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Howard Stern interviews David Letterman

(Page 3 of 5)

Picture of Howard and Dave

Uncensored interview transcript of Letterman's appearance on the Howard Stern Show.

STERN: I don't believe for one minute that you worshipped Johnny Carson. I don't buy that. I think that's a load of crap.

QUIVERS: Why not? You don't believe he likes Regis Philbin. You don't believe a lot of stuff that Dave says.

LETTERMAN: First of all, who do you like in radio? Who do you look up to? Cousin Brucie. I know he's a big fan. You're a big fan of his. Cousin Brucie.

STERN: No, I'm not a Cousin Brucie fan.

LETTERMAN: Who do you look up to? Who do you look up to?

STERN: I'll tell you something. I think radio is an abomination.

LETTERMAN: But who did you look up to --

STERN: Nobody.

LETTERMAN: -- when you were a kid growing up out there on Long Island?

STERN: I used to listen to this guy named Brad Crandall.

LETTERMAN: What did he do?

STERN: He was on NBC late at night, and he would give out advice.

LETTERMAN: Oh, the Brad Crandall Show.

STERN: He started out -- did you ever hear it?


STERN: The guy started out -- it was like people would call him up and go, "Brad, I have a broken door."

LETTERMAN: Right, like Bernard Melzer.

STERN: Well, wait a second. "How do I fix it?" And the guy had knowledge. He obviously had worked in some kind of department store or something and knew how to fix a door. Suddenly the next guy goes, "Brad, my mother's going in for brain surgery. What kind of doctor -- how do I" -- all of a sudden the guy said, "Well, I've got to be a know-it-all," and then he started advising on brain surgery. The next thing you knew he was a financial guy. The next thing you knew he's a lovelorn guy.


STERN: Anything you threw at this guy, he had an answer. It was all crap.


STERN: You knew he didn't know a thing, but the fact was he was consistent.


STERN: He would never admit he didn't know anything.

LETTERMAN: So there you go.

STERN: And him I admire.

LETTERMAN: You looked up to him.

STERN: Well, I guess so, if you're gonna pick a guy.

LETTERMAN: Same with me and Carson. I always thought Carson was your Brad Crandall.

STERN: Really.

LETTERMAN: Carson is my Brad Crandall. I called him to fix a door.

STERN: And you called Carson when you needed advice about NBC?

LETTERMAN: Yeah, when we were trying to decide whether to stay, because they had offered us the Tonight Show, and we also had the situation at CBS. So I called him, I said, "Well, what do you think? What makes sense to you?"

STERN: I thought the Late Shift was very good, by the way.

QUIVERS: They had offered you the Tonight Show, but you would have to wait until Leno's contract ran out?

LETTERMAN: Yeah. It would be like another year or something, yeah. Did you like me with the red hair though?

STERN: That guy was really good.

LETTERMAN: Yeah, I understand. Yeah, red hair, red hair.

STERN: I think he was acting.

LETTERMAN: I'm sorry. I guess there was just no videotape available on me.

STERN: No, I think you're nutty. I think you're nutty. Diamond, is Dave nutty backstage?

LETTERMAN: "Does anybody have any idea what Dave looks like? Could we get some videotape?"

STERN: Wasn't it accurate? Doesn't he throw stuff and everything?

LETTERMAN: "Just my guess. I think Letterman has red hair. No way we could confirm that, of course, because we have no idea. That's a guess he has red hair."

QUIVERS: Quite frankly, I was expecting you to look like that guy. I really don't know who you are.

LETTERMAN: Yeah, well, sure.

STERN: The one part I didn't buy in the Late Shift --

LETTERMAN: Who cares.

STERN: -- I don't believe Morty's opinion counted.

LETTERMAN: Nothing could be farther from the truth.

STERN: I mean, like he's at every meeting. Why would

you bring Morty into a meeting when you're meeting with your agent and discussing how much money you make?

QUIVERS: What do you think he should do?

LETTERMAN: I always liked Morty. I got a kick out of Morty.

STERN: Morty knows a lot about you. Can he write a book about you?

LETTERMAN: Sure, sure, absolutely.

STERN: There's no kind of thing holding him back?

QUIVERS: No clause in the contract?

LETTERMAN: No. He can do whatever he likes.

STERN: You're not worried about that?

