattan. Obviously it wuz this blog that dun it."
  • Celebritytweet.com covered the grand opening excitement.
  • The Wall Street Journal's on the story, too.
••• Senator John McCain (R-AZ) visits with Dave in multiple segments. ••• Act 5 Audience Pan ••• more Senator McCain ••• Johnny Winter sings. ••• Alan Kalter says good night. ••• [edited from tonight's telecast after so much fun with Steak 'n Shake: Top Ten Calls Received by the Hostess Hotline / #8: 8. "It's Governor Chris Christie. Consider this an act of war against New Jersey."]

1/13/12 [3611]: monologue: It's Dave's second impression of 2012: He takes a few moments to adjust his clothing and touch up his hair. The impression begins. Dave pretends to move a computer mouse and barks. An audience lady is cracking up. We'll learn later that she told Dave her poodle surfs the Internet. ••• "The History of Friday the 13th" /

(title graphic and spooky music)

(voice-over): "On Friday, October 13th, in the year 1307, just past midnight, some messed-up        happened."

(FX): scream

(voice-over): "This has been 'The History of Friday the 13th.' "

(title graphic)

••• monologue: Dave starts a joke, but the cue card leads him astray for a moment. He makes Tony do the joke. When Tony asks Dave to move to the left, Dave says one of George Carlin's words, and gets the Late Show aaoogah horn. Here's the joke:

(Tony): "Congratulations to New York City Archbishop Timothy Dolan. He was promoted to Cardinal because of his work on carb-free communion wafers. By the way, Dolan was the first New Yorker to become a Cardinal since Roger Maris."

••• interruption: Alan Kalter goes all Price Is Right on us. He calls "Earl Dennison" down. Producer Brian Teta, as Mr. Dennison, does the most incredible sprint of his career, from the back of the audience to a fully-stopped position next to Dave in 4.0 seconds. (video clip) And why did Alan do this? He just wanted to watch "Earl" run! ••• monologue: Dave barks for the audience lady. ••• "Before They Were Presidential Candidates" / video:

(title graphic)

(voice-over): "Mitt Romney was CEO of the equity investment firm, Bain Capital. Newt Gingrich was Speaker of the House from 1995 to 1999. And Ron Paul was a Kentucky moonshiner."

(Shecky has some awesome video of a dancing, presumably-intoxicated hillbilly.)

(voice-over): "This has been ''Before They Were Presidential Candidates.' "

(title graphic)

••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights ••• desk chat: For all his future tweets, Dave would like the studio lights to dim. He'd also like the sound of a muffled explosion. Friday's Late_Show Twitter followers number 148,509. / Tweet #1: @#HashTag! A poodle from Sacramento typed this. Seriously! ••• Bruce and Linda preview the Weekend Late Show.:

(Linda): "Thanks, Dave. We're halfway through January!"

(Linda, looking now at Bruce): "How are those New Year's resolutions holding up?"

(Bruce): "Well, as you know, Linda, I'm trying to quit using nasal sprays, and so far, so good!"

(Linda): "Well, tomorrow we're going to talk to psychiatrist Carl Flashburn about his new book, So Long to Bad Habits, where he says the easiest way to change your behavior is through self-hypnosis."

(Bruce): "He's not going to make us cluck like chickens, is he?"

(Bruce and Linda rise from Dave's desk.)

(Bruce): "And over here in the Cookery Nook we have Donald Trump, Jr., who's going to show us how to make his billion-dollar meatballs."

(Linda): "Mmmm. Mama mia! Do you make them with beef, pork or veal?"

(Donald Trump, Jr.): "I use all three."

(Bruce): "Whoaaa!"

(Linda): "My goodness!"

(Bruce): "All that, plus our Weekly Word Puzzle, and the Saturday sermon from Brother Don Brennan, tomorrow on the Weekend Late Show."

(Linda): "Back to you, Dave."

(Dave): "Thank you very much."

[By the way, some of the Late Show so-called fans on Facebook don't get the joke on this segment. Look at these Wall comments: "Is there really a weekend Late Show?"  "Where or when is this show telecast??? (not in Chicago's market)"]

••• Top Ten Questions to Ask Yourself / #7: Is my poodle spending too much time surfing the Internet? ••• Tweet: @#HashTag! You might be a Kardashian if (currently unfinished) ••• Viggo Mortensen plugs A Dangerous Method. ••• Tweet: @#HashTag! You might be a Kardashian if NASA has tried to land a man on your ass!! YES!! ••• interruption: What is that commotion? That's right, you guessed it. Regis Philbin is conducting his own talk show offstage by the 53rd Street entrance. ••• Act 5 Audience Pan and, "Did you know you can learn a lot about your neighbors by reading their mail?" ••• Regis comes out and takes the guest chair for a bit. Dave honors Regis with his own tweet: @#HashTag! Regis says...."I'm still alive! Suck it"! ••• Dennis Regan does stand-up. ••• Tony Bennett sings. ••• Alan Kalter says good night.

1/16/12 [3612]: Tony Mendez strolls onstage just after the scrim comes down. Dave gives him the business. ••• Michelle Obama appeared on Nickelodeon's iCarly earlier this evening. When Dave first heard of this program, he thought it was Ike Harley! / "First Ladies in Prime Time" / video:

(title graphic)

(voice-over): "1983: Nancy Reagan played herself on Diff'rent Strokes. 1976: Betty Ford played herself on The Mary Tyler Moore Show. 1969: Pat Nixon played the Gorn on Star Trek. To learn more about first ladies, visit your local library."

••• [The Gorn appeared in the Star Trek episode, "The Arena," and fought Captain Kirk. See below.] ••• The next edition of Oprah's Next Chapter on OWN features an interview of New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in his home.

(clips of Chris Christie)

(voice-over): "Sunday: An all-new Oprah's Next Chapter. Oprah will spend the entire hour talking to Republican powerhouse Chris Christie."

(Oprah): "You have been described as the human bulldozer, the Tony Soprano of politics..."

(voice-over): "Fifteen minutes of hard-hitting questions. Forty-five minutes of the governor trying to get out of the chair."

(animation... or maybe not): The chair collapses.

(voice-over): "The exclusive Oprah's Next Chapter."

(OWN graphic)

••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights and, "Is this your card?" ••• desk chat:

Dave wants to talk about Oprah, and Oprah's Next Chapter. People ask Dave what he can do about Oprah. He suggests a new show, Would You Arrest Oprah?. Every week, they disguise Oprah. Then she does something like start a bar fight, the police come and we see what they do about it. Then shoplifting. Then a concealed weapon charge.

••• Top Ten Things People Said When They Heard Jon Huntsman Was Dropping out of the Presidential Race ••• Simon Baker plugs The Mentalist. ••• desk chat:
  1. Barack Obama wants to cut 0,000,000,000 from the defense budget over the next decade. Dave thinks someone will eventually suggest that we stop killin' each other.
  2. Dave gets on a whole tangent on what Jesus would do about this. And if that's not enough, then Dave discusses with Paul whether they could book Jesus on the Late Show, and if he'd appear there or on Leno first. By the way, what hotel would be used to host Jesus during his visit, or would he stay in a manger?
  3. Here's a message from the administration, "Defense Budget Cuts: Before and After." / video:

    (title graphic and dramatic music)

    (voice-over): "Before budget cuts, antiballastic systems include the Patriot Missile System, the Aegis Combat System and the Terminal High Altitude Defense System. After budget cuts, antiballistic defense will be limited to the Angry Birds System."

