Inside the Late Show with David Letterman!
Ok so it wasn't exactly late night... the show tapes at 4:30 in the afternoon. But there's definitely a late night vibe they manage to create at the famed Ed Sullivan Theater.
AM's Executive Producer (and my good buddy) Janelle and I sat in the audience and cheered on our own Dr. Sanjay Gupta. He is a guest on the show that airs tonight.
Sanjay was booked to talk about the swine flu. Dave joked that now that it appeared the scare was waning he would just ask Sanjay for a physical. Ha! (Although I've asked Sanjay a ton of medical questions myself.)
So Janelle and I waited in the line along with many other excited visitors. Many from out of town. We were given "the rules" about making sure to laugh and clap – no wolf whistling, no cameras or phones and no "shout-outs to your favorite sports teams!"
Then we filed in and took our seats. By the way, the pages were not the friendliest. I wish, especially for the excited out of towners, that they would've been a little let's say 'warmer.' Speaking of cold – we were warned that Dave likes the studio very cold and dressed in pants and wool coats. (In May!) Thank God.
We watched from the top level as the band warmed up – then a comedian came out to warm up the audience. Then, out comes the band, Paul Shaffer and finally Dave comes bursting out. No jacket. Says hello talks a little to audience. And then walks backstage and the show begins.
It's fascinating as someone who anchors a live three hour news show to watch the taped late-night format. There are a lot of similarities. Dave goes "live to tape" meaning his interviews and monologue are left as is. So he doesn't redo anything.
I marvel at these guys like Dave and Conan and Jay who have an ability to be funny on cue. It can't be easy. But I do know what it's like to interview people and try to coax the best out of them at times. Dave is great at that.
We cheered when Sanjay came out – he was great during the interview! I'm so proud of him as a CNNer and a South Asian.
Production-wise the whole show ran like a well-oiled machine. The band rocked. It was really an interesting experience. Now if only we could tape at 4:30pm... 😉
See you in the morning,