David Letterman on his ranch in northwest Montana (courtesy photo)

David Letterman Interview

Getting to the Heart of David Letterman

The beloved king of comedy—and part time Montana resident—talks about growing up and getting older.

By Brian Schott
Published December 16, 2015 by Whitefish Review

As of his final Late Show this past May, David Letterman had hosted 19,932 guest appearances on 6,028 broadcasts across more than 33 years—and redefined late-night and humor itself along the way. The man had earned some peace and quiet. Judging from the searching, thoughtful interview he granted to the Whitefish Review, he has found both—thanks, in large part, to life on his ranch in northwest Montana.

In an interview with Jane Pauley prior to his retirement, Letterman talked about the “white-hot adrenaline” he’d felt on his early appearances on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson: “It’s like you’re sitting on the knee of the Lincoln Memorial and Lincoln is talking to you. You know, it’s like, ‘Holy God, it’s the guy on the $5 bill talking to me.’” That’s about what it feels like to interview David Letterman.

After a good breakfast, a long walk, some quiet breathing, and a pep talk from my wife, I was able to calm my nerves and have a candid, wide-ranging conversation with Letterman on the telephone from his home in New York State. I followed up several days later with a few additional questions.

As I expected, Dave was introspective, funny and, more than anything, kind. Listening to him through the speakerphone—that unmistakable voice and laughter that I had grown up with—was as surreal and as special as it comes.

I owe thanks to Jeff Giles, a transplant from New York City and one of our new editors, for helping arrange the interview through his friend, Tom Keaney, Letterman’s publicist. Over nearly an hour of conversation across two interviews in late November, Letterman and I spoke about retirement, raising his son, his love of Montana, his own childhood, and growing that wildman beard.

 CBS PHOTO by John Paul Filo. ©2010 CBS BROADCASTING INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
CBS PHOTO by John Paul Filo. ©2010 CBS BROADCASTING INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.


Brian Schott
: Hello, Mr. Letterman.

David Letterman: How are you, sir?

BS: I’m well. It’s a gorgeous Montana day. Blue skies. Snow-capped mountain peaks.

DL: What is your temperature?

BS: We were at 34 degrees about an hour ago. It’s pretty cold. Clear and cold last night.

DL: Sounds ideal. Sounds lovely and normal in a time when weather doesn’t seem to be normal anywhere.

BS: You can’t count on much these days.

DL: I was just telling Tom that I’ve been—I believe the word is perusing—the Whitefish Review collections you sent. I’m in love with the publication and I feel stupid because prior to a month ago when I received them I don’t think I was aware of it. It’s a delightful project and must be very satisfying to work with.

BS: Well thanks for saying so. That’s really generous. We’re working with author Rick Bass right now on this next issue and Tom probably told you that we picked the theme “Growing Up and Getting Older.”

DL: Well, yes. But first of all let me tell you this, particular to nothing. Yesterday I was walking around a small town in Connecticut and the commercial grid of this small town reminded me of the commercial grid of what I remember of Whitefish. Except it’s not surrounded by lakes, rivers, or mountains. And I just said to myself then and there—I’m moving to Whitefish. I told my wife last night and she thinks I’m kidding. But why wouldn’t you move to Whitefish?

Central Avenue in Whitefish, Montana (photo: Brian Schott)
Central Avenue in Whitefish, Montana (photo: Brian Schott)

BS: That’s a good question. We could make you an intern here at Whitefish Review.

DL: I’ll do it. I’ve got nothing but time. (laughing)

BS: Yes, I love Whitefish. I grew up in New England, but I’ve been out here 20 years now.

DL: Where in New England?

BS: I grew up in Stow, Massachusetts, a tiny little town near
Concord­—a little colonial, historic town.

DL: But that’s an oft-told story, isn’t it? Somebody from the East comes out and never goes back.

BS: Yes, I think it is. I hang out with quite a few New Englanders out here in Montana. The West has such a collection of people from everywhere.

DL: It’s just delightful.

David Letterman with his son on their Montana ranch. (courtesy photo for Whitefish Review)

BS: So apparently, along this theme of growing older, we’ve heard that you’ve retired. (laughter)

DL: Yes, I have retired. I am no longer in show business.

BS: So how has that change in your life affected you?

DL: We did this television show—my friends and I—for a very long time. It’s probably like anyone else’s professional pursuit. When you are doing it for so long, and for each day—I have always likened it to running a restaurant—because you get response to the day’s endeavor immediately. Either from the audience or the ratings, but you know as early as the next day how you did.

And because of this introspection, you believe that what you are doing is of great importance and that it is affecting mankind wall-to-wall. And then when you get out of it you realize, oh, well, that wasn’t true at all. (laughter) It was just silliness. And when that occurred to me, I felt so much better and I realized, geez, I don’t think I care that much about television anymore. I feel foolish for having been misguided by my own ego for so many years.

BS: Are you able to look back with some pride and enjoy what you have accomplished or does your inner critic always get in the way?

DL: Well, I have this conversation with my wife all of the time. And my wife—I can’t tell yet whether she’s being diplomatic, whether she’s being polite, deferential—I just don’t know what it is—and she’ll say, “Well, look at what you’ve accomplished.” And I’ll say, “Well, what have I accomplished?” And she says, “Well, look. You’ve employed a lot of people for a long time…” (laughter) So I always laugh and think, okay, I’ve put a lot of people to work. And that’s usually the end of the conversation.

BS: (laughing) Well, you’ve certainly made a lot of people laugh and take a lighter look at—

DL: Well, I’d like to see the paperwork on that. But as to your theme here, I was thinking a bit about that. How old are you?

BS: I am 44 years old.

DL: Okay, good enough.

BS: I’m starting to have to think about the answer to that question. I’ll soon be getting closer to 50 than will feel comfortable. My brain feels really young, but my body is starting to get a little more stiff and sore on the ski slopes. It’s a wild ride. We have a ten-year-old son and a three-year-old son. So they keep us hopping.

DL: Well that was my point. Our son just turned 12. And you mentioned skiing. We started skiing together when he was about four or five, because I wanted something we could do together—for the rest of my life certainly—and it’s worked out just fine. I’m happy to say that of all the places we’ve been lucky enough to ski, his favorite, and my favorite—well we liked Alyeska pretty well up in Alaska—but in the lower 48, our favorite, without question is Big Mountain [in Whitefish]. We just really get a kick out of that place.

BS: It is a really special place. Well, if Harry needs a tour guide, my son Ethan would love to show him around.

DL: Okay, cool. Well, I’m moving out there, so I’ll let you know.

BS: That’s right. We’ve got you docked for the internship. (laughter) On a more serious note, what’s the mood right now in New York after the attacks in Paris?

DL: Well, I’m north of New York City and the television coverage has been on in everybody’s house and it’s that sickness, that vague sickness that you feel. We felt it here vividly when we were attacked, and it’s hard to believe that we lived through that attack and then tucked it away some place and it was less vivid. Now you can see that the people in Paris and in that part of Europe are going through that vivid terror, the aftermath of it, and how to reconcile it, like we did on 9-11.

