“He’s always been known as the person who had no problem letting the audience know he was not down with what the guest was doing,” Barrymore says of making appearances on his show. “It was scary.”
Luckily, Letterman was more than fine with her dance routine and sneak peek. “I can’t thank you enough for that,” he told her, laughing.
“From the moment I went on—especially with my little dance number, which was completely spontaneous and not calculated in any way—he let the audience know it was okay,” Barrymore says. “He was so accepting of me, and letting everyone know to just go on the ride.”
Barrymore has been a return guest many times since.
“From that infamous show, we developed a really fun chemistry,” Barrymore says. “Then I just looked forward to going back. There’s an energy to his show. The more you tried to charm him, the less he wanted it. He either liked you or he didn’t. When you usually go on a talk show it’s very buddy-buddy. But with him you have to work for it. But not too hard, because he won’t like that!”
Letterman’s final show is tomorrow, Wed. May 20.