Like many comedians, David Letterman has made dentist jokes a staple of his career. In honour of his last show, which will take place on Wednesday, May 20, let’s revisit an early Letterman episode about a visit to an emergency dentist.
The episode takes place over two decades ago and can be seen on YouTube. In the episode, a very young Letterman with a mop of curly brown hair brings a camera crew to film his visit to an attractive woman dentist. The reason: a cracked filling in a rear molar.
Letterman starts by asking the all-important question that must be asked of all dentists: is striped toothpaste already striped inside the tube, or does it become striped while it’s being squeezed out? The dentist’s answer: it’s probably already striped in the tube.
As the emergency dentist dons gloves, Letterman asks if he can have a pair himself. “You can’t be too careful these days,” he explains.
As the dentist hands Letterman a pair of gloves, she notices that he has a cigar in his mouth. She sternly, and rather humourlessly, asks him to remove the cigar. Letterman winks as he asks her which tool she will use to remove the cigar. Letterman then places the cigar in the spit bowl on his armrest, which he refers to as an “ashtray”.
The emergency dentist probes Letterman’s mouth, takes an X-ray, and shows him the X-ray. Before she starts the treatment, Letterman asks if he can put his fingers inside her mouth. She demurs.
As the treatment continues, the dentist advises Letterman that he will feel some vibrations. “Oh good,” he says. “That’s why I came!”
Later on, he asks the staff, “When things are slow, do you work on each other’s teeth?”
After the treatment is done, the dentist gives Letterman a mirror to inspect the dental work. Letterman checks his hair.
All in all, a hilarious episode.