Watch: Letterman YouTube Channel Pays Tribute to Late Director Jerry Foley

Friends, colleagues, and David Letterman fans were shocked to learn of the sudden death of Letterman’s longtime director Jerry Foley last weekend.

Now Letterman’s YouTube channel is paying tribute as only they can, with a brand new ten-minute documentary featuring Foley speaking about his work on the show.

In the video, which was posted late Wednesday, Foley discusses how he originally worked as a technical director for Live at Five, WNBC’s local news show that shot in the studio across the hall from Letterman’s NBC show.

Watching the Letterman show shoot just feet away, he recalls, “I was just a kid with my nose pressed against the glass… it was everything I wanted to be a part of.”

Eventually Foley made his way across the hall, working under the show’s original director, Hal Gurnee.

In 1993, he followed Gurnee and Letterman to CBS and the Ed Sullivan Theater, where the show was an instant hit. “I can’t imagine a more exciting time,” he says. “It was every boy’s dream if you want to work in television.”

Two years later, Foley was offered the chance to succeed the retiring Gurnee. It was not a sure thing–in fact, at first he was only given a three week contract. “There [were] concerns that this technician really might not be up to the job. Looking back on it, those were well-founded concerns,” he says with a smile.

Nevertheless, Foley’s 12 week try-out led to 20 years in the director’s chair.

On working with Letterman, Foley says “It was the realization of everything I set out to do … I worked on a big ass broadcast, with a really dynamic group of people and a guy who will be in the history books.”

“It was a blast, he concludes. “It was the best possible set of circumstances you could hope for.”

RIP Jerry Foley.

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