David Letterman Goes on Jury Duty

Friday, June 9th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

STAMFORD, Conn. (AP) — No kidding. David Letterman showed up for jury duty Friday but didn't make the cut.

The civic-minded talk show host spent 2 1/2 hours in Superior Court, taking part in a juror orientation that included watching two short films.

But he didn't make it to the jury box. Only one alternate was still needed to complete the jury in the case, a lawsuit over a car accident, and one was chosen before Letterman could be questioned.

By state law, that meant that the New Canaan resident fulfilled his jury duty, a topic that had been a running joke on his CBS late-night show for weeks.

``Not only am I going to be on the jury, I want to run the jury,'' he said during a recent show.

After Friday's proceedings, he said he was disappointed he was not picked, but that didn't stop him from joking. ``Maybe I should commit a crime and go to jail and see how this works on the other end,'' he said.

He said he thought he would make a good juror — ``I'm considerate and thoughtful'' — but the lawyer representing the plaintiff in the case wasn't so sure.

``You want people paying attention to the witnesses, not a fellow juror,'' said attorney Philip French. ``You don't take a distraction like that and throw it into the case.''

Judge William Hickey recognized the comedian immediately Friday, and not just from television.

``I had him once in here for speeding,'' Hickey said. ``He's a very nice man.''

Among his running gags over the past few weeks, Letterman read from a newspaper article and poked fun at a judge who said he would be too opinionated to serve on a jury. Letterman looked into the camera and said he had only one opinion:

``Everybody's guilty!''