My Top Ten List of things I’d like to tell you about when I attended a taping of the Late Show with David Letterman a few weeks ago:
1. I got tickets through a program at work which I assume the Late Show offers to other corporations aside from my own called Work Perks. I got a notice in November to send an email to a certain address with three days in January or February when I could go see the show. I got a phone call about six weeks later with all the details and decided on a final date and confirmed my guest. If you can’t get tickets through work, you could also try on the CBS website or try and get standby tickets the day of the show, but I hear they aren’t so easy to come by, so take advantage of the Work Perks offer if your work has it.
2. The Ed Sullivan Theater, on Broadway between 53rd and 54th, has housed David Letterman since I had my first website (1993, 3rd grade, Eeyore’s Hideaway, NBD). I did know that the theater was the place where the Beatles first performed in America while on The Ed Sullivan Show so I made sure to take that in while I was there. I did *not* know that the theater is listed on the National Register of Historic Places (probably because they knew I was going to be there at some point in my life).
3. My guest and I had to be at the theater by 3 pm OR ELSE. I think if we had not gotten there in time, they would have become standby tickets. I know this was the timing rule for the Work Perks list but not sure how it works for other tickets you might come upon. We were told to come back at 3:40 and line up outside at that time.
4. The Late Show pages recommended we spend the wait in Three Monkeys, a bar around the corner on 54th Street and who were we to deny the Late Show pages? Though for what it’s worth, they didn’t seem nearly as awesome as Kenneth from 30 Rock.
5. We lined up back outside the theater at 3:40 and froze for about another 45 minutes until we were let inside. During the wait we were “trained” by the pages. They told us a few bad jokes and we had to practice our laughter. AND they told us whatever we do not to “woo” which made me nervous I wouldn’t do a good job because I am a total woo girl, it’s my go-to. But apparently wooing gets picked up too much by the microphones and sounds awful.
6. When we finally got into the theater, we were directed to the back right corner of the studio. The studio doesn’t go back that far so any seat is a good one. The pages once again tried to rile us up by leading clapping rounds while the band played. An old guy comedian came out for a few minutes and then Letterman came out to say hi before the show. An audience member asked him a question and David asked him back what he did for a living and he said he worked for a website that can look up the value of your home. The writers incorporated that website into a monologue joke and into the Top Ten. List When we heard it in the monologue, we figured it would be edited out since people watching at home wouldn’t really get it, but then when it was put in the Top Ten, we knew it would be in there.
7. The monologue and the comedy bits before the guests came out were pretty good. Like my dad said, some of the jokes aren’t actually funny, but Letterman delivers them all really well. If the joke’s not that great, you still end up laughing at how Letterman says it. I got a kick out of a bit they did where they showed photos from the campaign trail and said all photos you see fall into just a few categories, including “Newt Cannot Take a Bad Photo,” “Sweatervest,” “Fake Laugh,” and “Looking Good, Ron.”
8. The guests scheduled for that night were Kate Beckinsale (who was looking amayyyzing in a tight sparkly dress) promoting whatever terrible zombie/vampire/whatever movie she’s in this time around and Marv Albert (sports announcer dude) who was sharing sports bloopers (which always remind me of rainy days at my elementary school when they wouldn’t let us out for recess and they would show the same exact sports bloopers video each time and always bring out 3 games of Connect Four for about 200 kids to share). The musical guest that night was The Little Willies featuring Norah Jones. I hadn’t heard of the Little Willies but my dad said he had coincidentally been listening to their album that day because he is way cooler than I am.
9. The actual production of the show was pretty interesting to watch and gave me an idea of what to expect for when I have my own show someday. David’s tie was messed up for a little bit and we saw people giving him clues about that so he fixed it while on camera. He didn’t know what high school Tim Tebow went to (who was the subject of that night’s Top Ten List), and we saw the producers googling the answer on their smartphones and passing Dave an index card with the answer. The band plays throughout the commercial breaks and the producers and Letterman chat through the breaks about what is coming up next.
10. My mom claims that just as when I went to see the Daily Show last January that she could hear my laughter when she and Daddio watched the show. I mean, I tried my hardest, so it totally makes sense that out of 400 people laughing, she could hear me louder than everyone. And I only (accidentally) wooed once.