    (clip): Angry birds shoot down an ICBM with an Angry Bird launched from a slingshot. (Direct hit! 5,000 points!)

    (voice-over and graphic): "Good luck, America."

••• Tweet: @#HashTag! Tomorrow night. Ike Harley, and a special Jay Walking! / @Late_Show now has 150,530 followers. / Oh, by the way: There's a new tweeting FX this week, now with a cloud of plasma or something hovering over Dave after he posts a tweet. ••• Act 5 Audience Pan and "Latitude and Longitude of the Night" / The coordinates 45.36 N and 92.63 W = Dresser, Wisconsin. ••• desk chat: Dave definitely wants to book Jesus first. ••• Elizabeth Banks plugs Man on a Ledge. She's a lovely and fun guest, and she tells about some crazy stunts she had to do during filming. She knows all about sharks, too. ••• Tweet: @#HashTag! Late Sow question of the night: Whale Sharks? Are they bigger than your sister? [Hey... I didn't misspell Late Show. Daddy did, and I quoted.] ••• Seal sings. ••• Alan Kalter says good night.

Gorn

1/17/12 [3613]: Alan has an audience announcement.

(Alan): "Attention Late Show audience members: If you are the owner of a metallic blue Dodge Caravan, license plate C0T 221, your car is in a loading zone. It will be towed away immediately."

(Dave): "Alan, what the heck is goin' on? Who are you talkin' about? What is all this?"

(Producer Brian Teta, as a civilian, is in a front-row aisle seat. He scampers out of the studio to rescue his vehicle.)

(Dave): "Now, Alan, what was that? What are you doin'?"

(Alan): "I just like to see that guy run!"

••• Last night was Republican debate #80. You have to have a gimmick, as was proven last night. / video: Rick Perry is speaking. He's talking about a states' rights issue, and with each phrase he utters, he knocks on the lectern with the knuckles of his right hand. Then he starts playing the lectern with his hands. We hear keyboard music. ••• Here's a Late Show exclusive: Mitt Romney's campaign jet. / animation: A pet carrier's strapped to the top of the fuselage. We hear a doggie barking. Dave says once Mitt strapped a dog carrier to the roof of his car enroute to Toronto. ••• [The next joke is that Mitt Romney said, "I did that with one of my wives." We'll see an edit of this mistake later on. The last time I recall this being done was with Pete Fatovich and Fran Cimino on March 25, 1987. (video clip) ] ••• Mitt Romney won't release his tax return. Dave claims he has an accountant buddy who helped him out. / "Surprises in Mitt Romney's Tax Return" / video:

(title graphic)

(clips of Mitt)

(voice-over): "Last year Mitt Romney earned ,000 in residuals from a 1984 photoshoot he did for a J. C. Penney circular."

(Photoshop fun): We see Mitt in his white underpants (briefs) in the Penney's ad: "Men's full-cut briefs from Penney's offer great quality at a low price."

(voice-over): "This has been 'Surprises in Mitt Romney's Tax Return.' "

(title graphic)

••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights and Programming Note: "Ricky Gervais is a foreigner. Don't go nowhere." ••• desk chat: Dave blew the aforementioned dog carrier joke. He meant to say Newt Gingrich instead of Mitt Romney. He checks with Nancy Agostini at the producer's lectern to see if this can be fixed. He quiets the audience and says, "Newt Gingrich." ••• Here's a new segment: We'll see photos of items next to coins for size comparison. Paul Shaffer has a theme song:

Put coins next to objects
Take pictures of objects next to coins
Gives one added perspective
I'm feeling something stirring in my loin

OK... here we go with the pictures:

  • the world's smallest frog, the Paedophryne amauensis in Papua New Guinea, on a dime
  • a miniature porcelain Batman figurine, next to a penny
  • the burrow of an Oklahoma brown tarantula, next to a quarter
  • a tantalum capacitor, next to a penny
  • a petrified pine cone, next to a nickel
  • a print of an Alaskan wolf's paw, next to a quarter
  • carrot seeds, next to a penny
  • an ATI X1959XTX integrated circuit chip, next to a quarter
  • a blueberry, next to a nickel
••• Ricky Gervais plugs Life's Too Short. He hosted the Golden Globes this week. ••• Act 5 Audience Pan ••• Here we go: We see the edit of Dave's monologue joke, with Newt Gingrich substituted for Mitt Romney. Nice work! ••• Jessica Chastain plugs Coriolanus. ••• Kathleen Edwards sings. ••• Alan Kalter says good night.

1/18/12 [3614]: [Sid McGinnis is not playing in the CBSO tonight. Michael Muller is substituting.] ••• Tonight's audience shout out is to two guys wearing ties. ••• We get the Old Sparky execution FX a couple of times. ••• In future debates, there will be a new way of signaling the candidate that his or her time is out. / video:

(clip from a debate)

(voice-over): "In past FOX News debates, candidates were cued to wrap up their answers with a doorbell chime, or a digital beep. During Monday night's debate, we employed a different method."

(Bret Baier): "We are going to try to not use any sound."

(voice-over): "Something more effective."

(FX): Mitt Romney's swept away by a huge ball on a chain.

(voice-over): "FOX News: Always thinking."

••• The Late Show's following Newt Gingrich closely. It looks like he has a new pet. / video: In South Carolina, his car drives by with an aquarium filled with fish strapped to the roof. ••• "Let's Watch Ron Paul Age" /

(aging countdown clock, with live picture)

(clock): 76 years, 4 months, 28 days, 6 hours, 12 minutes, 12 seconds

We watch for 14 seconds. Nothing much happens.

••• Mitt Romney hasn't released his tax return. Dave called his friend "Dan" at the IRS, who faxed it right over. / "Surprises in Mitt Romney's Tax Return" / video:

(title graphic and Freeplay music)

(clips of Mitt)

(voice-over): "Last year Mitt Romney earned ,000 for his role as the evil Dr. Kent Richardson on General Hospital."

(animation): A smiling Mitt suffocates a patient with a pillow.

(voice-over): "This has been 'Surprises in Mitt Romney's Tax Return.' "

(title graphic)

••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights, and a banana peel he found on the train ••• after commercial: Dave delivers a tie and Late Show sweatshirt to an audience guy who's just wearing a dress shirt. ••• desk chat: After consultation with family members and clergy, Dave will no longer participate in tweeting. He says he doesn't have the Twitter gene. He has a mere 151,797 people following him. Friday night will be the last tweet. ••• CNN uses holograms now in their election coverage. The Late Show will try it again tonight. Chad Connelly, South Carolina GOP chairman, will appear as a teeny hologram on Dave's desk.

(Dave): "Now, that's the same guy. That's not the guy. That's the wrong guy. This is the same guy we got last week. Al, is that you again? Al, I'm sorry. We had more trouble."

(Al): "Yeah, Al. What the hell do you want?"

(Dave): "Well, we were trying to get a hold of somebody, but it didn't work. I'm sorry."

(Al): "Yeah, well, no kidding. I was sitting here watching the history of the howitzer on The Military Channel, and all of a sudden I'm talking to Howdy Doody in a suit."

(Dave): "Right. Well... go ahead and make yourself comfortable there, Al. Now, listen, I sincerely apologize."

