If you watched David Letterman‘s final Late Show last week, you probably noticed that one of the best segments of the night was the Top Ten list. Mostly because it featured 10 of the show’s best friends throughout the years, many of whom laughed hysterically while their colleagues read off the jokes, and mostly because for the first time in a number of times since I’ve seen the show, I laughed at more than a couple of the lines.
You can credit the writers for crafting some fine jokes for Letterman’s final show. And you can credit a 22-year-old intern for writing two of the lines—jokes that now will live forever.
Here’s the first joke, via Tina Fey (and her delightful post-gag backward shoulder dance).
And here’s the explanation, via this awesomely-fun Tumblr post by Bill Scheft, who’s written for Letterman’s show for the past 24 years.
[Eight] of the 10 celebrities were happy with the lines we had written for them. Tina Fey and Julia Louis-Dreyfus wanted to consider other takes. Julia settled on a line written by Mike Leech (“Thanks for letting me take part in another hugely disappointing series finale….”) which the next day was proclaimed the “winner” of the Top Ten. Tina took something a little more subtle and much more pointed (“Thanks for finally proving men can be funny….”) That line, ladies and gentlemen, ladies and ladies, was written by Caroline, whose last name I don’t know. I don’t know because she was the writer’s intern and we never got that formal. But on the last day of the last show, she scored the final two entries on the final Top Ten. Oh yeah, she already had Bill Murray’s line (“Dave, I’ll never have the money I owe you….”) We were all genuinely thrilled for her. This 21-year-old [sic] has all the resume she needs going forward. I will be happy to help her in any way I can. But I’ll need her last name. (UPDATE 6:30: My pal Brian Koppleman found her on Twitter. Caroline Schaper @carolimeschaper)
You’ve already seen the men-can-be-funny joke. Here’s the other joke written by Schaper, as performed by Murray.
But since Koppleman found Schaper’s Twitter account, let’s take a look and see if we can find anything else that makes us chuckle.
A few gems:
Thanks for your kind words but it's time to come clean:— Caroline Schaper (@carolimeschaper) May 26, 2015
I'm actually 22. I hope you all still like me! Your validation is all that matters!
Another day, another sleeve of off brand ritz crackers— Caroline Schaper (@carolimeschaper) January 15, 2015
I JUST ACCIDENTALLY SWATTED A SPIDER INTO MY BED SHOULD I BURN MY APARTMENT DOWN JUST TO BE SAFE?— Caroline Schaper (@carolimeschaper) December 8, 2014
And best of all, this is what Schaper tweeted the day before Letterman’s last show.
Ack! How can I make Letterman's retirement more about me??????— Caroline Schaper (@carolimeschaper) May 19, 2015
Obviously, she was joking, but Letterman wasn’t the one who gave Schaper some well-deserved credibility. Schaper did that herself.