So, you worry about—well, my son goes to school in New York and we ride trains in and out of the city and we’re on subways—but so far, it’s like unless it happens in your lap, you just don’t have that visceral, gut-wrenching…. I don’t know how to articulate this. If you read about a typhoon in Singapore you can have empathy, but you don’t quite get it. Here, we have had that experience, so we do get it.

BS: You mentioned 9-11. You went back on the air a week later. I actually re-watched your monologue from that night. Your voice was shaking. You said, “Courage defines all other human behavior.” I wondered if you could talk about courage as it relates to growing up.

DL: Well, I know more about courage now being a father. I always used to say to people—you know when a co-worker might be facing surgery, or a co-worker might have a friend who is ill, the way things happen in people’s lives—and I would always want to say something meaningful, because you can’t really help other than to listen and say something meaningful. And I used to say, “Pretending to be brave is as good as being brave.” And I find myself applying that to my son. And this ties into the idea of growing up.

Because of my son I’m not growing up. Because of my son I do things I would have done when I was 12, to show him—look, you can do this. It’s okay. You can do this. Don’t be worried about this. Don’t be afraid to make a fool of yourself. A lot of this is in Montana. A lot of this is skiing or hiking. I have gotten into the habit of jumping into any body of water we come across when we’re hiking in Montana—that as you know, is really too cold for any form of life other than fish. (laughter) You can feel your heart being sucked into your digestive tract. And so I’ll just jump in. Because I want him to know that it’s okay for him to just jump in.

We’ll get in the river and we’ll float the river. We’ll get out of the boat and he and I will just float in the river. You know—let’s do stuff. So, I find on his behalf, I’m not growing up. You have to grow up to have some wisdom, but I think part of that is letting your kids know that there’s some pretty silly stuff that you can get away with that is going to enhance your life.

BS: Nice.

Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Montana (photo: Brian Schott)
Lake McDonald, Glacier National Park, Montana (photo: Brian Schott)

DL: Another thing I’ll tell you is that as I grow older, I can’t stop talking. You let me know when it starts to get dark and we’ll call it off. (laughter)

BS: Talkability is a wonderful trait. So, Tom Brokaw was nice enough to talk with us a few years back. He does a cold plunge in the mountain stream in his back yard every morning when he’s in Montana. Do you do the cold plunge out by your ranch?

DL: Yes, we do it in the summer and we do it anywhere we can. We have Deep Creek running through our ranch. We’re near the Teton River and we spend a lot of time in both of those. Down south we’ve been in the Ruby. We’ve been in the Madison. We’ve been in the Big Hole. I mean, how can you not? Well, it’s beautiful for one thing.

I’m no good at fishing, but I just like standing in the river. Years and years ago, Michael Keaton was talking about fishing in some publication, he mentioned the joy of putting his son on his back and wading across some river to go fly-fishing. I thought, wow, he’s a lucky man to have experienced that. And then lo and behold years and years later I got to experience the very same thing. The fact that his early comments meant so much to me and then later I was able to relive them, it increased the emotional impact of what he was talking about. And I’ll never forget it. I have a picture of my son and me in the Ruby River—he’s on my back. And that’s all you need to know about Montana.

BS: Can you talk a little bit more about your relationship to the space out here? Does the land have a real calming effect on you?

DL: Yes. Tom Brokaw is the reason we ended up in Montana. For years and years, Tom said [in Brokaw accent] ,“You ought to go to Montana.” And I said, “Okay, sure, Tom. Sure.” And I would look at Montana and I would think, Good Lord—who wants—why—I mean, look at that!—it’s too wide, for one thing. And so finally we went. And Tom said, “You’ll know where you’ll want to be. You’ll feel where you want to be.”

So we got ahold of a real estate guy and he took us around and he started running down celebrities and famous people—and they all live here and they all live there—and I said, “That’s fine, but that’s not where we want to live. We want to live someplace else.” And so we stumbled on the Rocky Mountain Front, where no one lives, because of the 200-mile an hour winds, but it was thrilling to be there.

Beef cattle graze on lush spring grass in front of Sawtooth Ridge near Augusta Montana.
Beef cattle graze on spring grass, Sawtooth Ridge near Augusta Montana. (Chuck Haney)

The first thing that this experience brought to us is that you just can’t stop seeing once you’re out there. The big sky and all—and for heaven’s sake, it’s true—but also the endless horizon. And we still haven’t gotten over the land. The other neat thing about this was it was like signing up for some extended college course where you began to learn about stuff you never thought about before in your life.

Every time we go out there we learn something about the land, about the animals, about the plants, about the trees, about the fires, about the wind, about the weather. It’s a never-ending education and it’s been so gratifying and so enriching for my wife and myself—she’s from Ohio, I’m from Indiana—and my son, it’s in him now. Whereas Tom Brokaw had to talk me into going to Montana, my son, he won’t have that problem. He’s there.

You must know something about the Front? The Chinooks and the winds?

BS: Yeah, it blows like hell over there.

DL: Yeah. Hurricane force and beyond. I can remember one day being out there just walking around. The wind was coming at me and it was fairly gentle. And what it was bringing to my ears was just dead quiet. And I couldn’t believe that the two things could exist—that the wind could be blowing and what it brought to you was absolute silence. The place is full of surprises like that. Full of experiences like that. And the process of learning is endless. Just through the dumb luck of having to shut Tom Brokaw up, it is something that has changed our lives.

I was thinking how unpleasant it would have been if Harry didn’t like being in Montana. Leave him back here with a sitter? (laughing) But it’s part of his life. If it’s just a fraction for his life of what it has been for our life, he will be a rich man forever. Did you notice that experience? That it never stops?

BS: The mountains out here really grabbed me and got into my heart. I never really expected to stay, but it really got inside me.

DL: The last time we were out there at Big Mountain—I guess they call it Whitefish Mountain now­, you’re looking into the Canadian Rockies, then you’re looking back at Glacier, then you’re looking south to the ranges that run forever in that direction. One of my early ski instructors said to me that the first lesson in skiing is that when you get off the chairlift, take in the view. We’d been half way up the chairlift and it was like an IMAX movie. It’s beyond an IMAX movie—it’s all there. It’s crazy. You don’t see stuff like that.

BS: The scale is so massive that it’s indescribable.

Whitefish Mountain Resort and the peaks of Glacier National Park (photo: Brian Schott)
Whitefish Mountain Resort and the peaks of Glacier National Park (photo: Brian Schott)

DL: The first time I went through Glacier I thought, I’m looking at the hand of god here.

BS: I said that same thing to my parents when I first moved out here and I was in Glacier Park with them. They were still wondering if I was going to move back east or if I was going to stay in Montana. I told them that when I was out in Glacier it was the closest I can describe being to god as I’ve ever been.

DL: From our location on the Front you can see up to three or four, maybe a half dozen different weather systems operating at once. It’s bizarre. It’s a special effect of some kind. And it’s just lovely.

BS: You’ve said that “life is hard work.” Is laughter a way to keep some of the harder and darker spots of life away?

