It was a rare instance of comedic cooperation between two rival late-night shows when David Letterman participated in a comedy bit seen on Monday night’s “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon” on NBC.
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At the center of this intersection of competing comedians: Steve Martin. The bit — which we urge you to watch, below — involved Martin taking an extra-long route to the “Late Night” stage after Fallon introduced him on Monday’s show.
Martin was then seen taking his sweet time as he ambled down the corridors backstage at 30 Rockefeller Plaza, then exited the building and entered a door down the street that appeared to take him inside Letterman’s “Late Show” studio, where Dave feigned surprise at seeing Martin.
Realizing he’d entered the wrong studio, Martin left and eventually made his way to the “Fallon” show. Dave was even seen a second time during the bit in which he faced a camera and addressed Fallon directly.
Of course, Martin’s “entrance” into Letterman’s studio was a video trick. The door Martin entered was just a side door at Rockefeller Center, not an entrance to the Ed Sullivan Theater. For the record, 30 Rock — where Fallon’s studio is located — occupies a block bounded by 49th and 50 streets, between Fifth and Sixth avenues in New York. Letterman’s theater is west of that location by several blocks — on Broadway between 54th and 55th streets.
For the bit to work, Letterman apparently agreed to tape his portion with Martin in his own studio. Martin appeared on the “Letterman” show just last week — playing banjo in a performance with Edie Brickell, with whom he has collaborated on a new CD. The two also played on “Fallon” Monday night.