Roberts, Philbin Lend Letterman a Hand|
February 7, 2000
Will Regis Philbin or Jerry Seinfeld fill in for David Letterman while the late show host recovers from heart surgery? Well, yes and no.
Reege and Jerry won't be chatting up guests in Dave's absence, but they are among the celebrities who'll introduce their favorite Letterman moments. Providing new intros to previously aired segments will be Julia Roberts, Danny DeVito, Bruce Willis, Bill Cosby, Steve Martin, and Sarah Jessica Parker, who'll reminisce about their visits to the Late Show's Ed Sullivan Theater.
Letterman himself may or may not return by Feb. 14 — "The 14th we are not ruling out, but I think it's been overstated," the producer of the CBS talker, Rob Burnett, tells the Hollywood Reporter — but producers have hit on this method of keeping those reruns fresh.
Philbin and Charles Grodin, who hosts his own show on MSNBC, will chat with the celebrities on the East Coast, while Late Show bandleader Paul Shaffer will do the honors in Los Angeles. Shaffer's in L.A. to appear on the Late Show's leadout talker, The Late Late Show With Craig Kilborn.
Tonight's featured presenters are Roberts and Philbin. Tuesday Philbin interviews Seinfeld and DeVito; Wednesday, Schaffer chats up Willis; Thursday, Philbin interviews Cosby and Parker; Friday, it's Shaffer and Martin. Celebs who might be shoehorned into the proceedings include frequent Late Show guests Bill Murray, Billy Crystal, and Richard Simmons.
To make room for the new intros, Dave's now-dated monologues will be cut.
If Dave's return is delayed, will there be actual, taped-in-front-of-a-studio-audience guest hosts? Burnett says it's a possibility. "Dave is absolutely not opposed to guest hosts, nor am I," says the producer, adding, "It never was an issue. It's kind of like, 'Why have you never lived in North Carolina?' We just never have."