About a year later one of the local PBS channels started running blocks of educational programming late at night, so that teachers could tape them as they slept, and then after Dave's show was over I was able to watch such classic television as Destinos, a soap-opera-like series for teaching Spanish (which kept the two years of college Spanish I'd just completed from rusting away entirely for a while in this relentlessly Anglo place) and Voyage of the Mimi, a kids adventure show which featured the very young Ben Affleck (I don't think he's done anything quite that good since) and My Family and Other Animals, an autobiographical series about his childhood written by Gerald Durrell, naturalist and younger brother of author Lawrence Durrell.
But those first few months I was here I think David Letterman probably saved my life. I had gone from having a busy life in Los Angeles to having next to nothing here, and I'm quite sure I'd have died of boredom and culture shock without his show. Ever since, whenever I've wanted to have some nostalgia for that miserable year (which I have wanted to do now and then just to remind myself how much less miserable I've become since I've gotten Internets) all I've had to do is watch Letterman. Even though I haven't watched his show in quite a while, I think I'd have missed having him there as a backup when Colbert's show was a rerun I didn't want to see again— but as Colbert will be replacing him that won't be an issue anymore. I won't miss Dave as much as I'd miss the Internets if they went away, of course, but it is the end of an era. I'll miss knowing Dave is there, and I'll certainly miss my annual favorite segment of his show, the kids' Halloween costumes bit, but it's also going to be nice to have Stephen Colbert back.