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pop culture memory lane

How James Urbaniak Tried to Save David Letterman’s Joke

When he was a teenager in 1983, actor James Urbaniak was obsessed with the then-relatively new Late Night With David Letterman. One day, he got tickets to a taping, and during the monologue, Letterman messed up a joke and cursed himself. Urbaniak, as a Late Night completist, recognized that Letterman had tried and muffed the very same joke the night before and saw his chance. "Can I try it?" he yelled from the audience, and he was waved onstage. In this latest installment of Vulture and UCB's "Pop Culture Memory Lane" animated series, the devoted fan tells of what happened when he attempted to out-Letterman Letterman.