David Letterman Learns How to be a Grocery Store Employee
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David Letterman Learns How to be a Grocery Store Employee

Jun 27, 2023

The former 'Late Night' host put his skills to the test at a Hy-Vee store

David Letterman/ Instagram

David Letterman just proved he’s better at dishing out jokes than stocking grocery store shelves.

The former Late Night host and Indiana native explored his retail roots at Hy-Vee by testing out a career as a grocery store worker himself. In a silly video posted to his Instagram, he practiced “stocking, sacking and sorting” while in town for the Hy-Vee Indycar Race Weekend. (Letterman is one of the owners of Hy-Vee's No. 45 car that competed.)

“I spent a considerable amount of my life in a grocery store in Indianapolis. And it was the last of the singular independent owned grocery stores, and I loved it and if I can give something back to the marketing community, I would like to do that,” he started out the video, and then joked, “But I don’t have all day, of course.”

After he had an employee tie his apron, he was ready for his shift. First up was organizing canned goods.

“Look at this – an open soup here,” he joked as he opened the can himself. “Woah, minestrone!” Letterman then took a sip straight from the can. “Wow, that’s good,” he quipped, offering it to a co-worker who tried it, too.

Next up, he went behind the checkout counter and put his years of microphone-use to the test on the loud speaker.

“Today only! Celery for Hy-Vee shoppers, absolutely free. Help yourself to the celery!” he joked as his voice echoed throughout the store.

During his adventures through the aisles, the comedian found gum balls on the floor. “Any other grocery store, I wouldn’t eat stuff off the floor. Here, I’m very comfortable,” he said, popping a gum ball in his mouth.

After trying out a donut at the bakery, it was time for him to bag a customer’s food.

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

“Oh are you making cookies? Chocolate chip? They’re the best,” he said, while placing products into paper bags. “I’m going to put the chocolate chip in here with the cat food. Is that alright?”

By the end of his shift, Letterman asked his temporary Hy-Vee boss how he performed, to which the employer said, “I’m going to be honest with you, Dave.”

Letterman interrupted him, saying, “Well you don’t need to be honest with me. I’m 100. Please don’t be honest with me." His superior responded with a laugh, “Then you did fantastic.”

The late night television veteran then closed off the video, saying, “This is all I got, 30 years on television.”

Letterman isn’t the only star to try their hand in the food industry recently. On Friday, Lana Del Ray worked behind the counter at Waffle House. A fan account uploaded a video on Instagram on Thursday showing the “West Coast” singer, 38, serving customers.

“Just Lana Del Rey working as a waitress at a restaurant,” the caption for lanadelreybr's Instagram post read.

In the video, the singer-songwriter could be seen “Doin’ Time” in a waitress uniform with her own custom yellow Waffle House name badge. Del Rey kept it professional — and observed health and safety rules — for her restaurant gig, wearing her hair tied back in a chic up-do.

Another Instagram post from the same fan account showed a series of photos of the singer in waitress mode — in one she reached for a coffee pot, while another showed her speaking to fans sitting in the restaurant. Del Rey also posed with two fans in other pics, grinning as her custom Waffle House name tag popped in the pictures.