DL: I suppose. It doesn’t work. It works superficially. You can make jokes at a funeral and that will create a vibration. But it doesn’t take away the grief. But it does something. It alters…I don’t know what it does. If you have the facility to make somebody laugh, I think you ought to go ahead and do it. It’s a nice gesture for somebody. And I’m in hyper-drive, because as parents know, the greatest thing you can do when your kid is first born is to try and make him laugh. And I try. He just got home from school and I will try as hard tonight as I did when he was three months old to make him laugh.

It’s a selfish thing, but what I’ve noticed now is that he makes me laugh so much that I feel like, well, maybe I had a little something to do with that.

BS: Do you watch any TV these days?

DL: Mostly news. I’m like the idiots who always used to come up to me—and I knew they were lying…. They’d say, “Yeah, well, geez I can’t stay up late enough to watch your show,” and I’d think, you’re lying, you’re just lying. But I’m like that guy now. I can’t stay up late enough to watch TV. I like to be in bed right around 10. Anything that happens after 10, I’m not there.

BS: Do you miss the craziness of the TV business more or less than you thought you would?

DL: No, I’m surprised­—I can remember the first day that Stephen Colbert took over—put his [new] show on the air. I thought I would have some trouble, some emotional trouble, or some feeling of displacement, but I realized, hey, that’s not my problem anymore. And I have felt much better. It’s something for younger men and women to take on. So I haven’t missed it, the way I thought I might. And I do little things here and there to sort of keep me up and moving. But no, I don’t miss it the way­ I thought—and then I think, holy crap! I’ll be 69 next year and I’ve been doing this for 33 years. What did I want? Like you work until you’re a hundred? So there’s a lot of practical reasons why a person wouldn’t miss this.

BS: So in terms of getting older, when you had heart surgery 15 years ago, did it change your outlook on life?

DL: Well, it did. Compared to my father who dropped dead of a massive heart attack when he was 57—he had a history of heart problems. The advancements that they have made in treating heart disease are remarkable, as I think with all medicine. But when he had his first major heart attack—and he ended up having about six before the one that killed him. I can remember the president at the time was Dwight Eisenhower, and he had also suffered a heart attack. So Dwight Eisenhower was the hero for surviving heart attacks, both for my father and my father’s doctor.

You have a lot of questions when you’re in the hospital after a heart attack and my dad said, “Um, well, is it all right if I keep smoking?” And the doctor said, “Oh, yeah, that’s not a problem.” And my dad—you’d go to see him in the hospital recovering from a heart attack having a cigarette. Oh my god, really? So I feel that I am awfully lucky not to have had a heart attack and to have been treated the way I was treated, irrespective of the completely barbaric nature of the surgery. Once they get you open, it’s pretty fine work they are able to do.

It’s also made me realize that there are people in this world that you absolutely can trust­—professionals who know what they’re doing. It’s easy to be cynical. It’s easy to be skeptical. But there are people who have been really well trained and are eager to help and save lives. And I found that gratifying.

BS: What do you look for in a houseguest—maybe a guest out to your ranch­­—and how does that differ for what you looked for in a TV guest?

DL: (big laughter) Well, there’s a couple of similarities. When we have guests at the house, I like them to be wearing makeup. That’s always good. (laughter)

But it’s interesting. We’ve had a lot of people to the ranch. Because you want to share this with people. And a lot of people don’t get invited back. Because for some reason they don’t get it. I don’t know if you’ve had that same experience. But when I first saw the Rocky Mountain Front, I had to get out of the car and walk around to calm down. I remember one time, I had a buddy of mine out there, someone I’ve known forever, and he says to me, “You have a tennis court out here?” Well I said, “Okay, let’s see, you’re not coming back.” So not everybody does come back. But if you respond to it, and your family responds to it, you’ve got the run of the place. You can come out any time you like.

Fiery sunrise light strikes Ear Mountain along the Rocky Mountain Front near Choteau, Montana.
Sunrise strikes Ear Mountain, Rocky Mountain Front near Choteau, Montana. (Chuck Haney)

BS: So we saw a pretty good-looking lumberjack beard photo of you recently. We were just curious about your plans for your facial hair?

DL: You know what? I used to say, every day, “I am so sick and tired of shaving.” I had to shave every day, every day, for 33 years. And even before that when I was working on local TV. And I just thought, the first thing I will do when I am not on TV is stop shaving. And everybody hates it. My wife hates it. My son hates it. But it’s interesting. I’ve kind of developed a real creepy look with it that I’m sort of enjoying. And I can tell that people are off-put by it. And the more people implore me to shave, the stronger my resolve is to not shave. So the day that I shave, I’ll call you.

BS: Okay, perfect. At Whitefish Review we don’t have any requirements for shaved beards, so your internship would be safe here.

DL: (laughing) Good! And I know, it’s not a good-looking beard. But I don’t even care. I just don’t care. And it’s kind of fun—well, I won’t say that it’s fun to walk around irritating people, I think I’ve proved that on TV­—but it’s sort of amusing to see the reactions.

BS: You’re a playful guy. A lot of people move out to the mountains so they can play. Some people refer to them as Peter Pans. I was curious­—was there a part of you that never really wanted to grow up?

DL: Well, I don’t think of myself as having grown up. I think, like you mentioned, you feel like in your head you are still a certain age. I know I’ve grown old. But I don’t think I’ve grown up. I think I have achieved a certain level of wisdom, probably not what it ought to be, but in terms of growing up, no, I still like goofing around. I don’t know if I would qualify as a Peter Pan­, but thanks anyway—

BS: No, that’s just the ski bums­, not you—

DL: (laughing) I think about having grown old, yes. Grown up, no. No, not at all.

BS: Has your thinking about your childhood changed over the years?

DL: I do think a lot about it. Like everybody, the mirror of your life would be your kids. And you can see yourself, you can see a fairly accurate version of yourself, you can see a different version of yourself, but the reminder is always there. When I was a kid, god bless my parents—and I think I speak for generations, mine and prior—if there was trouble, it would be solved by a firm yank on the arm, or you might get spanked with any number of objects.

And I can see those moments with my son and I remember it would have gotten me a spanking. And I think to myself, I kind of see why my parents did it. I know you can’t do it anymore, so what the hell do I do? And so you’re sort of left to your own wits. What I usually do is I call Regina into the room and I say, “Can you take care of this for me? I’m going outside.”

BS: So you talk about that mirror and I’ve experienced that with my children. I’ll see them do something and realize, wow­—I do that. That’s me. Does that happen to you?

DL: Well, as you know it can both be satisfying and be a frightful reminder. If it’s something positive, if it’s something good, and it’s usually some small things that you get some reward from when they come back out of the kid. But then also when you recognize behavior that is not positive, then it’s pretty frightening. The other day, I heard my son, I don’t know what he was doing but something had frustrated him, and I could hear him screaming, “Oh, for the love of god!” And I laughed out loud because I am constantly throwing myself around the house when I can’t get a jar open or I can’t find my car keys. And that’s kind of the signature line—“Oh, for the love of god!”

