Late Show (TV program - CBS) with host David Letterman     October 28, 1994
David Letterman: Ladies and gentlemen, our first guest is an Emmy nominated star of the wildly popular "Frasier" show and one of the stars of the motion picture "Wolf" and also "Sleepless in Seattle." Oh, my gosh, what a blockbuster film that was. [audience laughter] Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome back, David Hyde Pierce.
DL: How are you?
David Hyde Pierce: Good.
DL: Welcome to the show.
DHP: Oh, thank you.
DL: Thank you very much for being here. I understand you flew in over night last night and as soon as your plane...
DHP: You asked me and I came.
DL: That's very sweet of you.
DHP: That's alright.
DL: I appreciate that. And as soon as we're finished, you go right back to Los Angeles.
DL: What's your hurry?
DHP: Well, it's just red-eye city. I'm... I have to get back, uh... today's my dog's birthday. [audience laughter]
DL: Congratulations to both you and your dog.
DHP: Thank you. Emma the dog is one year old today.
DL: Wow. [applause] What kind of dog is Emma?
DHP: Emma is a Wheaten Terrier which is like a cross between a sheep and a loaf of bread. [audience laughter]
DL: [laughs] That sounds just great! And...
DHP: She's watching now.
DL: The dog is watching now?
DHP: She's watching now. [Looks directly into the camera] Emma, Emma, off! Off! Emma, Emma, sit. Good. Emma, down. Stay. [audience laughter]
DL: Many of these commands apply to our audience as well.
DL: Now, will the dog know that you're not even in the same city or state with her on her birthday?
DHP: Well, if she watches the show, she'll get the idea, but see, that's the idea. I get out of here, I go back. Hopefully, I'll be home before the birthday's over.
DL: [laughs] Things going well on "Frasier"?
DHP: They are, they are. We've been, like you said, we got lots of Emmys.
DL: Oh, that's right. You got 14 or something like that?
DHP: Yeah, yeah. We did. [audience laughter] Well, no. We didn't get 14. We got like five, I think, or four but 14 sounds better. I, however, didn't get one.
DL: Oh, I'm sorry to hear that.
DHP: No. [audience 'ahs'] Yes.
DL: You were nominated...
DHP: Almost changed the dog's name, by the way, after that.
DL: [laughs] Oh, that would have been good.
DHP: Forget Emma. Yeah, it's like I'll call her Fred.
DL: And you were nominated in Best Supporting Actor?
DHP: Best Supporting Actor, yes. And it... did you enjoy going to the Emmys?
DL: I never have.
DHP: Yeah, see it's a very strange event.
DHP: I found it screwed up my sense of time a lot. Like I would, once I was nominated, I found I would go to take a shower and I'd turn on the water to get in the shower and like 45 minutes later, I'd find that I basically put California back into a drought state while I was standing there thanking the Academy, naked, for this bottle of conditioner.
DHP: You see, you rehearse the speech...
DL: Yeah, see, you were working on it in the shower, of course.
DHP: And then when the actual day comes, you think the only thing you didn't practice while you were standing naked in the shower was ‘Oh, I'm so happy that he won!'...
DHP: ...because that's what you have to do.
DL: [laughs] Yeah, it's a difficult event. And I've found... I've been to many, many, many of theses... and I've found the only way really, is to go and then don't go in. You just sit outside of the building.
DHP: [laughs] Uh huh.
DL: It's much nicer outside.
DHP: You can give autographs and things, you know.
DL: Yeah, the evenings in Pasadena are lovely. The sun is setting, the breeze picks up a little, the San Gabriel Mountains... it couldn't be more delightful outside.
DHP: Uh huh, uh huh.
DL: You go inside, and you know, you're sitting looking at Jamie Farr all night. I mean, not that that's a bad thing.
DHP: No, no.
DL: But you just would rather not...
DHP: The Pasadena Mountains are nicer.
DL: Exactly. We have to do a commercial and uh... do you have anything else to say to your dog?
DHP: Emma, oh, oh! Off! Off! OK, Emma, come here, sit, stay. Good girl, OK. [audience laughter]
DL: [stares at DHP] We have to do a commercial. We'll be right back with David Hyde Pierce.
DL: Hey, how are you. Nice to see you, ladies and gentlemen. David Hyde Pierce is here. George Carlin and Bon Jovi will be out... I'm under the impression now that you actually participated in "Celebrity Jeopardy." Is that possible?
DHP: I did, I did.
DL: How did you do?
DHP: I can't tell you.
DL: Why not?
DHP: Well, it's cause it's not on yet.
