Madonna on the Late Show with David Letterman

Picture of Madonna and Dave

Uncensored interview transcript of Madonna's infamous appearance.

Dave: Our first guest tonight is one of the biggest stars in the world. In the past ten years she has sold over 80 million albums, starred in countless films, and slept with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry.

Paul: She's your guest!

Dave: It's right there on her bio, for heaven's sake.

Paul: She's your guest.

Dave: It's what it says --

Paul: She's your guest.

Dave: Oh, she's, oh, everything's fine. Just relax, will you? We're just trying to have fun.

Paul: Okay. I know.

Dave: Ladies and gentlemen, here she is ... Madonna!

--Music-- [Holiday by Madonna]

[Madonna comes out and hands Dave her panties. Dave stuffs them into a drawer when he gets back to his desk]

Dave: How are you doing?

Madonna: I'm only here cause there isn't a Knicks game. Don't get excited.

Dave: Oh, come on. Let's go kiss a guy in the audience. Why don't you go kiss a guy in the audience?

Madonna: Why are you so obsessed with my sex life?

Dave: As we all know, I have none of my own.

Madonna: Well, um ...

Dave: Go kiss the guy in the audience, it would knock him out. Look at that guy [pointing him out]. Just like, on the forehead, just on the forehead --

Madonna: I can't. [both are laughing] He's not tall enough.

Dave: I like that, she said I can't. Lots of people would cave into the pressure and say, "Oh, allll right." They'd go out and kiss him and get it over with.

Madonna: Yeah, well, I've never succumbed to peer pressure.

Dave: Well, good for you. That's what we love about you, Madonna.

Madonna: Yes.

Dave: What brings you --

Madonna: Incidentally, you are a sick fuck. I don't know why I get so much shit.

Dave: You realize this --

Madonna: You're twisted.

Dave: -- is being broadcast, don't you?

Madonna: Yeah. [both laughing nervously]

Dave: Well you can't be talking like that.

Madonna: What?

Dave: I said ... oh, never mind. What brings you to --

Madonna: Wait a minute. Aren't you going to smell them? [the panties]

Dave: [Sighs twice]

Madonna: I gave them to you for a reason.

Dave: Let's see what I'm doing at my house right now, ladies and gentlemen -- [a running gag that evening]

Madonna: No, no, no, no, no!

Dave: I'll take care of that later, it's a lovely --

Madonna: I gave him my, come on, I gave him my underpants and he won't smell. [laughing as Dave sticks them back in his desk drawer] That's not where they go!

Dave: No, that's, no, believe me, that's where the underwear go, That's where ... see, look. Here's where I keep my socks, here's where I keep my panties.

Madonna: [laughing]

Dave: That's where they go

Madonna: No, that's where, that's where you keep my panties.

Dave: Okay. So what are you doing in New York City? Let me ask you a question: Are you buying an NBA team, you buying the Bulls, you buying the Miami Heat, you buying a whya whya ...

Madonna: No.

Dave: How come?

Madonna: Uhhmm ...

Dave: Is that just a rumor? Is that an --

Madonna: Yes.

Dave: Untrue rumor? But you like basketball.

Madonna: Isn't that an oxymoron -- an untrue rumor?

Dave: No, not necessarily.

Madonna: Isn't that sort of like jumbo shrimp?

Dave: Some rumors are true. Yeah, jumbo shrimp, yes, oxymoron, I mean --

Madonna: Untrue rumor.

Dave: No, no, some rumors are true.

Madonna: Untrue rumor, I mean ... that's like, "funny David Letterman."

Dave: Oh, man. [boos from audience] Sir, [calls out to man in audience that wanted kiss from Madonna] you're the luckiest man in the house! [crowd roars approval] So you like basketball a great deal. Where's your interest in basketball?

Madonna: [looking up at boom mike] That microphone is really long. Speaking of the NBA ... [Dave gives her a look] I'm sorry [giggling]. I always go there, and really, I don't care, I mean --

Dave: So now let's talk about your interest in the NBA. You go to a lot of games. You were, you were friends with Charles Barkley.

Madonna: I wouldn't go that far.

Dave: You weren't friends with Charles Barkley?

Madonna: I don't think he understands the meaning of friendship.

Dave: Oh, really. He seems like he might be a hothead, that guy.

Madonna: Hmmm, hmhm.

Dave: Did you know him at all?

Madonna: Hmmm, hmhm.

Dave: Yeah?

Madonna: Yeah.

