The Fugitive Guy! The Regulator Guy! The Guy Under the Seats! A look at Chris Elliot’s tremendous contribution to Late Night with David Letterman.
Uncorrected transcript below.
From the basement where I’ll be watching you, making your life a living hell it’s daily comedy news. Saturdays in January, I’m taking a look at late night with David Letterman, which debuted February 1st, 1982. It’s the 40th anniversary of one of my favorite things ever vulture. Chris Elliott was an important part of David Letterman’s late night, ever since it began while working as an NBC page, Chris Elliott met and impressed David Letterman, who hired him onto the show as part of the original writing staff.
Elliot soon became a beloved part of the show, often playing himself or a bunch of recurring characters. Like the guy under the seats, Marv Albert talk show host Chris Elliot, Jr. And Marlon Brando.
Perse Elliott is the son of popular radio on stage star Bob Elliot’s growing up. Chris Elliott was often in the wings during Bob and Ray’s performances and let their comedy wash over him in waves.
The LA times says for seeking college after high school, Chris Elliot took a job as an NBC tour guide at Rockefeller center with the dream of becoming a Saturday night live. One day, he recognized the ven unemployed, David Letterman, who had just lost his NBC morning show. Letterman was taking the tour with his mother.
Chris Elliott said, I felt sorry for him. So I charged him the kitty fair.
Chris Elliott was hired for late night as a runner for $200 a week. Chris said, I remember I impressed Dave the first week.
He had tried on his morning show to get 100% cotton t-shirts. And for some reason, the runner on the morning show couldn’t find them a hundred percent cotton. They kept bringing him blends. Dave was very disappointed. I made one call and worked out a deal to get all cotton shirts and from then on every time I’d run into him in the hall, he’d say, there’s my buddy. There’s the guy who got my shirts
during the first week of late night, Chris Elliott was asked to model some urban protective gear, which was actually a head-to-toe garbage suit covering his face.
But because of a bad network feed, most of the east coast didn’t see Elliot. So Letterman brought him out the next night, this time with his face showing Chris remembers, Dave asked what the audience, the night before thought on my performance. And I tell him, they said it was the funniest thing they’d seen in north America that got a laugh.
And Dave laughed. Then I was on my way. Elliot’s dead pan delivery. It led to more walk on parts, ultimately to regular characters, such as the guy that are the seeds who made his home beneath the late night bleachers. And occasionally popped his head up through the trap door.
Chris said at that point I had to start considering myself a performer and get an agent. There was pressure because the audience began, expect funny things for me. I look back in those old days of training press Dave is more fun. It was kind of neat to hear people say, oh, that was really funny. And then go back up and type a music clearance sheet or something.
Medial. I had no idea. Chris Elliott was doing all that other stuff.
The Washington post tells a story from 1987, a late night viewer wrote in to complain about fuzzy reception and asked if it was conspiracy chris Lee and some of the other writers were certain that it was the Chris Elliot wandered onto the show. Muttering about a conspiracy.
Two of the other writers came out in big black loves to drag them off stage.
The conspiracy guy was. Soon that began the panicky guy who jumped up and started screaming. Whenever Letterman said anything, vaguely scary. The guy under the seeds who popped up with benign requests and then turned violent, threatening, to make Letterman’s life, a living hell and two TV series stores.
The fugitive guy who claimed to have won a special effects Emmy for best hair. And he heavily promoted, but never seen the regulator guy. Chris Elliott said to me, it was all one shoe. The initial idea was just making fun of running characters. Cause I was doing nothing, but we were goofing the audience to go crazy.
Every time I did it,
one of the writers said the audience learned to laugh like lab rats. They laugh without quite knowing why. But a lot of times we didn’t know why this stuff was funny either. After the appearance of each guy, Chris Elliott plopped down in the guest seat and became the Chris Elliott character, an arrogant performer armed with clips from his latest work.
It was just sort of funny. I was coming out and obviously just desperately trying to get on television, doing nothing. And now what’s weird is I’ve actually become this running character on the show.
the website. Eddie on film rights late night would not have been the same without Chris Elliott. The key to the success of late night would save a Letterman. Wasn’t just Letterman, but the crack writing staff, he assembled a cheered has bent sense of humor.
One of those writers proved to be a breakout star of a zone. His name was Chris Elliott. He was 31 years old when late nights debuted. And as far as late night fans were concerned, Elliot was quite literally the guy, the panicky guy to conspiracy guy, the guy under the seats that laid back guy, the featured of guy on the regular guy.
The joke about the regulator guy and the regular guy was a Terminator to like a spoof that was supposed to be Chris Elliott’s new series. The joke was that it never aired. Every time Chris showed up to show a clipper premiere in episode, something would interrupt.
but I think the peak, there was the fugitive guy. Here’s a recap of the fugitive guy episodes that debuted at June 19th, 1985. Dave introduces Roger Campbell played by Chris Elliott and the fugitive. Yeah. Episode is a music. Sue is the Savage killer episode two a week later queue for murder, July 10th, no title for episode three.
Roger Campbell is the new guy on Dave’s maintenance crew. Number four, lights, camera murder. Roger Campbell plays the new cameraman on late night with David Letterman. It was the same thing over and over Letterman would start talking to Roger Campbell, who would just like give quick answers to like get out of the spotlight.
And Dave would keep asking him questions and then it would turn it into an episode of the fugitive. August 20th, 1985, hold me, kiss me. September 17th, eeny, meeny, miny murder. Roger Campbell played a makeup man. October 2nd, Jack, be nimble Jack, be dead. October 17th, the fugitive guy under the seats, a pinch of salt, the dance of death.
Roger Campbell is drunk and that one, November 7th titled to be determined. Roger Campbell plays a pantomime, a mom and Sean. And the final fugitive guy, November 21st, 1985, boy, that bit only ran five months. I feel like they did that for years. Murder go round. Chris Elliot invites Dave to a beach amusement park tangles with a ranger.
Chris Spotz the one-armed man bull chase after him, the one man slips onto the beach and disappear. On January 9th, 1986, a fan asked in viewer mail, why the fugitive guy had been canceled. Dave explained to the answer could be found in a videotape of a party around Christmas where granted tinker grant tinker the name of the actual boss at NBC.
This the character grant tinker complimented Chris Elliot on the show. Chris proceeded to bludgeoned Grant’s death. Dave suggested that might not have been a good idea. April 30th, 1987. Chris promoted the return of the fugitive. But nothing ever came of it late night with David Letterman turns 40 on February 1st.