(Al): "No! I don't need an apology. You know... holy crap! Your voice is annoying!"

(Dave): "Well, I'm sorry. That's not very nice, by the way, Al."

(Al): "Well do me a favor, then. I'm out of chocolate milk."

(Dave, laughing)

(Al): "Can you be a pal and zap me over to Key Food?"

(Dave, laughing): "I don't think we can do that, Al, but thanks. You look great, and we'll talk to you soon, Al. OK?"

(Al): "When are you gonna get Angie Dickinson on the show?"

(Dave, laughing): "That's Al!"

••• Top Ten Signs Mitt Romney Is Getting Cocky ••• desk chat: On Friday night, the Twitter machine is going out. ••• Marg Helgenberger plugs her final episode of C.S.I.: Crime Scene Investigation. ••• desk chat: Dave's told that we have three guys in the audience now with ties. ••• outside cam to Rupert (who's wearing a gray Late Show T-shirt) / Dave wants to know what the Hello Deli Soup of the Day is.

(Rupert): "Today's Hello Deli Soup of the Day is Mitt Romney Health Care Soup."

(Dave): "Oh really. Mitt Romney Health Care Soup? Now, what's in the Mitt Romney Health Care Soup, Rupert?"

(Rupert): "I don't know, but no one's buyin' it!"

(CBSO): fanfare

(Rupert): "Goodnight."

••• Act 5 Audience Pan ••• Michael Fassbender plugs Shame. ••• Ellie Goulding sings. [Please... never again.] ••• Alan Kalter says good night.

1/19/12 [3615]: [Sid McGinnis is not playing in the CBSO tonight. Michael Muller is substituting.] ••• "Presidents and Disney World" / video:

(title graphic and Academy Awards-type music)

(voice-over): "March 8, 1983: Ronald Reagan addresses math and science students during a visit to Epcot Center. February 21, 2005: During a visit to the Hall of Presidents, George W. Bush spends 45 minutes talking to his father, before realizing it was actually a robot."

(George W. Bush to Dad): "And, uh, I think you were takin' a nap."

(voice-over): "Thanks for watching."

(title graphic)

••• Dave has some fun campaign photos:
  1. Newt's seen squeezing an older woman's nose. (Dave says, "Honk, honk!")
  2. Bogus: Mitt Romney has a guy in a hammerlock.
••• [Marianne Gingrich, Newt Gingrich's ex-wife, went on ABC's Nightline earlier tonight. She confirmed that Newt had asked her for an open marriage, so he could hang out with his present wife, Callista, without getting a divorce.] / video:

(clip of Newt): "Uh, but I do believe that marriage is between a man and a woman..."

(editing fun): "and a woman, and a woman, and a woman, and a woman and a woman."

••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights and, "Hey, do you like celebrity birthdays? Yeah, I do too..." ••• desk chat: Dave announces that there's only one night left of tweeting, and he's done with it. He hasn't made a cent from it, and almost no one answers his tweets. He has 153,907 followers. / Tweet: @#Hashtag. Why won't anyone tweet me? HONK, HONK!!! / Post-tweet FX: The lights dim, and a stagehand sprays CO2 behind Dave. ••• Rick Perry is dropping out of the GOP race. / "Rick Perry: A Look Back" / video:

(Academy Awards-type music)

  1. "The third agency of government I would... I would do away with: Education, uh, the, uh, Commerce... Commerce and, let's see. I can't. The third one... I can't. Sorry. Oops."
  2. "He's... uh... he's flippin' more than that, uh, great movie star, Flipper."
  3. "Is it the Mitt Romney that was on the side of... against the Second Amendment, before he was for the Second Amendment? Was it was before..."
  4. "...expand your tax footprint."
  5. dancing with rabbis in Austin
  6. playing his lectern with his knuckles and his hands
••• Top Ten Revelations in the Interview with Newt Gingrich's Ex-Wife ••• Tweet (referencing Newt): @#Hashtag! Newt Gingrich. Tie on a sack of potatoes! ••• Kathy Griffin plugs her new talk show on Bravo, Kathy. It premieres on April 10. During the course of her interview, she begins removing her black dress. Dave gives her clearance. He even helps with a hook, calling for pliers to expedite the exposure. Before long, she wriggles out of it enough so we see all of her bra. / FX: the Late Show "yes" bell ••• Simon Helberg plugs a fine CBS offering, Big Bang Theory. ••• Joseph Arthur sings. ••• Alan Kalter says good night.

1/20/12 [3616]: [Sid McGinnis is not playing in the CBSO tonight. Michael Muller is substituting.] ••• Tonight's audience shout out is to one or more ladies from Brisbane. ••• Dave shows the "Harry Smith colonoscopy" video (the man and woman cave explorers) that was such a hit in March of 2010. ••• "MSNBC Clip of the Night" / video:

(title graphic and "PM Theme")

(MSNBC anchor Thomas Roberts): "So Garrett, we have that sound this morning from Mitt Romney, but what are the expectations of him after being grilled about it last night?"

(on the phone): Garrett Haake of ABC News: Not a word is intelligible.

(Thomas Roberts): "Unfortunately we're having some technical difficulties getting Garrett on the phone for us."

(title graphic and "PM Theme")

••• The gloves are coming off for political commercials now, and that includes all of the candidates. / video:

(photo): Mitt Romney in a plaid shirt and blue jeans

(voice-over): "Out on the campaign trail, you want the right look. The look that says, 'I'm on the campaign trail, pretending to be an average American.' The look that says, 'You and I both know I'm more comfortable in a suit.' Show voters you're a serious politician, with Regular Guy Jeans®."

(Michael Z. McIntee voice-over): "Available at Caldor®."

••• Does Ron Paul still have it... the focus... the energy? / video: It's the GOP debate, or what used to be the GOP debate. It ended 48 hours earlier. Dr. Paul is still debating, and he's the last one left in the room. ••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights ••• desk chat:

It's Dave's last night of tweeting from his command module. He doesn't like it. He doesn't have anything to say. He only has 153,981 followers. Tonight is it! By the way, Dave's planning to pawn his last few tweets. The staff put Dave up to this six weeks ago, saying they'd help him, but there hasn't been much help. / Tweet: @#HashTag. See you in Brisbane! / FX: dimming lights and CO2 behind the desk / (Some of Dave's final tweets were edited out.)

••• Bruce and Linda preview the Weekend Late Show. / video:

(Linda): "Thank you, Dave, and thank you, Bruce!"

(Bruce): "What are you thanking me for?"

(Linda): "Well, did you know that January is National Thank You Month? Tomorrow we'll be speaking with gratitude expert Doris Hewlett, who will teach us appreciation techniques, and even how to say thank you in other languages."

(Bruce): "Oh, like gracias. That'll be fun!"

(Linda): "Yeah!"

(Bruce): "Plus, it's that time of the year, Linda. Our Prettiest Poodles Contest starts tomorrow, and we have some dogged competitors, like Mitzi here."

(Bruce lifts Mitzi off his lap.)

(Linda): "Ohhh. Can I take her home? All that, plus gluten-free snacks, and a visit from the cast of Puppets! Puppets! Puppets!, tomorrow on the Weekend Late Show."

(Bruce): "Back to you, Dave."

