This isn’t based on ratings analysis or numbers or anything, but David Letterman continues to be The King of Late Night, and here’s why: Last night, Japanese pop sensation Hatsune Miku appeared as the musical guest on Letterman’s Late Show. Miku is not an actual person. Essentially, the purple-pigtailed singer is an app. Her bio on Wikipedia reads like something from the appendix to a William Gibson novel:
Hatsune Miku (初音ミク?), sometimes referred to as Miku Hatsune, is a humanoid persona voiced by a singing synthesizer application developed by Crypton Future Media, headquartered in Sapporo city. She uses Yamaha Corporation’s Vocaloid 2 and Vocaloid 3 singing synthesizing technologies. She also uses Crypton Future Media’s Piapro Studio, a singing synthesizer VSTi Plugin. She was the second Vocaloid sold using the Vocaloid 2 engine, and the first Japanese Vocaloid to use the Japanese version of the Vocaloid 2 engine. Her voice is sampled from Japanese voice actress Saki Fujita. Hatsune Miku has performed at her concerts onstage as an animated projection.
And that’s just what happened. David Letterman let a hologram close out his program – and not a fake Tupac, Michael Jackson assemblage, or Will.i.Am dialing in from his studio. This was a humanoid persona. I’m not sure what that means.
But what is clear is that Letterman is either as boundary pushing a chooser of musical guests as he’s ever been or, as he’s nearing the end of his late-night tenure, he just doesn’t give a shit. Either one is cool as hell.