Love was in the air at the Ed Sullivan Theater as David Letterman kissed Dustin Hoffman and Hoffman later planted a wet one on one of the members of New Direction.
The sudden smooches came as complete surprises to their recipients (or so it seemed) on “The Late Show with David Letterman,” seen Friday night on CBS.
They were huge surprises to viewers watching at home too, especially the sudden display of affection Dave showed Dustin as they were talking about the Kennedy Center honors they each received last weekend in Washington.
It was the second time this week that Dave hosted a fellow Kennedy Center honoree on his CBS late-night show. Earlier he hosted three members of Led Zeppelin, but he didn’t kiss any of them. In fact, Dave has long avoided physical contact with his guests of any kind.
But he apparently felt the urge to kiss Hoffman after the legendary 75-year-old actor praised Dave — explaining to Letterman why he deserved the Kennedy Center award for his contributions to the popular culture. “You are a satirist on the level of Will Rogers,” Hoffman told Letterman, refuting Letterman’s own claim that he was unworthy of Kennedy Center recognition.
Later, it was New Direction’s turn, or more specifically, band member Niall Horan. When the five-member group from Ireland strode on stage to all sit together on Letterman’s couch, they were trailed by Hoffman, who moments later planted a kiss on the band member who happened to be sitting on the end of the couch closest to him. That band member was Horan, who looked astonished after the kiss was over.
With Letterman getting the lion’s share of attention for this year’s Kennedy Center Honors, the annual awards telecast on CBS — Dave’s own network — should be higher-rated than usual. It’s scheduled to air Wednesday, Dec. 26, the day after Christmas, at 9/8c.