Stupid Writer Tricks on David Letterman Show & Late Night, 1980, 1982

Stupid Writer Tricks on David Letterman Show & Late Night, 1980, 1982

[Applause] [Applause] [Applause] thanks Evan can you hook talking back to the show we're coming to you from New York City today is Friday what do you think Frank have any idea 2424 this' absolutely correct in this half-hour we're going to take you on a our final behind-the-scenes tour and all kinds of excitement every show has writers and since this show began in June our diligent writing staff has been cranking out brilliant comedy concepts but now that time has run out it's obvious we won't get to all of them particularly these which you're going to see which I vetoed early on now ladies and gentlemen doing their own material that I rejected welcome to the first and only installment of stupid writer tricks our writers ladies gentlemen [Applause] we start Gerard Mulligan Gerard how Paul area 640 what do you weigh – 30 days all right what do you what do you have that I passed on earlier pretty good I think okay it's Monday August 25th here in New York City I hope you all had a good weekend I think I did the amount of the bail is any indication [Applause] okay our next rider is Paul Railly ladies gentlemen Paul I see you have a little something for that side okay how many folks from Guam today Frank what day November 57th the something like oh well yes you know well in mataró and the town of Rachel vaq Iceland is it Rachel it is that stretch of ik Iceland we must apply for a bald spot [Laughter] [Applause] and card who is that here on the 600 is Iran Richards ladies and gentlemen you must be Dave Dave I've seen you before dude i'm ron Richards ah you know on my car I got a bumper sticker that says I'd rather be sailing and on my boat I got one that says I'd rather be driving my car I just like everybody to know that no matter where I go I'm miserable this is from rich hall ladies and gentlemen you have a little something for have a little company but it were going to the Statue of Liberty you notice and scription honor that says give us your tired your poor and your huddled masses and I've noticed you see a lot of still tired people on to poor people but you don't see too many huddled masses in just to walk down the street and see them all over the place so we have one here [Applause] thank you very much Chris Hall and now the only female member of our writing staff our head writer Meryl Marco right from the beginning it was my contention I read the NBC research and if we would have had more sex more violence on the show I think we would have done better by suicide whispering sex and violence and so I would like to share our little sex and violence it's still early we still have 25 minutes maybe maybe the show over I never know right oh right around good ladies and gentlemen February and for the gal January if you got something there and for everyone else a little violence time for the entire family violence ladies gentlemen [Applause] thank you very much that's our first installment of stupid rider tricks let me ride back to our [Applause] [Applause] I don't writing there there grouper laughs well nothing really comes to mom ladies and gentlemen stupid writer tres we got an hour left let me ask you is Harv going to sing all of these you'll be singing all these introductions okay let me explain how this works ladies and gentlemen now we usually do a segment where people bring their little pets on and do tricks for us and so on and so forth tonight you're going to beat the writing staff of the late-night television program they are going to entertain you with their own special kind of tricks let's get on with it shall we writer number one a veteran that mr. Gerard mulligan ladies and gentlemen and what is what is your stupid writer trick tonight draw I'm going to share with the audience an opening remark that you've chosen not to do all right find an opening remark that I have passed by yes we you know there's enough a lot of discussion these days about the insanity defense and in criminal cases and the trickiest part of it is proving you are in fact insane the defendant I just read on the way out here one of the AP wires about this guy in Cleveland who successfully proved his insanity by producing a letter he'd sent to NBC asking why different strokes didn't expand to an hour thanks again ladies our next participants we have a team Karl T – my name's Steve whiner ladies and gentlemen there's more introduction here will you please welcome our next team of writers the curators and of those PG pictures and close personal friends