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MORNINGS WITH PAULA ZAHN

'Here's What I Don't Get'

Aired November 27, 2001 - 08:36   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
PAULA ZAHN, CNN ANCHOR: This is one of my favorite times of the day, when we get to introduce you to Jack Cafferty, who is here with today's installment of "Here's What I Don't Get."

How are you this morning?

JACK CAFFERTY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: I'm terrific. It's one of my favorite times of the day, too.

ZAHN: Is it? You're just saying that.

CAFFERTY: Well, it's closer to when I get to leave.

Remember yesterday, we were kidding around about the "Today" show ratings eroding, and I said that the reason for the deterioration of the "Today" show rating is obvious, the fact that you came to work here. And you...

ZAHN: You neglected to mention that there's a team in place here, Jack, that puts on this show.

CAFFERTY: Now Bern Gaye (ph) is a writer for New York "Newsday." He's actually a guy I've known for a number of years here in New York, write a piece this morning. It says, "good mornings for CNN and Fox," and he talks about the CNN morning show. He says the network's morning show, "long a dog on its schedule," is the way he characterize it -- hey, Vern, "Newsday" is not exactly at the top of the circulation charts here in New York either, you know what I mean, so be careful about throwing the brick bats around -- "has surpassed a million daily viewers, making it one of the fastest growing shows in the network's 20-year history. It says the show, still tentatively titled, "Mornings with Paula Zahn," has been seen by an average over a million viewers between September 12th and November 20th.

and the time period pre-Paula Zahn -- PPZ, say some -- 187,000. The reason I bring this up is you should call our agent -- we have the same agent -- and get a raise.

ZAHN: Thank you. Thank you, Jack.

You have quintupled the viewership in this time period, and I would call Richard and say, hey, time to reopen the negotiations.

ZAHN: And I bet you have his telephone number memorized. CAFFERTY: For 25 years, he's been calling me, saying I want to raise the commission, I want to raise the commission. Last night on "Late Night with David Letterman," his honor, the mayor of New York came on, and they did a cute little sketch about the top 10 things the mayor was going to miss about being the mayor. And before we role the tape, I ask you Look at this with an eye toward deciding whether or not he was over-rehearsed.

Check it out.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

DAVID LETTERMAN, LATE NIGHT HOST: The top 10 things I will miss about being mayor. Here we go.

Number 10:

MYR. RUDY GIULIANI, NEW YORK CITY: If I feel like sleeping in, I call a citywide snow emergency.

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: Yeah! Number nine.

GIULIANI: Naming a street after someone is a great inexpensive Christmas gift.

LETTERMAN: That's right.

(APPLAUSE)

LETTERMAN: Number eight:

GIULIANI: If I want tickets to "The Producers," I just pick up the phone and four or five months later, I get tickets to "The Producers."

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: Number seven:

GIULIANI: The look on people's faces when they realize the key to the city doesn't open a damn thing.

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: That's right.

Number six:

GIULIANI: I'm double parked right now. Who's going to tow me?

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: Exactly, number five:

GIULIANI: That smell in the subway, call me crazy, but I've grown to love it.

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: Number four:

GIULIANI: When someone catches a gator in Central Park, guess who gets to keep it.

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: Number three:

GIULIANI: Street vendors sell me counterfeit DVDs half price.

(LAUGHTER)

LETTERMAN: Wow!

Number two:

GIULIANI: The Yankees winning all those World Series, that was my idea.

(APPLAUSE)

LETTERMAN: There you go.

And the number one thing I will miss about being mayor:

GIULIANI: The daily call from Letterman begging me to reopen strip clubs.

(LAUGHTER)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

CAFFERTY: Well, maybe the top five things would have been better. Some of those were funny.

ZAHN: They worked for me.

No, wait, you thought he was over-rehearsed.

CAFFERTY: I remember him back when he was a prosecutor for the Justice Department 15 years ago. He's not that ebullient. He's not that chipper. He's not that upbeat. He's a pretty intense, pretty serious guy, although I guess on the "Letterman" environment.

ZAHN: You know what that studio is like over there, they keep it at 50 degrees. You know, it's really odd. And apparently, it's supposed to make people more energetic reading off cue cards. It's kind of hard to be spontaneous when you're reading off cue cards.

CAFFERTY: I used to work across from the hall from Letterman when he was at NBC. He was in studio 6A. We were in studio 6B. And one day during a local news program here in New York called "Live At Five," I looked up, and there was a chimpanzee on roller skates with a helmet on that had a television camera mounted right here, came through the studio door during a live show. It was the Letterman show taping across the hall. And of all the things that had been a distraction over the years, I will remember that one.

ZAHN: But did you swear at David Letterman, because you remember that whole controversy about Bryant Gumbel yelling out of the window when David Letterman had distracted during the taping of his show. You let it go.

CAFFERTY: Dave would periodically,when his show wasn't going so well, would use "Live at Five" as comic relief, as it were, so no, we became friends.

ZAHN: You are going to miss the mayor, aren't you?

CAFFERTY: I am. And more than I am going to miss him, this city is going to miss him. He's a giant. And it will be interesting to see what he does next, because he can just about write his own ticket.

ZAHN: Yes, there was a lot of speculation last weekend about where he might head to, but he said that's not complete. So we will keep you all posted on what the mayor plans to do.

CAFFERTY: I think I misspoke about the name of the show. What did you say it was? "The Late Show with David Letterman."

ZAHN: See if you ever get invited to be a guest on that show.

Well, now that you've corrected yourself.

CAFFERTY: Or maybe this one, either.

ZAHN: See you in the morning. Thanks, Jack.

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