Letterman Zeppelin

David Letterman and the three surviving members of Led Zeppelin were among the recipients of the Kennedy Center Honors Sunday night. That show was recorded to air 3 weeks from now on CBS, but tonight, Letterman hosted the Led Zep guys -- Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones -- on his "Late Show."

And it was terrible.

I'm a longtime Letterman fan, but I've gotten on his case a couple of times this year, most notably for giving Theresa Caputo, the phony psychic, a platform to spew her nonsense. Tonight, he was either lazy or uninterested in the three rock legends, so his questions for them were positively lame, along the lines of "How would I describe your music?" It was clear that Letterman was unfamiliar with Led Zeppelin, one of the most famous bands in rock and roll history. But with a staff as large as his, someone should have taken some time to put together some bullet points he could discuss with them. At the very least, he could have asked Paul Shaffer for some ideas.

I've never interviewed any of the three, but let's see what I can come up with right now, off the top of my head. Think of it as the Top Ten Questions David Letterman Could Have Asked Led Zeppelin:
That took me maybe three minutes, just spitballing ideas onto my keyboard. Those questions would form the basis of a pretty good interview with Plant/Page/Jones, if I do say so myself, but Letterman didn't ask anything remotely as interesting. Instead, he stumbled through the segment, as if just having these guys in his guest chairs was enough.

It wasn't.

If only Letterman's staff had helped prepare him as well as President Obama's writers did when he said a few words about Led Zeppelin at a White House ceremony before the Kennedy Center Honors. I have no idea if Obama actually knows the first thing about the band, but with a little behind-the-scenes prep work, he sure looks like it (although he doesn't warble any of their tunes as he did Al Green's "Let's Stay Together" earlier this year) ...

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