Awkwardly transferred this from VHS yesterday. I don’t think it was Payton’s greatest or funniest TV moment, but he was a very charming, gregarious man; probably more comfortable in front of a TV camera than he was with a small group of strangers at a banquet or event.
Truth is, a lot of celebrities—and especially athletes—operate in such a way. With strangers, they’re asked the same, oh, 20 questions over and over and over again; an endless, ceaseless loop of “What was that run against the Raiders like?” and “Is it true William Perry eats 20 slices of pizza for lunch?” It’s awkward and annoying and irksome. But on Letterman’s couch, with thousands watching, there’s a natural autopilot that kicks into gear.
Sorry to babble.