Yesterday we watched as workers hauled David Letterman’s Late Show set to the dumpster, a poignant reminder—amid all the heartfelt testimony to the lasting impact that Letterman left on fans and followers—that everything we love is always passing away, outstretched hands slowly sinking beneath the detritus of time. Look upon my stupid tricks, ye humans, and despair, and so forth. But for those who lament life’s cruel impermanence, and the fact that they won’t get to act out that Seinfeld episode by staging their own talk show in their living room, there is a small glimmer of hope, where hope is always found: on eBay. Shards of the set are currently available all over the site, offering the perfect complement to the shards of your dreams at around $50 a pop.
But as Gothamist notes, the real score is Letterman’s other Late Show set—the one from his earliest days at CBS—where most of the faux-skyline that once overlooked Dave’s desk is going for the starting bid of $10,000. According to the listing, these three large pieces—the biggest tops out at 12 feet tall—were also found in New York some 20 years ago, no doubt tossed into those very same dumpsters near the Ed Sullivan Theater, by workers whose lives are nearing their own indifferent dismantling. Like those workers, the lights are still flickering inside. But for how long? How long?
Oddly enough, the set was found by Mike Bonanno, also known as Igor Vamos of culture-jamming group The Yes Men, whose agitprop pranks often involve impersonating corporations and government groups as a means of satirizing them. In his pitch video, where he says he’s selling the set to raise funds for his latest movie, The Yes Men Are Revolting, Bonanno suggests that anyone who buys it could become “the people’s Letterman”—presumably, asking celebrities about their latest projects for a larger, greater good. And then some future tomorrow, after your good works are done, they’ll be tossing you out with the garbage.