And when I heard that coming out of Harry in equally silly circumstances, it was pretty funny. But I also recognize, he’s almost pathologically shy. And I can remember when I was a kid, I was just quiet and shy and had no friends and that was fine with me. And it didn’t bother me when that was me, but when you see that behavior in your own kid, you think, jiminy, what have I done to the kid? On the other hand, it never really bothered me and I kind of grew out of it, so a lot of this is a leap of faith, isn’t it, in terms of parenthood?

BS: Yes, it sure is. They don’t really have that manual totally dialed in.

DL: No, and in the beginning I was always prepared for a squawking, screaming, monkey-like brat throwing himself around the house, and so for the first couple of years after he started walking and talking, I was waiting for the other shoe to drop. And with Harry it never did. I can remember the first time he and I alone went into a toy store. And I said, “Okay, we’re only going to buy one thing.” And he said okay, and picked out what he wanted, and now he’s looking at other things.

And I’m just waiting for the classic story where the kid throws himself on the floor and is throwing a tantrum and you have to haul him out of there by his pants, and I was stunned and gratified when I reminded him that we were only getting one toy, and he said, okay, fine. And we took the little miniature Volkswagen Beetle, it was just this little plastic and metal replica of a car, and that was it.

And I thought, holy crap. I thought it was going to be a drunken brawl. So I was wildly delighted. You hear parents tell stories of their kids­—he was up on top of the refrigerator, or we found him driving the car, or he was downtown buying cigarettes—and we have never had that. So that’s been a wild surprise. You hear the clichés—it’s the terrible twos and he was up all night screaming, and we never had any of that. He was always fairly agreeable.

Lately, when he turned 11, that’s when we discovered what we had in common was arguing. So we argue about everything. But he seems fairly levelheaded. I worry about his shyness, but I think that will improve. You want your kid to be the life of the party. Or maybe you don’t. Maybe you don’t even want your kid going to parties. I don’t know.

BS: You said you were a shy kid, but did you have any breakthrough moments that pushed you out of your shyness?

DL: When I got into high school my grades were really, really bad. I took a speech class in my second year and the first day in the speech class you had to get up and tell a little something about yourself. And it was that moment that I realized I know exactly what I want to do. I’ve found something I can do. I can’t do algebra. I’m no good at anything else. But I’ve found something that comes naturally to me, which is yak in front of a group of people. Then the rest of my life I stopped worrying about everything.

I thought okay, now you just have to figure out how this can become your life. So from that point on I didn’t worry about the future or anything because I knew exactly what it was that I could do. I just had to find a way and a place to do it. So I always felt like I was really lucky. My grades weren’t going to get me anywhere. My SAT scores­—the sample was too low to measure. They were really bad. But none of that bothered me. Because I had that one semester of public speaking, and I thought, well, here you go.

BS: That seems like a moment when you took a step in growing up. Are there any other moments in your childhood or adolescence when you said to yourself, ‘Wow, I am growing up.’

DL: I do remember one birthday when I was just about Harry’s age when I kind of got it that the trend was not reversible. Oh geez. I was nine last year. I’m ten this year. Oh, I see the way this is going to go. And it put a fair amount of panic in me, because if you take that out to its extreme, you realize what is at the end of it. I guess also when my father died, I felt bad for him. I just felt like he never quite got to do what he wanted to do, and at that point I was already doing what I was doing.

So that was a very strong observation for me. I really wanted to make good on my personal commitment, because I know it was probably the same as my father’s personal commitment, but he just never had the opportunity or the pathway to fulfill it.

BS: Thank you, Dave. I appreciate you taking the time and I hope you have a great Thanksgiving.

DL: Happy Thanksgiving to you, too­. Maybe I’ll run into you on the ski hill one day.

Ear Mountain reflcts into calm Lake Theboe along the Rocky Mountain Front in Montana
Ear Mountain and Lake Theboe along the Rocky Mountain Front, Montana. (Chuck Haney)

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138 thoughts on “David Letterman Interview”

  1. This was the kind of thoughtful interview I’ve been waiting to see from this man. Congratulations to you for getting it, and much praise to Dave for lending his genuine thoughts to what seems to be a very worthwhile publication. He sounds very happy and grounded.

    1. Dave is a major influence on my life and reading this interview makes me happy to know that he’s in a great place in his life. Love you Dave!

      Fantastic interview!

    1. Dave was itching to be heard. Thanks to them both and thanks to our Creators bringing them together for this very informative meeting. I hope they do meet some time, some where, to shake hands if nothing else.
      I’ve been to Glacier Park, with my best buddy and we stayed overnight at the lodge next to Lake McDonald (ah thanks for the photo). We got the last cancellation as the sun was going down, right on the waters edge. Wow! And in the morning we eyed the fog edged lake for sunrise…Wow again! Then a hike up Avalanche Falls to the lake…Wow times 3! Yes, going back if God willing. Thanks for letting me speak here. I am a Berkeley, CA born guy who has done Yosemite Park all my life…then I finally made it to Big Sky n Glacier..ah, blessed be.
      And thanks, Dave, for making me laugh for so many years…Thanks Brian, for the memories.
      PS, I’m a recovering alcyholic, 32 years last week…64 years young!

      1. Congrats on your 32 yrs. of Sobriety and having the guts to tell it to the world! I applaud you Sir. Very well done indeed!!!

  2. Great job! Brian I’m amazed at your career and so proud to have learned from you. Thanks Boss!
    Happy Holidays to you, Lindsay and the kiddos.
    Cecily

    1. I find it interesting that for all 33 years David was a talk show host, he always thought of himself as being in broadcasting, not show business. Now he refers to it as show business. Great interview!!

  3. Loved this. Miss the man, and the way his humour never failed to make me cackle at least once before falling asleep. He influenced me during an impressionable age (started watching at 15). Will forever be someone I respect and will discuss with my own children one day.

      1. Thinking that Ed is trying for an invite out to the ranch… If not, don’t sweat it… Great Get…

          1. I wish I could see it for myself but I really loved reading the article. I bet there is a serenity there that would soothe my soul.

    1. Edward, I love David Letterman, I love his humor, his looks, his intelligence, his ability to laugh at himself, his ability to apologize to his family when he’s wrong, and to apologize to American when it’s really none of our business. In spite of all this you made me laugh, not at you, at your comment. I don’t agree but I applaud your right to have your own opinion. But the best was you made your point without being a nasty hate filled human being. Kudos.

    2. Spoken like someone that would be one of those looking for a tennis court…. hhmmm, guess you will not be back…. hah!

  4. Mr. Letterman may underestimate the value his humor gave to his audience. I still miss him a lot. So glad he’s enjoying life.

  5. Really interesting. Liked it a lot. My only quibble is the editorial decision not to capitalize the “G” when writing the word ‘God”. That is just so unnecessarily PC .

    1. Interesting, the lower-case “g” was one notice I entirely appreciated. I don’t myself believe in God, but still use common phrases with the word “god” in them. I always lower-case the “g.” It’s not a sign of disrespect, only a distinction.

      Nice interview. I miss Dave, still. He did more than employ people.