LETTERMAN: No, I'm not worried about that, because he is a gentleman and I like the man.

STERN: Word association. Ready?

LETTERMAN: Yeah. I thought we had completed the word association part.

QUIVERS: Wait a minute. Wait a minute. I do have to ask you one more question about Morty.

LETTERMAN: Let's go to the true-false.

STERN: We have tons of questions. How long do I have you for?

LETTERMAN: I don't know. What are we gonna do?

STERN: Give me a couple more minutes.

LETTERMAN: Who's coming up next? Who's after me?

STERN: We're gonna do the news and then we're getting the hell out of here.


QUIVERS: But let me ask, because this is bothering me.

LETTERMAN: Sure, Robin, go ahead, sure.

QUIVERS: You are now saying that Morty is not doing anything. In the paper it said that he was going to take this new deal in your production company.

LETTERMAN: Yeah. I don't know that he has.

STERN: There's no new deal.

LETTERMAN: No, there's a new deal. Just relax.

STERN: What is he gonna do?

LETTERMAN: It's a big, big deal for a big, big guy.

STERN: If Morty can develop a show --

QUIVERS: No. There's one show already there.

STERN: The Bonnie Hunt show? That's going nowhere. Let's be honest. Dave knows that.

LETTERMAN: There's the HBO show and then also a deal, a prime time development deal, which could be very, very lucrative. I just want to say one thing, Howard. That prime time deal could be very, very lucrative. I'm enjoying the medium of radio right now.

STERN: That was Morty bouncing on the awning on his way to the sidewalk.

(Laughter from cast.)

STERN: I had my listeners call up at 6:00 o'clock this morning and get questions ready for you. The first question was we want to talk about hair. All right. My theory is you wear a little bit of a piece.

LETTERMAN: Here. Take a look.

STERN: Let me see.

LETTERMAN: Everybody come over and take a look at my hair.

STERN: Well, maybe not. LETTERMAN: Everybody line up. Pull on it, jerk on it, lick it, touch it.

QUIVERS: I don't think that's a piece.

STERN: Well, maybe it's not.

(Letterman pulls on, jerks on and messes up his hair)

LETTERMAN: Call your friends.

QUIVERS: I'm on your side, Dave. I said there was nothing there.

LETTERMAN: You know what it is. It drives me nuts. I like to joke, because I have bad hair.

STERN: Right.

LETTERMAN: You wouldn't know anything about bad hair.

STERN: I have beautiful hair. I have a bad face, so there you go. We're even.

LETTERMAN: Secretariat.

STERN: But there it is. That is you. One myth gone.

LETTERMAN: But see, the thing is, honestly, if I had hair work done, if I had something like a piece or an appliance or plugs and this is how it turned out --

STERN: Yeah, right. You'd be mad.

LETTERMAN: -- wouldn't there be like the biggest lawsuit in the history of litigation?

STERN: That's true.


STERN: Talk to me about the horrible incident in your life, Mrs. David Letterman, the woman who was in love with you. Now, tell me what's going on with that. Is she still bothering you?

QUIVERS: Where is she?

LETTERMAN: I haven't heard from her in a while.

STERN: Really. So they have her under control. Somebody sedated her?

LETTERMAN: I don't know. Something has intervened. There has been an intervention.

STERN: Did you hire some goons to beat her up?

(Dave laughs.)

STERN: Do you miss her? In a bizarre way, it's the biggest compliment you can have.

LETTERMAN: If I could hire goons to do that kind of thing, do you think I'd be here today? Thank you very much. Let's do some more of this. (Dave leads a round of applause.)

STERN: You'd come after me? I doubt it. You like me.

LETTERMAN: I like you. I think the world of you.

STERN: Tell me about my last appearance on your show.

LETTERMAN: Strong, very strong, very strong.

STERN: I'm talking about when I came out as a woman and I did the interview.

LETTERMAN: Big, big, big, very strong.

STERN: Name someone who ever did a better appearance on your show.

LETTERMAN: I can't think of anybody. You know what I liked about that, it was very -- you did a lot of preparation.

STERN: Right.

LETTERMAN: A lot of preparation. You executed it flawlessly.

STERN: Thank you.

LETTERMAN: And I would have to give it, you know, it was nearly perfect seven's right across the board.

