Intern applications at an all-time high.
ATE NIGHT talk show host David Letterman is reportedly firing up several hot new affairs in the shadow of NBC's vicious contractual wars featuring Jay Leno and Conan O'Brien.
"I'm screwing around again!" said a gleeful and relaxed Letterman on the air. "And no one gives a damn!"
Mr. Letterman's audiences are thoroughly enjoying the promiscuous comic's monologues, which are repeated on YouTube to low ratings, allowing Letterman, as he says, "to mess around to my heart's content and tell tasteless jokes about it without getting into the slightest bit of trouble. If I knew this was going to happen, I would've put the whole intern business on ice until now."
A writer for Mr. Letterman said the NBC tempest and Letterman's flings are making Late Show monologues "practically write themselves," so that he and the rest of the writing staff have also been "busy messing around with the time left over. It's basically just one big orgy over here at CBS, not that anyone cares."
Taking their cue from Letterman, other CBS concerns are also going naughty while the going's good. Aside from Charlie Sheen, who couldn't top himself if he tried, normally nose-to-the-grindstone professionals such as Julia Louis-Dreyfus are reportedly working with their production teams "to find ways to screw up while no one's looking." Ideas floated include drinking cheap liquor out of paper cups, leaving all the swear words "right in the script" during read-throughs, and switching the signs on the restrooms. "We're not worried," claimed an assistant to Ms. Dreyfus. "By the time Conan stays or leaves NBC, it'll all be old news. We can be just as bad as Letterman, you'll see."
Even CBS News anchor, squeaky-clean Katie Couric, has jumped on the transgression train, getting, as one CBS insider said, "mighty friendly in her dressing room with one Anderson Cooper."
CNN's studly correspondent could not be reached for comment, but a CNN staffer said that the all-news station "expects to see Wolf Blitzer and Candy Crowley put on their own bad selves while the NBC mess is distracting everyone."
Ms. Couric is also suspected of being the naughty person who doctored the late Walter Cronkite's CBS News introduction, changing it to, "This is the ABC Evening News with Harry Reasoner, who is dead like me."
"No harm done," said a CBS staffer. "Even without the NBC diversion, no one watches Katie's newscast anyway."
© 1.21.10 Kate Heidel