      1. Lower case ‘g’ for me means that there are many gods for many people. No disrespect. Thank you for reading, and being a careful reader. — Brian Schott

        1. Thought it was a typo at first. So you’d rather appease the reader and your own view on ‘many gods’? I hope you’d actually asked David which God he refers to. Contentment and belief system are related so it helps to know ones source of inspiration.

    2. I had the same thought, Steve. I’m not used to seeing “God” with a small “g”. Is that going to be the new normal, you think? Sad.

      1. Oh, for the love of GOD! Minor quibble! Kudos to Brian for choosing how he wants three letters written, and for a great interview. Now *I*want to move to Montana.

  6. What a lovely piece. I watched Dave for years and was always surprised at how he was able to keep his life so guarded while also being in the public eye. Very nice to hear he’s such a genuine guy. Of course, I really just hope my comment will get me invited to the ranch so I can ask him about the giant doorknob.

    1. @ C.J. Eck The giant doorknob reference would win you a “like” vote, if that was possible in this comments section!

  7. What a great interview. I always enjoyed David Letterman but never could stay up late enough to watch him.

    I’m happy Dave found Montana. Reading the interview makes me want to visit.

    Well done!

    1. I miss David Letterman. I loved watching him every night. I en-
      joyed him immensely! Also he had great interesting insightful guests. Now at 11;30 I just go to bed. So what who cares! Great to read this interview. I am really glad he is happy and enjoying his well deserved retirement.

  8. I really enjoyed the article. I hope we will be able to experience those feelings David was speaking about and visit the area sometime.

  9. thanks. that was a great interview. a dave fan since the morning show and really miss his humor. glad to see that he’s enjoying life and feels settled in his retirement. I can also add that it truly makes me want to visit montana! beautiful pictures….

    1. I started watching him with the morning show too!! Letterman was always my favorite late night host. He comes across as so genuine in the interview. Great job, Brian!

  10. I so miss Dave’s humor. It came through so many times in this article and I laughed out loud as I always did when he’d say some “zinger.” I can hear him laugh, be shy, be honest, be thankful, be a dad! There will never be another Dave Letterman!

  11. Dave and I share the same birthday, and I always thought if I ever get to his show, I want him to know that…Not that he would give a rat’s ass, but it always made me feel closer to him….Loved his humor and how he always made everyone comfortable, no matter what their status was in life……..I miss him……..

    1. He would’ve noticed. We were at his show and I asked if he would say happy birthday to my friend, who was the same age as Dave. He had a nice chat with him and gave him a free dinner certificate. Dave is a great guy!

    2. I also have the same birthday as Dave, and I have a good friend from Louisiana who also has the same birthday. And as Jan has said, I always felt closer because of it – and Jan’s rat’s ass comment – and always hoped to get to his show and tell him.

  12. I’m always interested in anything Dave has to say. Wonderful interview. I really miss him. I’m so glad he is happy. I love the insights into his life. And Montana just looks and sounds amazing! I so want to visit some day. Thank you for a wonderful interview.

  13. You know when someone is really beautiful you can’t look at them enough. Taking them in with one look leaves too much out.
    That’s how I felt about David Letterman. I couldn’t know him enough. This interview brings me a little closer but it is bittersweet. If I was a guest at his ranch, my reaction to the vista would not be enough to get me invited back.

    Thank you for this. Consuelo Saah Baehr

  14. I watched David’s show from the beginning on NBC and miss it now. But his retirement brings him much happiness. I have a 13 year old grandson who is also shy but I was too, so maybe it’s a natural thing. My wife and I were at two of his late night shows. On one,. the camera was on me and he joked about older people attending his show. Get rid of the beard, Dave! ha.

  15. Good interview. I miss him but glad he is happy.
    The one thing I would of loved to known was how was his mom.
    She was such a sweetie on his show and I still use her cookbook.

  16. That was marvelous! Thanks for the delightful conversation.

    I do wish Dave would realize that, yes, he has accomplished a great deal. As someone who has hundreds of carefully-edited “Best of Dave” VHS tapes, I have evidence.

    He hasn’t just made me laugh. He has helped me to form my persona as much as any person I know personally. In fact, my ‘holy trinity’ of influences are Bugs Bunny, Elvis Costello and David Letterman (not in that order).

  17. I really miss David Letterman. I just cannot be bothered watching late night talk after he retired. I am so glad that he is enjoying his retirement and his time with Harry. This was a great interview.

  18. Great interview. I learned things about Dave I never knew and I’ve watched him since the Morning Show. That he is happy with his life, especially time spent with his son, makes me glad for him…he deserves it. But I miss him and the show desperately.

  19. What a delightful interview! I’m so glad to read this article! I really miss David Letterman. Happy to know he’s enjoying life after retirement. I haven’t watched any of the late night shows since he left. I wish him well! Bravo Dave! God bless

  20. Very good interview with Dave. If I was having a bad day the one saving grace would be looking forward to watching his show at 11:35 PM. Dave ferrying Zsa Zsa Gabor around visiting various L.A. fast food restaurants was one of the funniest pieces on network television I ever saw. He is a special guy. I hope he enjoys his well deserved retirement.

  21. I really enjoyed your interview. Your questions were thoughtful, and his answers were thoughtful. I have always thought of him as kind on the inside and tough on the outside. He is obviously enjoying his retirement and his family.

  22. Dave,

    If you only knew the influence you’ve had on my career and life, and so many others in broadcasting or comedy or both. Thank you for being so candid here for those of us who will never be so lucky to talk to you or meet you to enjoy. I hope you enjoy retirement, fatherhood, and continued peace and life with your family in Montana and the world. I, and many others, are forever grateful for the many years of laughs and inspiration. Like you missed Carson when he retired, we miss you every night just as much. Oh, and the beard is horrible, but keep growing it and keep being you.

    Jack

  23. I totally enjoyed this conversation with BS and DL who was one of my favorite people. I watched his show a lot even when I was employed, and usually every night after I retired in 1989. But like DL, now that I am older, none of it makes sense to me…and I no longer have any interest in most of these night programs.

  24. Wonderful interview. I started watching Letterman in the early 80s when I was in college. I worked at NYC magazines during his heyday, and it’s refreshing and inspiring to read an interview that focuses on things that are so completely uncommercial or trendy – pretty much the opposite of noisy prime time and late night TV. Glad he’s found joy and peace and quiet. Good for him, and thanks for the great read.

  25. What a wonderful interview! One that told more about Mr. Letterman than any I have read in a long time. I am from Tennessee and a friend of mine just moved to Montana to go to school and she told me it is the most beautiful place she has ever seen. You and Mr. Letterman helped me to understand what she is seeing there. Thank you again!

  26. I just happened to be watching TV when his first late night show episode happened, and I felt he was different, that he was going to be around for a long time. That was a delightful interview. I feel the same way about South Dakota, my original home.

