Launched in a garage, Palo Alto 'Late Show' hits 50th performance | June 28, 2019 | Palo Alto Weekly | Palo Alto Online |

Palo Alto Weekly

News - June 28, 2019

Launched in a garage, Palo Alto 'Late Show' hits 50th performance

Identical twins' neighborhood performances inspired by David Letterman

by Daniel Li

It's a classic Palo Alto story: A group of like-minded friends, fueled by passion, start something incredible in their home garage. That's exactly how 21-year-old identical twin brothers David and Robbie King ended up launching a talk show in their Palo Alto neighborhood that has been attracting a crowd ever since.

For almost four years, the twins, along with some of their friends, have hosted "Late Night with David King featuring Don Schaefer and the PA Orchestra," in their Barron Park garage on La Selva Drive for their neighbors. The show runs every two weeks and regularly attracts 25 to 30 people. On July 12, the group will host its 50th show.

Currently the show includes six members: host David King, singer Robbie King, co-host and rapper Don Schaefer, drummer Roger Poon, guitarist Michael Smith and tambourine player Jamal Gage. Robbie, Schaefer, Poon, Smith and Gage also comprise the show's house band, PA Orchestra.

The King brothers had been fans of the "Late Show with David Letterman" since they were in elementary school. Once Letterman officially retired in May 2015, the two were inspired to start their own talk show, David said.

"We both grew up on David Letterman, and I used to stand in front of the TV acting like him. That summer of 2015, Robbie was on the swings listening to a David Letterman intro and was reciting it. He asked me, 'Hey David, why don't we do a show just like Letterman?' And now, the rest is history."

The group's first show took place on Aug. 25, 2015 — a sticky affair that consisted of an experiment with Mentos candy and soda that shot a sugary geyser into the air. The show was disorganized, as they were missing equipment and still getting the logistics figured out, he recalled.

"The garage was very dark, and we didn't have projection lights. I also didn't have a suit on and was just wearing my regular clothes," he said.

Since then, he has become more confident in hosting and more creative in coming up with acts. Although the show was inspired by Letterman and shares some similarities, he emphasized that his show is different.

"We are not doing exactly what Letterman is doing. Just because it's similar doesn't mean that it is the same. I always put on different performances and acts. I also don't talk about politics; instead, I talk about life and tell jokes," he said.

The show lasts for roughly 45 minutes and is divided into three segments: a monologue, musical performance and guest appearance. According to the twins' mom, Jere King, the show sometimes revolves around a given holiday season.

"We have had shows around Cinco de Mayo, Christmas, Halloween and Thanksgiving. Other times, it is just a topic like graduation or the start of summer," she said.

Guests who appear on the show come from a variety of backgrounds, ranging from friends to physicians, Jere said. Several of the twins' past teachers also have appeared as guests.

"We try to think of people we know who might be a good guest and would talk about things the audience would be interested in. A number of times those have just been friends. Sometimes David interviews members of the PA Orchestra. In other cases, it's neighbors who have a special area of expertise," she said.

One past guest is Nick Larsen, a neighbor who has known the twins since birth and regularly attends the show. Larsen is a retiree and was previously an engineering manager.

"I have been a guest twice over the last few years. The first time I enjoyed discussing our airplane flying days, in that I owned a small, Cessna-type, two-seat aircraft and I would take one twin at a time to local airports. They were fearless and eager to take the controls and claim they were indeed doing all the piloting. It was definitely a bonding experience," Larsen said.

Ramsey Khasho, chief clinical officer of the Children's Health Council in Palo Alto and past guest of the show, said he appreciates how the show brings the neighborhood closer together.

"As a psychologist, I often worry that we are losing a sense of good, old-fashioned raw talent and creativity within our families and neighborhoods. 'The Late Show' is just that: raw creative talent in our own backyards. The show allows young people to showcase that talent and brings the community together to experience laughter, joy and community connectedness. This is what we all need in our communities today," Khasho said.

The camaraderie of members is Robbie King's favorite part of the show, he said. In the future, he and his brother hope to turn "Late Night with David King featuring Don Schaefer and the PA Orchestra" into a business.

"It is going to be a lot of work and will take some time. This year, my brother will be taking a lot of theater classes at Foothill (College), and I'm going to take as many music classes as possible," he said.

Editorial Intern Daniel Li can be emailed at


Like this comment
Posted by Mark Weiss
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 1, 2019 at 10:46 am

Mark Weiss is a registered user.

Coincidentally Jimmy Vivino the music director of the Conan O’Brien show is appearing with Bob Margolin at the Mitchell Park Center, Saturday July 6, two miles from the Dave King studios also known as the jungle We actually looked into getting Bob and Jimmy to appear with Dave and Robbie But the event had been switched as noted above.

Fans always anticipate a reprise of the king brothers famous mirror image duel Tom Cruise sliding lip-synch scene rock and load baby.

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