Happy belated birthday, Drew! On February 22, or “Two Twenty-Two,” as Drew Barrymore calls it (or “Drew Twenty-Drew,” as we call it), The Drew Barrymore Show celebrated its benevolent ruler’s birthday with a very special episode including some surprise guests. Savannah Guthrie hosted the “Barrymore Bash” and colluded with kindly mythical woodland man David Letterman to surprise the heck out of Drew. First, Guthrie introduced Letterman as a surprise Zoom guest, which seemed to already make Drew excited enough. Then, Letterman pretended that his Zoom wasn’t working and that he couldn’t hear anything, walking away from his screen in mock “frustration.” Then, Letterman walked into the studio, and Drew Barrymore lost her dang mind, weeping happy surprise birthday tears. “You’re actually crying! Oh, that breaks my heart. God bless you!” Letterman told her. “I can’t thank you enough for everything, and the friendship you demonstrated for us when we were on the show. It meant a great deal then, and this means a great deal as well. Thank you for — or did I invite myself? I don’t know how this happened.”
After the commercial break, Barrymore decided to retaliate with a surprise of her own, hopping up on the studio table and dancing in a not-quite-complete re-creation of the time she got up on Letterman’s late-night desk and flashed him in 1995 on his birthday. It’s a funny moment that turns heartfelt when Barrymore recalled the way Letterman graciously handled her well-intentioned bit of youthful late-night theater. She said:
“I had no plan of doing that. It was one of those moments in my life where I felt like a magnet was pulling me. And it was all very playful and well intended, and I just had no idea where it was going. And I almost was like, Should I be embarrassed? Did I do something bad? Am I in trouble? And I knew in that moment that, with one turn, you could have gone, ‘Why did you do that? What’s wrong with you?’ And instead, you had that smile, and you said to everyone, This moment is okay. I hope that I could be half the man Dave is right now, and just let something innocent and spontaneous be innocent and spontaneous.” As the show cycled through visuals of Barrymore on Letterman over the years, she continued, “You compelled me to take a risk, and you allowed it to be paid off with kindness and reciprocity and goodness and humor, which is my ultimate, honestly — I think that’s the greatest award and reward that people can give each other in life.” What sweeties, the both of ’em.