••• desk chat: Dave reminisces about fondue pots in the 1970s. ••• Top Ten Animals (with the noises each one makes) / #1: It's Joe Grossman's monkey, Sherman, sneezing on 11/27/08. (clip) ••• Dana Carvey interview / Dana has some cool impressions of current presidential candidates and, of course, Johnny Carson. ••• Act 5 Audience Pan ••• Jon Fisch does stand-up. ••• Los Campesinos! sing. ••• Alan Kalter says good night.

Will this be Dave's last tweet? Stay tuned to the Late Show, on most of these same stations.

1/30/12 [3617]: [On Jan. 22, head writer Eric Stangel posted multiple tweets about NFL referee Ed Hochuli overexplaining the overtime rules during the NFC championship game.] / Alan Kalter's show intro tonight is, "And now, here to explain the NFL's overtime rules, David Letterman!" (See how that works?) ••• Tonight's audience shout out is to Larry from Latvia. ••• "Nobody Cares" / video:

(title graphic and peppy music)

(Sarah Palin): "My advice to Florida voters would be..."

(title graphic): "Nobody cares."

••• monologue: It's Dick "Kaboom" Cheney's 71st birthday, and Dave calls for the phony animation of his mechanical heart. The control room finds it. / video ••• "Late Show Earth-Shattering Election News" / video:

(title graphic and uplifting music)

(female news anchor): "Mitt Romney apparently has a weakness for Cool Whip®."

(title graphic)

••• "Newt Gingrich's Ideas for the Space Program" / video:

(title graphic)

(Alan Kalter voice-over): "Spend billion to study the effects of zero gravity on double chins."

(music): Strauss's "Blue Danube," as in 2001: A Space Odyssey

(animation): Newt Gingrich drifting through space with his jowls flapping

(Alan): "Keep reaching for the stars, Newt!"

(title graphic)

••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights and slowly-zooming-out graphic ••• desk chat:
  1. On Saturday, Dave and family were pleased to attend the Bar Mitzvah of Paul's son, William Wood Lee Shaffer, age 13.
  2. Dave's aggravated. He shouldn't say anything, but here goes! Dave claims the Late Show has a staffer in charge of calling Brad Pitt every day to be on the show. Fruit baskets are involved. Rental cars, computers and iPads® are offered. Nothing happens. Now Brad's booked on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Feb. 1. Dave thinks Angelina is behind this. The discussion goes on and on.

    Dave opens the TTL montage, then goes on with his theories about the non-booking of Brad Pitt:

    • Dave may have said something wrong when Angelina was on the show.
    • Brad's afraid of Dave.
    • Brad's worried that when he sits down, Dave will, in fact, be the cool one.
••• Top Ten Other Newt Gingrich "Big Ideas" ••• Jennifer Lopez plugs American Idol. ••• Act 5 Audience Pan ••• Rob Schneider plugs Rob on CBS. ••• James McCartney sings. (He's Paul's kid.) ••• Alan Kalter says good night. ••• with closing credits: a photo of Mr. Brad Pitt ••• [Michael Muller is still substituting for Sid McGinnis.]

1/31/12 [3618]: Tonight's audience shout out is to a guy from the North Pole and his Polish girlfriend. ••• Dave had fun on Jan. 17 joking about Mitt Romney's dog strapped to the top of his car in a pet carrier, which brings us to "What's Mitt Romney's Dog Tied to Today?" / video:

(title graphic and peppy 1950s music)

(photo): a doggie tied to the apex of the St. Louis Arch

(Michael Z. McIntee voice-over): "The St. Louis Arch!"

(title graphic)

••• Yesterday was Dick "Kaboom" Cheney's 71st birthday, so Will Lee reprises his Dick Cheney's Dungeon scream a few times, since Dave misread Tony's cue card on the first try. ••• "COOL/NOT COOL" is back! (We haven't seen it since 10/14/09.) / video:

(title graphic)

(clip): Barack Obama was at a fundraiser on Jan. 19, and he sang part of Rev. Al Green's "Let's Stay Together."

(graphic): "COOL"

(FX): Late Show "yes" bell

(clip): Mitt Romney, on the other hand, sings "America the Beautiful" off-key.

(graphic): "NOT COOL"

(FX): Late Show "no" buzzer

(title graphic)

••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights ••• desk chat:
  1. Oh, boy... here we go again. Brad Pitt's going to be on The Daily Show on Feb. 2. Dave says a designated staffer's called Brad Pitt every day for 30 years. Nothing. Is Brad mad? Maybe. Dave shows a New York Daily News article from 3/18/2005 documenting his wisecrack about Angelina Jolie.

    "There's so many things I want to teach the kid," Letterman joked recently, "I can teach him fishing, how to lay down a bunt . . . how to fake his way through an interview with Angelina Jolie."

  2. Dave starts laying bills on the desk. They're all for Brad, if he'll drop by.
  3. We're not done! There's an extra for cab fare! Dave puts a total of 0 in an envelope, addresses it to Brad and tapes it to the front of his desk.
••• Dave opens the TTL montage. Alan Kalter, in a white Captain Stubing uniform, tells us the TTL is sponsored by the Italian Cruise Ship Industry. ••• Top Ten Questions to Ask Yourself Before Spending ,000 on a Super Bowl Ticket •••

Our old friend, Bill Murray, comes out in a Giants football helmet and shoulder pads. Bill always comes with material, and he certainly doesn't let us down tonight, on this eve of the 30th anniversary of his appearance as the first-ever guest on Late Night with David Letterman episode #0001, on 2/01/82. Tom "Bones" Malone catches a bullseye of a pass from our guest. We see some awesome pro-am golf, with Bill's ball coming within about a foot from a hole-in-one. Bill has a cute wrapped present for Dave. Inside is a cupcake with 30 candles, which will all be ignited before we're finished. The last surprise is a blockbuster. A camera is sent to the lobby of the theater, where Biff Henderson unveils a huge portrait of Bill. Two bagpipe players add to the festivities. On it is a plaque:

Bill Murray
Dave's Favorite Guest
1982-2012

••• Act 5 Audience Pan, and "Anyone know where they get gravel?" ••• outside cam: Bill's set to kick a field goal. Regis Philbin is outfitted as a referee, and Dave's the holder. Kick #1: Miss. Kick #2: Miss. Kick #3: Yes! ••• Girls' Generation sing. ••• Alan Kalter says good night. ••• [Michael Muller is still substituting for Sid McGinnis.]

2/01/12 [3619]: 30th ANNIVERSARY SHOW!
monologue: "People say to me, 'Dave, why do you keep doin' it night after night? Why do you still do this, night after night?' And I'll tell you why. It's a simple reason: I've seen Regis in retirement." ••• Helping celebrate the big anniversary are beloved American celebrities. Here we go. "Celebrity Greetings for Our 30th Anniversary" / Barack Obama: "Happy anniversary, Dave, from me, the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama." ••• People wonder if Dave has any regrets after all these years. There's only one: the on-air colonoscopy. / It's the black-and-white clip of the man and woman exploring a cave with a torch. ••• "Celebrity Greetings for Our 30th Anniversary" / Justin Bieber: "You're my hero, Dave. Happy anniversary from me... teen singing sensation, Justin Bieber." ••• "Celebrity Greetings for Our 30th Anniversary" / George Clooney: "Hi, Dave, it's me... Hollywood movie star George Clooney. Happy anniversary, you sexy son of a bitch!" / (All of the celebrities' greetings were voiced over by Michael Z. McIntee, with his mellifluous voice.) ••• monologue: "I'll tell you one thing. Over the years... 30 years... I have put more people to sleep than Dr. Conrad Murray." ••• The people at CBS have been wonderful over the years. They put together a special congratulatory message. / video: "Way to go!" (The message lasted 1.1 seconds.) Dave calls for another look, just in case. Nope. Same deal. ••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights and, "What was I doing 30 years ago? I was in a Mexican prison. Never mind why." ••• Top Ten Things Staffers Would Like to Say to Dave on His 30th Anniversary in Late Night (presented live) (starting year shown in parentheses) / Dave says, "If I get a communication from a staffer, it usually comes through a window, tied to a brick."

