The Bow-tied Intern
On the red phone with Kiernan P. Schmitt '06
What was your position at CBS? Did you do any writing or was it more getting coffee?
Unfortunately, there wasn’t any writing involved. I was one of three research interns, which meant everything from researching the guests to, yes, getting coffee for Dave—he’s a huge Starbucks fan. Regis Philbin is a guest practically every week, so one time he came on, I actually had to read two of his biographies just to find a story he hadn’t told already.
Were any of the guests difficult to get along with? Any celebrity brawls?
Well, some of the guests can ask for some pretty crazy stuff in their dressing rooms. J-lo had the most ridiculous list of things she needed, from a dozen long-stemmed roses to mangoes.
Letterman is notorious for keeping his personal life secret from the public. What’s one thing you discovered about Letterman that most people might not know?
One thing I learned was how much he idolizes Johnny Carson. Johnny was another guy who kept to himself outside of his show. Not to knock J-Lo again, but when you know everything about a person’s life, there’s no air of mystery. It’s so easy to be cheapened by celebrity.
What was the overall working atmosphere like? Did you get many Harvard jokes on the set?
The office was pretty relaxed—it was casual dress. But since these big execs probably wouldn’t remember my name, I figured I’d wear a bowtie to work every day and they’d catch it. I think it worked, ’cause an executive from the main CBS center asked someone in our office if they had a Harvard intern, and he said, “Oh yeah, the bowtie kid.”