Click the play button to view Jay's talk show reel...
As a kid I always marveled at late night talk shows, and some daytime ones, but mostly the comics or actors we would see in their seemingly "natural" states chatting with Carson, Cavet et. al. Don Rickles always amazed me and the "unscheduled" guests who were shooting a show up the hall and just happened to drop in...I remember one night in particular when Steve Martin was filling in on The Tonight Show and he brought on Bill Murray or someone of that ilk and they discussed who their roommates had been when they were starting out. All of the former roomies had gone on to comedy stardom but those stories and the stories of anyone from the time I was ten to adulthood before I was invited on these shows, about their beginnings, always gave me hope that one day the world would hear my funny stories and clap when I came through that red curtain.
I had to learn how to be a guest. Don't start with attack humor right away. And realize that the pre-interview by some producer kid would be regurgitated back to a writing staff and the host and they would be ready for you with their own ammo. My good friend Rodney Lee Conover, who was hired by the LA radio station I was at in the 90's, would listen to what I had in mind as a panel story for whatever show I was booked on and either recommend I not go in a particular direction or add to my seed of an idea or tell me what I had come up with was golden. That input was invaluable. Because after the first couple of talk shows I realized that the guests that had prepared before hand had a leg up on not looking like a jerk. But , in the end, I'd have to walk out there with the lights in my eyes and the presence of Letterman, Leno, Regis, Maher, Kimmel, and any number of news and chat show hosts from The Today Show to Good Morning Houston, and perform, while making look as comfortable and real as the couch sitters of the the TV talk shows of my youth.
People always wonder what the host whispers to the guests into or out of the breaks, usually it's "nice job", "how's the family", one local morning show shoots told me that whenever someone came on to discuss a disease he would go home thinking he had the symptoms, but David Letterman always shocked me. He would turn deadly serious and say something about how shitty his life was, or he wishes he could quit. I have always wondered if he said that kind of off putting information to everyone. One night I had just had a great eight mins. (the average segment time) when Dave leaned over to me as the band played and said of the audience, "They hate me tonight! I can't get anything going." I said, " Well the seem to be lovin' my shit so don't fuck it up for me." I thought that was a great response to a obviously paranoid and untrue statement by this great talk show host didn't laugh. He just stared at me with dead eyes as the lights came back up and hilarity ensued.
What I will put up on this site you can find on YouTube but I wanted to catalog the ones I remember best. They are mostly The Late Show because Dave seems to get me and relax when I sit down but there are others of note that I will find. And since I think stinking up the place as a talent is funny to watch also, I will over time include the clunkers. All the best.