Dave: Did it hurt when you had that thing put in your nose? [referring to her nosering, but she bursts out laughing]

Madonna: I thought you were going to ask me if it hurt something else, but I ... [crowd groans] ... thought you were going to continue the Charles Barkley line of questioning.

Dave: Ohhhh, man, this is. .

Madonna: Fuck.

Dave: What a revelation.

Madonna: And the question, and the answer is, um --

Dave: What a lovely young woman.

Madonna: Hmm, yes.

Dave: [Tries again] But, you have like, a nose ring there.

Madonna: It hurt, the answer is yes, both questions.

Dave: What happens when you take that out, will you ever take that out?

Madonna: What happens when you take it out?

Dave: Yeah.

Madonna: Both questions?

Dave: Oh, come on, come on, what a, what a -- [exasperated] What am I speakin', Chinese here? Now stop it!

Madonna: Listen, all you do is talk about my sex life on your show, so now you don't want to talk about my sex life when I'm on your show.

Dave: Now what do you mean? Do you mean because we refer to you periodically, we make jokes --

Madonna: Periodically?

Dave: Yeah.

Madonna: You can't get through a show without talking about me ... or thinking about me.

Dave: [laughing] No, but do you mind that, is that a problem for you?

Madonna: It's never a problem.

Dave: Yeah. All right, I'll tell you what. Let's do, let's do a commercial. Do you want to do a commercial?

Madonna: No.

Dave: Okay, we'll do a commercial.

Madonna: I don't think we should ever cut to a comercial,

Dave: No, we'll --

Madonna: Let's keep talking and film every second of it.

Dave: Oh yeah. Because if the rest of it is as fascinating as the first part of it ... [crowd roars approval] ... then we've ... we've got something there ... there, that's money in the bank, there.

Madonna: Before -- wait, wait, wait! -- before we cut to a commercial, I just want to know. Um ... is that a rug?

Dave: You talkin' about my hair? Well, all right -- what is that [pointing to her hairdo], a swim cap? What are you wearing? [applause] Come on! Let's go! [Stands and puts his dukes up] Here we go, [applause] Come on! [So Madonna stands and takes up his challenge. Dave backs down] No, no, no, I got a bad neck, I can't, I can't ... just sit down. Just sit down. Sit down. Just have a seat.

Madonna: Don't make me act a fool, Dave, all right? [both are laughing]

Dave: Have a seat.

Madonna: Don't make me ... [out of nowhere] Do you want to touch my dress?

Dave: I would, I would. I would like to touch your dress. [touches dress] Oh, very nice, very nice [sighs, both sit down] I tell you what. We are going to do a commercial and, uh, we are going to wash her mouth out with soap --

Madonna: And he's going to smell my underwear.

Dave: -- and then we'll be right back. Kids, come on back!

-- Commercial Break --

Dave: How do you do, ladies and gentlemen, welcome back, Madonna is here, Madonna and I are just sitting around smoking cigars and swapping recipes.

Madonna: [puffing on a stogie] Yeah.

Dave: Also, uh Counting Crows, and the, uh, world champion grocery bagger. Did you have jobs like that when you were a kid? Did you work in grocery stores, bagging groceries, any of that?

Madonna: No.

Dave: Have you ever been in a grocery store?

Madonna: You really have, you really -- [both giggling] Yeah.

Dave: Yeah? Good. Uh, and --

Madonna: You know, you really changed since the last time I was on the show.

Dave: Well we haven't seen you in like six years or seven years.

Madonna: You used to be really kind of, like, cool.

Dave: I know -- there is no bigger dweeb than me.

Madonna: Money's made you soft.

Dave: Really? You think so?

Madonna: Yeah.

Dave: In what sense?

Madonna: Because you just kiss up to everybody on your show now. [oohs from crowd] You do, man. You're always kissing up to like, all -- I see all these, like, you know, movie stars coming here, and you're just all ga-ga. You should just give people a hard time.

Dave: Yeah? I can suspend that behavior tonight if you'd like. [applause and laughter]

Madonna: [laughing] I believe you have already.

Dave: Oh, I know. Now, we're just kidding around, now. Explain to folks, we're just kidding around.

Madonna: Don't treat me special, okay?

Dave: All right. Sure.

Madonna: I wouldn't want you to do that.

Dave: Now what specifically are you getting at. What is driving you nuts here? What's troubling you?

Madonna: About you or life in general?

Dave: Well, let's start with life in general.

Madonna: No, let's just get back to you.

Dave: Okay, fine

Madonna: Um ...

