New York City. The center of the universe. And David Letterman. On our recent trip, Larissa decided to submit a request for tickets. While she was watching the Broadway show Cinderella, one of the representatives called and left her a message to call back ASAP if we still wanted tickets. She sent me the information and I called to answer the trivia questions while she finished her show.
“What does Paul Shaffer always wear?” Glasses, of course.
“Why do you want to see David Letterman?” Because I love Stephen Colbert! I answered that way because that very day was the announcement about Colbert taking over the Late Show in 2015.
My answers earned us two tickets, so we arrived on the day of the show to check in at the appointed time. We were then checked in and were screened by various Late Show pages, the final of who asked us if we watch the show and what we liked most about it. Larissa is a sucker for the top ten lists and I love the audience participation games like, “Name your cuts of meat.” At that point, he placed a blue dot on our tickets and, as I looked around, I realized that not everyone got a blue dot. I knew it had to mean something.
We were then lead by another page who directed the “blue dot group” that someone had seen some charisma, charm, spunk, or energy in us and had selected us to be in the first 3 rows of the audience.
About 30 minutes later, we were ushered into the lobby of the famous Ed Sullivan theater where a page instructed us that we were chosen to be in the first couple of rows for several reasons. Dave looks to the first few rows of the audience to feed on the energy and he also comes out for a Q&A prior to the taping. Often times, if the banter is witty enough, the writers will work in something from the Q&A into the top ten or Dave will make references during the recording to the Q&A as an inside joke between him and the audience. We were told to prepare creative questions about the show or advice, but do not be the awkward creeper to ask for a hug, a picture, or anything else inappropriate. After a couple more instructions on the correct way to cheer and laugh, the doors were opened to us to behold The Ed Sullivan theater in all its glory. We were seated in the center of the second row.
Alan Kolter, the voice of the show, was our warm-up act and also gave us more instructions. We then watched a hilarious instructional/etiquette video narrated by Alec Baldwin.
At the conclusion of the video, Alan shared with us that Stephen Colbert was a guest that day. That’s also just about when my head started to spin with excitement and my smile erupted from ear-to-ear. While I was still basking in the energy of the revelation, Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra played a set of songs, including an amazing rendition of The Police’s Synchronicity II.As soon as the band cut off the last note, David Letterman himself shot out from the wings, running across the stage to thunderous applause. He asked us if we had any questions and the first guy asked if it was really David that runs across the stage at the beginning of The Late Show, which got a lot of chuckles. David asked for another question after poking fun at the first guy and my hand went up like a rocket, which must have caught Letterman’s attention because he called on me.
I stood up and introduced myself as Rob Ferre from Salt Lake City, Utah. He first commented on my tie, saying, “Look at this guy! He’s wearing a tie, Ladies and Gentleman! You don’t see that much these days! Good for you!” He said he visited Salt Lake for the first time about a year ago and was impressed with what a lovely city it is before stumbling when he said, “They have this…uh…” I immediately piped in, “They have this temple!” The audience chuckled as Dave smirked and coyly said, “Yes. Yes they do.” I have no idea what he was going to say.
He seemed a little leery that I was going to try and convert him after that tidbit, but proceeded to ask what I do for a living. I responded that I am a Mobile Wedding DJ, to which he replied, “I understand the Wedding DJ part, but not the mobile part.” I explained I bring the equipment, music, and party to you.
He remarked, “But isn’t that…oh…nevermind, who am I to tell you about your job. Have you done any gigs in the Salt Lake Temple?”
“No. I got married in the temple!” The audience roared with applause as David asked me what question I have for him. I thought it would be fun to ask a question about my industry, so I asked him what song he danced to at his wedding and what he thinks is the most overplayed wedding song.
His response? “Of all the questions you could ask me, you are going to ask that? Are you kidding me? Okay look…” He proceeded to explain this subject is something he has no opinion on. At his first wedding in the 70s, he was married by a justice of the peace, there was no reception, no first dance, and they went and got drunk. At his second wedding, he was married by a justice of the peace in Montana and there was no reception, no first dance. “So there’s your answer.” The audience laughed at his response and he moved on to the final guy who had no question, he simply thanked Letterman for his work.Finally – show time!
Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra struck up the music as Alan Kolter introduced the show in his dulcet tones. Alan likes to introduce Dave in creative ways and inserted into David’s intro, “…and part time DJ,” as he looked at me and nodded.
After the monologue, the crew prepared the stage for the Top 10. How fortuitous that the list was, “The Top 10 things overheard at Jesus’ wedding.” About then, I noticed one of the stage cameras was being positioned pointing directly at me. We come in from break and that is where our video begins. Now you know the context of the clip and why it was so funny.
I feel lucky in so many ways that we got to see David Letterman before his retirement. His “successor to the throne,” Stephen Colbert, as guest was the exact guest I would have picked if I could have picked anyone. Most of all, what a crazy and once-in-a-lifetime experience to be featured on the Top 10! It all goes to show that being in the right place at the right time, with a little bit of charm and charisma, will get you on national television. And thus is DJ Rob on the Late Show with David Letterman.