With hat in hand, John McCain returned to "The Late Show" hosted by David Letterman after ditching a scheduled appearance in favor of an interview with Katy Couric. McCain was expected to be apologetic upon his arrival and at the mercy of the host, but Letterman had plans to extract more than an apology from the no-show candidate.
Directed to an open parking lot next to the Ed Sullivan Theater, McCain stood alone while cameras focused on him from the roof of the building. On cue from Letterman, watermelons were dropped from the roof as cameras recorded both the colorful explosions on the pavement as well as McCain's "dance of avoidance". The action was framed nicely by accompaniment from the Paul Schaeffer Band playing a jazz inspired version of Rimsky-Korsakov's "Flight of the Bumblebee". Eggs followed the watermelons, while the band transitioned to Led Zeppelin's "No Quarter".
Met with whooping applause on his return to the studio, McCain was visibly shaken from the experience but immediately congratulated by Letterman for being a good sport. "I could see that you still have a few good moves in you, almost as wily as a cat", Letterman joked. "Not bad for an old man who stumbled around the debate stage the other night, eh?" McCain responded.
McCain was occupied with wiping the remaining watermelon seeds and egg yolk off his pants during the commercial break when Letterman asked, "So are you ever going to stand me up on the show again? I mean I hate it when I have to book a guy like Carrot Top at the last minute for filler." McCain replied, "I get your point, even though I still have nicer hair. I'm your bitch."
"Good", Letterman said. "Now get your ass up and get me a fresh cup of water."