Remember When David Letterman Read Names From Bangor On His Show?
I actually remember this very well. I had just turned 14 years old, and the previous Christmas, we got a VCR. Being wildly enamored with the technology, I became keenly aware that you could program the thing to tape shows while I was asleep. At the time, my mom used to make me be in bed by 9:30 or 10:00, so this was key.
I also thought I was being pretty adult-ish, by wanting to tape David Letterman every, because back then night, to watch the next afternoon after school. Sure, my homework probably should've been what I was working on, but more often than not, I'd watch the recorded Letterman and hit the drums instead of the books. I'm sure that's obvious now, haha.
But anyway, one day I'm watching and he starts talking about Bangor, Maine. Naturally I got kind of excited because back then, Bangor was rarely ever mentioned on any kind of national level. He went on to describe that nobody in Bangor watched the show. The Neilson Ratings indicated that Bangor was his lowest rated market. So, in an effort to coax watchers from Bangor to his show, he started reading names out of the Bangor phone book.
Of course, in some ways it was a disaster. He pronounced Bangor wrong, of course most folks from away always do. And he also pronounced a lot of the names wrong too. especially the name Doughty. He said it more like "dotty" than "dowdy" like most Mainers would. So it was rife with it's own lovable failures.
Although, I remember at the time, it caused quite a buzz on the local news. Everyone was talking about how this yahoo on TV was reading our names out of the phone book. Whether it led to more viewers long-term is hard to judge. but I know it certainly blew him up on a local level for at least a minute.
Of course, now Dave has long since retired, and probably pretty much forgotten about Bangor, Maine along the way. But, thanks to YouTube, we can re-live the moments over and over again. Check it out:
It was certainly the good old days in my opinion. His show was never the same a few years later when he switched to CBS. But I'll always fondly remember my afternoons as a teenager, watching old Dave read our names from a phone book. Better than our profile pics from Facebook though, right?