Dave announces the birth of his son

desk chat -- November 4, 2003

(compiled by David Yoder)

Daddy shows a picture of his brand new son, Harry Joseph Letterman, during the Nov. 4 Late Show. Regina Lasko delivered baby Harry late Monday. He's 9 lbs., 11 oz. and is 21 in. long. He's named for Dave's late father.

Tuesday, Nov. 4 Desk Chat

DL: Thank you very much. I was unable to be here on the television program last night and a couple of months ago I said to Paul, "if it comes to that, if there's like an emergency nature to this pregnancy, I would like you, if you don't mind, to fill in and host the show." You did another wonderful job. Thank you very much.

PS: Thank you. What an honor, though, to be asked. Thanks for asking. It was a privilege to be doing that under those circumstances, but what a nutty, uh, thing you do every night! I'm telling you...

DL: Well, what a nutty thing I did last night!

PS: Yeah, you did, you had some... you had a few laughs last night.

DL: I, uh, uh, I don't even know where to begin. And like I pointed out earlier, many people have had children...

PS: Yes.

DL: But, uh, so here's the way the day begins: We go to the hospital at like, a quarter of seven, and you think, "You know, we'll be havin' lunch and home by three." I thought maybe I could uh, even, you know, be here on the show. I was lookin' forward to it. I thought this would be lovely. And, so, get there at a quarter of seven. At 11:30 P.M., this is a quarter of seven A.M. And by the way, uh, ... labor... my God, what a biology lesson that is! Get there early, and sit down front if you can! Man! It just...You know where those babies come out?!

PS: I heard, yeah.

DL: It's... So, uh, I'm there with our good friend, Dr. Lou Aronne, a sweet man. He saved my life. He's been on the show many, many times before. And here's what Lou did. He provided... And how do women DO this? WHY do they do this?

PS: Why do they do this?

DL: I mean if somebody explained... if you had the choice of being a male and a female and they gave you all the pluses and minuses, and then they get to the part about being pregnant and giving birth, well, there'd be no women on this planet whatsoever! Everybody'd be checkin' the "male" box. By the way, check your mailbox, because there might be a check in it for ME!

PS: Uh oh.

DL: Because I got to doin' the math on this thing, and it's just geometrically... geometrically it's an impossibility. It just can't be done. It's like going faster than the speed of light. Fine, Einstein, it ain't gonna happen! But anyway, that's not why you called. So, I'm, I'm at the hospital there, with Regina and Lou Aronne, who shows up for all medical procedures (and I love him for it), and pretty soon I realize that Lou's got a stack of menus. It's about eleven o'clock in the morning, and, and, and Lou I think is there as my personal consultant.

PS: Yes.

DL: Well, no, Lou's there to order in food all day.

PS: Oh.

DL: So we had a lovely lunch and still no baby. About five o'clock in the afternoon, Lou comes in again like this, like he'd been Christmas shopping. And it's sushi. He's got carry out sushi. And about eight feet to my left is a woman, "Ahh, ahh," and Lou's got tekamaki. California roll! Want some wasabi on...? So, uh, as day turns into night, and still no baby, Lou's sayin' to me, "What about Chinese?" And I say, 'Lou, I'm not hungry. I've eaten more today than I have all weekend!' And he said.... he said, "Trust me. I know this from medical school. You'll be hungry later, and it takes a while to get the stuff up here. We'd better order now. So we ordered Chinese dinner. And it comes in around nine. And I say, "Excuse me, honey, Lou and I and the rest of the medical staff will be in the LOUNGE, you know if there's a thing... you've got the thing. If you need us, we'll be..." So we go over and we're eatin' Chinese food. OK, so I think that's the end of it. So finally I say, "OK, I gotta take a walk, so Lou takes me over to this place where they call it the postpartem room. Where you go after the event. But I'm thinkin', 'there ain't gonna be no event. We'll come back in another week. We'll be back Labor Day... coincidentally enough.' So we go over there, and there's this big tub of chocolate chip cookies! Lou says, "Would you like some cookies?" 'NO! I don't, I don't have room for the sushi!' Why would I want...? And, and, and, and, and, and PLUS, it's like now the birth of my child is like an afterthought. It's an asterisk. It's like "Eat Out New York" or something. A food-festing tasting festival. So uh, anyway, then, at 11:58, uh, uh, you've got yourself a baby, and ooooh, my God, uh, you know... just nothing... it just was crazy. And the thing that first struck me is I could never imagine being a part of something that turned out this beautiful. It was just overwhelming. And...

(applause, and Dave pokes his tummy)

DL: And of course today I'm sick as a dog from eatin' too much! And they weighed him. He's, uh... what is he? He's eleven pounds. No, no, I'm sorry. Wait a minute. He's 9 pounds, 11 ounces. He's 21 inches long, and when he cries, he looks like, uh, Edward G. Robinson.

PS: Oh. Well, that's very nice!

DL: And do you know what I named him? Do you have any idea?

PS: Tell 'em. You tell 'em.

DL: Saddam!

PS: Ahhhh!

DL: I know it's controversial. But what are you gonna do?

PS: laughs

DL: I can't say enough about poor Regina. I mean, it's like they hooked her up to a tractor and dragged her downtown and then dragged her back uptown, gave her a damp cloth and then dragged her back downtown, and then dragged her uptown again. And the staff... I want to thank Dr. Hudson, uh, Ada and everybody at New York Hospital. What an amazing, overwhelming experience. And here's the name of the boy. I named him after my father. My father... this is interesting perhaps only to me... my father passed away when he was 57. I'm 56 years old, and yesterday I had my first child. So I named him for my father. And his name is Harry Joseph Letterman.


DL: So God bless Dad, and God bless Harry.

Download an .mp3 (1.9 MB) of Dave's baby monologue.