Gore taped the show during a brief stopover in the Big Apple book-ended by a coffeehouse campaign stop with daughter Karenna, and a benefit concert at Radio City Music Hall that will bring in $5 million for the Democratic Party.
The Letterman house band played the Veep on to the set with the Prince song Kiss, setting up Dave to tease Gore about the ballyhooed convention night smooch he shared with wife Tipper.
| TOP TEN REJECTED GORE-LIEBERMAN CAMPAIGN SLOGANS|
(as read by Al Gore)
10. Vote for me or I'll come to your home and explain my 191-page economic plan to you in excruciating detail.
"You realized people were watching, right?" Letterman asked. The studio audience whooped when Gore said, "For me, that was just a little peck."
Letterman and Gore had a lot of fun with Bush's open mike blooper. Gore's rival was caught calling a New York Times reporter an "ass----." Letterman suggested, "There must be a moment when you think, 'This is gonna be good.' "
"In all seriousness, that kind of thing could happen to anyone," Gore said sympathetically, before making several jokes about it.
Letterman "surprised" Gore with a contrived campaign clip in which Gore is overheard dissing the Letterman show as "lame" and yes-man Joe Lieberman agrees "Aw, yeah, big time," echoing Dick Cheney's real-life affirmation of Bush's put-down of reporter Adam Clymer.
Gore reacted in mock horror and said, "I am very sorry that the microphone picked up that comment."
Letterman peppered Gore with facetious questions about serious subjects like Wen Ho Lee and the Bush debate preparation materials that turned up in a Gore friend's "in" box. Gore just barely resisted the bait on Lee, and looked a little uncomfortable when Letterman suggested Republicans might have engineered a "dirty trick" to make the Gore campaign look dishonest.
As Letterman recited with interest the facts of the melting polar ice cap story, Gore cided him. "You are such a wonk."
When Gore read his own Top Ten list, which included a few Jewish jokes at Lieberman's expense, Letterman said, "Whoa, can you say that?"
|Stars Scorch Bush|
At a Gore concert fundraiser, Hollywood strikes back - and gets nasty.
Yes, Gore laughed, then referring to the Jewish tradition of refraining from work on Saturdays, Gore quipped, "Vote for us, we're gonna work 24 / 6."
The candidate, who acknowledged his own nerdiness in his prime-time nomination acceptance speech, turned out to be a much better Letterman guest than the more affable Bush. The Texas governor fell on his face in his last Late Show appearance. Bush's next opportunity to redeem himself with America's couch potatoes comes on Monday, when he appears on Oprah.
Bill Clinton has been raking in money from his friends in the entertainment industry for years. This week, reports CBS News Correspondent Bill Plante, Al Gore and Joe Lieberman raised $9 million from the very same show biz folks they're accusing of sleazy marketing. The Democratic duo was at Radio City Music Hall Thursday with some of the biggest names in Hollywood at a political gala for which the top ticket price was $20,000. The Radio City event capped off a week of entertainment industry fund raising.
Do Hollywood's elite mind the criticism from the Democrats they support? Not really.
"Go, go, go Al," said Bette Midler, who made the scene at Radio City. "We need a little spanking."