  27. Having been born and raised in Wyoming and also lived in Bozeman, I am always glad to see people from the east who move here, have such respect and love for the land. Obviouly, the rich can afford the fancy big ranches and what-not, but still, it’s great when those transplants respect and cherish the county.
    Dave seems to have the rare quality of genuine humility and does not consider himself of any more import than the rest of us.
    Peace
    Denny

    1. There is a cartoon that ran in the paper a couple weeks after Dave’s last show – I cannot remember the cartoon’s name – and it has the husband sitting in his chair in front of the TV looking sad, and the wife comes up and says,” What’s the matter, nothing good on TV?” And the husband responds “Yeah, there is plenty on TV, but I miss Dave”. My sentiments exactly.

  28. I read through the entire interview, feasted my eyes on the photos and read the comments in a lovely indulgence (on my part). I grew up in Alaska, and lived in Wyoming ten years, and I say to myself, ‘ahhh, that’s what Montana (and, anywhere out west in the Rockies) does to a person, if they stay around for any length of time. It’ll bring out the awesome gratitude, appreciation for basic –simple things, and it does something for honesty, too, while it’s at it (whatever ‘it’ is). Nice to have stumbled on this; makes me appreciate the Dave Letterman from Indiana all the more.

  29. Great interview, Brian! I liked it so much, I re-upped my subscription to the “Review”! You’ve earned your keep for another year!

  30. As a Montana native, having lived 52 of my 78 years on the East side of the Continental Divide, I was fascinated by DL’s choice to live near Choteau. It is so refreshing to hear him sing praises about the land and all the wonderful things about it. I love all of Montana and never cease to learn new things all the time. Blessings to him and his family and may they always love it as much as I !!!❤️

  31. If you would like to conduct a riveting interview that answers the question: “Where does one still find light blue denim shirts in 2015?”, feel free to contact me.

    – Jay Leno’s Chin

    1. When I learned how Jay Leno got the show instead of David. I was appalled. I never liked Leno nor his show and was glad they finally got rid of him. So egotistically and not really funny. Too may quirks when the first chairs had to be filled with people to shake his hand. But, he made a fortune but not from me, I stuck with David. Leno was a phony and glad he is now gone.

  32. Enjoyed the interview, and the photos are phenomenal. If you do run into Dave on the ski hill, tell him he mustn’t minimize his gift. His “silliness” was a pressure release valve for millions of people. Some nights, his Top Ten List was all I had to live for. (p.s. – not to be nitpicky, but it’s “lo” and behold…and yes, I’m old! I first saw Dave on MTM’s variety show in 1978. He was exceptionally funny even then)

  33. I always had this fantasy of appearing on Dave’s show and plugging my book … SKY: Child, Interrupted … available on Amazon. Had a comedy routine all worked out and everything! No other show nor host will suffice! Now he’s retired! Thanks a lot, Dave!!! Anyway, very enjoyable and insightful interview, and what a GREAT dad that Dave obviously is. Harry’s a lucky little guy.

  34. Really great interview, but if Dave sees this, he accomplished A LOT! I miss him so much I ache inside as there was no one like him and is no one like him. Life after 11:30 really is empty and I can see that will be it. But I will always love and care about him, and I am glad he is happy, but I am not. The beard is a bit much, maybe he should trim it a little. I call him Grizzly Letterman. I would love it if they could run all the shows all over again, from Late Night to Late Show, I would gladly watch them all again. I think of him often and he will never know how much he meant to me. He just will never know….

  35. Well done!
    I grew up watching Dave… its wonderful to see him enjoying life.
    Nothing dull at all… it was actually an exciting glimpse in to the life of a very private man.
    Thank you for this.

  36. Dear Brian, Lyndsey, Ryan and the team at Whitefish Review, you knocked it out of the park on this one! Kudos all around!

  37. In 1977, while living the lonely life of a musician in L.A., I used to watch David Letterman honing his craft at the Comedy Store. One night while he was in the middle of his routine, a woman, decked out in a shiny silver outfit, was sashaying her way through the audience, garnering everyone’s attention. He quickly gathered it back by announcing, “Ladies and gentlemen, the author of 1,001 things to make with tin foil is here with us tonight!” So quick! Glad he’s happy….. but I miss him.

    1. That’s funny!!! I laughed out loud.
      First, great interview.
      I miss David Letterman so much. No matter what I was going through, he would cheer me up. He should know that he really made a difference (and not just by employing lots of people 🙂
      I watch Jimmy Kimmel now. Jimmy has a similar sense of humor. He is not Dave (as he would readily admit) but very good too.
      Dave, you are missed.
      A shy kid who is still a somewhat shy adult.

  38. I retired this past spring and the oddest part of it now which I was not expecting is that my lifelong loneiness went away. I don’t get it, I hardly see people yet I am not lonesome anymore but I’ll take it.
    BTW, I thought Letterman’s show in the 1980’s on NBC was just about as good as TV can be.

    1. For some reason your remark about loneliness brought tears to my eyes! How wonderful to enjoy being alone.

  39. the best interview I’ve ever seen about the best talk-show host that ever lived – Carson was great but Dave was greater – thank you, Brian, for an early Christmas gift!!

  40. Very interesting and insightful interview….for one, it makes me want to visit Montana. I was a huge fan of Mr. Letterman and when I was in college used to call random people and try the same things he did on his show in the 80’s. Because of him my parents stopped buying watermelons so I would quit dropping them off the roof of the house.

    The only comment I would make about the article is that when you are referring to God, it should be big “G” not little “g”.

    1. I’m with you brother, if it was done on purpose, I find it extremely disrespectful and downright sacrelegious!

  41. I have ways loved Dave and for many reasons. I loved his humor, his humanity, his grumpiness, his delight in silly things, his intolerance of injustice, the love he has for his son, the gratitude he expressed to those who helped, supported and saved his life. He was/is a comedy genius who changed the face of comedy & TV and, hopefully, will find a contentment with this reality. This was simply the most honest, thorough & lovely interview of a man who has often been misunderstood. I can only hope that millions – fans or no – can read this for it is the first time his true essence has been fully captured in print. Thank you.

  42. Great interview! Your questions were well-thought and drew out Dave’s insights that we will not know had you not done it. Congratulations for a job well done ! Late night TV isn’t the same without him and I miss him but I am happy that he is now enjoying retirement with his family in beautiful Montana.

  43. For most of my life, I’ve felt like Dave might be the only person on Earth who “gets me”. I have always been taken aback by the similarities, and there are times when Dave says something and I think to myself, “I bet I’m the only other person alive who understands what he actually means.” With respect to Montana and all that comes with it, I hear you, Dave. I hear you. For anyone who can let their guard down and dispense with their cynicism, even for a moment, and let nature in, they’ll get what Dave means. You want to become a part of it all. Congratulations on finding the meaning of life, Dave.

  44. Love the photos of your state. The interview was great. Never met Dave I would watch his show and flip back and forth to the other late shows. He seems to be a grounded guy. Thank god he never turned out to be a guy that thinks he is better then anyone elese , after becoming wealthy. He is jus a guy that found a job and retired and decided to be with his family for the rest of his life. Dave we never met but I have to say. Job well done. Your parents would be proud.

