FACTBOX: Letterman's "Top Ten" demands of striking writers

NEW YORK Wed Jan 2, 2008 9:25pm EST

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Late-night TV comedian David Letterman's show returned on Wednesday touting itself as the "only show on the air" with union-backed jokes after a two-month hiatus in support of striking screenwriters.

Some 10,500 members of the Writers Guild of America have been on strike against the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers (AMPTP) demanding, among other things, higher fees paid for work appearing on DVDs and the Internet.

Here is Letterman's satirical Top 10 List of "Demands of the Striking Writers," from a transcript read by writers on Wednesday's show.

10. "Complimentary tote bag with next insulting contract offer" - Tim Carvell from "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"

9. "No rollbacks in health benefits, so I can treat the hypothermia I caught on the picket lines" - Laura Krafft from "The Colbert Report"

8. "Full salary and benefits for my imaginary writing partner, Lester" - daytime television writer Melissa Salmons

7. "Members of the AMPTP must explain what the hell AMPTP stands for" - Warren Leight from "Law & Order: Criminal Intent"

6. "No disciplinary action taken against any writer caught having inappropriate relationship with a copier" - Jay Katsir from "The Colbert Report"

5. "I'd like a date with a woman" - Steve Bodow from "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"

4. "Hazard pay for breaking up fights on 'The View'" - writer and director Nora Ephron

3. "I'm no accountant, but instead of us getting 4 cents for a $20 DVD, how about we get $20 for a 4-cent DVD?" - Gina Johnfrido from "Law & Order"

2. "I don't have a joke -- I just want to remind everyone that we're on strike, so none of us are responsible for this lame list" - Chris Albers from "Late Night with Conan O'Brien"

1. "Producers must immediately remove their heads from their a----" - Thurber Award-winning author Alan Zwiebel

(Reporting by Michelle Nichols; editing by Bob Tourtellotte and Todd Eastham)

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