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Old 07-21-2010, 02:10 AM
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Sacramento, CA
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David Letterman runs across stage during intro?

I read conflicting stories online.

Is it him?

Why do that?
Old 07-21-2010, 02:24 AM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NYC
Posts: 693
Yeah, it's him, unless they do some sort of switcheroo for some reason. My last time there was in 2004, but what I remember:

Dave bounds on stage with a mic to get questions from the audience. Paul's band starts playing the opening theme song while Dave's wrapping up his banter. This is Dave's cue to bolt back behind the scenery, and then for some reason he sprints to the other side of the stage before walking out.

That last sprint, the one that sometimes shows up on TV, is only one that could possibly be faked, but I don't see why he'd do that, after quite capably running the other 3 bases.
Old 07-21-2010, 12:20 PM
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Location: New York, NY
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Yeah it's definitely him, but remember, the stage is much smaller than it appears on television. And Dave's pretty tall (or he seemed that way when I saw a live taping) so he crosses the stage in just a couple of bounds.
Old 07-21-2010, 09:05 PM
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Location: Brooklyn, New York
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He lost a shoe doing it at the show that I attended.

He runs from one side of the stage to the other right before the show goes on air. Then the curtain comes down, they go live, the curtain goes back up, and Letterman walks out.

Last edited by Lakai; 07-21-2010 at 09:05 PM.
Old 07-21-2010, 09:39 PM
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Help everyone out, won't you?

What are you all talking about? Is there some new video online or something?
Old 07-21-2010, 10:50 PM
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I've been to three tapings and Letterman has run across the stage (behind the backdrop) just before the 'curtain' rises each time. Probably some superstitious good-luck kind of thing.
Old 07-21-2010, 10:52 PM
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: NYC
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Yeah, I'm actually curious as to what the conflicting online stories would be. But basically, Dave Letterman runs across the back of the stage at the beginning of his show.

I made a halfhearted attempt to find a YouTube link without luck.
Old 07-21-2010, 11:45 PM
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Memphis
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You can see full episodes of "The Late Show" on their website:

If you watch the episode for July 14th, for instance, you'll see Letterman running across the stage just as the announcer says his name.
Old 07-22-2010, 12:47 AM
Join Date: Apr 2001
Location: Sacramento, CA
Posts: 7,171
I read this:

"It's all superstition. Dave started running with his first show after his quintuple-bypass surgery in 2000, mostly to prove that such a serious medical procedure hadn't affected his ability to host a late night talk show."

I read this:

"Letterman walks down a long hallway to get there, but because they film in real time, he waits for the music to start before he starts walking. He has to time it to where he's at the right spot at exactly the right time. This is why sometimes you see him run across the stage, and other times he's already there.
Thats if you believe its really him, I doubt he can run that fast and in that form. I think its just an irrelevant stunt.

I don't think it's a stunt or due to live filming. He prefers to enter from stage left which is considered the more powerful side of the stage. He does not want to enter from the same side that his guests enter. This is why he runs from stage right to stage left (audience view from the left side to the right side), then walks out toward the centre.

The story goes that Dave was running a little late one day and the stage coordinator Biff began pestering him about the fact that he was going to throw off the shooting schedule. Biff even went so far as to tap his watch at Dave; which is why you can often see him look off stage after he enters and point at his watch. The reason he runs across the stage is to give the appearance of running late; since, as he told Biff, its his show and it will start when he is ready.
You can often hear Dave making off hand comments or jokes that only the audience seems to get. This is because he comes out before shooting and talks to them. This leads me to the conclusion that he cannot possibly be running late every night, since he has already come out on stage before the official opening every night. "
Old 07-22-2010, 01:13 AM
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Originally Posted by Bearflag70 View Post
which is why you can often see him look off stage after he enters and point at his watch.
I always thought that was a baseball signal.
Old 07-22-2010, 01:15 AM
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: "Hicksville", Ark.
Posts: 32,952
I think the showing off explanation makes more sense. If he was merely trying to come in from a certain side, with his money, surely they'd have a door over there, and a way for him to leave the audience and get to the stage.

It's not like he's Fergusen, and making his show look cheap. He could pull that off back on NBC, but being the number one late night host, or, at least, one of the top two? Nah.
Old 07-22-2010, 02:10 AM
Join Date: Jun 2001
Posts: 3,962
Originally Posted by The Shroud View Post
Yeah, I'm actually curious as to what the conflicting online stories would be.
I have seen this many time and always thought it was a stagehand making some last-minute adjustment.

(If it's any defense, I'm watching it on a small screen, and I guess it didn't occur to me an old man would make himself do any unnecessary sprinting, especially before doing a monologue. I guess Letterman's not really that much older than I am, but I wouldn't do it and I haven't had bypass surgery.)
Old 07-23-2010, 04:40 PM
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Location: Wisconsin
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I always just thought it was a way to pump himself up for the show. There's enough time for him to catch his breath while the audience is clapping and cheering.
Old 07-23-2010, 06:49 PM
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Thanks for the video link, I never noticed that he did that.
Old 07-23-2010, 08:24 PM
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Location: New York, NY
Posts: 2,200
Okay, I watched Götterfunken's July 14th link and I want to totally retract my earlier post. That's not what I was thinking about at all. When I saw the live taping, he kind of bounded out onto the stage after they called his name in a playful Dave-way. I've never, never seen him do what's on that clip, and I have to say it doesn't really look like him to me.

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