— Why did David Letterman like doing his show? "It makes you feel good about yourself. If you can get people to laugh, you think, 'That's great. That's something I can do.' It's like if you run a restaurant and your specials turn out to be great, that's fine. If people go home with food poisoning, that ain't great."
— "We weren't the first on TV to do man on the street comedy. Steve Allen did it decades earlier. But we were right on the cusp of when every local TV station got a remote unit and would go out talking to the locals. And by now it's rampant: They're interviewing six people who were there to hear the cab backfire."
— At age 68, and with an 11-year-old son, Letterman worries that history repeats itself. "We're now our parents. I can remember I had just purchased the Beatles' album 'Revolver,' and I had gotten maybe three or four tracks into listening to it when my mother stormed into my bedroom and said, 'TURN! THAT! CRAP! OFF!' So, is that who WE are now?"
— As he anticipates retirement and being on his own, Letterman summarizes the career he's concluding in very simple terms: "I was all taken care of. All I had to do was move to California and everything took care of itself. I went to the Comedy Store; that was fine. I went to 'The Tonight Show' (as a guest and guest host); that was fine. NBC gave me two shows (a short-lived weekday program followed by 'Late Night'). CBS gave me a show ('Late Show'). So it was all taken care of. I was like, 'Next!' Now, nobody will be taking care of me but me."