Dave: First of all, you're not irritated at all, you're not irritated at all. I know. This is a little act.

Madonna: You are not irritating me.

Dave: Okay, good.

Madonna: Are you trying to?

Dave: No, I'm not trying to irritate you.

Madonna: Actually, you do irritate me sometimes

Dave: Well ... you kind of irritate me, too.

Madonna: Really?

Dave: You see? We have so much in common.

Madonna: I know. Why are you always -- actually, I brought something to, like, make a point --

Dave: Right. Okay. Good.

Madonna: -- because you are always fucking with me on the show.

Dave: God ...

Madonna: You are always fucking with me on the show.

Dave: This, you know --

Madonna: You are always fucking with me on the show

[An older couple is shown gasping at Madonna's comments]

Madonna: Where is that thing? [referring to the camera]

Dave: See what you're doing? You see? You see what you're doing? [applause] Now there, you see?

Madonna: What?

Dave: A, a nice couple -- where are you folks from? [Audience members near them call out, "Appleton, Wisconsin"] Yeah. Appleton, Wisconsin. Look, they drove all the way, they came in an Avis car and they wanted --

Madonna: Will you shut up please! Can we -- let's get to the tape. I brought a tape to prove that he's obsessed with my ... obsessed with me.

Dave: All right, you think we refer to you much too much on the show.

Madonna: Yeah.

Dave: All right, roll the tape, Hal, let's see what she's talking about here.

Dave: [on the tape, addressing Paul] As luck would have it, I look up and there's Madonna ...

Paul: There she was!

Dave: ... riding her bicycle. Hal, roll my home video tape of Madonna. Watch this, this is very impressive, ladies and gentlemen ... Look, there she is!

[cut to footage of a woman riding her bicycle, buck naked, in Central Park]

Dave: Okay, stop it.

[tape over; applause]

Dave: All right ...

Madonna: What's that all about?

Dave: Now can you do that? Don't you have a problem with chafing when you're out there like that?

Madonna: My ass looks a lot better than that.

Dave: [laughing] Are you enjoying that smoke there?

Madonna: It's just the right size.

Dave: What are you, uh, now when you leave here tonight? What are you gonna do, are you gonna go out are you going to ...

Madonna: Don't fuck with me Dave

Dave: Oh, jeez ... please ...

Madonna: Aren't there any other segmants? That's it?

Dave: Do we have more tape for Madonna? Sounds to me ...

Madonna: I like the way you say my name, by the way.

Dave: It sounds to me like somebody might be hmm-hmming with you.

Madonna: Somebody fucked up.

Dave: [laughing nervously] Oh, god.

Madonna: It's okay.

Dave: I want to thank you folks for coming out for this run-through show. Thank you very much. This, of course, will never see the light of day. You won't miss a thing tonight. [applause] Hmm, you have, you have a top ten list, I'm told.

Madonna: Yeah, I'm sitting on it.

Dave: You're sitting on it. Oh -- are we going to do the list?

[Morty says yes]

Dave: I heard Morty over there weaseling. First he said, "No, no, no, no!" And then I said, and then I said, "Are we going to do the list?" and he said, "Suuuure!"

Madonna: There seems to be a lot of confusion right now.

Dave: Yeah. Guess why.

[audience, Dave, and Madonna laughing]

Madonna: Is it cause I've been saying fuck?

Dave: You just, you can't --

Madonna: Speak the truth and shame the devil, baby.

Dave: No, you can't be comin' on here -- this is American television. You can't be talkin' like that. Now we're going to have to --

Madonna: Why?

Dave: Because people don't want that in their own homes at 11:30 at night.

Madonna: They don't?


Madonna: Wait a minute, wait a minute.

Dave: Yeah! Yessir!

Madonna: Stop! [Paul plays some patriotic music as Dave salutes]

Madonna: Wait a minute, wait a minute, wait a minute! People don't want to hear the word [fuck] in their --

Dave: Oh, stop it! Will you stop?!? Ladies and gentlemen! TURN DOWN YOUR VOLUME! Turn down the volume IMMEDIATELY! She can't be stopped! [applause] There's something wrong with her.

Madonna: I want to know, what do people -- there is definetly something wrong with me.

Dave: Yeah.

Madonna: I'm sitting here. Anyways [crowd goes "ooooooh"] -- what? [mimicking] Oooooh.

Dave: We have to do another commercial. We have to do another commercial. We'll figure --

Madonna: I don't think we should.

Dave: No, we are going to do one.

Madonna: I don't think -- I think we should break the rules.

