While most of his late-night peers were off nursing their post-Emmys hangovers Monday evening, David Letterman was on the air basking in the glory of being named a Kennedy Center honoree.
Letterman welcomed another recipient of the prize, Steve Martin, to “Late Show.” Martin received the honor in 2007, putting him in a small but distinguished group of comedians, including Johnny Carson and Bill Cosby, who’ve earned the distinction.
Martin promised Letterman the formal, black-tie ceremony would be a cinch. “You just sit there and they do all the work and you don’t have to prepare. You don’t have to worry about going over. It’s like doing your show,” he joked.
Martin then set up a video he’d made as a tongue-in-cheek tribute to Letterman, explaining that he records his every activity on film. “It’s for historical purposes. In case let’s say the Smithsonian called,” he said.
In the video, Martin, dressed in a bathrobe and his rainbow-colored Kennedy Center ribbons, reads about Letterman’s honor in the paper, then calls up fellow honorees like Meryl Streep to express his dismay at the news.
“I’m stunned, shocked, surprised and completely taken aback,” he said.
That is, until Letterman himself calls — on a line reserved for Martin’s “no-talent friends.”
“I was just chatting with some of my big-time, showbiz friends, and none of us are stunned, shocked, surprised and completely taken aback. Congratulations, buddy!”
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