A call from the David Letterman show doesn’t mean tickets: Be prepared

When the David Letterman show called me on my cell phone yesterday evening, I was in a shuttle van after attending a party at Gordon Gee’s house. Gee, the president of The Ohio State University was hosting a lovely gathering for Fred Anderle, a local public radio talk show personality who has just retired.

When the phone rang, I was intent on making it to the national touring company’s production of A Chorus Line at the Ohio Theatre, not at all ready for a call from the engaging fellow who called to tell me that I had a chance for those tickets I so wanted.

I had a chance for tickets until I blew it. Here’s what happened. Hopefully, you will not find yourself disappointed and left empty handed as I am.

Engaging fellow: “Are you Jamie Rhein?”

Me: “Why, yes.” (No one calls me on my cell phone except a couple of people. This wasn’t one of those people.)

E.F.: “This is the David Letterman show. You put in for tickets for next Monday or Tuesday.”

M: “That’s right. Any chance for Wednesday, though?”

E.F: “You can’t come Monday or Tuesday?”

M: “I won’t arrive by bus (I love Greyhound) until Wednesday morning.” (My plans have changed since I put in for those tickets.

E.F: “Maybe. First you have to answer a trivia question.”

And there was the problem. Even though I do watch Letterman, I didn’t know the answer to the trivia question. It involved knowing one of the jobs of a staff person that the engaging fellow mentioned. I can’t even remember the name of the staff person he said. See what I’m up against? I know it wasn’t the guy who holds the cue cards, or the big guy who comes out on stage and says he is other people.

Even though you’re only supposed to give one answer, I called out a few just in case. The engaging fellow told me that I might be able to get tickets the day of the show if I come to the studio between 9 and 12 a.m. The tickets are not a guarantee, but I know a friend of mine who snagged tickets this way last year.

As a note, if you come before 9 you’re disqualified. Here are more details for what you need to know about getting tickets. Standby tickets are also an option. From what I can tell, there’s none of the hiring someone to wait in line for you that happens at the Delacorte Theater for Shakespeare in the Park.

Before we hung up, I did try to prove that I am indeed a Letterman fan by mentioning the mug I have from Rupert Jee’s Hello Deli, an actual place located downstairs in the CBS building where I also bought Explod-O-Pop Popcorn, AND that I’ve been to Choteau, Montana where Letterman got married AND that I have written about it along with other Letterman related travel bits. The engaging fellow said he would try to pass the information on to Letterman. I’m not holding my breath.

Here’s an unusual connection, however. Yesterday I was talking with someone who looks A LOT like David Letterman. He said he ran into Biff Henderson outside the Hello Deli once and Biff Henderson even commented on how much the man looks like David Letterman.

I’ll try again for those tickets. This is the second time I got a call. The first time was last year and I couldn’t go. I wasn’t home when the call came. Third time’s a charm, right? There is always heading down to the studio to try my luck. I can’t do a stupid Human Trick, and our dog will only sit when we say “sit” so being part of the show’s entertainment is out.

In case you want to try for tickets the way I did, put in for them on Letterman’s website. I think I filled out the form a couple months ago. You can put in for three dates in a row. If I knew the answer to the question, I probably would have been able to get a ticket for that Wednesday, but maybe not.

At least I have A Chorus Line songs running through my head to heal my disappointment. “Kiss today goodbye, and point me towards tomorrow…”