10. Jay Johnson (1988 / 24 years): "I stopped watching in '92."
9. Biff Henderson (1980 / 32 years): "One of these days, we'll figure out how to kill you and make it look like an accident."
8. Kathy Michalcik Mavrikakis (1985 / 27 years): "My therapist says I have Stockholm Syndrome."
7. Jude Brennan (1980 / 32 years): "I will not be berated this way -- go       yourself."
6. Will Lee (1982 / 30 years): "My family thinks I work at Walgreens."
5. Barbara Gaines (1980 / 32 years): "Thirty years -- we've never met."
4. Sue Hum (1984 / 28 years): "Hey grandpa, shove it up your ass."
3. Rob Burnett (1988 / 26 years): "You're incompetent."
2. Rick "Shecky" Scheckman (1982 / 30 years): "I've always loved you, now & forever." (blows a kiss)
1. Paul Shaffer (1982 / 30 years): "I got nothin' to say to that       ." (lips blurred because it was so naughty!)

•••

Howard Stern visits with Dave in multiple segments. We see a photo of his first appearance, the time he came on in drag and photos of Howard's hot wife, Beth Ostrosky Stern. Howard proclaims his allegiance to Dave, announcing that he refuses appearances on the Tonight show, even though Dave shot that Super Bowl commercial with Big Jaw. Their relationships with Rosie O'Donnell are covered in depth. Dave awards Brad Pitt's 0 to Howard. Howard commandeers some airtime at the end to sincerely thank Dave for his work, and his personal support of him over the years.

Howard's going to be a panelist on America's Got Talent, so we have an installment of "Is This Anything?" to give him some practice. / The scrim rises. We see some masked loser bouncing around in a balloon-looking thing.
Dave: "It looks like a safe sex campaign."
Howard: "Horrible and nauseous."
Paul: "Nothing!"

••• The Airborne Toxic Event sing. ••• Alan Kalter says good night. ••• with credits: a 1st anniversary staff photo from Late Night ••• Craig Ferguson begins the Late Late Show by congratulating Dave. ••• [Michael Muller is still substituting for Sid McGinnis.]

SWEEPS MONTH, FEB. 2 - 29

2/02/12 [3620]: Tonight's audience shout out is to an attorney from Boonville, Indiana. ••• "Family Feud Highlight of the Night" / video:

(title graphic)

(Host Steve Harvey): "Name something an airline pilot might be holding during a long flight."

(contestant): "Microphone radio."

(Host Steve Harvey): "Number six."

(audience and game board): "His schlong."

(title graphic)

••• "Nobody Cares" / video:

(title graphic and uplifting music)

(Sarah Palin's quickly cut off, answering): "I've said for many weeks now, I want to..."

(title graphic)

••• "A Moment with Mitt Romney" / video:

(title graphic)

(Mitt, being interviewed while driving): "He focused on cap and trade, and card-check unionization, and paid scant attention to the fact that millions of Americans out of work..."

(animation): Mitt's dog, famously once transported on top of his car, appears at the driver's window.

(Mitt): "...home values collapsing, foreclosures at record levels... people here in Detroit..."

(Michael Z. McIntee voice-over): "See you next time on 'A Moment with Mitt Romney.' "

(title graphic)

••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights and "Newt Gingrich Sweetens the Pot": "Newt now claims his moon base will include a gift shop." ••• desk chat:
  1. Last night was the 30th anniversary show. Dave thanks CBS This Morning for their shout out.
  2. "In the beginning," Dave says, "There was something wrong with me." Dave claims he and Les Moonves had a fist fight a long time ago. It was a draw, but Dave needed nine stitches.
  3. This is nice. CBS keeps sending gifts. Dave picks up a repurposed wreath. It once read "Rest in peace, Jack LaLanne," and now says "Congratulations, Dave!"
  4. Brian Williams did a nice piece on Dave and his days with NBC.
••• "Mitt + Mustache" / video:

(title graphic)

(voice-over): "Mitt Romney."

(Mitt sings "America the Beautiful.")

(voice-over): "+ a mustache ="

(clip): Robert Goulet, with a thin mustache, sings "God Bless America."

(doctored clip of Mitt with a mustache): "I'm Mitt Romney, and I approve this message."

••• Top Ten Sound Effects (with clips of Matt Damon and Tom Hanks, Dave calling a kitty and Justin Stangel as the voice of a German grandmother) ••• Woody Harrelson plugs Rampart. ••• Act 5 Audience Pan, and a plug for Dave's new Facebook page ••• Stephen Merchant plugs HBO's Life's Too Short. ••• Lana Del Rey sings. It was a very fine performance, and she's beautiful. ••• Alan Kalter says good night. ••• [Michael Muller is still substituting for Sid McGinnis.]

2/03/12 [3621]: Tonight's audience shout out is to an optometrist from Albany. ••• Oops! Tony Mendez is missing his first cue card. He flips through the set to be sure it's not there. Dave asks if he wants to run upstairs and get it. Tony's off in a flash, and is back in 30 seconds. ••• monologue: "I'm not kiddin' you. Everybody in New York has got Super Bowl fever. You go over to St. Patrick's, and they've replaced the holy water with onion dip." ••• Dave's hometown, Indianapolis, will host the Super Bowl on Sunday, which brings us to "Get to Know Indianapolis, Indiana." / video:

(title graphic)

(voice-over): "Get to know Indianapolis, Indiana. Founded in 1821. Population: 840,000. Notable Americans hailing from Indianapolis: Steve McQueen, Jane Pauley, Dan Quayle and Jared the Subway Guy. This has been 'Get to Know Indianapolis, Indiana.' "

(title graphic)

••• An escape tunnel is being built at the White House. It's still under construction, but we have video: That's right. It's the man and woman exploring a cave (the colonoscopy video). ••• [Barack Obama was at a fundraiser on Jan. 19, and he sang part of Rev. Al Green's "Let's Stay Together."] / "Presidential Talents: A Look Back" / video:

(title graphic)

(voice-over): "Richard Nixon was the first President to deliver a State of the Union address with a ventriloquist's dummy."

(doctored clip of Nixon from 1/22/71)

(dummy speaking): "We remember that this nation launched itself as a loose confederation of separate states."

(voice-over): "This has been... aw, who cares?"

(title graphic)

••• It's the premiere of "Not Cool + Not Cool = Cool." / video:

(title graphic)

(Not Cool #1)

(voice-over): "Not cool: Kim Jong-Un."

