As I write this, in 80 minutes David Letterman will have his last show. For many of you, that's no big deal. For my family, it's a big deal. We grew up with Letterman. My dad wrote Top 10 lists for us. Every week growing up my dad would record all 5 episodes on a VHS tape and watch them over the weekend (or next week or two). We love Dave, he's been a weirdly huge part of my life, and probably why each newsletter is a list. Because, as we know, everyone loves a list. So here's the Top 10 Things I learned from Dave...
10. Lists Are GREAT - you love a list, I love a list, lists keep order, even when they're ridiculous.
9. Music is Important- Over the past few weeks musicians have been on for the final time. Some were Dave's favorites, some Paul's, and each musician knew that Dave was instrumental in their success. Music is important.
8. Focus on the Guest - Ask questions, be interested, people like to talk about themselves. Dave was a master deflector, we can all learn from this.
7. Comedy is Important- Ray Romano had his life changed by David Letterman. There are many comedians you love today because Dave gave them a start. Comedy is important.
6. Recognize Greatness - So many celebrities have talked about when they were first getting started and had a chance to be on Dave. Dave has been great at seeing potential and opportunity.
5. Stupid Human Tricks. One time a guy squirted milk out his tear duct. You can't unsee that.
4. Stupid Pet Tricks. Not sure where to start- I loved them all. Hank is a fantastic animal, but his biggest accomplishment is not peeing in the house.
3. Jack Hanna - Everyone needs a go-to guest. Dave had a few, Regis, Amy Sedaris, but Jack Hanna and his menagerie were always a can't miss at my house. I cried two weeks ago learning that the Columbus Zoo named a Rhino "Letterman."
2. The Team - in 2007 my dad and I went to New York to see a taping of the Late Show. It was amazing. We went to the Hello Deli and got a shirt and had sandwiches. And Pat Farmer walked in. Who? Yeah. Pat's been in the Art Department at The Late Show for years. I loved when it was "Pat and Kenny read Oprah Transcripts." his voice is so distinctive. When he walked in and ordered, dad and I might have done our best to keep it together. Why did we know who he was? Because Dave made sure you knew everyone behind the scenes at the show. It was Dave's show, but he couldn't do it without a lot of help.
1. Parents are Important. Dave had his mom travel to the Olympics, bake pies on Thanksgiving, and always made him look good. My freshman year at Whitworth my dad watched the MTV Music Awards and that night sent me a Top Ten List. I posted it outside my door and all semester my friends asked me who wrote it and they laughed. I still have it. I'll always have it. Parents are important.
Elizabeth & Hank