DL: When will it be on?
DHP: Oh, November 11th or 12th, depending what city you're in.
DL: Oh, well, I'm in New York so what does that do? [audience laughter] I'm in New York, tell me now.
DHP: It won't be on.
DL: [laughs] Who did you compete against?
DHP: I, well, it was quite an illustrious group and... Norman Schwarzkopf was...
DL: General Schwarzkopf?
DHP: The same.
DL: Desert Storm General Schwarzkopf?
DHP: That man was on "Celebrity Jeopardy."
DL: Now this is a smart guy. This is a very, very...
DHP: And would you tell him if he wasn't?
DL: Well, no. Of course not. [audience laughter]
DHP: No, he was. I didn't actually play against the General.
DL: Uh huh. Well, who did you play against?
DHP: My teammates were Tim Matheson and Markie Post.
DL: Wow. See, I don't know, are those smart people?
DHP: Very, very, very smart.
DL: I bet they're not smarter than you. Are they smarter than you?
DHP: I'm not telling. [audience laughter]
DL: Do you have to be really smart? Is that the key or do you have to know somebody on the show?
DHP: You can be well connected, you can be really smart, you can know lots and lots of meaningless things...
DHP: ...or you can just do as I did and just go and, you know, make an idiot of yourself.
DL: Uh huh, how did you do?
DHP: Um... [gives DL a nasty look] No, see the thing is, I would tell you but I just saw "Quiz Show" and I know if I tell you what happened, I'll end up having milk and chocolate cake with my dad in the kitchen. [audience laughter]
DL: [laughs] What was Alex Trebek like? Was... did he...
DHP: He was great.
DL: He was nice to you?
DHP: Yeah, but although...
DL: Because he's a little...
DL: A little snotty. Alex can be a little snotty. [audience laughter] Don't you think?
DHP: You'll have to wait and see.
DL: No, no, no. You see, the thing...
DHP: No, no, he was nice to me.
DL: The thing that rankles everyone about Alex Trebek...
DL: ...and you didn't catch onto this for like the first three or four years.
DHP: Uh huh.
DL: He's got that attitude like ‘Oh Geez, you should have known that. Geez, it's too bad. Oh, I'm sorry. I'm sorry. We were looking for "what is iron ore?"... [audience cheers] I'm sorry. We were looking for "what is sodium chloride?" Oh, I'm so sorry.' [audience laughter] Well, for two years, you feel like the dumbest load on the continent until you realize of course that Mr. Big Shot, Alex Trebek, has got the damn answers right there.
DHP: [laughs] The cards, yeah. Well, the problem I had was not with Alex, but with the buzzer.
DHP: The buzzer... it's a tricky buzzer. You'll see if you ever go on [chuckles]... [audience cheers]
DL: Kind of a... If I was smarter, I'd think I'd be insulted.
DHP: [laughs] No, no. The buzzer... the timing of the buzzer is hard and you can't get it. And they could say, like, you know, what's your mother's maiden name and Markie Post would get it before I did because I couldn't get the buzzer to work. They came up to me and said ‘Don't worry, Norman had trouble with his buzzer.' [audience laughter]
DHP: Like this is good news. Like the head of Desert Storm couldn't press the button on the Jeopardy thing. So I...
DL: You lost then apparently.
DL: No, you did. You lost because of the bad buzzer.
DHP: I don't know.
DL: That's, that's taken plenty of good people out of that competition.
DL: You're not the first good man to go down because of a sticky buzzer. [audience laughter]
DL: I don't know what the hell...
DHP: Don't go there.
DL: Was it fun? Would you go back?
DHP: It was fun.
DL: Can you tell me this, how much did the winner win?
DHP: A lot. [audience laughter]
DHP: But it all goes to charity.
DL: I know. Sure, as well it should.
DHP: And she is a lovely woman.
DL: No, no, no. Thank you very much. So now, you're going to race right back to the airport and fly home.
DHP: Yes, I'm gonna race back, get back to... [stared into the camera] ...Emma. [audience laughter]
DL: Oh, I don't think the dog is still watching. [audience laughter]
DHP: The commercials are her favorite part. She's sticking around.
DL: The dog may be with Mr. Koppel now.
DL: I have kind of that feeling about things. I can't thank you enough for taking the trouble and the annoyance and the inconvenience to come out here and visit with us tonight...
DHP: My pleasure.
DL: ...and then rush right back home.
DHP: My pleasure.
DL: Thank you very much. Good to see you again, David. David Hyde Pierce! Ladies and gentlemen, David. We'll be right back.