Once you write for David Letterman, he’s in your head forever—or at least that’s what happened to former Late Show writer Justin Stangel. “There are certain words and phrases that Dave would use, and when I’m talking to my children, I will realize I am talking to them like Dave would talk to them,” Stangel said in an interview with Julia Cunningham and Mario Correa on Entertainment Weekly Radio‘s SiriusXM 105 show, News and Notes.
Justin and his brother Eric were head writers for the show from 1998 to 2013, and have had trouble distancing themselves from Letterman’s voice when working on new jobs. “We sold a pilot to Fox, and we were writing this pilot like a year ago. There would be times we would write stuff, and we’ve have to go back and say, that joke is written as Dave would say it, we have to change it,” Justin said. “But that’s been drilled in our heads for 17 years.”