Watch: ‘Letterman’ Christmas Tradition: Jay Thomas’ Lone Ranger Story

by | December 22, 2012 at 9:23 AM | Late Show with David Letterman, TV News

In a way, this particular bit from Friday night’s “Letterman” show is a great example of why David Letterman is so widely admired. It’s the kind of quirky thing that, seemingly, only Dave would do — have the same guest on his show year-after-year, on the final show before Christmas, to retell the same story over and over again.

The guest is Jay Thomas, the actor, comedian and radio personality. Many years ago in an appearance either on Dave’s CBS “Late Show” or maybe even before that on NBC’s “Late Night,” Thomas told a story that Dave loved so much that he declared it the best talk-show story he’d ever heard, and an example for all late-night guests (though few ever bring stories that measure up to this one).

It’s a story from the 1970s, when Thomas was a long-haired local disc jockey and he found himself, with another long-haired colleague, chauffeuring the actor Clayton Moore, who was better known as the original “Lone Ranger” from the 1950s TV show (starting in 1949, to be precise), and a man who rarely (if ever) went out in public without his Lone Ranger hat and mask.

That’s all we’re saying about this story. We recommend you watch the clip, above, to find out what happened.