A name David Letterman
gave to a fountain he had installed in front of his desk on the NBC incarnation of Late Night
. Letterman had a switch behind his desk and when he flipped it, the fountain shot up several streams of water that "prance
d" in time to a light show. The fountain, introduced during a viewer mail
segment on March 26, 1987, was initially called "The Dancing Waters
" until Letterman received a letter from "Dancing Waters Inc." informing him the name was trademarked and he was not at liberty
to use it on his TV show. So, the dancing waters became the prancing fluids.
Letterman eventually donated the Prancing Fluids fountain to a high school in Lafayette, Louisiana
"in lieu of cash". A Letterman staffer named Bridget Jackson had a sister (Becky) who was running for Homecoming
Queen. Letterman, always eager to help staffers and their families, offered everyone in Becky's senior class $5 if Becky was voted Homecoming Queen
. Becky won the title but Letterman ended up not sending the cash. Possibly he felt guilty for buying an election
. So, in lieu
of cash, he donated the Prancing Fluids fountain to the high school.
Although gone, the fountain does live on in rerun
s. However, if you ever catch pre-Prance Letterman repeat
s where he refers to the fountain
as the dancing waters, you'll notice "not associated with Dancing Waters, Inc." flashes at the bottom of the screen.