Documentary Traces Comedian’s Journey To ‘Late Show’

CHICAGO (CBS) — When 35-year-old stand-up comedian Steve Mazan learned he was dying of cancer, he decided to dedicate the rest of his life to living his dream – performing on The Late Show with David Letterman.

“For comedians, it’s the pinnacle. It’s like Johnny Carson used to be. It’s the best show to be on for comedians,” said Mazan, who lives in Los Angeles but grew up in Chicago.

LISTEN: Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding Reports

As WBBM Newsradio 780’s Lisa Fielding reports, Mazan, a full time comedian, says he always aspired to do Letterman but knew he was running out of time.

“I gave myself a year. I ended up taking me almost five years,” he said. “I knew it would happen someday but the diagnosis made me realize I can’t wait for someday, I needed to make it happen.”

The documentary, “Dying To Do Letterman” chronicles his journey and his eventual appearance in 2009.

“There were two endings to the show, either me dying or me appearing on the show. So it’s a happy ending, and I’m doing the interview…so,” he laughed. “This isn’t a documentary about cancer, it’s about living your dreams which we should all be doing.”

“Dying To Do Letterman” is premiering at the Just for Laughs film festival at the Gene Siskel Film Center, 164 N. State St., on Friday. It will also play there on June 30.

The documentary won the jury and the audience award in the Cleveland International Film Festival and best documentary at the Cinequest Film Festival.

More from Lisa Fielding
  • Sarah

    WOW!, This guy has to be a real Lefty,Letterman is more important than his love ones and his friends who surround him,

  • Mo

    Sarah, You’re an Idiot.

  • Biagio

    Hey Sarah and Mo. Actually, that’s an issue we explore in the film. Are dreams important? At what point are they selfish? Can one man’s dream evolve into something that inspires others? As the filmmaker, I’ve seen first hand the many cancer patients and every-day people that have been touched by Steve’s drive to live the dream that was important to him, and so I believe the dream is bigger than a self-centered quest…but you’ll just have to check the movie out and decide for yourself :-)

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