Sunday marked the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington.
Everyone remembers the terrible events of that day in sunny New York as the World Trade Center was targeted, and the Pentagon in Washington was attacked, but do you recall how the talk shows handled the events after they came back on air many days after September 11th 2001?
The Late Show With David Letterman returned to CBS with its first new show since 9/11 on the 17th September 2001. Guests on the show were news anchor Dan Rather and TV personality (and regular Late Show favourite) Regis Philbin.
The most memorable part of this show (and also one of the most memorable in the history of the Late Show) was Dave’s very moving opening monologue talking about 9/11 and the people of New York:
News anchor Dan Rather was interviewed and famously asked Letterman to go to a commercial break when he broke down in tears part-way through the interview:
Regis Philbin was the final guest on this show:
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart returned to Comedy Central with its first new show on the 20th September 2001 and provided another touching opening monologue similar to Letterman’s:
The Tonight Show With Jay Leno returned to NBC with its first new show around a week after the attacks. There still aren’t any video clips online for this episode but Wikipedia says:
“The first post-9/11 episode began with a still image of an American flag and a subdued opening without the usual opening credits. Leno’s monologue paid tribute to those who lost their lives and to firefighters, police and rescue workers across the US. Leno had questioned whether a show that regularly poked fun at the government could continue after the attacks, but in his monologue he explained that he saw the show as a respite from the grim news of the world, akin to a cookie or glass of lemonade handed to a firefighter. Senator John McCain and the musical group Crosby, Stills, and Nash were featured guests. For an extended period after the attack, a short clip of a large American flag waving was shown in between the announcement of the musical guest and Leno’s introduction during the opening montage”.
Late Night With Conan O’Brien returned at around the same time as The Tonight Show: