The Post-Op Dave

Five weeks and a quintuple heart bypass later, a gaunt but lively David Letterman returned to the “Late Show” last night and received a standing ovation. But, except for a brief emotional moment when the talk show host introduced his doctors and acknowledged that the Jan. 14 operation they performed had saved his life, it was not a night for sentiment. Jerry Seinfeld interrupted the monologue and said to Dave, “I thought you were dead.” Replied Letterman: “I’m on CBS. I ain’t dead.” Later, Robin Williams took to the stage, wearing doctor’s scrubs and carrying a cooler marked “Human Organs” (which he said contained “Michael Jackson’s old nose, some sperm from David Crosby and one of Cher’s ribs”). “After what I’ve been through,” said Letterman, who didn’t make good on his promise to show his scar, “I’m just happy to be wearing clothes that open in the front.” He also admitted that he was only joking prior to the operation when he said on the air to Regis Philbin (who returned as a guest last night) that his cholesterol was 680. In truth, it was 170. But, said Letterman, right before surgery “my career flashed before my eyes. I’m telling you something. It was mostly awkward silences.”

  • As Letterman continues to recuperate by only working part-time, Bill Cosby will host tonight’s show. Still, Dave expects to work on Wednesday (with Julia Roberts as his guest) and Friday. Thursday, Kathie Lee Gifford will sit in his seat.
Related Articles