David Letterman Escorts Old 'Late Show' Sign To Darien Barn, Hangs Out

Funnyman and beloved area resident David Letterman helped escort the old marquee sign from his famous television show "Late Night" to its new home in Fairfield County.

Funnyman David Letterman standing in front of the sign in Darien.

Funnyman David Letterman standing in front of the sign in Darien.

Photo Credit: Facebook via Walter Kim for David Letterman
Letterman and Bealle in the Cadillac. 

Letterman and Bealle in the Cadillac. 

Photo Credit: Facebook via Preston Bealle
Letterman and the winner in front of the sign. 

Letterman and the winner in front of the sign. 

Photo Credit: Facebook via Preston Bealle

Letterman, a longtime Northern Westchester County resident who lives in North Salem, didn't have far to travel to escort the 20-foot sign that once graced the front of the famed Ed Sullivan Theater for Dave's show on CBS, said the lucky recipient Preston Bealle, of Darien.

Bealle, one of the founding members of Daily Voice, received the sign from his niece Helen Halford of New Jersey, who entered a charity contest to win the sign and won. 

But, too bad for Halford, she didn't have any place large enough to hang the sign, but it was perfect for the side of Bealle's 150-year-old barn, so she offered it to him, and, of course, he said yes. 

But when it came time for the sign to arrive, Letterman himself showed up with a video crew and his former executive producer, Barbara Gaines. 

"He's a car guy, and I wondered what he'd be driving, Bealle said. "Turned out he had a blue Tesla S, inch by inch just exactly like mine, and he went to inspect my car first thing."

Then, surprise, the often standoffish, 76-year-old Letterman made himself at home in Bealle's kitchen for a visit.

"Dave's first comment in our kitchen was, '"How many people don't want to be here?"' And he raised his hand," Bealle said.

Bealle said Letterman ended up staying about an hour and a quarter: "He seemed to be having a good time, and he dispatched someone to get a staff jacket from his house, not far away, and bring it over for me, and he put it on me and said '"perfect fit!"' 

Before the sign arrived, the crew said not to tell anybody; they didn't want a crowd, but a few family members came by, and my niece and nephew spent the night. 

"Dave liked my 1964 Cadillac and said he had a 1970 model, but mine was better, and he was going to take mine home in the moving van. I got him to sit in it, and he asked me to join him and point out some features," Bealle said.

The group wanted him to autograph the sign, but it was too wet outside, and he said he would come back and do it on a dry day. 

Besides the Letterman show, the theater where it is now hanging has a special place in Bealle's heart.  In 1964, at age 12, he was in the audience, fifth row, aisle seat, of the Ed Sullivan Show when the Beatles made their first appearance in America. 

Best of all, Letterman raised over $100,000 for Habitat for Humanity, and it was a day to remember for Bealle and their family.

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