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Living it Up with Ali & Jack
November 20, 2003

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Ali: Wow! You're tall!

DJE: [chuckling] Yes I can be. I wasn't tall yesterday. The Lakers were in town ... two of them got in the elevator with me.

Ali: And you stretched?[much laughter]

Jack: We mentioned the show is in its ninth season. And it just recently made the list of 50 longest-running series in the history of television. [applause]

DJE: We're coming up on 200! Our 200th episode in January.

Ali: You get a cake for that, don't you?

DJE: I think we do, yeah!

Ali: Excellent!

Jack: When you started doing the show, 'cause it had a funny history ... started at NBC ...

DJE: It was always on the edge of disaster. And TV's like that. You do a pilot - the odds are one in a hundred that the pilot will even air. And then one in a hundred that you'll get ... or one in four hundred that you get past 13 [episodes]. The odds are like, insane. So to go nine years, one in a billion ....

Ali: Beyond Friends. Now how hard is the military jargon? Because, I mean, I watch it for you, sweetie. But some of it, it's like ER.

DJE: Well, the thing about the show is the rank. I don't know about the other branches of the service, but the Navy, you're not just a Petty Officer, you can be a Petty Officer First Class, or Second Class ... you can call the Second Class Petty Officer a CPO but don't call ... if you and I were just talking, he'd be just Petty Officer. So you can have 3 Petty Officers in one scene. Last week they were lieutenants.

Ali: Right. [looking confused]

DJE: The week before they ...

Ali: They get offended if they get called Second Class ...

DJE: Well, I don't know, maybe ...

Ali: That's so petty!

DJE: [laughing] Yes it is.

Ali: What about the salutes? Aren't there different ...

Jack: Can you teach her how to salute?

DJE: [DJE watches Ali demonstrate her salute] Nah! No no. The British salute is different. They go up the long way. [demonstrating both salutes] The American is ...

Ali: Quick, to the point.

Jack: She did that very well.

DJE: Quick, like a razor. [to Jack] She did do well. You know what, we get people on the show, and their salutes are disastrous.

Jack: Next time you're looking for a Petty Officer Second Class who can salute ...

Ali: He makes me greet him like that every morning.

Jack: Now talking about TV shows, you probably know this, but Ali was on Seinfeld, one of the classic episodes ... the Soup Nazi. You also, you got a big jumpstart for your career on Seinfeld.

DJE: I was in The Couch. I was Carl the Moving Guy.

Ali: Yes you were. You were! ... Now, I want to talk to you ... your last name is my daughter's first name, Elliott, spelt the same way. You have an eight-month-old, don't you? In March ...

DJE: Yeah. Eight month. Wyatt.

Ali: That's beautiful too. How's that going for you, getting any sleep?

DJE: You know, he doesn't sleep as well as his sister. I have a 10-year-old daughter. And she slept really well and he doesn't sleep at all. They're like polar opposites. She's a doll now, but the first two years, she was like a terrorist. And he's so sweet. He's the happiest guy. But he doesn't sleep well. So all night long ... the slightest sound ... if you roll over ... [makes weird sound of baby wailing]

Ali: Really? That sounds like an old man to me. I mean, baby going waaah!

Jack: Isn't it astonishing how two children, same environment, same parents can be so dramatically different?

DJE: Incredible!

Jack: You say to yourself, how does that happen?

DJE: Well, it took 10 years to get over the fear of what we went through the first time.

Ali: That's true! Quite a little break for you.

DJE: He's such a doll. Thank God!

Ali: Here, let me do that for you! [as DJE brushes some lint off his right knee, Ali leans over to do it for him to much laughter from the audience.] .... I think that if I were in labour, it would be a treat to have you by my side. Now, when your wife gave birth recently, she had a caesarean section

DJE: An emergency caesarean.

Ali: An emergency caesarean ... now there was a bit of a SNAFU - which is one of my favourite words -

DJE: I had brought in a camera because I was going to film the event. It was insane in the room when it happened obviously. When his heartbeat started going down we got rushed into the room and they kept moving me, telling me where I could be and couldn't be. Yes, stand here, no you can't stand there! ... Eventually they found a spot for me, and I had the camera. I looked over - there's a shroud that they put between the head and the ...

Ali: Right.

DJE: ... and I was sitting right next to my wife's head. And I looked and I thought, oh my God, I can't look at that now but I thought, maybe I'll look at it later. So I had the kind of video camera that you can turn the view thing. So I held it up and I made sure it was in frame and I looked away and I pushed the button and I just talked to her. It's a weird ... Have you ever ...?

Ali: Been there, baby! Done that!

DJE: Been there ... very odd, because she's talking like nothing's going on. Meanwhile, there's major surgery ... anyway, when it was over, and I filmed that and I watched them clean my son and cut the cord and did all that and then later I'll watch the tape. I remember the doctor was looking at me like he was a little unnerved that I was filming. Because God forbid, if something had gone wrong, and I had it on tape.

Ali: AHA!

DJE: Then when I went to view it, later, ...

Jack: He knows you play a lawyer!

DJE: Right! He was nervous right out of the gate! ... I had hit it inadvertently and I had right up to the moment and right after that, and nothing in between.

Ali: It's called divine intervention.

DJE: It was. Because when I told him, he looked so relieved.

Jack: I think it's called the doctor saying 'look over there for a second' and presses the button and shut it off while you're doing that.... You had a lovely romantic remarriage, you and your wife.

DJE: Well, we had eloped the first time. We got married at city hall. It was really unromantic. And I always said, when we had some cash, that we would one day do it right. So, I think, ... how long ago was it? I'm trying to remember ...

Ali: We weren't there!

DJE: You were invited ... 1999. So, four years ago. It was huge. We had 250 guests. We had agreed on a budget. And I assumed she was good to her word. I went about my business and I let her do the production. She was all about it. Two and a half times the budget is what came in!

Ali: David, that's what happens.

Jack: Looking at the picture, looks like you ran out of budget money for your pants? [laughter] So you had to borrow your wife's skirt? There's a story, right?

DJE: The kilt ... my father was very ... Scottish heritage. So I said we'll have kilts at the wedding. All the men wore kilts. It was really beautiful.

Ali: It's beautiful. And also, the party, it was not only a kind of remarriage, but was also we got through a few years of a colicky baby party, which I think everyone should have, if they have a colicky baby. ... Thank you so much!

Jack: David James Elliott, thank you. JAG Friday nights on CBS.

 

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