It is very easy to attend a live taping of "The Late Show" starring David Letterman. Sure, I know on their website it says that you have to either fill out a form online or apply in person at the studio, and then you have only a small chance at getting a ticket and must rely on a ticket lottery where you will be up against thousands of other people for only a few hundred seats, but that is all just talk. I went to a taping yesterday, and it was much easier than that.
I finished up my rehearsal at Lincoln Center and decided to walk down to the comic book store in Times Square (note to comic book retailers: please open an Upper West Side location) because I had nothing better to do and I wanted to look for some trading cards that Ruby wanted. As I was walking down Broadway I passed the CBS studios building where they film "The Late Show" and saw a huge crowd of people waiting outside to get in. But I guess it wasn't as huge a crowd as I thought.
Some guy on the street with a clipboard asked me if I wanted to go see Letterman, and I instinctively kept walking and did not make eye contact. There are a lot of people in New York on the sidewalks holding clipboards, and they are not to be trusted. I did have the courtesy to fire off this scathing one-liner as I passed though: "Sorry Buddy, looks like there are already more than enough people in that huge line back there." Zing!
But then he came a step closer, and shouted that he could guarantee me a seat and it started in 5 minutes. My curiosity piqued, I paused and approached the young lad. He told me that a big group had cancelled and they needed to fill spots and would I please go to the show. Well, what the heck, right? I put my name on the list and walked over to the line. After a few minutes they moved my stand-by line over to the regular line, handed me a ticket, and before I knew it I was going through security.
Because I was basically the last person in line, and because I was alone, I was shoved into the first available single free seat, which happened to be the middle of the third row. Hey, a great seat! They told us the rules: No cell phones, No cameras, lots of clapping, no yelling "Woooo" in a high pitched manner. I guess high pitched noises do something bad to the microphones, so whistling was banned, and shrieking was also out.
First we were warmed up with a little stand-up comedy and then the band came out and started jamming. Dave appeared and said hi to us, and then the show started. And it pretty much ran like a normal show. Rob Lowe was there, as well as the Governor of Montana and the band "The War on Drugs" which I had never heard of, but were actually pretty good.
When the show ended we were quickly ushered out of the theater and back onto the streets, where I continued my walk to Times Square, only to find out that the comic book store was completely sold out of the cards I wanted. Oh well. A small price to pay for an interesting afternoon.