David LettermanPosted: May 19, 2015 Filed under: America Since 1945, comedy, TV 2 Comments
Gave me my first job ever. I only met him once, for thirty seconds.
I hated the actual work of working there. I had no idea how to write in this man’s voice, no clue what he was going to be into. I was terrible at it. On the show at that time he’d often throw out all the comedy and just telephone his assistant Stephanie on air instead. From my office I could see the Hudson River and I’d stare at tugboats going by. After six months I got fired.
Still it launched my career. People still ask me about it and probably will be for the rest of my life.
Steve Young had the office next to me, he’d been working there since 1989 or 1990. His office was full of records of industrial songs, and every once in awhile he’d play one for me. I remember one that was a rap that helped KFC employees remember how to make biscuits.
What a great man.
Another memory: every single day I ate the same thing: a BLT from Rupert’s deli downstairs.
Another one: they played the show, or at least the top ten list, on the radio. Sometimes, on my taxi ride home, the driver would be listening to it.
If you haven’t seen the last Norm MacDonald appearance there’s no helping you, but watch this old one. In these late episodes it’s easy to forget how sharp and fast and energized Letterman was at full strength.
The guy I’ll really miss though is Paul Schaffer.
“The secret I finally learned, after all these years, is just stay loose with this stuff,” says Paul Shaffer. “Swing with whatever happens onstage, because everybody else is.”
Yes, I guess it would be harder to write for someone else’s voice other than your own. I have a hard time finding my own words, but I do have two short poems on writerscafe.org. Check them out. My user name on that site is Andrea R Flores.