This one has been haunting me; it’s a comedy sketch that scared the crap out of me as a kid. I remembered it airing on Letterman in the late 80s/early 90s, but I’ve spoken to a leading Letterman expert/archivist and he thought it sounded way too dark of a sketch to appear there. I agree with him, but Letterman is the only late night comedy I remember watching at this time. I had trouble sleeping as a kid, would crawl out of bed in the middle of the night to join my parents who stayed up each night to watch Dave’s show. In all likelihood, it was probably 1987-1992. I successfully dated another formative Dave bit as having taken place in 1989, so around there.
The sketch: a small child is in the car with his mother. In my memory the footage was documentary style, almost as if they were taking the footage out of context and adding a newly filmed comedic part. The footage depicts a small child mindlessly playing with a garage door opener, the kind typically clipped to the a car’s visor. The mom lightly scolds the kid to stop playing with the garage door opener. The kid presses a button. This causes the doors of a bomber jet (depicted via stock footage) flying overhead to open. A bomb drops on the car. BOOM! cut back to the car, the mother and child are now smoldering skeletons. I remember uproarious audience laughter. I was terrified!
Google turns up very little, and I’ve only ever found my own various internet postings about this same sketch. I’m totally fine with people just listing sketch/late night comedy shows that might have material like this around that timeframe. It’s probably not SNL, because multiple sites have SNL sketches pretty well catalogued and I’d probably have found it there. Not Kids in the Hall either, I know my KITH. My childhood memory INSISTS it was on Letterman, but I’ve been discouraged from barking up that tree. Any ideas would be welcome.