Following the passing of Johnny Carson I started thinking of a dark time in television history called "The Late Night Talk Show Wars". If you are too young to remember this event, it came after the Cola Wars, the War on Drugs, and the War on Illiteracy. Books and even a TV movie have covered the chain of events that happened after Johnny Carson announced his retirement as the host of the "Tonight Show" leading to an east coast-west coast battle for the show. If you didn’t know better you would think that I was talking about a couple of rap artists and not a couple of comedians. The biggest causality of this war was the long time friendship of Jay Leno and David Letterman. I realize that we can’t return to the time pictured below, but there is still a chance for a new beginning. As the "Child of Television" I would like to dedicate some of my efforts to reuniting two old friends
To quote Sgt. Hans Schultz (John Banner) from Hogan's Heroes, "When it comes to war, I never take sides".
I feel that you are the only viable candidate to act as peacemaker between these two warring camps. I am speaking of course of Mr. Leno and Mr. Letterman.
Mr. Carson is gone. The "Late Night Talk Show War" has long been over, and even a key player in starting the war is gone too. As a fan of yours, Mr. Leno's, Mr. Letterman's and the late Mr. Carson's I feel like I have been dealing with two divorced friends and not knowing who to invite to the Christmas party. It's awkward to see them both at the same function, the Emmys for example, where they maintain a safe distance from each other. Milestones have passed where it would have been great to see them together again.
In a time when our country is divided into Red States and Blue States, I find it ironic that the two main people that we turn to at the end of a long day to escape the craziness of everyday life are just as divided as our country. The one thing that that HBO movie "The Late Shift" failed to capture was the long time friendship that was lost following the events that happened after Mr. Carson announced his retirement.
I know it is easier to burn bridges than to mend fences, but if Martin & Lewis could reconcile publicly before it was too late, then I have every confidence that you can broker a peace between Jay and Dave.