Over the weekend, I watched a great, relatively new documentary about a surprisingly fascinating subject. Steve Young, a long-tenured writer for David Letterman, was tasked with finding albums for a recurring desk-piece called “Dave’s Record Collection.” The songs he found ranged from nutty (anything by William Shatner) to very odd: a tribute to refrigerators.
It made sense that the shows remained hidden – they were considered the ultimate sellout for Broadway writers and performers. But such a tremendous sellout. While producers were given around $400,000 budgets to create Broadway shows back then, for corporate one-offs they were given over $3 million.
The albums flipped a switch in Steve’s brain he didn’t know he had, and he became the ultimate, obsessed collector. Bathtubs Over Broadway follows him as he meets other collectors and now much-older performers and composers. Even David Letterman makes a rare appearance to talk to Steve about it.
It’s a bygone era, and many of the performers haven’t worked in a while. Their stories are woven together with Steve’s, after David Letterman announces he is retiring and Steve’s days are numbered. It’s fascinating, with a happy, emotional ending.
It’s on all the big services, like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Definitely see it. I’m dying to discuss this with someone.