"This is the only show I actually pursued. This was the dream — to be on Letterman," McGann said in a telephone interview fresh off his set at the Ed Sullivan Theater.
A contingent of South Siders accompanied McGann to New York, including his wife, parents and several lifelong friends from St. Cajetan Elementary School in Morgan Park and Marist High School in Mount Greenwood.
McGann has endeared himself to the Southwest Side community in part by hosting comedy night fundraisers at various parishes throughout the area.
Comedic hosting is McGann's passion. He became the emcee at Zanies Comedy Club in Old Town shortly after leaving his career as a packaging salesmen in 2007. In 2010, McGann created and hosted the Emmy-nominated television show “The Chicago Stand Up Project” on WTTW-Channel 11.
He also headlines at Zanies as well as performs corporate gigs, including a recent bit for Giordano’s Pizza. McGann responded on behalf of the deep dish pizzeria to Jon Stewart's criticism of Chicago-style pizza on "The Daily Show."
McGann credited fellow comedian Nick Griffin with helping him make his national television debut. Griffin is a regular on "The Late Show" and befriended McGann while working on the road.
Letterman's only interaction with McGann was a handshake at the end of his set, which is standard protocol for the longest-serving late-night talk show host in TV history, he said.
McGann seemed confident about his set, saying the crowd responded well. He's already planning to make another run at a spot on the show and believes the exposure will help to further catapult his career.
"It was great. It was awesome," McGann said.