I've been watching Letterman since the 1980s. I used to have "Late Night" with the sound down in my room so my parents couldn't hear me up. In high school, we'd cut class and take the train into Manhattan from Connecticut to see the show tape, first at his cramped confines at NBC, then at CBS' icebox inside the Ed Sullivan Theater.
Regardless of where you stand on the sextortion case -- particularly the increasingly creepy details of Letterman's liaisons leaking out of his Worldwide Pants -- the first 20 minutes of Monday's "Late Show" was sheer poetry in comedy -- the most entertaining late night television this side of Cinemax.
It was the best monologue he has ever delivered. Every single joke -- save for video clip of a monkey sneezing -- was devoted to the sex scandal.
And the best jokes were those that Letterman didn't even finish:
"Let's look at the news ... first of all, Bill Clinton said ... oh ..."
"Good news for South Carolina governor Mark Sanford because he ..."
"How about that Eliot Spitzer ..."