  45. I miss you so much, Dave. I recorded your last show and still can’t bring myself to watch it, because then it will feel like I’ve closed a door. Probably once I watch it I’ll keep it forever so I can enjoy it over and over. He was the best late night host ever. His beard is awful but I’m so happy I came upon this interview so I could read his silly humor once again. God bless you Dave – many more happy years in your heavenly place on earth.

  46. Lived in Missoula for almost 9 years, and hated leaving the state. Spent many countless hours in Northwest Montana, always gasping at the unspoiled beauty, especially Glacier National Park.

    Kudos for an excellent interview, Brian. I had always thought that Letterman was a very grounded man, just from his interviews. But he could always be goofy and terribly funny. His interviews of public figures..i.e., President Clinton, et al, were always done with respect, dignity and integrity. He was truly one of a kind…and was much more than just an employer.

  47. What a wonderful interview. Very thoughtful and inciteful. Makes me more curious to visit Montana. When my son was in high school he wanted to go visit Montana. We had been to South Dakota and it peaked his interest. Now at 22 not as interested but I will have to have him read the article. It might peak his interest in going there again.

  48. Great interview, Brian! Having been born and raised in Kalispell, I felt my chest expand with pride and understanding in Dave’s admiration for NW Montana. Was a viewer of Late Night all of it’s run…turnin’ 70 next year, so understand what the natural beauty of my home area and state can do to someone. Enjoy it Dave…I still get up there 2 or 3 times a year just to get my ‘fix’…lol

  49. Great Interview. Mr. Letterman please come back and do the Christmas show every year. Watching the attempts to knock a meatball off the top of the Christmas tree and listening to Darlene Love has been one of the highlights of our holidays.

  50. Fine interview with Mr. Letterman!
    However…One minor thing I feel must be mentioned.
    When saying someone talks a lot, they are said to “yak”, not ‘yack.’ According to the Urban Dictionary, “yack ” means…
    -to throw up, usually after drinking –
    as in…
    “I drank too much tonight, I just yacked behind his shed .”

  51. This was exactly what I expected from Dave. He has that midwestern humbleness and genuine empathy and intelligence that I admire. I have watched him since the daytime show. Not to say I don’t love the smart-ass Dave as well, because I do. He could always make me laugh, chuckle or grin. I miss our daily visit, but I am happy that he is so comfortable in his life now. Long life to him.

  52. This is perhaps the best interview I’ve ever read. I feel like I know Dave after reading this. I too miss him but I’m thrilled for him and Harry just being Father and Son just getting to KNOW each other like they never had the chance to when Dave was working all the time in NYC. The only thing I can say I truly missed was hearing about his Mother!
    Kudos to you for and excellent interview and managing to pull all the things about Dave on a level never seen before.

  53. …all this fawning over dave. i too started watching him when he would guest host for johnny. loved him, smart, irreverent and funny. watched and loved his morning show. sad when they cancelled it and waited for what seemed like ever til the nbc show finally started winter of ’82. i was in second year at university and in seventh heaven cause i looooved david letterman. never missed the show, memorized sketches, loved larry bud, chris elliot etc. but when he move to cbs something changed. the bigness of it, overcooked and over produced, and dave changed. not as funny and out of step. plus he seemed so miserable for so many years. for me he got hard to watch. like physically. it literally hurt to watch him. in the early 90’s he lost me and i never really watched again. sad. he started out so great and then ….pffffft. wondering if anyone else feels the same.

    1. My sister and I went to Los Angeles to see Johnny Carson once, and Dave was guest hosting. I feel the same, he was hilarious and irreverent, and somehow after he lost the show to Lame Leno he turned sour. A lot of his attitude was snarky and all of those fat jokes just got tiresome. I loved his mother and how things used to be. This interview was just wonderful, makes you appreciate the beauty of Montana, and how he has taken his role as father so seriously. Congratulations to the magazine, and I’m glad he is enjoying his life with his family and out of the rat race. Congrats!

  54. Thoroughly enjoyed reading your skillfully written David Letterman interview. Although the “tables” were turned it felt like I was reading a script of one of David’s Late Night shows. He was my all time favorite host–funny and smart with an innate ability to engage in in-depth discussion of serious topics to stupid pet tricks. He took his work seriously–not himself.

  55. This was more than an interview, it was a conversation. Great work! I grew up with Steve Allen, Johnny Carson and David Letterman. My best wishes to Dave, his wife and son. Thanks for letting me listen today, laugh all those years and appreciate a rare talent.
    George

  56. I DVR’d the last few shows of Dave’s Late Show. I’ve not watched all of them – I keep a few – holding onto them – So, I can imagine Dave and Paul and the CBS Orchestra are still there, like an old friend – to sort of remind me of when times/life was simpler. I’m 57 now and I’ve been a fan since his morning show back in the 80’s. I know he just left in May, but there’s a void. I don’t watch late night TV much anymore. It’s not the same without David Letterman there. Then again, I guess neither am I, the same. Thanks for always being there, Dave. Great article.

  57. If Dave reads this…..You helped me….over the course of my life…I always watched your show….you are 69, well I’m 68. I saw the CHILD in you and that’s the way I am too. Maybe I’m older and wiser, but I’m still a mischievous child at heart. I loved watching some of the funny things you did on TV. Then u had Harry. I Giggled…knew he would be like DL. That’s the best honest to goodness article I ever read on Dave. Ps. his wife is special….and smart. Thanks for making my day!

  58. I can’t bring myself to watch the last shows, either. This article felt like a visit with an old friend. Thanks, Brian. Dave, I miss you but I’m happy for you. Thanks for being my TV pal for so many years.

  59. Thanks for interviewing Mr. Letterman. I missed his presence each night and now I can adjust a little bet to him being gone, what with this happy interview meeting once again. I have believed that still he and Paul Schafer would come up with something in the future, maybe a few specials on CBS or another network that would let him do what he wants; but I’m totally okay with whatever gives him peace, including never going back, since he provided so much comfort to me and millions of others each night when we turned on his show.

  60. Great interview! Dave needs to know his work was important and he really did effect people’s lives for the better. Watching him at night is what got me through a lot of miserable and lonely times in my life. I really felt like he was a friend. I miss you Dave!

  61. Great interview Brian. By the way, I’m from Concord, a little colonial town near Stow. Used to play golf at Stow Acres CC. Live in Texas now. I must get out to Montana; closest I’ve been is Taos New Mexico, a really beautiful place itself.

  62. This Dave, man o man, he makes me SO MAD! I grew up with Dave and was a fan since NBC show 1. (Bill Murray doing “Let’s get physical”) to last NBC show (Stop bending the shaft!) to all CBS years. I was emotional when he left, he was like a friend I never met, so why does he make me mad? He says what did I accomplish? (cue Seth and Amy) Really? He changed late night, and all talk shows, forever! Nothing was the same after him, all tried to copy, though Leno never came close. He was the first one not to gush over guests, the first one to be snarky and real, the first one to be truly cutting edge, and he seems to see or take heed to none of it. Humble, great, but if you tell Jimi Hendrix you changed guitar playing forever I think he’d have said “yeah, cool” as he knows he did. So Dave, if you see this, please enjoy retirement and your great family, and know you were and will always be the king of talk show hosts! Peace, cheers, and Merry Christmas!

