My Time with Dave

David Letterman’s long and successful late night run ends tonight.

There were Letterman people and there were Leno people.  I’m a Letterman guy.  Jay is a standup comedy hall of famer, but I’ve always been more comfortable with Dave’s sensibilities.

Our brief moment of bonding came in 1993, as I was getting ready to move from the Hartford CBS station to NBC Connecticut, and Dave had left NBC for the chance to compete with Leno, after losing the Tonight Show job to Jay.

He was doing satellite interviews with the affiliates, and we were told in no uncertain terms: no more than 5 minutes with Letterman.

When I was asked for a mic check, instead of the usual counting to 10, I said, “Hi Dave, Gerry Brooks in Hartford.  I saw you outside the Duomo in Florence (Italy) a few weeks ago.”

“Oh yeah?  What was I wearing?”

“Navy blue shorts, navy blue polo, navy blue Kangol cap.”

“I was!  Did you try to talk to me?”

“No, you were on vacation, I was on vacation, and I figured your life wouldn’t be enriched by meeting me at that moment.”

“Give the guy in Hartford all the time he wants.”

(Unknown voice from New York): “Dave we have to stick to schedule.”

“I said give the guy in Hartford all the time he wants!”

What Dave wanted was to talk about was travel.  We discussed Italy, then moved on to the pleasures of St. Barth’s, and then I heard the unknown voice again.

“Hartford, you’re killing us!”

Ahhhh.  They couldn’t yell at Dave, so they figured they could yell at me.  Not a good idea.

“Leave the guy in Hartford alone.  We’re talking!

Eventually, I got in a couple of questions about his show.

And now it’s over.  Dave had a great run at CBS.  I’ve still never met him face-to-face.  But our satellite time together was a “moment.”

And now, if I saw him outside the Duomo in Florence?

I’d still leave him alone.



About Gerry

I've been covering Connecticut news and sports since 1974. I know, I don't look that old.
This entry was posted in Living in the Past, Media, People, Travel, TV Stuff and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

18 Responses to My Time with Dave

  1. Ed Katz says:

    Great story, Gerry! Living in Westport for 20+ years, we would run into Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward or Michael Bolton, Phil Donahue, Martha Stewart, etc. around town several times. Always respected the same rule of thumb- as did most others, too. I did get to speak with Newman and Woodward a few times at the Westport Playhouse- after shows. They made themselves available for that time so I enjoyed discussing the plays with them.
    Dave Letterman has been a great late-night host and comedian. Glad I got to see the show live several years ago. He really did keep the theater freezing cold, though.

  2. cheri828 says:

    That’s really a great story. I can see a whole TV series around the two voices chatting with each other and never meeting!!

  3. Love what you wrote and what you did…and that is why you are the best.

  4. Linda says:

    Great story! What a wonderful experience for you. I, too, was in the Letterman camp. Now I favor Fallon. And this story, Gerry, demonstrates just what a class act you are and I’m so glad David recognized that!

  5. Terry Cowgill says:

    Great story Gerry. I, too, favor Letterman. His sarcasm was a tad more biting than Leno’s, though I did lose some respect for Dave when he admitted to sleeping with half his staff.

    Now if I see you in some far flung place, I will leave you alone, too. 🙂

  6. Mike Kelly says:

    Cool, Gerry.

  7. Julie Stagis says:

    That is a great story. I love Letterman, and this really drives home what a stand-up guy (no pun intended!) he is… and you are!

  8. Gene says:

    Well Gerry, you came into the blood drive last year just as I was leaving and I made a point not to interrupt you. Just saying…;-)

  9. Ruth Saphirstein says:

    Great story Gerry!!! You can’t make that stuff up!!! Loved it!! Thanks for making what WAS just an ok day a good day!

  10. Cat says:

    I have gone to bed with Dave every night,, for many, many years, 😉 Guess it will be lights out early from now on. 😦

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