Tags: The Hard Line | steve mazan | david letterman | dying to do letterman | late show

Comic on Departing David Letterman: 'He Really Went at It'

By    |   Thursday, 21 May 2015 09:32 PM

The stand-up comedian who stars in a 2011 documentary called "Dying to Do Letterman" did not, in fact, meet his maker in order to get face time on his favorite late-night talk show, but as he told Newsmax TV on Thursday, he didn't know whether he would live to see the day.

Five years into a life-threatening battle with cancer, Steve Mazan did achieve his dream and deliver his act on the "Late Show with David Letterman" in September 2009 — an appearance he discussed with with "MidPoint" guest host Ric Blackwell as he also reflected on Letterman's retirement after 33 years.

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"I was obsessed with the show since Letterman came on in '82," said Mazan, who co-produced the award-winning documentary, which is now streaming free on Hulu.

Letterman, who ended his career as host with a final broadcast  on Wednesday, did a lot of reminiscing in the show's last weeks — in his monologue, with favorite guests, and through montages of stunts, sketches, and bits spanning decades of laugh-getting television.

Watching the highlight reels, Mazan was flooded with memories and also felt a measure of pride.

"It was great to see them all," he said, adding, "I actually really thought about it and was like, 'Wow, you're part of this history.'"

Mazan has also outlived an initial diagnosis, which he received in 2004 at age 35, that he might be dead of cancer within five years. "Dying to See Letterman" documents his quest to stay healthy long enough, and get good enough at his craft, to fulfill his wish to perform on the "Late Show."

"That's the pinnacle of a comedian's career, to be on Letterman," he said. He said the actual experience was a blur.

"You could imagine the nerves," he said.

It was after he finished his routine, and the audience was applauding and Letterman — who Mazan had not met before the show — walked over to greet him, that he says the excitement hit.

"If you see the standup I performed on the show, you could tell how giddy I get when I'm done," said Mazan. "You think I should be giddy when I walk out, but it's actually when I'm done because I realize I'm going to meet him.

"He was very complimentary and amazing," he said of the host. "As we went to break, he said a few more kind words and he actually gave me one of the cue cards that I have hanging in my home."

Mazan said that's what set Letterman and the "Late Show" apart was an offbeat originality that, in turn, inspired many of the late-night funnymen who came afterward.

"He was doing all this stuff we had never seen on late night … like going out on the street, the crazy stunts, and doing different stuff with celebrities instead of just sitting in chairs with them," he said.

"What made Dave better? He really went at it."

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The stand-up comedian who stars in a 2011 documentary called "Dying to Do Letterman" did not, in fact, meet his maker in order to get face time on his favorite late-night talk show.
steve mazan, david letterman, dying to do letterman, late show
Thursday, 21 May 2015 09:32 PM
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