If you ever wondered what comedian Todd Barry was like as a teen, here's your chance to find out.
Barry recently shared the below clip, featuring two on-air phone calls with David Letterman—one from 1982 and another from 1984. He was just a teenager at the time, and had written into Letterman's show from Tamarac, Florida. This was his first note:
Here's the situation: I do an unbelievable impression of Paul Schaeffer [sic]. Here are your options: A. fly me to New York, pay for everything and I'll do the impression on your show, or B. call me and I'll do it over the phone. So go ahead Dave, pick either A or B, either way I'm sure it will turn out to be a real nifty gig. Your Pal and Idol, Todd "Razz" Barry
When Letterman calls Barry, he doesn't notice a ring, and asks, "Did it ring there?" The 18-year-old Barry doesn't miss a beat, telling him, "Yeah that's the way that thing works."
This morning, we asked Barry about his early "appearances" on the show:
"The impression was just an angle to get me on the show. That clip is pretty much the only time I did it for an audience.
A production person called to set it up. It was actually supposed to be on the week before then they called to say it was getting bumped. I was really disappointed, and my parents took me to TGI Fridays to cheer me up (maybe we were going there anyway). But they called back the next week and said it was airing."
Barry tells us he "started doing comedy down there [in Florida] in 1987, then moved to New York in 1989." He never really discussed the calls with Letterman, even after getting invited to the NBC studios—"There was one time where they sat me down with him for a minute. I made a weak attempt at telling him about it, but there wasn’t really enough time to tell the story. I may have told the producers before one of my appearances. By the time I did Letterman as a comic, he had moved to CBS. Not sure they could’ve showed a clip from the NBC show. Maybe I should’ve tried harder!"