David Letterman, Tina Fey, Chris Rock and nine more comic titans grace our new issue’s cover as Rolling Stone explores the new golden age of comedy. Inside the issue these comedy all-stars discuss their influences, favorite jokes and worst bombs, plus some of Hollywood’s best writers reveal the craziest revisions they’ve received from nervous executives.
In Jason Gay’s rare interview with David Letterman the late-night king opens up about fatherhood, his heart surgery and coming to terms with the rating wars. Here’s a head start: Letterman on being scared of Madonna and welcoming the terminally ill Warren Zevon to his show. Plus, take a look at six classic Letterman stories from throughout his 26-year career.
But first, click above to watch Jimmy Fallon, Sarah Silverman, a half-naked Tracy Morgan, Billy Crystal and Don Rickles attempt to explain how they got funny on the set of our photo shoots. “Being a comedian is like being gay,” Silverman explains.