  63. I have been a fan of David Letterman for 25 years and until I read your interview I didn’t realize just how very much I miss him…but…please trim the beard!!!!

  64. What a wonderful conversation. Brian, just a terrific job and, as others on here have said, this was really the extended and insightful Dave that I think we’ve all been waiting to hear since he announced he was retiring. Bravo!

  65. It was a Great Interview with David Letterman. I still miss his show and i was glad to meet David at NBC and saw his show there and at the Ed Sullivan Theater . Enjoy Your Retirement.

  66. Having just turned 65( December 18) your interview with DL resonated with me. The conclusion…you are never too old to feel young …and a place like Whitefish and the Big Mountain will do that to you. Looking forward to spending New Year’s there again this year with my grandchildren.(34 years in a row)…see you on the mountain!
    Bill A
    Medicine Hat AB

  67. Great interview. Just in case anyone’s wondering: Montana is full. There’s no more room. That is all.

  68. Thank goodness Dave gets the Rocky Mountain Front and its silence in the wind. One of my favorite places to go and breathe in Montana. As a native Montanan now living elsewhere, I go back every year to keep Montana in my soul. Miss Dave late night and find the baffoonery of our new late night hosts tiresome at times. I do watch Colbert but not Fallon. Nobody will ever replace Dave!
    Enjoyed the article immensely.

  69. I believe it’s “midnight, and the kitties are sleeping”
    But yeah, I miss Dave too. Maybe didn’t realize how much until I read this interview. Great photos too!
    Thanks to all involved.

  70. I never watched Dave Letterman much but from reading this interview it occurs to me he has found the secret to happiness, which is, “You only live once, but if you do it right once is enough”.

    Secondarily, that happiness is found in Montana.

    P.S. In regard to the “God vs. god” discussion, the AP Stylebook apparently hasn’t caught up to your “trend” yet – http://www.theatlantic.com/national/archive/2014/05/style-guide-for-religion/371813/

  71. Thank you for this wonderful interview!
    I’ve feltlike something was missing these days when I notice 11:35pm…Dave withdrawal?

    I was fortunate enough to have acquired tickets to The Late Show back in January 2013! I had written in twice before over all these years, and BOOM!!! It finally happened… and in time for my Birthday!

    This was the number one item on my Bucket List, and it was even more impressive than I imagined!

    It’s great to know he and family are happy!

    He sure got me through some trying times; laughter really is a healing gift, but not everyone possesses that ability.

    A former coworker heard another officemate/ Dave Enthusiast discussing how much we would miss him…(this was about two months before Dave retired). The guy said..”There will be other late night talk shows”…Wow. He JUST DIDN’T GET IT. There is only one Dave!

    An ex-boyfriend would always ho to bed by 10:00pm. I would stay out in the living room to watch Dave; my cackling really annoyed the (ex)…maybe he was feeling inferior because I had more enjoyment watching Dave than…doing anything with him. 😉

    The skinny Santa Beard…it is bad, but at least he’s not growing a Trump Roadkill Comb-over, under and to the side hair mess! 😉

    Montana looks breathtaking!

    Final thought:

    I never watched “Late Night with David Letterman” or “Late Show with David Letterman” for the guests…it was all about the host….always will be.

    Happy Holidays, and Best for 2016 and beyond!

  72. How often do you encounter someone who is doing precisely what they were designed and gifted to do? Mr. Letterman is one of those rare folks, and that he happened to be what he is for all of us to see is rarer still. Like watching birds fly and fish swim. It is affirming and hopeful for all of us.

    The affectation of lower-case g on the Creator… C’mon. Otherwise a great interview, skillfully done. Now I,too, have to figure out how to wander to Montana and absorb the big sky.

  73. Wow. I’ve always wanted to visit all those great open places in Montana and now I want to go even more. It would have been hard to convince my wife to go so I never even tried, but now I’m going to tell her we might run into Dave Letterman and it just might work!

  74. Great interview. I have visited his area of Montana. I would have moved there in a minute, if I could have found a way to support myself.
    I love the beard.
    I have not found Dave’s clone, hence still single.
    Truly wish Dave had been the interviewer of Mandy Patinkin the other night. Those who also love Dave will understand why.
    Missing Dave especially this week because it does not seem like Christmas without Dave, Paul and band, Biff, Darlene Love (singing the greatest Pop Christmas song ever) and Jay Thomas telling his fabulous always laugh out loud funny Lone Ranger story.
    Miss you Dave! Merry Christmas! And all the best in your future endeavors. Brian too.

  75. The endless promotion of the state through interviews and articles such as this one is what will eventually lead to the state’s ruination. You can already see it in places like Whitefish and other areas such as Big Sky. The sad thing is that the vast majority of the people from Montana reading this article don’t realize it.

    1. The population of the state has increased by about 3.5% per year since 2010, supposedly driven by higher income/educated individuals moving in from out of state. If this growth continues, the state would likely pass North and South Dakota and become the 45th most densely populated state. The horror.

  76. I had a once in life time road trip to Montana with my eldest son! All Mothers should get to spend 10 day in car with your son. So wonderful, back roads and doggie diners.
    Montana? It took our breath away. Our trip up Logan’s Pass? Just let me say that if I wasn’t seventy-six , I would move to Big Fork in a minute!
    Thanks Dave for the memories!

  77. Oh this is just the kind of interview I ‘ve looked for and relished; I get a kick out of Dave saying he loves just ‘standing in the river” and pretending to fish. I will reread this again, just a joy to ‘hear’ from him again. No one compares to Dave, and I have to say this is becoming a VERY LONELY ELECTION year without him!!! OMG every time I see Trump on the screen, I wish I could turn on Dave at night and hear is brilliant, funny and incisive comments. Perhaps he’ll return to us someday (glad he’ll be doing a nature show in the future) but I’m also glad he seems to be relishing his retirement. Ah…the beard…. well he’s enjoying it but I do hope he shaves it someday. All the best to Dave!!!

  78. This seemed like a very relaxed conversation, and it resulted in an excellent interview– as several others here have said, the best I’ve seen with Letterman. Was it his relaxed responses that made your follow-up questions seem so casual, or was it the other way around? (Or perhaps the whole conversation/interview just looks so much more relaxed in print than it actually was.) In any case, congrats on this career triumph and keep up the good work!

  79. David, you were so much more than just the best employer. You were someone to look forward to at the end of the day. I remember when you first stepped onto Johnny Carson’s stage and told the dog food joke. I never could get enough of your antics and meeting the “neighbors”. Each night was unique and creative. I couldn’t wait to actually go and see your show in real time. Then you went and retired a month before I did. Oh well-thanks for the wonderful memories. Montana is a beautiful. My ex husband and I honeymooned at Big Sky and we always thought it would be a wonderful place to retire. You are something quite rare, I think, a wonderful father. We need more of them. I remember when you said on your show you got up early to hide the Easter eggs because you didn’t want the little outdoor creatures to eat them. How I wish my children could have experienced that sort of Father. Lucky Harry!!
    Love you always,
    Lexa

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