He plays it for laughs all the way through, a fact some TV critics find “creepy” but which was really the only way he could have played it. Remember, this bit followed the opening monologue. How much more bizarre would it have been to segue from that to some harrowing retelling of a multimillion-dollar extortion plot? Besides, the humor’s a way of connecting with the public on a human level, which may be important depending upon just how terrible the details of those “terrible things” he did turn out to be.
I still don’t understand why he felt compelled to talk about this, especially at such length and especially if his misdeeds are nothing worse than having cheated on his wife with staffers. Not that that’s okay, but if every celebrity affair warranted a public confession they’d have to set up a new cable channel to broadcast them all. In fact, according to TMZ, his relationship with the staffer in question ended six years ago, before he married his then-girlfriend and she gave birth to their son. Is that really the makings of a $2 million extortion attempt? What else was in the package Dave received? See why piquing the public’s curiosity was such a bad idea?
Whatever other stuff’s going to come out, presumably it can’t be so terrible that Letterman will come to regret using a light touch in talking about it. Exit question: How excited do you think CBS is to have to cover a story about one of its employees blackmailing another of its employees over an affair with yet another of its employees?