LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN, TRANSCRIPT OF MARG’S INTERVIEW
February 20, 2003
Dave: Our next guest is an Emmy award winning actress who stars in the top rated television drama CSI which airs right here on CBS. Ladies and gentleman, please welcome back to the program, the lovely Marg Helgenberger.
Dave: How ya doing?
Marg: I’m doing great.
Dave: You look fantastic, as always.
Marg: Thank you.
Dave: I appreciate you returning to the broadcast. Did you see those guys making the turkey sounds?
Marg: I saw them and heard them, yes
Dave: Did you do anything like that in your background?
Marg: I, No, no.
Dave: But the guy was right. He summed it up perfectly. Excellent. Did you get that feeling?
Marg: Yes, My heart is still pounding.
Dave: How are things going on the CSI program?
Marg: They’re going pretty swell. I mean we’ve been number one pretty much most of the season.
Dave: Nice going.
Marg: Thank you. It’s…we’re now competing… of course, now we have to compete against Joe Millionaire and Michael Jackson.
Dave: That’s all silly. That stuff will go away, Don’t worry about that. Have you ever, I’m sure I know the answer to this. You have probably been to actual crime scenes, haven’t you? In getting ready for the show?
Marg: Right, yes. In fact, before we started our third season, I went to Vegas and rode with a criminalist Yolanda McCleary, who my character’s loosely based on. She wasn’t an exotic dancer. I have to clarify that.
Dave: I like that exotic dancer part. That’s a nice combination.
Marg: Yeah anyway. It was a pretty exciting day in Vegas that day. It was, of course, about 118 degrees and the homicide rate goes up in Vegas in the summer time because I guess people get a little nutty when it’s so hot. Anyway, the first call was a dead body at the Hard Rock.
Dave: (chuckles) I don’t mean to laugh but it sounds funny – dead body at the Hard Rock.
Marg: That’s how the call came in. I have to say, you know, there was some excitement about wanting to be part of this investigation. Even though I feel terribly guilty – obviously somebody lost their life. Anyway that was…we went in and there wasn’t a homicide. There didn’t seem to be any suspicious circs, as we refer to it.
Dave: Suspicious circs, Circumstances.
Dave: You have to abbreviate everything, right?
Marg: Everything on our show seems to be. You know Perp, or you know…
Dave: Because when you’re investigating crime, time is of the essence. You can’t waste a second right, when you solve those crimes. You don’t have to tell me.
Dave: I don’t know what I am talking about. So you see the dead body there in the Hard Rock and you thought ‘Okay no problem here and you load back in the squad car.’
Marg: Yes. I mean there was a lot of things that happened. I’m sort of, I don’t want to give away too much because it was obviously somebody’s life.
Dave: Yeah. We don’t mean to be silly about it.
Marg: No, no exactly. But the second call was a home invasion and Yolanda said, ‘Oh this is so boring. Just call your home owner’s insurance. I don’t want to be bothered with this.’ Because it’s always teens and their prints are never on file blah, blah, blah, right. So we get there, way out in the ‘burbs and it’s this older couple. And this woman said ‘We had some stuff stolen from this room.’ And we’re walking down a hall and about to approach another room and she said, ‘I want you to know that I throw Fun Parties.’
Dave: Fun Parties?
Marg: Fun Parties. And Yolanda said, ‘Okay, hide the sex toys.’
Dave: Oh, really. That’s what a Fun Party is?
Marg: Well, apparently. We open the door and there’s just a big shelf full of all kinds of sex toy gadgets. You know from lubricants to handcuffs to cock rings
(Dave pours two shots of wild turkey and he and Marg each have a shot)
Dave: WOW! So what happened there?
Marg: We ended up getting…we dusted cock rings for prints.
Dave: OH NO! ( Dave takes a hugh swig of the wild turkey)
Dave: Oh man! That beats bird calling, don’t it? And so then what happened?
Marg: We got a print.
Dave: You did?
Marg: And this woman, she was, I’m talking, late sixties I’d say she probably was. Then it dawned on her that I was going to be going back to the set and explaining to the producers that this was going to be something on our program. And I actually did tell them the story, but we haven’t used it yet. I guess we’re waiting for the right time.
Dave: Yeah, it sounds like a pretty good story to me. But it’s a Fun Party, that’s the term. That’s what I should keep listening for.
Marg: Fun party, Fun party.
Dave: We’re having a fun party.
Marg: Fun Party.
Dave: What part of the country are you from? Is it the Midwest? Is that right?
Marg: That’s right.
Dave: Small Town.
Marg: Small town. North Bend, Nebraska.
Dave: What kind of stuff did you do when you were a kid there in North Bend, Nebraska?
Marg: Yes. Well, you know there’s not…you have to make your own fun.
Dave: Of course you do.
Marg: Well you know… gosh, this is almost embarrassing. One of the things in the summer time during the height of mosquito season… you know those bug trucks? Did they have those in Indiana?
Dave: No. We had mosquitoes, but I don’t recall a bug truck.
Marg: Well, it just sort of emits all of this fog, which is toxic gases.
Dave: It would actually blow the insecticide?
Marg: Yes, around the streets to kind of help ease the mosquito problem. And one of the things to do as kids was run behind the truck in amongst all the fog and toxic fumes. ‘I can’t see you! Can you see me?’
Marg: I know it. It’s pathetic.
Dave: You’re lucky to be alive, for heaven’s sake. ‘Let’s follow the mosquito truck. Let’s go hide in the clouds of insecticide.’
Marg: I know!
Dave: Oh my god, that’s horrifying!
Marg: It’s horrifying. It is horrifying.
Dave: How’s your husband?
Marg: My husband is good. Alan is very good. Alan Rosenberg.
Marg: Actor, yes.
Dave: And you have a son that’s almost a teenager.
Marg: Yeah. He’s twelve.
Dave: Now what is that like?
Marg: Well, you know, I’m getting the preteen attitude and all that. He’s going to be bar mitzvahed this year. I’m Catholic, my husband is Jewish, and we eloped, my husband and I. So the whole wedding deal was not kind of my bag. So planning for a Bar Mitzvah is kind of more than…it’s a lot.
Dave: They’re like big deals now, aren’t they?
Marg: They’re big deals, yes. In fact, I’ve been going to quite a few of them lately because it’s that year. Everybody’s turning thirteen. That’s like the most exercise I’m getting is like dancing at these bar mitzvahs to like ‘I Like Big Butts.’ All the moms were out there. It’s been a gas actually.
Dave: Well, I’ll look forward to hearing all about that next time. And everything’s good on the program? Everything’s good in your life?
Marg: Everything’s good, yes. It’s a great group of people I work with.
Dave: Well, good. Keep up the great work. Nice to see you again.
Marg: Thank you. Nice to see you again
Dave: Marg Helgenberger, everybody!
*Special thanks to fox1 for transcribing this interview for us.