It's not every day David Letterman goes soft. But the normally biting talk-show host turned to mush Thursday night over one very special Chilean miner with a talent for Elvis impersonations.
The guest, Edison Peña, one of the 33 trapped Chilean miners, was on for three full segments and described through an interpreter some of his experience of living underground for 69 days. Turns out, this guy was the life of the party.
So what exactly made Dave melt?
After talking about his, uh, bathroom troubles, saying it was "difficult" because he couldn't get "sufficiently relaxed," Peña segued into a description of how the men kept themselves occupied otherwise during the difficult months.
He described how he ran from three to six miles a day through the underground tunnels to stay in shape, and considers himself a miner "for life" as a result of the ordeal.
"Out of respect for my collegues, my country, and the people of the world," he said.
And then, naturally, he broke out into his Elvis routine.
After Letterman commented that one of the things Peña did while trapped was "he sang," Peña replied that he actually likes to sing by himself.
But he sure turned into a real crowd pleaser.
He busted into "Suspicious Minds," jumping up, swinging his arms and gyrating his hips in a pretty good impression of The King, accompanied by Paul Shaffer—and it turns out Peña's a pretty good crooner.
As he sat, Letterman, obviously touched, grabbed Peña and pulled him in for a hug.
"I kinda want to hug you now, too," said Letterman.