(Not Cool #2)

(voice-over): " 'Stayin' Alive' "

(voice-over): "Cool: Kim Jong-Un + 'Stayin' Alive.' "

(clip): Kim Jong-Un walking down a hallway, supposedly dancing to the Bee Gees

(voice-over): "Stay cool, bros."

••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights ••• Bruce and Linda preview tomorrow's Weekend Late Show. / video:

(Linda): "Thank you, Dave. Bruce, do you like magic?"

(Bruce): "Abra cadabra. Of course!"

(Linda): "Well, we have a fascinating guest on our show tomorrow. Via the Internet from jail, a former close-up magician who turned to crime and became a pickpocket. It's quite a story."

(Bruce): "Wow! Hold onto your wallet! Now Linda, you and I have kept this secret for weeks, but joining us in the Weekend Workshop is none other than comedy legend Pat Cooper! Pat not only has a sharp wit. He's got a green thumb."

(Linda): "And, speaking of thumbs, we'll continue our fascinating series on hitchhiking!"

(Bruce): "All that, and 2012 Dr. Scholl's® college scholarship winner, tomorrow on the Weekend Late Show."

(Linda): "Back to you, Dave."

••• desk chat: Dave's not going to watch one second of the pregame coverage. / Top Ten Super Bowl Fun Facts (with Joe Grossman's monkey, Sherman, sneezing) / interruption: After #4, Dave reaches under the desk and produces a cue card.

WANTED:
NEW CUE CARD
GUY

Tony has one of his rants in Spanish, then takes a powder. (The TTL is then finished.) ••• Michelle Williams plugs My Week with Marilyn. She was on Dawson's Creek, back in the day, with Katie Holmes. ••• "Coach's Corner with Mike Singletary" (starring receptionist Art Kelly, including a plug for Steak 'n Shake®) ••• Act 5 Audience Pan ••• Jake Johannsen does stand-up. ••• Ziggy Marley sings. ••• [Michael Muller is still substituting for Sid McGinnis.]

2/06/12 [3622]: "Super Bowl Highlight Simulation" / video:

(title graphic)

(animation): Stick men reenact the accidental touchdown by the Giants, where Ahmad Bradshaw fell on his back from the 1-foot line.

(play-by-play): "Second and goal. And Bradshaw... he wanted to stop, and he gets in the end zone."

(title graphic)

••• [Writer Bill Scheft tweeted earlier today, "From my 89-yr-old mom: 'The Pats were awful, Madonna was awful, the commercials were awful. I don't think there should be any more Super Bowls.' "] / Dave's monologue after seeing the accidental touchdown: "You know, when stuff like that happens, I think to myself, 'Maybe there should not be any more Super Bowls.' " ••• "Get to Know the Candidates" / video:

(title graphic)

(clip of Mitt Romney)

(voice-over): "From 1983 to 1985, Mitt Romney was the host of Love Connection."

(Love Connection contestant, talking to Mitt, green-screened in): "I mean her eyes, her lips, her nose and ears, her private parts... everything was so gorgeous."

(voice-over): "This has been 'Get to Know the Candidates.' "

(title graphic)

••• monologue: Dave wonders if he can vote for a man who ties his dog to the roof of his car. / doctored clip from 2/02/12 of Mitt's dog looking down from the car roof into the driver's window ••• "SUPER BOWL COMMERCIAL << RECAP" / video:

(title graphic)

(voice-over): "Sex. Sex. Wacky dog. Sex. Wacky dog. Wacky dog. Wacky baby. Wacky dog. Sex. Sex. Made me think I might be gay. Sex. Wacky Dog. Wacky Baby. Wacky monkey. Leno likes to steal stuff from fellow comedians."

(title graphic)

••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights and "The Monkey of the Week is the Bolivian Red Howler. Stay here!" ••• desk chat:
  1. Dave gives a shout out to Eli Manning, who's on his way from Teterboro by helicopter. Apparently the winning Super Bowl players have to go to Disney World as soon as their celebration is over.
  2. It's the eighth year in a row that the Super Bowl MVP has come to the Late Show on the day after the big game.
••• The New York Post reports that Producer Brian Teta was responsible for booking Mr. Manning, as well as the last seven Super Bowl MVPs. ••• @Late_Show tweeted that Eli was receiving a police escort from the heliport. ••• Biff Henderson comes out to set up "Biff Henderson at Super Bowl XLVI." He gives a shout out to Indianapolis for really doing it right. The segment includes:
  • Giants fan from Glendale, AZ who had his head autographed by Biff at Super Bowl XLII, and gets it again
  • fans doing the Victor Cruz dance
  • Tracy Morgan and Alec Baldwin doing the Victor Cruz dance
  • Biff and Alec singing "Like a Virgin"
  • "Behind the Scenes with Biff Henderson"
    • Biff getting made up in a wig and mustache, like the NFL Network's Rich Eisen
    • Jon Hamm
    • Jeff Gordon
    • Al Roker
    • Maria Menounos
    • David Arquette
    • Brian Williams
    • Head Linesman Tom Stabile
    • NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell
    • four fans with tummies that spell BIFF
    • Defensive End, #19 Justin Tuck
    • Defensive End, #72 Osi Umenyiora
    • Wide Receiver, #88 Hakeem Nicks
    • Tackle, #66 David Diehl
    • Biff kissing the trophy
    • Kicker, #9 Lawrence Tynes
    • shaking hands with Coach Tom Coughlin
    • dancing with Wide Receiver, #80 Victor Cruz
••• Super Bowl XLVI MVP Eli Manning ••• Sarah Michelle Gellar plugs Ringer. ••• Act 5 Audience Pan and "Late Show Super Bowl Office Pool Winner of the Night": Paula Chagares ••• Die Antwoord sing. Their parents must be so proud. ••• Alan Kalter says good night. ••• [edited from tonight's show: Top Ten Things Overheard in the New England Patriots Locker Room After the Super Bowl] ••• [Michael Muller is still substituting for Sid McGinnis.] ••• [Andy Snitzer is in for Bruce Kapler.]

2/07/12 [3623]: Tonight's audience shout out is to a lady in the third row. ••• "New York Giants Victory Parade": It's hundreds of North Korean soldiers goose-stepping. ••• video: It's the Mitt Romney's dog-on-the-roof clip from 2/02/12. ••• "Get to Know the Candidates" / video:

(title graphic)

(clips): Mitt Romney speaking

(voice-over): "To undo the negative publicity Mitt Romney received from tying his dog to the top of the car on a cross-country vacation, Mitt responded by tying the car to the top of his dog."

(animation): A white car swaying back and forth on the back of the doggie, with barking and honking FX

(voice-over): "This has been 'Get to Know the Candidates.' "

(title graphic)

••• Mitt Romney supposedly said that people who ride the subway are the elite. We have an ad, "The New York City Subway" / video from the New York MTA:

(voice-over by a stuffy gentleman with a British accent): "For your next sojourn, why not take a ride on the New York City Subway? Enjoy our free snacks,"

(photo): partially-eaten hot dog

(voice-over): "sample our free reading material,"

(photo): "EAT      " graffiti

(voice-over): "meet a fellow traveler"

(clip): passengers fighting

(voice-over): "and interact with exotic wildlife."

(clip): a rat crawling over a passenger

(voice-over): "The New York City Subway: Going your way."