STERN: Whoa. There you go. Perfect seven's. All right, I'll take that. That's very good. Did you think Jay Leno was a big pussy when he wouldn't allow me to show the lesbian kiss?

LETTERMAN: Well, you know, I don't know what that was. I never saw what that was, so i --

STERN: You never watch his show?


STERN: You've never seen it?


STERN: Why? Do you feel it will mess up your delivery?

LETTERMAN: No, I don't want to be influenced by other television shows and so I --

STERN: Tell the truth. Don't you feel Jay's show is a complete clone of your show at this point?

LETTERMAN: I couldn't say. I don't know. I don't watch it.

STERN: Oh, come on.

QUIVERS: Are you and Leno still friends?

LETTERMAN: I haven't talked to Jay in quite some time.

STERN: Whose fault is that? He probably wants to talk to you, but why should you talk to him?

LETTERMAN: Yeah. I don't know.

STERN: You feel he took your job.

LETTERMAN: We'll talk one day.

STERN: Come on. Be honest about this, Dave. Be honest.

LETTERMAN: About what?

STERN: You feel Leno took your job, right?


STERN: Is that why the animosity?

LETTERMAN: No, there is no animosity.

STERN: You just feel when you're competing with someone you shouldn't talk to them?

LETTERMAN: I don't know. If he wants to talk, he can call. He just hasn't called.

STERN: Oh, really?


STERN: And you would take the call?

LETTERMAN: Oh, sure.

QUIVERS: But you won't call him?

LETTERMAN: I have nothing really to talk about.

STERN: Really?




STERN: Why when you compliment me in an article do you have to throw in Imus' name and Regis' name?

LETTERMAN: Oh, shut up. You're lucky I mention you at all. Just relax.

(Laughter from cast.)

STERN: Didn't you once say that, "The only way I would call Jay Leno is when I need my car tuned"?

LETTERMAN: Yeah, I think I said that.

STERN: Didn't you say that? Is that an accurate quote?

LETTERMAN: Tuned or towed.

STERN: All right. Are you ready? Answer the first thing that comes into your mind. Teri Garr.

LETTERMAN: Can we have some hits?

STERN: No, no bits. Teri Garr.


STERN: Teri Garr.

LETTERMAN: You don't play records any more?

STERN: No. What song do you like? What music are you into?

LETTERMAN: Is this the station that has no disk jockeys?

STERN: No, there is disk jockeys.

LETTERMAN: There is no actual life form here after you?

STERN: They're starting here next week.

LETTERMAN: Who are they?

STERN: Some new guy who I really can't stand.

QUIVERS: Really? You've heard of him?

LETTERMAN: I want to hear the stable of jockeys you got coming up.

STERN: Yeah, he was bad-mouthing me. Don't worry about it. His life is about to become a living hell.

LETTERMAN: That's a smart move. Jeez. He's coming to work here and he's bad-mouthing you?

STERN: Well, Gary confronted him on it.

LETTERMAN: What a hip guy. What a hip guy.

STERN: Listen to this.

QUIVERS: Who is it?

LETTERMAN: Yeah. Who is this guy?

STERN: I don't know the guy's name yet. I'm sitting there on the internet. That internet is terrific.

LETTERMAN: Yeah, I don't know how you get the internet.

STERN: It's easy.

LETTERMAN: You gotta get a web site on that. You gotta get a modem. You gotta get a ROM. You gotta get a CD.

STERN: You gotta get a modem. It's fun.

LETTERMAN: You got a get a mouse.

STERN: You gotta get a computer.

LETTERMAN: I don't know how you get on that.

STERN: It's better than sitting on the ham radio, let's put it that way.

LETTERMAN: It's not the ham radio. It's short wave radio.

STERN: Whatever. Dave is into short wave, sitting in his basement.

QUIVERS: Who are you talking to on the short wave?

STERN: Yeah. Who are you talking to?

LETTERMAN: You people work in radio. You don't know what short wave radio is?

STERN: No. That's not real radio.

LETTERMAN: You're idiots. You're all idiots.

QUIVERS: You're trying to find stations in Europe?

STERN: Come on. Admit that isn't goofy.

LETTERMAN: It's like listening to this.

QUIVERS: You're trying to find stations in Europe?

(sounds of morse code.)

