The Story Behind the Super Bowl's Funniest Promo

By Ralph Hipp

We've seen Dave gripe on the "Late Show" plenty of times.  But we've never seen anything like the promo for Late Show that aired during the Super Bowl!

The most effective commercial during the whole game didn't sell beer, candy bars, cars or e-trades.  It sold Letterman.  Here's how it happened.

Last Tuesday, after his secret flight on an NBC jet from L.A. to Teterboro, New Jersey.. Jay sneaked into Dave's Late Show studio at the Ed Sulllivan Theatre, wearing a heavy coat, glasses and a fake mustache.  Oprah flew in from Chicago and entered through the front door by Dave's marquee.  Oprah was not the secret, so she did not have to be disguised.   (A bit of history here..  Jay had appeared on Dave's old "Late Night" show on NBC as almost a semi-regular guest doing his comedy bits.. they were good friends until the 1992 debacle where Dave wanted the "Tonight Show" and Jay was the one who actually landed the gig.) 

Add to that 18 year old feud, the latest problems in putting Jay back ON the Tonight Show starting up again March 1st, and that's the bad chemistry that's got everyone talking about what a great "commercial" this was.  The short 15 second promo was all Dave's idea, and both Les Moonves and Jeff Zucker, the top dogs at CBS and NBC, "got it.." and agreed to send Leno over to film the promo along with Oprah.

Shooting this last Tuesday evening with Oprah in the middle of their couch, pretending to be watching the game, took a little less than a half-hour and not much film.  Jay put his coat, glasses and fake beard BACK ON.. and quietly scampered away from Dave's world to go back to Hollywood.  Jay taped his ill-fated 9:00 show last night and tonight, and that's it.  His prime-time show will end Tuedsay, two days ahead of its planned cancellation, and not through Thursday as was first scheduled.  Then Jay can take a few weeks off before he reappears as himself on the show he's hosted for 18 years (well, not counting that seven month break for a guy named Conan..)

Melissa quoted one of the Kansas City meterologists who said the only thing that would have made this better, was "Conan O'Brien coming in, delivering a pizza!"   HAHA.. would that have been super, or what??

Please let me know your reaction to the Letterman/Leno/Oprah party skit, and if you thought that it was actually better than the commercials!

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