Peyton Manning: David Letterman scrapped Andrew Luck joke for me


Denver Broncos quarterback Peyton Manning said he has numerous memories about David Letterman, but his favorite was a phone call the two shared that resulted in the “Late Show” host deciding not to air a joke about Andrew Luck.

Letterman made his “Late Show” farewell Wednesday, and plenty of celebrities were on hand at the Ed Sullivan Theater to wish him well in retirement.

Among those in attendance was Manning, who took part in Letterman’s final, star-studded “Top Ten” list.


At No. 3 in the “Top Ten Things I’ve Always Wanted to Say to Dave,” Manning said, “You are to comedy what I am ... to comedy.”

Letterman retorted, “That doesn’t make any sense,” before moving on to No. 2.

Manning has been a frequent guest on the “Late Show,” making his first appearance in 1997 when he was a star quarterback an the University of Tennessee.

Letterman, who is from Indiana, is a big Indianapolis Colts fan, so it’s only natural that he’s also a big fan of the five-time NFL most valuable player.

In a piece by Manning that was published Thursday on MMQB, No. 18 said he always liked the iconic talk show host, but Letterman earned his profound respect in 2012 by killing a joke about Andrew Luck.

Luck, a star QB at Stanford University, was the presumed No. 1 overall draft pick, which belonged to the Colts.

Manning wrote that the day before the draft, he got a call from Letterman while working out at the Broncos facility.


“I got word that Dave was trying to reach me, and so I get on the phone with him,” Manning said. “He explains that they’re going to have Andrew Luck on the show, and what they want to do is present him with his new Colts jersey, like they’d be the ones telling him he was a Colt.”

Manning played the first 14 seasons of his NFL career in Indianapolis, winning a Super Bowl with the team in 2006. He signed with the Broncos in 2012 after being cut by the Colts.

According to Manning’s piece, Letterman told him about the joke and said, “I don’t want to do it if it makes you uncomfortable at all.”

“I said, ‘Dave, it doesn’t matter what I think. You do what you feel is best for the show.’”

“Really, I didn’t care,” Manning wrote. “Whatever Dave wanted to do was fine, but he said, ‘That’s it! We’re not doing it. Forget it. It’s done.’”

Manning said that decision meant a lot to him.

“It wasn’t my place to say anything. But the fact that he made that call, I can tell you this: If that were any other show, they sure wouldn’t have called to ask what I thought,” Manning wrote.


Be sure to check out the video above for Letterman’s last “Top Ten.”