LETTERMAN: I'm getting distress signals from the Titanic. That's what I do.

STERN: Dear ladies. I think I'm talking to a guy in China.


STERN: I got a guy from China.

LETTERMAN: Idiots. I can't participate in this. Idiots.

QUIVERS: Howard, I think it's worse. He's just trying to get radio stations all across the world.

STERN: What's your problem, man? You know what? You need a life.

LETTERMAN: ( Dave flips the bird with both hands.) I'm dealing with morons.

STERN: Tell me what you do in your basement. Tell me what goes on there.

LETTERMAN: I don't have a basement.

STERN: What do you do?

LETTERMAN: I don't have a basement. If I had a basement, I'd tell 'ya. I don't have a basement.

STERN: Do you know morse code?

LETTERMAN: I don't know morse code.

(Annoying sounds of morse code.)

LETTERMAN: (Talking to Jackie and Fred) I'm gonna kill somebody. I can take a life, 'ya know? It's not that big a deal.

STERN: Do you have a radio? Do you have a special radio in your house that you go to?

QUIVERS: Short wave.

STERN: Where is your special short wave radio?

LETTERMAN: I have a short wave radio in my house.

STERN: What room do you leave it in?

LETTERMAN: Let's talk about your house, Howard.

STERN: Is it next to your bed?

LETTERMAN: What do you have in your house, Howard?

STERN: No, no. I asked. I'm the interviewer.

LETTERMAN: What kind of things do you have in your house? Take me now on a tour of your house.

QUIVERS: You're doing this show.

STERN: You're doing this show.

LETTERMAN: You tell us a little bit about --

STERN: You wanted to be interviewed.

LETTERMAN: Yeah, okay.

QUIVERS: We want to know about your radio.

STERN: Listen to me. Do you ever pretend like you're Robin Williams in Good Morning Vietnam and talk back into the radio?

LETTERMAN: Yes. What I like to do is pretend to be an astronaut.

STERN: Listen to me.

LETTERMAN: I tune in my radio and pretend I'm landing on Mars.

STERN: I'll give you an easy question.

QUIVERS: Have you ever actually tuned in the audio of TV stations on your radio?

LETTERMAN: No. You get Radio Havana, Cuba. You get Mainland China. You get the BBC.

STERN: Where did you do this?

LETTERMAN You get Radio Sweden. You get Radio Canada. You know, the best part is you get the English broadcast of Radio Moscow, and once a week they have Moscow Mail Bag.

STERN: Oh, really.

LETTERMAN: And a couple of nights ago this guy was answering letters, (imitating foreign accent) "Time now for Moscow mail bag," and the guys says, "We have a letter today from somebody in Anaheim, Californa, and they said, 'I read a few years ago that you were planning to build the world's largest tallest skyscraper. Whatever became of those plans?'" So the guy sort of like a chuckle in his voice, that bullshit radio chuckle --

QUIVERS: Woop, woop.

LETTERMAN: Hey, what happened?

STERN: Hey, man, no S-word.

LETTERMAN: Yeah, push me around. I'll do it all day. That's what you'll get. Push me around, you're gonna get more of that, all right?


STERN: Wait a second. Where do you listen to the radio? Where do you listen to the Radio Mail Bag?

LETTERMAN: Wait a minute. I'm not done with my little story.

STERN: All right. Go ahead.

(sound of morse code.)

LETTERMAN: (talking to Jackie and Fred) Stop it. I'll kill you. You mean nothing to me. I don't need you.

STERN: Go ahead.

LETTERMAN: So the guy says, "Yes, it's true. We wanted to build the world's tallest skyscraper, but we looked around for plans and couldn't find any."

STERN: That's great.

(Laughter from cast.)

LETTERMAN: Then he went on to the next letter like, "Oh, of course, but what could we do? We just couldn't find the plans."

STERN: Why did you pick Tom Snyder to follow you? Classic blunder.

LETTERMAN: I like Tom. I like Tom.

STERN: Can I tell you why it was a mistake?

LETTERMAN: It's not a mistake.

STERN: Listen to me.


STERN: Why don't you take some advice. Never mind. You're getting your advice from Morty.

LETTERMAN: It's like talking to a dermatologist. Lotion or cream?

STERN: You finally woke up on that.

