It was so terrific to see Teri Garr back on the Letterman show after a skeenteen year hiatus. One suspects that there could have been some bad blood between Dave and Teri--there were rumors of an affair that might not have ended well--that caused her to vertiginously drop from view on the program, on which she was a regular. But then Garr's protracted absence from the show began, ten years or so ago, at just about the time she was diagnosed with MS, and so I factored that into the Dave disappearance equation as well.
I always thought that, in addition to being a hell of an actress (vide: One From the Heart, Mister Mom, Tootsie, Young Frankenstein, etc. ), Garr gave just about the singlemost funny TV panel turns of all time. Right up there alongside Dody Goodman and Genevieve on Parr). I can recall that my ex-employer, Ricky Jay (real name Richard J. Postash), felt similarly.
I really missed Garr on Letterman a lot, but I kept up with sightings of her. These included voiceovers in the Skooby Doo movies (gakkk), and a very very very close friend of mine (I guess you catch my drift) saw her speak a year or so ago speak at an AIDS charity function. He reported back to me that she was both effective in the points she was making about that disease and still able to bring down the house with humor at one and the same time. So that was goods news!
She is out and about the past few weeks flakking for a book she has written, Speedbumps: Flooring It Through Hollywood. Hudson Street Press, original title: Does This Wheelchair Make Me Look Fat? And that is what brought Garr back full circle to her appearance on Dave last night. Promoting her book.
Usually I timeshift Dave, and watch him the next night. Last evening, I tried to view in real time. Alas, not even Garr on Dave was decaf enough to keep me awake. But I checked it out this a.m. and am happy to report that Garr (they opened the segment with her seated) has not lost so much as one millisecond of her brilliant comedic timing sense (her father Eddie Garr, was a well-regarded burlesque comic).
There was lots of funny back and forth banter between the host and guest: "I thought you were mad at me.". . ."No! I thought you were mad at me," etc. Another example:
Dave: "I hope, now, that you will come back more often."
Teri: "Absolutely not!"
But the funniest moment occured when Garr began ticking off the various stripes of MS, i.e., the kind that results in cognitive disfunction (Garr: "I already had that before MS"), a variant that brings about numbness and tingling in the extremities, etc., and, Garr added:
"A very rare form that causes you to believe that Phil Spector is innocent." Whoaaaa! Kozmik rimshot!
An aside: Garr was a dancer in two movies produced by PS.
The audience did not seem to "get it," i.e. toohipforthehouse. Or else they could not hear the riff. It went by so fast. But Dave and Paul Schaffer did, and you could tell from the collective expressions on their faces that they could hardly believe their ears.
As for me, I'm off to BookSwamp to "get it," i.e, my very own copy of this great and funny lady's book.