Friends, I have to be quite upfront about the title of this article, the legendary Isaac Asimov only takes a few moments in this 13 minute interview to talk about his appreciation of both Star Wars and Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back. However I was very surprised to learn how much he actually enjoyed the two films – as my first introduction to Asimov was a TV Guide essay in the mid-80s, in which he was railing against the popularity of NBC’s ALF. As I was quite the fan of everyone’s favorite surviving inhabitant of Melmac at the time – you will probably understand why my feathers were a little ruffled over his comments.
Thankfully I had a teacher in Junior High School that not only made me realize that the point of the essay wasn’t exactly an attack on ALF as a sitcom – but the lack of logic in the series. For example, thanks to MeTV who actually were able to get their hands on the TV Guide you can read this excerpt from the 1987 essay by Asimov:
“Asimov says: “He crash-lands his spaceship right through the roof of the family’s garage. Now I, with my limited imagination, would have ended the sitcom at once. I would have reasoned thus: When an automobile goes over a lousy 100-foot cliff, its occupants are killed; therefore when a spaceship comes screaming down through 100 miles [emphasis Asimov’s] of atmosphere, its occupants would be killed, too. That’s that.”
His tongue in cheek analysis of the sitcom aside, thanks to that same teacher, I quickly began to realize how important a writer Isaac Asimov truly was. In addition I was directed to the library to check out a copy of I, Robot – of the ten stories featured in the collection, I enjoyed Little Lost Robot and Robbie the most.
This interview between Isaac Asimov and David Letterman took place back on October 21st of 1980 – just three days before The David Letterman Show was cancelled. Although as we know – less than two years later Late Night with David Letterman debuted on February 1st of 1982 and ran for eleven seasons.
Besides the brief discussion on the Star Wars films, Asimov and Letterman talk about such subjects as the then future of medicine, space exploration, hope for mankind, and much more.