For decades, Charles Grodin reigned as late night television’s favorite cranky uncle, a proudly belligerent curmudgeon whose ornery shtick first delighted Johnny Carson (who had him under exclusive contract as a guest) and then David Letterman, even as Grodin professed to have little but high-minded disdain for the talk shows he frequented and little respect for their hosts. (Unjustified contempt for everyone and everything is a core component of Grodin’s finely honed talk-show persona). Grodin recently made his first late-night appearance in four years to plug a DVD on acting he made for charity on Late Night With Jimmy Fallon and was in fine, feisty form, mistaking the show for radio and the late night hit’s legendary in-house band The Roots for the altogether less impressive Dave Matthews Band. Considering his advanced age and semi-retirement, the reclusive Grodin may be the talk-show world’s grumpy great-uncle at this point, but he’s still an unqualified delight. [Splitsider]
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