Emmy Award–winning writer Merrill Markoe has authored books of humorous essays and the novels Nose Down, Eyes Up; Walking in Circles Before Lying Down; and It’s My F---ing Birthday and co-authored (with Andy Prieboy) the novel The Psycho Ex Game. She was the original head writer and co-creator of the iconic, groundbreaking early years of Late Night With David Letterman.
From her Q & A with Scott Timberg at Salon:
When [Late Night With David Letterman] started in 1982, Letterman himself was not terribly well known and the late night slot guaranteed neither viewers nor cultural centrality. It may’ve felt like being part of a cool but obscure rock band. Was it clear that the show was going to survive or did it feel rickety and quixotic at first?The Page 69 Test: Nose Down, Eyes Up.
In 1980 we created the DNA for the 1982 show when we did “The David Letterman Show,” a live daily morning show on NBC. If possible, that show was even crazier than the ’82 version of the show you mention. Because it was canceled after a few months, the experience was very traumatic and long-lasting for its host. From that point on, he was extremely anxiety-ridden about being canceled again. And so, for the years that I worked with him on the night show, he mentioned our imminent demise pretty much every day.
I couldn’t argue the point. I had no way of knowing if we were going to be canceled again or not. As a result the show felt constantly unstable to me. The host was insisting that we were on the verge of cancellation. For all I knew, he was right.
And by the way, it’s not too surprising that the morning show was canceled since it offered absolutely none of...[read on]
My Book, The Movie: Merrill Markoe's talking dog script/novel.
Coffee with a Canine: Merrill Markoe & Jimmy, Ginger, Puppyboy, and Hedda.