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David Letterman's Top Ten Barbecue Lists

These lists are reprinted with written permission from Worldwide Pants, Inc, the production company founded by David Leterman.

Top Ten Signs You're at a Bad Barbecue

David Letterman, June 11, 1997

Reprinted with permission of Worldwide Pants.

  1. Everything on the grill has a long, thin tail.
  2. To avoid burning, chicken breasts are covered in Coppertone.
  3. The "cole slaw" is just mayonnaise and lawn trimmings.
  4. The three-legged race is won by a three-legged guy.
  5. Every couple minutes, the cook drops his pants and flips himself with the spatula.
  6. Host tells you the burgers are 20% beef and 80% critter.
  7. The steaks have been sitting in marinade sauce all night, and so has your Uncle Earl.
  8. You have to sign a legal waiver before you eat the potato salad.
  9. Things seem tense between your hosts, Frank and Kathie Lee.
  10. The guests all have grill marks on their foreheads.

Top Ten Things You Don't Want To Hear at Your Family Barbecue

David Letterman, June 30, 2000

  1. I got the idea for this recipe from watching Survivor.
  2. Which do you want first, kids, ice cream or the name of your real father?
  3. I made the potato salad three weeks ago, so it's naturally red, white and blue.
  4. Somebody keep the cops busy while Dad buries the knife.
  5. It's me, Aunt Susan - you remember me from last year as Uncle Jeff.
  6. And now cousin Dave will show us slides of his quintuple bypass.
  7. If you don't wash your hands, it gives the burgers more flavor.
  8. By the way, your wife is an excellent kisser.
  9. Pick up your pants, Grandpa - that's not how you put out a barbecue.
  10. Dude, that firecracker really did a number on your eye.

Top Ten Questions Received By The Weber Grill Hotline

David Letterman, June 16, 2011

This list aired during the week that New York Congressman Anthony Weiner resigned after Tweeting risque pictures of himself to women, and after more than 30 people died from eating E. coli contaminated sprouts. During the intro to this list, Dave and Paul engaged in banter about grilling.

Dave: All you need to know about grilling is to light it up, put the meat [on] and you're in business. It doesn't make any difference how it comes out. Who cares? You're drunk!

To Paul: If you've got a gas powered grill you're not really grilling. Do you have a gas grill?

Paul: Yeah.

Dave: No no no, that's for babies.

Paul: I'm not grilling? What have I been doing?

Dave: You've just been cooking outdoors.

The list

  1. "Why does barbecuing in the house make me sleepy?"
  2. "Can one cook giraffe meat on the sum-bitch?"
  3. "Where's the nearest emergency room?"
  4. "When is the 4th of July this Year?"
  5. "Which sunblock should I put on my burgers to keep them from burning?"
  6. "In an average day, how much charcoal starter should I drink?"
  7. "Do you have any good recipes for German bean sprouts?"
  8. "Is it safe to use my grill while driving?"
  9. "Want to see naked pictures I took of myself at the Congressional Gym?"
  10. "What's the best way to remove grill marks from my ass?"

Tips for grilling

David Letterman 6/3/2013

  1. Test the grill temperature by putting your hand directly on the grate.
  2. Constantly turning burgers and hot dogs is a great way to avoid interaction with others.
  3. Treat guests to a pleasant surprise. Stuff burgers with cheese, bacon, or loose change.
  4. Help meat retain its natural juices by applying a thick coat of antiperspirant.
  5. Cooking shish kebab may result in a visit from the Department of Homeland Security.
  6. While the grill is hot, burn incriminating photos or ducuments.
  7. Entertain guests by making a slide whistle noise when you slip a hot dog into the bun.
  8. Remember, technically you're not inappropriately touching someone if you use tongs.
  9. To keep unused pickle slices fresh, reassemble them before storing.
  10. Nothing says "The party is over" like urinating on the hot coals.

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