Late Night

'The Last Grownup on Network TV'

As NBC gets set to welcome Jay Leno to his new home at the 10 p.m. slot, New York magazine looks at the place of his longtime late-night rival, David Letterman. Right now, he’s beating Leno’s successor, Conan O’Brien, but Conan’s got the kids watching his show. Where does that leave Letterman? Former New York Observer editor Peter Kaplan finds a serious comic, whose brittle humor seems perfectly suited for our confused times. “David Letterman,” Kaplan writes, “might be the last grownup on network television.” More meditation than reportage, the cover story explores the entertainment power of CBS’ $32 million man, who, Kaplan finds, is “something like the scarred protagonist of his own comic novel.”