News 4’s close encounters with David Letterman from the 90’s

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BUFFALO, NY (WIVB) – After 33 years we say goodbye to Late Show host David Letterman and News 4 is remembering some close encounters with the late night legend.

News 4’s Jacquie Walker’s lasting memories of Dave come from the 1990’s. She interviewed him three times for News 4.  The first was by satellite in 1993 as he was moving his show to CBS. Her second encounter was three years later as he was promoting a CBS primetime special.  Two months later in April of 1996, she met Dave in person as Late Show was about to debut a new set.

While waiting for their brief encounter, Walker and Videographer Rich Ersing spent hours waiting outside the Ed Sullivan Theatre. They interviewed Rupert Jee at the Hello Deli, various tourists, and even a man from St. Catharines dressed in a hot dog suit who was pacing the sidewalk.

During their eight minute interview, Walker learned that Dave had visited Buffalo years earlier with his uncle. “Is Buffalo anywhere near North Tonawanda?” he asked.

She also learned that Dave expects his guests to come prepared to be engaged and entertaining. “If I can see that look in their eyes which says to me, I’m in Buffalo now.  That’s fine, go to Buffalo.  There’s nothing wrong with that. But don’t be here is you’re really in Buffalo,” he said.VIDEOS | See Letterman’s appearances on News 4 over the years. 

Jacquie also told Dave that his ratings put him number one in late night in Buffalo and she asked him if he had a message for the people of Buffalo.

“Keep up the good work.  Thank you very much, I have to commend you on your great powers of discernment, being an intelligent viewing audience, being the kind of people that I like, the kind of people that are the backbone of this great land of ours and don’t ever forget it, don’t ever change. God bless you, Buffalo.”

Each of Jacquie’s encounters with Dave ended the same way.  She asked him if he would bring his show to tape in Buffalo.  Each time he thanked her for the suggestion, but, of course, he never made the trip.

“I’m afraid we’re going in alphabetical order, It could be years before we get to Buffalo,” Dave said. “Hey,” Jacquie said, “we’re in the B’s, Dave. We’re in the B’s and we have one of the wonders of the world in our own backyard, Niagara Falls.” “All right,’ he quipped, “Let me call Albuquerque and I’ll let you know.”

David Letterman retires as Late Show host on Wednesday, May 20, 2015.

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