of Larry bud Melman Stephen whiner and Carl Tito any other sub gone are what are you gentlemen playing for us tonight well before we go any further we just have to take this opportunity to congratulate you on your first Network television I give em up okay in our humble opinion nobody and I mean nobody deserves it more really feels very nice and I want you all to know that we say that not merely because this man's name is on our paycheck every week but because he happens to be a wonderful talent and a fine human being David [Applause] all right now now what is your trick that was it next we have a mr. Andy breckman ladies and gentlemen Andy breckman Andy how very nice to see a dress nice to do and what are you going to do for us this evening well David my trick involves you I know you're a gambling man I'd like to bet you right now I'd like to bet you ten dollars that I can make you say leave that clown alone leave that clown alone $10 fine you're on okay Chuck leave that alone come on let's go what your clown a make us laugh Chuck good thing that's not funny that is pathetic you're the leaf of funny no one likes you yeah thing look at this stupid hey wait a minute wait a minute leave anyone alone there you are Andy Brickman and Chuck the clown ladies and gentlemen our next writer mr. George Meyer ladies gentlemen George Eliot and Sofia and what are you going to do for us this evening sir well you know in the last few months I've seen a lot of stupid pet tricks on the show animals come on yeah rabbit on skateboard and stuff and the other day I was sitting around and I thought you know George you can do those tricks I mean you're as smart as a dog right yeah sure I'm smarter than a dog so you've been teaching yourself to do some tricks yeah it's really been surprisingly easy huh you have an example for us well sure um okay let's take shaking hands shaking hands all right fine oh I see great yeah now that would have taken a dog maybe three or four months to learn and it's not really bright how long did it thank you about Narnia that's great anything else you can do for us well I taught myself how to add um like if you give me two numbers I can tell you what the sum of those two numbers is no kidding yeah any two one and three that would be 40 that's unbelievable it's unbelievable here's okay Oh what are you going to do here well you'll see okay George Meyer ladies and gentlemen easy leap hold it oh he's a little nervous because of the crowd and the lights and so forth we can all just be very very quiet please oh that that's really nice really next we have another comedy team two writers who worked for the original Saturday Night Live the comedy team of Tom Gamal and Max poss ladies and gentlemen I'm max hi Sofia hi David I seemed like I seen your old professor aren't Einstein today are they defined Einstein huh I put I put his hair back you know how am I sure I'm sure my girlfriend pay what is it what is the name Mike she's such a plate that when she passes a field of waving corn she weighs back there's one about the little shoe shine boy who kept old past the medic Kevin and it didn't want to make up the sleeping pills I think it's time for us to go [Applause] getting caught in here or away and finally our head writer Meryl Marco with a new sitcom that takes place in Florida so I'm told Meryl Marco let's go we come back here and what is what a good little what a hurt well what I've tried to do is devise something that would be is if this weren't already some total entertainment for the beautiful audience and I think old honor Taylor yeah I was trying to put together a sitcom that I thought would incorporate virtually everything that people like to see on a sitcom I thought it would have stupid dialogue and some mindless violence and be fed in a beautiful tropical location where there'd be naked people running around and I thought perhaps you could start in it with me I was I was calling it mama sleep my little Merrill my little mare well I'd be proud to play a part in this epic you have a script for us oh why sure I do hear her I'm playing the part of her be ladies and gentlemen in the episode first episode of my little Meryl they're setting up the props now we have the lovely tropical background and we're ready to go you bet we are okay I just begin here you read her be I'm her be hi honey I'm home the boss will be here for dinner in just a minute is everything ready did you set the table that's the table I thought you said wreck the table well we're going to put on our flak jackets we'll be right back to talk to Terry girl [Applause] [Applause] [Applause] you