••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights, and a photo of the NFL Network's Rich Eisen, cut from Biff's Super Bowl segment yesterday ••• desk chat:
  1. We've watched Super Bowl MVP Eli Manning grow up before our eyes, much like Opie.
  2. We go to writer Joe Grossman on the 14th floor for an exciting development.

    (Dave): "Thank you very much, Joe, for helping us out on our 14th floor update. Joe, you're a reasonable man. You've been around the world. In your estimation, what is the problem on the 14th floor?"

    (Joe): "A rat died somewhere inside the walls. Nobody seems to be able to do anything about it. It stinks up here."

    (Dave): "Yeah, well that's very distressing. Thank you very much for the update, Joe. I appreciate that."

    (Joe): "I don't like working here."

    (Dave): "That's Joe Grossman, ladies and gentlemen, up on the 14th floor."

  3. Broadway around 53rd and 54th is Restaurant Row. We have Angelo's Pizza, Steak 'n Shake and Rupert Jee's Hello Deli. "There must be 1,500 to 2,000 delis in Manhattan alone, and Rupert Jee's Hello Deli is one of them." ••• There's a new neighbor, pie face, at 1691 Broadway (where the CBS Store was until 2010). / outside cam to pie face to meet Spiro
••• Dave opens the TTL montage, then goes to commercial. ••• Top Ten Secret Service Code Names You Don't Want (with a Justin Stangel voice-over as a German grandmother) ••• Denzel Washington plugs Safe House. ••• Act 5 Audience Pan ••• Spiro brings in the pies. ••• The Fray sing. ••• Alan Kalter says good night. ••• [Michael Muller is still in for Sid McGinnis.] ••• [Andy Snitzer is in for Bruce Kapler.]

2/08/12 [3624]: monologue: "Boy, did you see the Giants' victory parade yesterday? Did anybody see that? And today the Sanitation Department picked up 40 tons of confetti. Wow! Who knew that New York City had a Sanitation Department? I had no idea!" ••• (from last night): "New York Giants Victory Parade": It's hundreds of North Korean soldiers goose-stepping. They started way downtown, and ended up someplace in Midtown. / photo: Jeter's place! ••• Here's a clip of the parade: Whoa! You can just see Eli Manning's head (and the Super Bowl trophy) over all the fake confetti! ••• "Get to Know the Candidates" / video:

(title graphic)

(clip): Mitt speaking somewhere

(voice-over): "Mitt Romney was born on March 12, 1947 with a full head of hair, a pressed shirt and pleated khakis."

(Photoshop fun): Mitt, as a newborn, with a full head of hair, a pressed shirt and pleated khakis

(voice-over): "This has been 'Get to Know the Candidates.' "

(title graphic)

••• Yesterday was the annual White House Science Fair. We see the clip of the President of the United States with a kid who's slapped together a marshmallow cannon. / animation: He fires the cannon, and the marshmallow pops into Newt Gingrich's mouth! ••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights, and "Classic Joke Extended Remix": "Bangor? I hardly know her! However, I have had intimate relations with other Maine residents." ••• desk chat:
  1. Dave's on a quest to have the citizens of America properly pronounce February and Wimbledon.
  2. No one guessed the "Late Show Secret Mystery Word Phrase": "Somebody get Don Ho off me!" (The pot now increases to ,000.)
••• We see more footage of the Giants' victory parade. Wait. What is this? David Letterman himself is upstairs in the office building, dropping junk out of the window to the sidewalk, including a TV. A helpful citizen on the sidewalk yells up to Dave, "The parade was yesterday, you ass     !" ••• Top Ten People We Wish Had Mustaches (with Photoshopped mustaches) / #1: It's Joe Grossman's monkey, Sherman, sneezing, with a mustache appearing immediately afterward. We can't fail to mention that Paul Shaffer also made the list with a humongous fake mustache, which he proudly continues to wear during tonight's taping. ••• Ryan Reynolds plugs Safe House. It's always good to have Van Wilder in the house. Ryan had interesting stories to tell us about working with the legendary Denzel Washington. ••• Act 5 Audience Pan ••• Ellie Kemper plugs The Office. ••• Dierks Bentley sings. ••• [Michael Muller is in for Sid McGinnis again.] ••• [Andy Snitzer is in for Bruce Kapler.] ••• Alan Kalter says good night. ••• [Dierks Bentley played Live on Letterman earlier tonight.]

2/09/12 [3625]: We've all learned about Tebowing. Tom Brady got a lot of coverage for moping around after the Super Bowl loss. That's right: sitting around with one's head down is now called Bradying. We see examples on the field, and at a beach. ••• Oh, no! Mitt Romney's singing again. In the video tonight, you can't even tell what he's singing. Thankfully, the clip doesn't last long. ••• Tonight's audience shout out is to a lady from the Panhandle of Oklahoma. Hey! That's next to Kansas. ••• Mitt's singing again. ••• Now, this is much more fun: "Mitt + Mustache" / video:

(title graphic and peppy music)

(clip): Mitt singing "America the Beautiful"

(Chyron): "Mitt Romney"

(voice-over): "Plus a mustache."

(photo): a mustache

(voice-over): "="

(clip): Wayne Newton, with his usual mustache, singing "America the Beautiful"

(doctored clip of Mitt with a mustache): "I'm Mitt Romney, and I approve this message."

••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights ••• desk chat:

Dave has a map of the central United States to show us the Panhandle of Oklahoma. Biff Henderson's in the guest chair, trying to figure out why he's there. Joyce, the audience lady from the Panhandle, has reportedly made 16 trips around the Indianapolis Motor Speedway track. Dave surprises Joyce with a trip around the block, escorted by Biff, who starts out running until Dave gives him the word that he can slow to a walk. Most of the trip is covered by various cameras.

••• Barack Obama is currently polling better versus potential Republican candidates, but you never know. Nothing is guaranteed. You'd better have a back-up plan, and the president's staff released said plan today. / video:

(music): Late Show theme song in the background

(FX): Barack Obama's sitting at Dave's desk.

(voice-over): "Coming soon to CBS: It's the Late Show with Barack Obama. Don't miss the exciting premiere, with Kid Scientists...

(clip of the kid with the marshmallow cannon at the White House this week)

(voice-over): "Stupid Pet Tricks..."

(clip of a Thanksgiving turkey being pardoned)

(clip of said turkey playing "Oh Susanna" on a harmonica)

(voice-over): "and a special Top Ten list with President-Elect Romney."

(clip): Mitt says, "I have absolutely no idea where my birth certificate is."

(voice-over): "The Late Show. Then catch "Panetta."

••• We check in with Biff and Joyce, somewhere along 54th Street or 8th Avenue. ••• after commercial: Biff and Joyce are running again... now on the home stretch on 53rd St. They zip into the side stage entrance to thunderous applause. Dave asks Biff to get Joyce some water. •••

Nicolas Cage plugs Ghost Rider: Spirit of Vengeance. It was shot in Romania and Turkey! Did you know that one time on a plane with Charlie Sheen, about 20 years ago, Nicolas took over the PA and announced that he was the pilot, wasn't feeling well, and was losing control of the aircraft. The plane was met by six police officers, and Mr. Cage somehow talked his way out of it.

