Monday, September 21, 2009

Going to Letterman

Going down Broadway yesterday as I walk from Central Park to the Museum of Modern Art, I stop to take a picture of the Ed Sullivan Theater, where David Letterman tapes his show. The front door was open. I go in and see that they're signing people up for the ticket lottery to see a taping of the show. It's free so I sign up for tonight's show.

We're starting work early Monday so if it goes as planned, I'll be finished in time to go. I take the clipboard the assistant gives me and put my name and contact info and the date and time of the show I can attend. Dave tapes two shows on Monday and takes Friday off.

After I hand the assistant (probably an intern) the clipboard back, she asks me some questions. How often do I watch the show? Not often, I'm dumb enough to confess. What parts of the show do you like -- any of the bits? Mostly I like the monologue and Dave's interaction with the guests.

If I'm not disqualified yet, I'm sure I will be when she asks if my phone has voice mail. I don't know. I'm using a borrowed BlackBerry Sprint gave us because it is one of the sponsors of the project I'm on. I assure her that if someone calls, I will answer because the phone is always on me, and I point to it hanging on my belt.

She writes "not sure if he has voicemail" on my form and I figure that will doom my chances. She thanks me and says someone will call if I get a ticket. Like it matters. It's a TV show I rarely even watch. I like Dave but if I don't get in, it won't break my heart.

I go on to MoMA and forget about it. I'm in the museum, wondering how long I have to stay to justify the $20 admission ticket, when the phone rings. It's CBS, which I know because the same number shows up on caller ID when CBS News calls me, however infrequently, to do freelance work.

Believe it or not, that's who I thought it was. Never mind that I've had this phone for a week and it's going back in another week, I thought something had happened in Tampa and the CBS Early Show wanted me to go to the scene.

It is not, as I'm sure you realize more quickly than I did. It's the Letterman show. They're calling to tell me that I've won a ticket and to give me instructions on where and when to show up.

It happens that we start work early today so I'm going to finish in time to go.

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