Earlier this month, Eddie Brill performed stand-up on The Late Show with David Letterman. If you're an aspiring comedian who wants to get your own spot on Letterman, you might want to take extra notice of this because Brill also books the comedians for the show.
Which is one of a couple of complications for Brill. If he's booking himself, that's one less spot for everybody else. Also, Brill serves as the daily warm-up comic for Letterman's studio audience. If you've ever been to a comedy club where you later see the doorman or the ticket-taker onstage, it's that disconnect, multiplied by the factor of network television. Brill told me that of the nine times he has done Letterman (he has worked on the show for more than 12 years), he's dealt with the audience in a variety of ways beforehand — from not mentioning he'd also be introduced by Letterman during the show (awkward surprise!), to not doing the warm-up (regular surprise!), to what he did this most recent time, which was to get any awkwardness out of the way during the warm-up. He told me Letterman was interested to hear his latest stand-up set and gave him kudos afterward. Let's roll the clip so you can see him in action:
You might take some solace in knowing that just like many of you comics out there, Brill told me he second-guessed a couple of things he said and how he worded things, knowing that he'd already have a better take on it for the next headlining set when he's on the road. I gave him a bit of his own medicine, too, by exchanging a couple of notes I would have had for him had I been Eddie Brill counseling him on his Letterman set. If you guessed that one of them had to do with cutting out part of the bit on Noah and the Ark, then you win the imaginary prize of your choice. Now. Everybody back to work.