LETTERMAN: Listen to me. It should be the lotion. It's the lotion. Listen to me, listen to me, listen to me.

STERN: Listen to me.

LETTERMAN: Listen to me.

STERN: When you have a guy follow you --

LETTERMAN: Right, exactly.

STERN: -- like Tom Snyder --

LETTERMAN: Like Tom Snyder, sure right, exactly.

STERN: -- like Tom Snyder --

LETTERMAN: Like Tom Snyder.

STERN: -- who is a no-talent Jack-off --


STERN: -- when you have a guy like that it doesn't create --

LETTERMAN: I'm sorry. Was that Jack-off, Howard?

STERN: Yeah, yeah. That does not create exciting -- that is not exciting television. You take a guy who can do something there --


STERN: I was shocked that you didn't call me, not that I would have taken it.

LETTERMAN: We called. We called.

STERN: No, you didn't call about that slot. You called about a different thing.

LETTERMAN: You're lying. Please. You're breaking my heart. You're lying to me. We called.

STERN: Tom Snyder? The guy's horrible. He gets a one rating.

LETTERMAN: All right. Let me tell you something.

STERN: Go ahead.

LETTERMAN: When Tom decides that he no longer wants to spend his life in commercial broadcasting, commercial television, it's your show.

STERN: Thank you.

LETTERMAN: You can have it.

STERN: Good. I'll take it. Fine.

LETTERMAN: When Tom is finished, when Tom says, "Enough is enough, I've had my fill," then it's you.

STERN: He's Conan O'Brien, senior, for God's sake. Conan O'Brien, you really think he's a talent?

LETTERMAN: I like Conan, yeah, I do. I think they do a lot of inventive imaginative things on the show.

STERN: I don't believe that.

LETTERMAN: It's true.

STERN: I don't believe you're saying that.

LETTERMAN: It's true. I'm saying it.

STERN: All right. Are you ready?

LETTERMAN: Ready for what?

STERN: Word association.

LETTERMAN: No. We're done with the word association.

STERN: No, no, no. Here we go. Ready?


STERN: All right. Here we go. Warran Littlefield.

LETTERMAN: Genius, a television genius, a programming giant, a visionary, a programming genius and a television giant.

STERN: Bob Morton.

LETTERMAN: Very nice man. I think the world of him.

STERN: Larry King.

LETTERMAN: I get a kick out of Larry.

QUIVERS: You're goofing on him too.

STERN: You're goofing on him. Admit it.

LETTERMAN: No, no. Larry King is not a goof, I mean --

STERN: He is.

LETTERMAN: It's not like he's getting away with anything. We all know.

QUIVERS: He thinks you like him.

LETTERMAN: I do like him.

STERN: You know what it's like? It's like making fun of a retarded man.

LETTERMAN: Oh, please.

STERN: You know what I mean? He thinks you like him.

(Letterman messes up Howard's desk.)

STERN: Come on. Don't be mad. Hey, easy, easy.

LETTERMAN: Hey, I like Larry. I get a kick out of him, but he is a goof. He's accomplished many, many things in his career, and he has achieved a certain measure of respect. On the other hand, he's also a goof.

STERN: Do you admit that I have influenced the David Letterman show?

LETTERMAN: Without question. I can give you a list of things.

STERN: Richard Simmons.

LETTERMAN: Richard Simmons. That was my point exactly.

QUIVERS: I want to hear his list before you say anything.

STERN: All right. Go ahead. Where have I influenced the show?

LETTERMAN: All right. Let's start with Richard Simmons. When I was hosting the Tonight Show years and years and years ago -- we're going right back to the 70's.

STERN: Go ahead. An exciting time in your life, the first time you get to host the Tonight Show.

LETTERMAN: (In his radio voice.) I'm really enjoying my voice here on the radio this morning.

STERN: This isn't Radio Moscow. Keep it interesting.

LETTERMAN: Jesus God. Keep it interesting?

STERN: Don't zone out on me. Come on, don't zone out on me. Come on. Keep it moving.

LETTERMAN: What are you talking about, keep it interesting? Howard is in the middle of trying to be funny, ladies and gentlemen.

STERN: Do I do that on your show? Do I sit there and go blaaaaah?

LETTERMAN: No, but, you know, we got eight minutes there. Here you've got four and a half hours.


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