Way Past My Bedtime

I have written about my sleep issues before, but I haven’t fully explained I have always been a night owl.

This has never been a convenient trait, and it drove my parents crazy. They would put me to bed and we all knew this was a silly game we were playing, that I was not going to sleep.

Whatever I did, I couldn’t make much noise and I couldn’t use much light or they would notice and yell at me to go to sleep. I would usually read with a flashlight or strain to see the words by the light from the hallway. When I heard my parents coming upstairs for bed after local news and Carson’s monologue, I’d quickly close the book and pretend to be asleep.

Then at 12:30am, I would quietly switch on my tiny 5 inch black and white TV and tune in Late Night with David Letterman. All I had to eliminate the sound was a cheap plastic earphone, yes, earphone in the singular. As often as I could get away with, I would huddle up in my bed and watch Letterman, which I could only hear through one ear, and try to stifle my laughter. I was nine. I was so sleep deprived at school, it’s a miracle I passed fourth grade. Luckily for my academic career, we got a VCR when I was in fifth grade.

I loved Dave’s quirky and irreverent sense of humor. He did silly things. He made fun of his employers mercilessly. He didn’t pander to his famous guests. He would often run a joke into the ground, yet somehow it would continue to be funny in spite of, or perhaps because of, the repetition.

When I started high school, I guessed my homeroom teacher was a Letterman fan before we ever talked about it. The first day, he had us go around the room and introduce ourselves and say something we enjoyed doing. I can’t remember what I said, but so many of the other girls said they liked to ski it started to become almost creepy. He started joking about this and would not let it go. At one point, he broke in and called out for a show of hands: “OK, who skies?” Some of the others groaned, but I just laughed. He was funny, like Dave.

I still have some of my favorite episodes of Late Night on tape in my basement. There was the crazy suit series, like when Dave dressed up in a suit of magnets and attached himself to a giant (GE!) refrigerator, the episode where Dave got Sonny and Cher to sing “I Got You Babe,” and my personal favorite segment ever, when Dave tried to take a fruit basket to General Electric as a gesture of goodwill after they bought NBC and basically got told to talk to the hand.

Letterman – GE Handshake

When GE bought NBC, Letterman went to welcome his new coworkers with a fruit basket. Laughter ensues!

This very blog owes its title to David Letterman. Dave would try to start new catch phrases (“I can’t stand the itching, but I don’t mind the swelling.”), and he introduced me to the word logy.  Logy refers to feeling sluggish and Dave would often say he felt a little logy. Perhaps because watching his show made me so sleep deprived, the concept of logyness resonated with me. It became one of my signature words.


This post is in response to a prompt from The Red Dress Club. This week, the prompt was “to think about a TV show from your past. What feelings does the show evoke? What memories does it trigger?”

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11 Responses to “Way Past My Bedtime”

  1. Abby
    Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at 7:19 am #

    I love how you explained your blog title, as I had no idea! Even though these shows are on way past my bedtime, I was always for Dave over Jay.

    But why are the No. 2 and 3 things always better than the No.1 item on the Top 10 Lists? That always bugged me…

    • logyexpress
      Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at 4:47 pm #

      Thanks! I owe it all to Dave! Ironically, I don’t watch much anymore even though he’s on an hour earlier now. I think it was funnier at 12:30. It’s still a dream of mine to see the show taped in NYC though.

      I never really understood why the #1 in the Top 10 Lists weren’t as funny either. But when I’ve written them myself, I stuck to that formula. Maybe they don’t want the audience laughing too hard when it’s time to start the next segment?

  2. Anastasia
    Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at 9:09 am #

    I stayed up to read, but did the same thing, hiding it from my parents.

  3. Katie
    Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at 7:59 pm #

    I used to be a huge Letterman fan myself…and I can totally remember trying to trick my parents into thinking I was sleeping when I was actually watching TV or reading. I wish I could be a night owl like that now. It’s a miracle if I stay up past ten these days…hence the “used to be a huge Letterman fan.” :( Maybe Dave and I will meet again someday.

    Great post!

    • logyexpress
      Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at 8:06 pm #

      Thanks! I hardly ever watch anymore but I’m still a night owl. I wish I could make myself go to bed earlier!

  4. juliemooreonlife
    Tuesday, July 5, 2011 at 8:34 pm #

    I’m a night owl now but don’t watch Letterman however after reading your post I may tune in for laugh or two. How did you make it through 4th grade?

  5. Galit Breen
    Wednesday, July 6, 2011 at 4:22 pm #

    I loved Dave, too- although maybe not at 9? I adore how you wove this from late nights to TV to school days to today-Perfect.

    • Robert Hall
      Thursday, July 28, 2011 at 3:27 pm #

      I feel honored being mentioned in the post (since I am said homeroom teacher). I clicked on the Sonny & Cher link and loved seeing that performance once again. Did I give you a VHS with that on it? I know we talked about a lot of things during your VMA years, but I bet there was more that dealt with Letterman than anything else (maybe even French). I haven’t see his show much since around the mid 90’s. I have become more of a morning person than I ever thought possible. During the school year I’m usually up between 3:00 and 4:00 (3:00 on days where I go to the gym before school), in my classroom by 5:30.

      • logyexpress
        Saturday, July 30, 2011 at 11:59 am #

        I don’t watch Letterman much anymore either. But I’m still not a morning person! 3AM??? Sometimes I am up at that hour…because I haven’t gone to bed yet!

        I’m so glad you were my homeroom teacher freshman year. My older brother had just gone away to grad school and my parents were just about to divorce (which was a good thing, but still stressful), and chatting with you about Letterman and French, etc… cheered me up. I probably never thanked you, so thanks!

        And yes, you gave me a VHS tape with a bunch of great Letterman clips, including the Sonny and Cher bit.


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