<i> Arts and entertainment reports from The Times, national and international news services and the nation's press</i>

“Late Night with David Letterman” writers Steve O’Donnell and Jeff Martin describing a typical day back on the job after the show’s settlement with the Writers Guild of America:

O’Donnell: “We come down to beautiful, almost-landmark Rockefeller Center at 9:30 or 10 a.m. and linger until it’s quite dark outside. It’s hand-to-mouth. We’re usually working on the next day’s show, if not that day’s show . . . sometimes a lot of our writing consists of a sentence. Something like . . . “

Martin: “ ‘Let’s go up and talk to our audience.’ ”

O’Donnell: “See, then we knock off and go get the thickest steak in town. Or other times, it will just be a phrase, a concept, a man, a plan, a canal, Panama.”


Martin: “ ‘Dave says something funny.’ ”

O’Donnell: “ ‘Dave takes bullhorn to window and tries to get pedestrian to bring him up a hot dog.’ Then we look at each other and say, ‘That’s it, that’s it. Who’s for dessert?’ ”