David Letterman and Co. kept quiet at Kennedy Center honors

December 27, 2012
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One of the best things about the Kennedy Center Honors is that the honorees don’t get to say anything. That was particularly evident in the Dec. 26 broadcast, which included a tribute to David Letterman.

Serving as a kind of lifetime achievement awards in arts and culture, the Kennedy Center’s celebration features a testimonial, a short biographical film, and a creative presentation for each of the award recipients (this year’s class, in addition to Letterman, were Dustin Hoffman, Buddy Guy, Natalia Makarova, and Led Zeppelin. We see their reactions from their box seat perch with the President and First Lady, but there aren’t microphones anywhere near them.

So we didn’t have to hear Letterman try to mitigate the goofy praise being offered by Tina Fey, Ray Romano, and Jimmy Kimmel (who had the line of the night with: “You are the hero of all of us…with the possible exception of the people who came to see the ballerina”). Instead, we got to see him and his fellow honorees bask in justified praise for careers that had lasting impact on culture, pop and otherwise.

FYI: The last Indiana-connected artist to be honored by the Kennedy Center was choreographer Twyla Tharp in 2008.

Your thoughts?

  • Zeppathon
    As usual, all of the honorees were well deserving, but I'm glad they saved Led Zeppelin for last. The tribute to them was absolutely epic. I can't wait to do a Zeppathon now!
  • Great show
    I was one of those people who tuned in "to see the ballerina" but found the whole show to be delightful. I especially enjoyed the Blues medley tribute to Buddy Guy
  • David Letterman
    Absolutely Dave earned to be honored. His comedic talents are epic whether you like him or not. Best of all - when he lost out on hosting the Tonight Show - he dusted himself off - and kept moving forward till he succeeded. I can't think of a better role model for following your passion
  • Led Zeppelin Tribute and Heart
    And for the record - the tribute to Led Zeppelin by Heart was INCREDIBLE! Considering rock and roll is a male dominated industry - especially back in the early 70's - to see Heart come out and make the surviving members of Led Zeppelin smile and shed tears of joy was a testimonial to their outstanding performance of "Stairway to Heaven". #WOMENROCK
  • Kimmel blew it
    Kimmel tried to actually show some praise for someone, showering Letterman with affection, but then proceeded to insult Makarova, the nameless 'ballerina' to Kimmel who obviously had a productive enough creative life to get a Kennedy Center Award, in a classical discipline no less. Kimmel not only ridiculed her on a night when she was already overshadowed, he showed himself to be a total philistine about an art form which requires more physical dedication than anyone else who was present. I know he was just expressing what the morons in the room were thinking, and that's his only talent, but he really crossed a line from funny into ignorant. Kimmel doesnt remind me of the funny guy in high school. He reminds me of the jerk in high school you wanted to punch. He's not really as sharp as he wishes he were. Nobody will be going to any award shows for him, that's a certainty.

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