Dave: Oh, yeah? Well, I'm callin' the shots.

Madonna: Tonight, I think we should --

Dave: We're doin' another commercial. Weeee'll be right back.


[Madonna smoking a cigar]

Dave: Counting Crows will be out here in a little bit, and Madonna is with us, if you're just joining us, so far it has been a fascinating interview.

Madonna: Yeah, you just -- Dave just slobbered all over my cigar.

Dave: Yeah, no, you asked me to light it for you, and I thought I was doing the gentlemanly thing.

Madonna: This is the closest I'm ever going to get to kissing you.

Dave: Aaah, well. [crowd aahing] We could certainly change that, you know what I mean? ... If I don't have to wait in line. [laughter] It's a joke! I'm sorry.

Madonna: Well, you're not in the NBA, so forget about it.

Dave: [laughing] Now, Madonna, I'm told that you've prepared a little special comedy thing for us, your own kind of --

Madonna: Me?

Dave: Yes, you. Your top ten list, there. And I think all America is --

Madonna: Want to get it? [She leans to her right and Dave reaches under her tush to get it]

Dave: Oh man! Uh ... [Madonna is laughing hysterically] ... damn thing seems to be stuck! [laughter] Somebody bring me the Jaws of Life!

Madonna: See?

Dave: There, okay.

Madonna: See, I haven't dated that many basketball players.

Dave: All right ... just ... [unwrinkling paper]

Madonna: That was a very subtle joke.

Dave: There, okay. How you been? You doin' all right? You look pretty good. Everything going all right?

Madonna: [pauses] Are you talkin' to me?

Dave: I'm talkin' to you, yeah.

Madonna: This seems all very rehearsed.

Dave: I know.

Madonna: Why did you have to go and read a top ten list?

Dave: We do it every night. Have you ever seen the show? [laughter]

Madonna: Well, actually I have seen the show, but I've never -- I mean, I've always been doing something while I was watching the show.

Dave: Oh, I know. I've heard. I've heard all about you.

Madonna: Exactly. So ... [examining top ten list] I don't really ... it's not funny [crumples it up and throws it behind her] Forget it. [audience claps]

Dave: Well, now what the hell are we going to do?

Madonna: Oh, fuck it.

Dave: Now, come on! You -- you know -- you --

Madonna: We're going to have to deal with each other.

Dave: Oohhh, let's don't do that.

Madonna: No holds barred.

Dave: [To Morty] We have tape? Tape of what?

Madonna: Tape? Why can't we just talk to each other? Why do we have to have all of this contrived bullshit? You know? Fuck the tape, fuck the list, everything. You know what I'm saying?

Dave: Oh, man.

Madonna: I think we should get -- don't you want to show everybody the underwear?

Dave: Well, uh, I think most everybody has seen underwear.

Madonna: No, they haven't seen -- they haven't seen my underwear.

Dave: Now, that's not true. [laughter]

Madonna: No, no, no, no. They saw me out of my underwear. They haven't seen me in my underwear.

Dave: [To Morty] What? Oh, jeez, we're out of time. [laughing] You know, uh --

Madonna: Don't make me act a fool, Dave.

Dave: No, no, you know it was fun. I get a big kick out of you and --

Madonna: [sweetly] Really?

Dave: Yeah.

Madonna: In what way? What part of your body?

Dave: I think you're a nice --

Madonna: Where?

Dave: You know I think you're a decent, nice person, you know.

Madonna: [not buying it] Uh, huh ...

Dave: And uh, I'm happy you came by here tonight and could ... gross us all out! [laughter] But you know, I'm just, you know ...

Madonna: Isn't there anything you really want to ask me?

Dave: [sighs] You know, it's seems like we know almost everything there is to know about you.

Madonna: Really?

Dave: Tell us something we don't know.

Madonna: You don't know a god

damn thing.

Dave: Yeah? Like what? What's the next look? What's the next incarnation? What's the next sort of a image, what do we --

Madonna: That's what you want to know?

Dave: Yeah.

Madonna: No, that's not what you want to know. [dead air]

Dave: Oh, jeez, we're out of time again. [laughter] What are you going to do now? What are you going to do after the show?

Madonna: Did you know that it's good if you pee in the shower?

Dave: I'm sorry?

Madonna: I'm serious! No, seriously, peeing in the shower is really good. It ... it fights, um, um, athlete's foot. I'm serious, no, urine is like, is like ... is like an antiseptic. It's all got to do with the enzymes in your body.

