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Dim-Witted Larcenist Puts Palm Coast on David Letterman’s Lips and Map

| October 19, 2010

david letterman palm coast observer small town news

B marks the spot: David Letterman discovers Palm Coast.

It’s the most—and certainly best—national attention Palm Coast has received almost since being the subject of a sprawling article in The New York Times on Jan. 6, 1974, when trees still outnumbered real estate agents in town.

Letterman Does Palm Coast: The Audio (edited to relevant bits)
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On Oct. 15, Palm Coast was the banter of choice on David Letterman’s Late Show, which is watched by an average of 3.8 million viewers every night. Letterman and Paul Shaffer on three occasions during the show’s “Small Town News” segment wondered about Palm Coast, guessed about its location, its beauty, its palm trees, its proximity to Fort Lauderdale or St. Augustine. Letterman’s guesses were accurate. Shaffer’s were clueless.

Give credit to the Palm Coast Observer, the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office, and a particularly discriminating—or idiotic—criminal. Letterman had seized on an item from the Observer’s crime blotter–something about a larceny refreshingly short on goods. Here’s Letterman’s first exchange with Shaffer:

Letterman: This is from the Palm Coast Observer, Palm Coast, Florida. That sounds like a beautiful—have you ever been to Palm Coast?

Shaffer: Palm Coast? No.

Letterman: Doesn’t that sound lovely?

Shaffer: It sounds great.

Letterman: Yeah, very nice.

Shaffer: Have you ever been there?

Letterman: Let’s see… Huh?

Shaffer: Have you ever been there?

Letterman: No, I’ve never been to Palm Coast. I’m guessing it’s north of Fort Lauderdale.

Shaffer: Which coast? Do you think it’s on the—

Letterman: I would think the Palms suggest that it would be on the Atlantic coast. I don’t know this for a fact, but it sounds lovely.

Shaffer: They have palm trees on the Gulf coast.

Letterman: Or maybe up a little farther north like St. Augustine.

Shaffer: It could be St. Augustine. Yeah.

Letterman. Hmm. We’ll find out. Eeeh. And you wonder why nobody watches this show. You wonder why they’re watching that Jimmy Fallon hop up and down, aren’t you?

letterman palm coast map

Letterman shows off Palm Coast.
(Click for larger view)

Only then did Letterman finally turn to the crime item: “Larceny. Motor vehicle. The man stated that the GPS, satellite radio and his safety equipment were all still in his vehicle. The only thing taken were a soda from his cooler and two AA batteries.” Letterman whooped a couple of times. “Sounds to me like a crime wave down there in Palm Coast.”

He went on to a few other items, briefly jabbed at Palm Coast’s bi-coastal mystery again (“hi, welcome to geography. We don’t know anything”) and finally returned to the matter at the end of the segment, map in hand. He circled St. Augustine and marked it “A,” circled Palm Coast and marked it “B,” and put the map up to the camera. There it was. Palm Coast had finally made it, with one more send-off from Letterman: ”I bet it is beautiful. How can it not be beautiful?”

The city and the county’s Tourist Development Council can thank their lucky Daves: it would have been disastrous for the city’s reputation had it made it on Leno (“Big Jaw Leno” in Letterman lingo), reinforcing the notion that this is the place where second sand third acts go to die. And neither Letterman nor Shaffer once wondered if the thing even has a coast. Letterman must’ve assumed that if it didn’t, it would, given some particularly well placed locals’ proclivities for larcenies, eventually annex one. No GPS necessary.

The clip:

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16 Responses for “Dim-Witted Larcenist Puts Palm Coast on David Letterman’s Lips and Map”

  1. saw says:

    Most important part of the article (SPRAWL) “sprawling article in The New York Times on Jan. 6, 1974, when trees still outnumbered real estate agents in town”.

    So why is it today, we currently have almost as many Vote NO on Amendment # 4 signs, in the city as trees ?

    It is because those same developers,the chamber, and realtors,etc. are using YOUR tax dollars from the Federal Bailout Funds to litter your city, in order to enable them to do business as usual.

    To protect P.C. and our state, from irresponsible growth we must vote YES on Amendment #4, by doing so we the residents will have a say in all local major housing developements.

    This is something the developers have nightmares about, people being in control of their destiny. you have a chance here to change the status quo, if you pass it up you may never have the chance again.

    Please help our state, by voting YES on Amendment # 4 the state you SAVE will be your own.