  • Greg Lamb says:


  • plaws0 says:

    Gerard M first in both, The Divine Ms M(arkoe) last in both. Nice. Thanks for including the note at the end.

  • Gavin James says:

    A young Rich Hall! Didn't know he worked with Dave. He's always on tv here in England

  • InvestorGuy66 says:

    Does anyone know (maybe someone who worked at NBC or knows someone who did): was the same studio used for both of Dave's shows ("David Letterman Show" and "Late Night")? If so, was it 6A?

  • RunningMadeSuperEasy says:

    Of course Teri Garr is coming up after the break

  • MoviesGalore1000 says:

    Do you have Lev the Russian Magician from 1983 or 1984 he was funny.

  • NASA F says:

    Goddamn it Don – you're the the fucking best! (always keep the start-of-show intro music in all of your videos) Your archives are sublime.

  • NASA F says:

    I loved Rich Hall when he was on SNL!

  • DM 00 says:

    It's hard to convey how amazing this kind of stuff was to a younger crowd. At the time, this was amazing. So human and real. Such a relief. What punk did for music, Dave did for TV.

  • Thomas Johnson says:

    That was funny. I think I know why she was head writer.

  • ottomaeshun says:


  • Gaggelini says:

    Never seen a this young Rich Hall

  • James Wold says:

    This made me soooooooo FN Happy!!!!! Seriously, sometimes a joke or bit is not meant for the masses but those R the ones I sometimes love the most. Have eggplant jokes replaced dick jokes??

  • DAM FLA says:

    Lucky for Dave no one else wanted that time slot.

  • ghalib khan says:

    holy f**k, i never knew rich hall worked for letterman…

  • hibob418 says:

    Would love to see the entire final episode of the daytime Letterman show. Every time they went away to a commercial break, they would put a different staff member's resume up on screen.

  • Dennis Perrin says:

    Hi Don. Again, thanks for these. Any chance you have access to Dave and Merrill's HBO special, LOOKING FOR FUN? I believe it ran between the morning and late night shows.

  • clownnookie says:

    Fans may be interested in reading Merrill's book of essay's called Cool, Calm & Contentious, within which she dates a fellow called "Bobby." Hmm. Who could this Bobby really be??

  • Marc Thompson says:

    Does anyone have video of Dave talking to Pete Fatovich in the control room and he asks "What did your wife have for dinner?" Pete replies, "Some dinner, cold shoulder and hot tongue."

  • tomitstube says:

    letterman should have used this more often. writers need more exposure.

  • Barrettus says:

    Hey Don I hate to ask but… I've been trying to track down the Tom Selleck stupid human trick. He does an impression of a submarine. You see it briefly in the 4th anniversary special. IMDB only has two dates for Tom in 1985 (23 May & 26 Dec) and I don't think it's either. Tom was always a great guest. Thanks. (On topic, when Markoe calls him Don it was great. Was that long running gag of getting names wrong her idea or Dave's I wonder?)

  • BURCHDOG says:

    You should definitely upload more Merrill Markoe

  • Burair Al Lawati says:


  • eugene king says:

    Seeing all these earlier Letterman bits only reinforces my long held opinion that Dave's CBS shows were never anywhere near the imaginative and edgy quality or original humor of the NBC incarnation. The CBS shows seemed immensely dumbed down, especially after the loss (or ouster?) of producer Robert Morton.

    In 1984 I began recording every night of Letterman on NBC and would the next day edit down choice bits. Shortly after the CBS shows began broadcasting I ceased saving much of the shows' content. I eventually ceased bothering to record at all, unless I was not going to watch in real time and wanted to watch the following day.

    I am so happy I have 20 archive boxes of VHS tapes containing edited priceless comedic (and not so comedic) material. Just wish I had the electronic devices to transfer and upload to Youtube what I wanted to share…

  • LivLaRaj says:

    one of the elder men portraying Gammill and Pross was Willie Day, propmaster for SNL 1975-1984, someone I've pointed out in one of your previous videos.

    Love seeing these. Thanks neverending!! Would love to see more from the early '82-'84(?) 90-minute versions. I recall one of my first LNwDL viewings was Fish Cleaning night with Mariel Hemingway that had Jane Curtin as guest…

  • maddymud says:

    Ms Markoe was the soul of that brilliant show

  • Guy Souriandt says:

    The huddled masses one was very funny.

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