Dave: Don't ... don't you know a good pharmacist? [laughter]

Madonna: Ummm ...

Dave: Get yourself some Desenex! Or whatever that stuff is.

Madonna: I wanted to share something that I knew with you.

Dave: Okay, well, thank you very much. Ah, I'm going to try to wrap this up.

Madonna: Do you have a girlfriend?

Dave: Yeah.

Madonna: Really?

Dave: Yeah.

Madonna: Umm.

Dave: What do you care? [laughter] What? Like, a guy like me wouldn't have a girlfriend? [Audience member: "Yeah, Dave!"] Yeah! Thank you very much, sir! [laughter, applause] What about you? Do you have a boyfriend?

Madonna: I thought you were going to ask me if I had a girlfriend.

Dave: Are you currently interested in someone?

Madonna: Mm-hmmmmm.

Dave: Oh, really? What's his name?

Madonna: Daaaaave.

Dave: Dave? No. No, no, not ... former mayor of New York Dave Dinkins? [laughter; Dave turns to camera and waves] GOOD NIGHT EVERYBODY!

Madonna: Look, I don't want to --

Dave: You have to. We have to say goodbye now.

Madonna: Why?

Dave: Because we have other guests.

Madonna: Why?

Dave: Probably, probably not anymore, but we should --

Madonna: Can't this just go on and on?

Dave: Oh, it seems like it has, now, don't it? [laughter] You know, we want to get the Counting Crows out here, and we want to get the bagger --

Madonna: Why?

Dave: We want to hear their song. They have a little song they've planned for us, so we'd like to hear it. And the grocery bagger -- you don't want to break his heart, do you?

Madonna: [Shakes her head yes]

Dave: No, look at this [Hal shows a clock that reads 12:13]. Look, see? Hi, how ya doing? Oh, okay, so --

Madonna: It's not really this late, anyway. This is all a fantasy.

Dave: Right. But, I mean, when --

Madonna: We are living ahead of the time when it actually is.

Dave: Exactly. Very heavy, Madonna, thank you. [laughter] I don't know, I don't kn --

Madonna: Don't fuck with me, Dave.

Dave: I know.

Madonna: Don't make me act a fool.

Dave: Ah, so I think what we'll do is --

Madonna: Wait a minute! I just want to ask you one more question

Dave: Yeah, sure, go ahead. Shoot.

Madonna: Have you ever smoked Indo?

Dave: I'm sorry?

Madonna: Have you ever smoked Indo?

Dave: I don't know what you're talking about.

Madonna: You're a god damned liar.

Dave: I, no, I, ah, ah, ah, I don't [starts into his Carson impression; Paul plays a few bars of the Tonight theme; Madonna laughs hysterically], ah, I don't ... no, I don't, I, ah ... Sorry. I don't, I don't know what you're talking about.

Madonna: Well, you should.

Dave: All right, well, I'll put that on my list of things to do ... [Audience member yells: "Get off!"]

Dave: [writing on a piece of paper] Smoke some Indo ...

Madonna: Oh, oh, oh, and pee in the shower.

Dave: Okay, pee in the shower ... get those panties cleaned ... okay, all right, Madonna.

Madonna: Don't tell me you haven't peed in the shower.

Dave: [laughs nervously]

Madonna: Everybody pees in the shower and everybody picks their nose. [Audience member again yells: "Get off!"]

Dave: Okay, now, um ...

Madonna: Why do we have to be -- why do you keep flashing that card?

Dave: Because we -- because ...

Madonna: Can't we just break the rules? [Again from the crowd: "Get off!"]

Madonna: Who said that?

Dave: No, no -- that's the guy you wouldn't kiss earlier! [laughter] The guy out there, you irritated him, all right? Okay, now --

Madonna: Is the show almost over?

Dave: The show is nearly over. We have to say goodbye now.

Madonna: [forlornly] We only have a few minutes ...

Dave: We only have a few minutes and -- thank you again from the bottom of my heart. It was nice of you to stop by tonight. Madonna! [applause]

Madonna: When you come back I'll still be here. Fuck it!

Dave: Of course, that's what I was going to say. She ... she ... [demented] She won't leave! We can't get rid of her! What if she's still here tommorrow night? [Paul strikes a few shrill 'Psycho' chords] Ah, that's crazy! Ah, ah ... [sobers up] Ahhhhh, just for the hell of it, let's do a commercial and see what happens. [laughter; applause]


Read Madonna's Top Ten List

Transcribed by Greg Greenberg

Copyright (C) 1994 Worldwide Pants, Inc.

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