Before comedian and actor Andy Daly wore his khaki ensemble on Review, he sported a similar look during his first (and only) appearance on the Late Show with David Letterman on January 16, 1998. With less than a week to go before Letterman’s final episode on May 20, Daly uploaded the bit to YouTube on Thursday night and wrote about the experience on his official website.
The sketch, written by Late Show writers Rodney Rothman and Justin Stangel, was a part of one of Letterman’s many iconic running gags — the “CBS Mailbag.” Daly played Carsen Donn, a Denver man who wanted to propose to his girlfriend of five years on national television. This being a Letterman sketch, the proposal didn’t necessarily go according to plan.
Daly was nice enough to chat with us about the sketch and how it came about, as well as his longtime fandom for all things Letterman. We even got him to spoil the ongoing #FindForrest campaign for Review‘s second season on Comedy Central.
You had done bits on Late Night with Conan O’Brien around the same time. How did Letterman come about?
When I first moved to New York, I got involved with a company called “Chicago City Limits” doing short-form improv, and some of those people were doing a sketch comedy show down in the West Village organized by Justin and Eric Stangel. There was another guy in that orbit named Rodney Rothman, and Rodney got hired onto Letterman as a writer. Then Justin and Eric got hired onto Letterman as writers. Rodney eventually became head writer and has gone on to all kinds of things, and the Stangel brothers were head writers for years. I think they’re still affiliated with the show in some way. I’d known both of those guys, so a few months after the Stangel brothers got there, I got a call that Rodney and Justin had collaborated on this viewer mail bit that they wanted me to do. That’s how that came about.
Did this Letterman bit come before or after Conan?
I had done a few things on Conan. As a matter of fact, I had said that I would do a Conan bit that day, the same day as Letterman. And I had to call Conan’s cast director and say, “Hey, listen. I have a chance to work with David Letterman! I gotta do it.” They were understanding.