••• CBS is broadcasting the Grammy Awards show on Sunday, so how about some promotion? Grammy nominees The Foo Fighters (Dave Grohl, Nate Mendel, Taylor Hawkins, Chris Shiflett and Pat Smear) present the Top Ten Interesting Facts About the Grammy Awards. ••• Act 5 Audience Pan ••• Michelle Dockery plugs Downton Abbey on PBS. Paul and the CBSO play her on with Petula Clark's "Downtown." Michelle is really beautiful! Dave gets the lovely Michelle, a proper British lady, to look at the camera and say, "I fink U freeky, and I like you a lot." ••• The Kills sing. ••• Alan Kalter says good night. ••• [Michael Muller is in for Sid McGinnis again.] ••• [Andy Snitzer is in for Bruce Kapler.]

2/10/12 [3626]: No! It's Mitt Romney singing some unknown number again... twice. ••• "Get to Know the Candidates" / video:

(title graphic and music)

(photo): IRS Form 1040

(voice-over): "According to his tax returns, Newt Gingrich earned 0 in 2008 for winning a Tyne Daly lookalike contest."

(clips, split-screen): Tyne and Newt

(voice-over): "This has been 'Get to Know the Candidates.' "

(title graphic)

••• President Obama hosted the White House Science Fair on Feb. 7. A boy put together a marshmallow cannon, which you pump up with a bicycle pump. / CNN video: Something went sideways, and the first thing you know, Newt Gingrich's face balloons up, and eventually 'splodes. ••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights and, "Really looking forward to attending the Super Bowl this Sunday. I was surprised at how easy it was to get a hotel room in Indianapolis." ••• desk chat:
  1. Dave tweaks the adjustment of the desk microphone.
  2. The Republican presidential nomination process is more like Circus Vargas than the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus.
  3. Mitt Romney should do hard time for strapping his dog, Woofer, to the roof of the family Buick during a family trip. Dave tells a tale about Woofer urping as a result. Mitt hoses down the car and the dog!
••• "Candidates and Technology" / video:

(title graphic and inspiring music)

(voice-over): "Last week, President Obama participated in the first-ever completely virtual interview on the social networking site Google +."

(clips): Obama being interviewed

(voice-over): "This week, Ron Paul tried to send an e-mail through the toaster."

(FX): Fire!

(voice-over): "See you next time on 'Candidates and Technology.' "

(title graphic)

••• Bruce and Linda preview the Weekend Late Show:

(Linda): "Thanks, Dave. Valentine's Day is just around the corner, and love is in the air! Bruce, have you ever tried Internet dating?"

(Bruce): "Well, I've tried it, but I've had better luck at Internet poker. And that cost me a fortune."

(Linda): "Well, we are going to go behind the scenes at a computer dating web site, and see what it takes to program a computer to make a perfect match."

(Bruce): "That's high tech! It's also makeover season, and makeovers aren't just for the gals anymore. Our style editor, Chloe Fiscoe, is going to change the looks of some of our very own staff."

(Linda): "Oh, will we see a spruced-up Bruce?"

(Bruce): "I'm not going to spoil the surprise! Plus... did you know that carnations and many other flowers are poisonous? You'll want to know which ones before buying that Valentine's bouquet."

(Linda): "Yikes! You're right. All that, plus the newly-crowned winner of the 2012 Fixodent® Sexiest Senior Competition, tomorrow on the Weekend Late Show! Back to you, Dave."

(Dave): "Thank you very much, Bruce and Linda."

••• Top Ten Ways to Describe Gravy ••• desk chat:
  1. Paul was just playing a melodica.
  2. Dave grabs a fake microphone and reenacts Nicolas Cage's stunt from 20 years ago, when he got on the plane's PA and announced that he was the pilot, he wasn't feeling well and was losing control of the aircraft. •••
••• David Spade does stand-up. He'll be at the Venetian Showroom in Las Vegas throughout the year. ••• Dave Spade interview ••• Act 5 Audience Pan ••• interruption: Michael Z. McIntee shows up by the backdrop, as Biz Stone of Twitter, Inc. Here's the exchange:

(Paul): "There's a guy behind you, standing over your left shoulder."

(Dave): "Hi. Can I help you? Who are you?"

(Biz): "Hi, Dave. I'm Biz Stone, the co-founder and creator of Twitter®."

(Dave): "Well, that puts me in an awkward position, because I know Biz Stone, and you don't look anything like Biz Stone."

(Biz): "And on behalf of all of us at Twitter®, I, Biz Stone, am proud to name you Tweeter of the Decade."

(Dave): "Tweeter of the Decade? Wow! Thank you. But I don't... I kind of... I don't really... I quit tweeting, because I don't really get it."

(Biz): "And now, let's take a fond look back at some of your outstanding tweeting."

"Dave Letterman: tweeter of the decade"

(We see Dave struggling to type on the Twitter Machine.)

(Biz): "Dave Letterman, for your immeasurable contribution to the Twitter community, please accept this oversize check for ,000."

(Dave): "OK. I don't, I don't understand this."

(Biz): "Well, I've got to be going now. Goodnight, everybody."

(Dave): "Thank you very much. Thank you, Biz."

(Biz): "And I'll be seeing YOU on the Twitter!"

(CBSO): "Rockin' Robin"

••• Betty Wright sings. ••• Alan Kalter says good night. ••• [Michael Muller is in for Sid McGinnis again.] ••• [Andy Snitzer is in for Bruce Kapler.]

2/13/12 [3627]: video: Mitt Romney singing ••• "Get to Know the Candidates" / video:

(title graphic)

(voice-over): "During the 1980 actors' strike, Mitt Romney briefly replaced Robert Wagner on Hart to Hart."

(audio): We hear someone singing.

(voice-over): "This has been 'Get to Know the Candidates.' "

(title graphic)

••• Did you see Mitt at the Grammys last night? / video: It's the same clip of Mitt singing. ••• Rick Santorum is the hot Republican candidate right now. / "Rick Santorum: Tellin' It Like It Is" / video:

(title graphic and jazzy music)

(Santorum, speaking somewhere): "We're not going to win this election, ladies and gentlemen..."

(title graphic)

••• Mitt Romney singing at the Westminster Kennel Club the other night. / video: the same clip ••• video: monkeys riding dogs ••• "Breeds Not Favored to Win the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show" / video:

(title graphic)

(voice-over): "The Centipug."

(Photoshop fun): It's the ultimate wiener dog, with at least eight pairs of legs.

(voice-over): "And now, back to television host David Letterman."

(title graphic)

••• Alan Kalter with Big Show Highlights ••• desk chat:
  1. Genius should be outlawed in this country. Oprah started the OWN network. Yesterday she tweeted to people watching the Grammys that if they were a Nielsen family, they should switch over to the Oprah Winfrey Network.
  2. Adele Adkins won six Grammys last night, and performed for the first time after throat surgery in November. Dave calls her. It goes something like this:

    (Adele will be played by security chief Bill DeLace.)

    (Adele): "Y'ello."

    (Dave): "Hello, Adele? Hi, it's Dave Letterman. I just called to see how you're feeling. How're ya' doin'?"

    (Adele): "I've got a little heartburn from that calzone I had the other night."

    (Dave): "Yeah. And how is your throat? It's none of my business, but on the phone here, you sound a little raspy."

    (Adele): "Well, I hit the booze pretty hard last night, too."

    (Dave): "Well, now, Adele, should you be drinking? I know you're probably celebrating, but is that the kind of thing you should be doing... is having a lot of whiskey, Adele?"

    (Adele): "Who the hell is