My Trip to See Late Night with David Letterman [VIDEO]
David Letterman's 3+ decade run in late night comes to an end tonight. I will really, really miss Dave. He's always been my favorite, in my favorite TV genre. I'm a big fan of other present day talkers too, like The Jimmys, Conan, Seth, Corden, etc. AND past performers like "The Craigs" [Kilborn & Ferguson]. It's just always been the type of show that drew me in. Maybe it's because I was also a big fan of Larry King on Mutual Radio when I was a kid. Chat shows rule. No one's done it better than Letterman.
My friend John works at NBC and took me to see Dave live at 30 Rock. At that time, he was 8 years into a 33-year career. Timothy Busfield was the lead guest, followed by chef Wolfgang Puck and musical guest Chris Rea.
When we arrived for the evening taping of the show, Paul Shaffer and the World's Most Dangerous Band jammed for about a half an hour. Then, announcer Bill Wendell stepped out and welcomed us to the show and gave us a little preview of the way the show worked from the inside. Letterman then walked in for a greeting. He asked where people were from and had a little fun, shook some hands and went back behind the curtain to begin the show. It was a thrill to see it all up close.
We taped the show on John's VCR and I still have it in my collection. At one point during the Puck interview, Wolfgang and Dave were cooking pizza. Letterman grabbed a ball of dough and hurled it into the crowd. I snagged it in the 10th row. Should have put that thing in a jar and saved it. The camera didn't pan over to me. My Moment of Greatness was only experienced by those around me.
Here's Rea's wicked slide guitar from that night, with backing from the coolest & most talented musicians you could ever ask for. During Dave's second segment "from the desk" he looked at Paul at one point and said he was looking forward to riding down the ROAD TO HELL!!!!
The finale tonight will be memorable. Imagine the hits on the CBS page tomorrow. Thanks for the memories, Dave & Paul.