On the bi-weekly Here’s The Thing podcast, host Alec Baldwin speaks with artists, performers and the like. Past guests include Lorne Michaels, Kristen Wiig, and Chris Rock. This week’s episode, Alec has an interesting, fun and unguarded chat with David Letterman.
Letterman, who doesn’t exactly make his way around the podcast circuit too often, has an openness and respect for Baldwin that makes for a pretty excellent interview. Dave shares stories about his rocky start as a broadcaster in radio, where he was told by a boss “you will never be heard of again.” Dave also opens up about his personal life as the father of an 8 year-old, shares his lack of patience for making decisions on Late Show, and talks about the emotional trauma of his first Tonight Show appearance.
I remember the first night I was on The Tonight Show, and I’m telling you, for guys at The Comedy Store [comedy club], this was it… This was it, The Tonight Show. Fighting and competition and backstabbing and badmouthing to get to The Tonight Show. It’s gonna make or break you. If you don’t do well, you’ll never be heard of again. There’s no such thing as a guy bombing his first time on The Tonight Show and then having a delightful career. That just doesn’t happen. You’re gone. So there’s a lot of pressure.
Minor spoiler: Robin Williams factors in to the rest of the story. It’s rare for Letterman to take the role of interviewee, so it shouldn’t be missed!