Tyler Crotty, whose efforts to stave off sleep upstaged President Bush on network TV earlier this week, woke up a star Friday: He was a guest on “Late Show with David Letterman.”
The 13-year-old Florida boy took his seat beside Letterman in Manhattan wearing the same khaki pants, navy polo shirt and orange baseball cap he had worn last month at an Orlando speech by Bush.
A comedy montage Dave aired on his CBS show Monday night included video of the seventh-grader desperately fidgeting, stretching and yawning behind Bush. Poking fun at the president, the bit was labeled “George W. Bush Invigorates America’s Youth.”
The footage became more than a joke when CNN ran it and reported that the White House was complaining the yawning boy had somehow been digitally inserted into the frame. Later the network said Bush administration officials hadn’t complained, but Letterman hadn’t gotten CNN’s message until after ranting about the issue on the air.
On Friday’s show, Tyler offered a reason for his sleepiness.
“You’d been up late the night before, because you were excited,” Dave noted.
“Yeah, like 2 o’clock,” said Tyler.
“Yeah,” Dave said, “you were excited about meeting the president.”
Then, after screening the video, he asked, “Do you find it entertaining when you watch it?”
“I find it hysterical,” Tyler replied.
Memory still a little hazyTyler also confirmed that he was indeed at the Orange County Convention Center, thanks to his father, Orange County Chairman and Bush supporter Rich Crotty.
“So, when you’re there,” said Letterman, “you didn’t know the camera was on you, obviously.”
“No,” said Tyler, “I didn’t.”
“Do you know what the speech was about?” Letterman asked.
“Ummm, I can remember some parts of it.”
But even if he missed other parts, there apparently were no hard feelings from Bush. Tyler read aloud a letter he had gotten from the president, who wrote, “The hall was hot and my speech was long, so I understand why a fellow your age might nod off.”
Then Dave offered a solution. At the end of the interview, taped Friday afternoon, he presented his guest with a case of Red Bull energy drink.
“I’m going to stay up a little later,” Tyler said.