Letterman Is Back, But His 'Lawyer' Has Left the Building

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Letterman Is Back, But His 'Lawyer' Has Left the Building

Thu Jan 03, 2008 @ 10:00AM PST

Posted by Matthew Belloni

Letterman_2 Jackoway_jim David Letterman has a funny way of thanking his lawyer. On last night's "Late Show," which has returned with writers after a two-month absence due to the WGA strike, Dave introduced his "personal attorney" Jim Jackoway to explain the terms of Letterman's deal with the WGA.

Jackoway, a top talent dealmaker (and THR Power Lawyer!), is indeed Dave's longtime attorney (he did Letterman's most recent deal keeping the host on CBS through 2010 for about $30 million a year). But instead of a middle-aged lawyer, a nervous, chubby kid with dark circles under his eyes appeared on stage briefly before running through the crowd and exiting the rear of the Ed Sullivan theater. Funny? We laughed, but mostly because we were wondering what Jackoway thought of the bit. He probably spent his holidays slaving over the deal with the WGA that allows the two latenight shows produced by Letterman's company Worldwide Pants to return with writers, only to see himself skewered on Dave's first show back. Then again, for the ultra-ironic Letterman, a ribbing on the air might be the ultimate thank-you gift.

Incidentally, we wanted to post a clip to let readers decide whether the bit was funny, but alas, YouTube users aren't obsessed with entertainment lawyers the way we are, and CBS hasn't posted the episode online. So we've had a two month strike over what producers are going to pay writers for Internet reuse, and when one deal finally gets done, the show is nowhere to be found online. That's an irony worthy of Letterman's show.

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The Hollywood Reporter, Esq. blog focuses on how the entertainment and media industries are impacted and influenced by the law. It is edited by Matthew Belloni with contributions from veteran legal reporter Eriq Gardner and others. Before joining The Hollywood Reporter, Belloni was a lawyer at an entertainment litigation firm in Los Angeles. He writes a column for THR devoted to entertainment law. Gardner is a New York-based writer and legal journalist. Send tips or comments to Matthew.Belloni@thr.com

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