Good evening. Or, as the Kaiser used to say when I’d stop by Amerongen for Bellinis: Gunter glieben glauten globen.
2015 has been bananas. In fact, as I suspect I’ve said previously—everything’s been so fuzzy—I’ve spent much of the last three months thinking I’ve gone crazy. I realize all of this misremembering on my part has given my loyal viewers pause. It’s important for me to regain your trust by admitting I made a mistake in recalling the events of 12 years ago. Maybe of nine years ago and four years ago and a few other time periods, too. Ba-NA-nas.
Either way, I’m here to reassure you: It’s going to be all right. I’ve started tattooing everything that happens to me on my remaining limbs like Leonard in Memento. Perhaps that seems excessive, but we can’t all be fucking Marilu Henner. I improvise! That’s why they wanted me to take over for Letterman.
I’ve used this hiatus to undergo intensive memory-retrieval therapy and clear the cobwebs. I wanted to just head out to the deserts of Fairfield like Erlich in Silicon Valley and see what bubbled up, but I FaceTimed Brokaw and he didn’t think that was such a good idea. (Note to self: Add “current,” “relevant,” “tech savvy” to LinkedIn profile.)
So this is just me (you know—me, Brian!), making direct eye contact with you like I did that Egyptian whip-wielder, coming clean from all the conflation.
And deflation. Because I’m the Patriots’ PSI perp. I also put the Wells report together. Speaking of which, Orson Welles just celebrated his 100th birthday. I managed him for a time, mainly when he was mired in the Transformers milieu. I take full credit, though, for being the one to say, “Do the frozen peas, Orson.” He wanted to do Daikon radishes!
I was supposed to be NBC’s “Weather Guy.” They tapped me way before Roker. Or maybe I’m thinking about that time I danced to the Weather Girls at my niece’s wedding. Or that time I watched Girls. Who knows anymore.
Did I mention Walken wasn’t NBC’s original choice for Captain Hook? Alison and I were in cahoots to get me in there; it was the perfect plan. Then Lorne Michaels shoehorned his way into the executive powwow and showed off old clips of “The Continental.”
I was supposed to replace Colbert on CBS, too. And cover the Kennedy assassination. Walter did OK on that one, I guess.
That earwax story I once told? IT DID NOT COME OUT OF MY EAR.
Dan. The Man. Rather. I owe you big time, buddy. Barthelme didn’t pull that “Kenneth, what is the frequency?” thing. It was me. Sorry. I also apologize for all of REM’s albums after Green, because I wrote and produced them all. It was my idea to do a clean version of “Fuck Me Kitten,” which I realize now was a terrible mistake. Who edits out Burroughs? I’ll tell you who: a terrible person.
Myself, I would have used Andy Rooney. Just met up with that old coot yesterday at The Plaza. It was harrowing. I had a Rob Roy; he was on the floor after one Singapore Sling. Or maybe it was from the dysentery. Or the dropsy. Who knows, because Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle came in at that exact moment and we headed over to Times Square and took out 20 armed insurgents who were harassing the Naked Cowboy. We saved those nice folks from Kalamazoo—we saved them all!
As for savior complexes, I once vaccinated all of the kids on Sesame Street, because their parents wouldn’t. They had Mine-itis. It was awful. And why is everyone believing Big Bird and that Challenger bullshit, but not believing me about anything? Calling foul on that. (See? Letterman!).
Actually, you’re still being a bit hard on me. One of the pilots I “flew” with has come out and said my chopper was actually attacked by fire from small arms. Right before I wrote Farewell to Arms. And Harper Lee’s second novel. Maybe even her third and fourth. J’oublie.
What I can pledge to you, unequivocally, as your No. 1 Trusted Future News Anchor, is that I did Not. Have. Sexual. Relations. With. That. Chinook.
So about the NBC peacock. That was my bad. They’ve had to change it up quite a few times because I’ve strangled it on more than one occasion. The first time I was out on a midsummer night’s hunt with Lord Grantham and he had just informed me he was going to pour whatever was left of Cora’s inheritance into a website where faltering landowners could propose dumb investment ideas in 120 characters or less and Cora was Kylie Jenner–pouting and NPR-yelling at us and Mary was all like “I will never love again but please go get me an IUD” and I thought she said “WMD” and it brought the whole helicopter thing back just as the peacock sauntered up to us and I went all Hawkeye Pierce, even though I knew it was a peacock, not a chicken or a baby or even a yellow lab named ISIS or Pharaoh.
But OK. In the name of transparency, I’ve never been in a helicopter. I do have a monthly MTA MetroCard. And I did live in a submarine once. It was yellow. John and Yoko let me look through the peephole sometimes.
Bradley Cooper of the Aforementioned Naked Cowboy Incident? He’s accepted my mea culpa for telling everyone I saw Mr. Chow’s body, even though I actually only heard about it afterward. Do you want to check out the GoPro from our latest trip? We’re going to delete everything later, so last call. Rooney, you in? What happens in Baghdad stays in Baghdad.
♫ ♫ You down with RPG/YEAH YOU KNOW ME! ♫ ♫
Jenn Gidman is an honors grad of STFU. She earned a “D” in her first and only poetry class, made two kids, likes bonfires, and is still trying to figure out the Frank Bidart/James Franco connection.