The “Today Show” side of a legendary 1986 Letterman prank

It took almost 30 years (yipes!), but at long last, here is the legendary Letterman prank of August 19, 1986 – from the perspective of the live Today Show broadcast, which was interrupted in the background by Dave on a bullhorn from his offices high above Rockefeller Plaza! Down below, a special evening edition of the Today Show, “Today at Night”, was taping, and Dave shouted out some random taunts. (He was peeved that the ad for the Today Show event was much larger than that for his own anniversary special.) All audio is from the Today Show broadcast, but I’ve overlaid the image of Dave’s show – which taped at the same time, but aired that night – so it overlaps exactly in real time, showing his camera’s perspective on the proceedings. Wow, I can’t believe I finally get to do this! 8^) If you read along with the titles I added of what Dave was saying, you’ll find that a surprising amount of it is quite understandable. A few phrases definitely stand out clearly. Laughter is even audible – the crowd must have been reacting to Dave’s interruptions. Watch for both hosts looking over their shoulders to try and figure out what’s going on! I was so delighted back in ’86 to realize I had not only Dave’s prank on tape, but the Today Show as well – I must have taped it earlier in the evening. It was a one-of-a-kind comedy moment. However, when dubbing over my old tapes recently, I couldn’t find the Letterman footage – so, thanks so much to Daniel Savaria for posting it on YouTube. The end result of combining his footage with mine is a mash-up I couldn’t have imagined possible back in the day!

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