Performing wired

Another interesting bit from that Bill Simmons podcast with "The War for Late Night" author Bill Carter I mentioned the other day: Carter mentions Letterman is totally wired when he hosts his show.

First he drinks incredible amounts of coffee. So he's really wildly stimulated. Then he sits down and right before he starts the show, he unwraps four Hershey bars and he breaks the squares up and he builds a tower, a huge tower of Hershey bars, and then he wolfs them down one by one right before he goes on the air. And so when he hits the air, the guy is flying on sugar. Absolutely flying on sugar. Maybe this is why he had a heart problem. Occasionally when he's on the air, he will say, "There's nothing better than a Hershey bar."

Never seen Letterman live but I mentioned this to someone and he told me that Letterman can't even sit down between guests and paces around when the cameras are off.

And speaking of getting amped up for the stage, I've seen Kindler down Red Bulls before going onstage. And a NYC comic you may know, in a revealing "In The Tank" interview a while back, discussed doing blow before performing.


Adam said...

I've heard similar stories about Conan. Friends who've seen him live say that he's a bundle of little tics between guests when the camera's off, bopping and doing slapping himself to keep his energy up.

Josh Homer said...

Seen Letterman live, he doesn't walk around and pace. One of the producers or someone with a headset comes over to him during the breaks and talks to him, or he talks to the guests for a few seconds.

Seen Conan live 5 times when he was in NYC, again he doesn't "slap" himself. He talks to the main guy with the headset, a few times the head writer Mike Sweeney comes and talks to him.

Matteson said...

Well that's less fun.

Cody Hess said...

I have to be careful with coffee intake before a show or my leg will shake wildly and make me appear nervous )=

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