Darlene Love Reunites With David Letterman & Paul Shaffer For ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)’ Holiday Tradition

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Christmas has finally come home: In a sweet, new YouTube video, Darlene Love reunites with David Letterman and Paul Shaffer for the first time in nine years to resume a longtime holiday tradition that capped off the Christmas episodes of Letterman’s late night talk shows for 28 years.

“I hate all novelty holiday songs,” Letterman says in the new video posted on his Letterman YouTube channel. “I hate them. The only one I love is ‘Christmas (Baby Please Come Home).'”

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Together again for the first time since the final Christmas episode of Letterman’s Late Show in 2014, Love, Letterman, Shaffer and Late Show executive producer Barbara Gaines chat about the annual performances that resurrected Love’s solo career and became a beloved holiday TV tradition.

The 1963 song, written Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry, and Phil Spector and recorded by Love for the compilation album A Christmas Gift for You from Phil Spector, had all but faded from public memory until Love, at Shaffer’s request, appeared on the 1986 episode of NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman to sing the song. One year later, the song was covered by (then) arguably the biggest band in the world, U2, for the charity compilation, A Very Special Christmas.

Over the next 29 years – with the exception of 2007, when the WGA was on strike – Love returned to Late Night and, later, CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman to continue the tradition. Her annual performance would come at the end of the final episode before the shows’ Christmas breaks.

In the years since Letterman retired from late night, Love has performed the song on the Christmas episode of ABC’s The View, and last month she did a duet with Cher for NBC’s annual Rockefeller Center special – Love’s first appearance at the tree lighting.

“Do you know they wouldn’t hire me for that?,” Love says, adding that, until this year, NBC “had guests that came on and sung it.”

“That’s bullshit!,” Letterman responds, before joking, “And I hope I haven’t ruined anyone’s holiday.”

And speaking of Cher, the new video revisits another longstanding Letterman tradition when Shaffer does his imitation of Cher’s 1970s rendition of “O Holy Night.”

The only things missing were the late Jay Thomas, his Lone Ranger story and the football-pizza challenge.

Watch Love’s Letterman reunion performance above.

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