  2. Maurice says:

    This was a funny segment, props to the PC Observer

  3. Vote YES ON 4 if you LOVE PALM COAST says:

    Letterman referring to Palm Coast – “It sounds lovely”, is absolutely what the original planners wanted people to think when they heard the name. Spot on. BUT, the original vision for Palm Coast is being smashed before our very eyes by developers that have no ties, no regard, and no intention to honor the original vision for our area. That vision includes a natural balance between people and nature where canals are fresh and not stagnant, wildlife abounds everywhere, and where homes and businesses are planted into and alongside the existing landscape of wetlands and trees. We know that unchecked, developers would do the opposite, attack the landscape, see it razed and laid sterile like a theme park, where gardens and structures are then artificially overlayed. Welcome to Fake Florida. Palm Coast is not fake. Not yet. It’s on the way, but there are still plenty of well-designed and preserved areas. Amendment 4 is our tool, our ally. We must pass it. If we the citizens and residents want to keep it a natural, peaceful, lovely place – a preserved natural paradise if you will, then VOTE YES ON 4! If not for the work of the city of Palm Coast to enact ordinances, regulate green development practices and oversee developers, then we would be walking forward into an even greater mess. But the city can’t and shouldn’t do it alone. Look at old Palm Coast east of I-95. Trees everywhere, Live Oak Canopies, southern natural charm, abundant natural corridors. This was the original vision. The fact that the Publix on A1A in the Hammock is so well hidden into the trees is no accident. But there is train wreck waiting ahead for the rest of Palm Coast’s development if the current citizenry doesn’t learn its local land-steward heritage and along with that step up to the responsibility of maintaining it’s unique city of beauty. People and businesses may come (businesses especially) , so we have the choice whether to look and act like everywhere else in Florida and the country, where eventually developers conquer, concrete wins, sprawl devours, and people resign themselves to the familiar cliche, “That’s progress for ya….” while cowering under the developer’s anthem of “build it and they will come”. Not here. Not ever. VOTE YES on 4 and send the message to big money interests, the chamber, the lawyers, the realtors, and all others that don’t want your say in local matters. Tell them you and your city do matter. It matters to all those in the future who will look at Palm Coast as once and always having the guts and vision to truly teach the world what smart living, smart growth, and smart community stewardship is all about. Now that DOES sound lovely.

  4. Sean O'Brien says:

    Dear Saw,

    Your ignorance on Amendment #4 offends me almost as much as your lack of grammatical acuity. I surmise that, in your attempt to pen an intelligent and cohesive comment, you must not have had time to edit your words carefully. Otherwise, I cannot help but to implore you to relearn how to use commas, dependent, and independent clauses correctly. I assume, than, that your use of a pseudonym to mask your real identity was a temporary solution until you can edit your comment. Unless, of course, you have something to hide.


    Sean Michael O’Brien

  5. Sean O'Brien says:

    Dear Vote YES on 4 if you LOVE PALM COAST,

    Please refer to my letter to Saw. Also, please add to run-on sentences to my list of grammatical errors for you to relearn. Thank you.


    Sean Michael O’Brien

  6. saw says:

    My dear Mr.O’Brien, thank goodness, you are a (school teacher ), for a moment there, I thought you might have been a realtor.

    Evidently, you are not at all upset about the overkill of TAXPAYER funded NO signs, which currently proliferate our county, signs which by the way, will end up in the landfill in a couple of weeks.

    That is of course, unless you find a way to re-cycle them, one would hope so.

    We sincerely hope that the majority of our local residents, will not be fooled by this consortium (did I spell that word right ?) of special interests, and that they will VOTE YES on # 4, in favor of protecting our state into the future.

    Please feel free to critque this comment, if you are not out placing more NO signs that is.

  7. Dear Saw says:

    I happen to be a friend of Mr. O’Brien. He is not a school teacher. Having first-hand seen him interact with children, my son included, I would be thrilled if he decided to change careers to help the youth of Palm Coast. I would be happy to take him under my wing, and help him earn his certification. I believe he would make an outstanding English or social studies teacher, educating his classes about representative democracy in a constitutional republic.

  8. Dear Saw says:

    And he’s not a realtor, either.

  9. Vote for HOME RULE Over Being RULED OVER! says:

    I’ll take run-on sentences anyday over run-on, unchecked, unwanted, unnecessary development, so VOTE YES on 4 if you LOVE PALM COAST and desire HOME RULE OVER BEING RULED OVER!

  10. Sean O'Brien says:

    Saw, I sincerely applaud your attempt at a witty retort. I must point out that your failed grammar has, once again, taken the punch completely out of your intended message. I would like to take this opportunity to extend my hand to you as an open invitation for some grammar and civic knowledge.

    HOME RULE, I love your grammar! Absolutely scintillating. You may want to join in with Saw for the civics portion of my class, however.

    As a general note, I would like to point out that I am the only person using my actual name. I am not ashamed of my opinions or right to them. Certainly makes one wonder about everyone else.

  11. Mr. O’Brien,
    In your strange attempt to dismiss an argument based on misplaced commas, you’ve neglected to actually address the sentiments voiced, which would lead a reasonable person to assume that you’ve no nothing intelligent to say on the subject at hand, big words notwithstanding. Having had teachers like you while growing up – I’d respectfully disagree with your friend. You’d make a lousy teacher. Lastly, your prose is not as error-free as you think, which makes this whole exchange sadly ironic.

    Inna Hardison

  12. Sean O'Brien says:


    Great catch on my grammatical faux pas! Unfortunately, there is no way to edit posts after submission. I would certainly have done so if the opportunity was presented.

    As to your assertions that I have nothing intelligent to say on the subject at hand and would make a lousy teacher, I beg of you not to assume. If you like to make an ass out of yourself, well, by all means. Please, however, do not make one out of me.

    Most importantly, thank you for using your real name! It is quite refreshing to actually see someone stand up for their opinions instead of cowering in anonymity. My friend should know better.

    Best Wishes,


    P.S. A lack of humor on your part does not constitute a forgoing of the facts on mine. Always remember, those who argue with fools…

  13. Sean – you are, indeed, the only one capable of making an ass of yourself. Quite capable, I might add. And now I leave you to your soapbox.

  14. To Funny says:

    Wow, so watching The Price Is Right this morning and one of the three prizes given out in the showcase showdown at the end was, you guessed it, a beautiful trip to “Gorgeous Palm Coast Florida”. I mean really??? LMAO!!! Twice in one week Palm Coast has received national recognition on TV… To Funny!!!

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