Gary Leff is one of my favorite people in the world. He’s smart brilliant, he’s hilarious, and he’s genuinely nice. Yes, I might have a bit of a man crush on him.

But his appearance on the Colbert Report, which aired last night, is quite possibly my favorite thing he has ever done:

YouTube Preview Image

Amazing job, Gary! You did us proud.

  1. July 16th, 2013 at 2:42 pm

    as219 said,

    Oh man, too good, too good!!!

  2. July 16th, 2013 at 2:43 pm

    BigA said,

    I loved it.

  3. July 16th, 2013 at 2:44 pm

    Gene said,

    Man crush?

  4. July 16th, 2013 at 2:56 pm

    Davesome said,

    Hilarious Gary, great job.

  5. July 16th, 2013 at 3:04 pm

    Todd said,

    I don’t know Gary, but it seems to me he was being relatively serious in the bit. The humorous parts were a result of editing and voice-over by the Colbert Report.

  6. July 16th, 2013 at 3:11 pm

    1K said,

    Well, that was fucking awesome.


  7. July 16th, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    1K said,

    But I’m conflicted, because I’ve been a member of #teamOMAAT for so long. ;)

  8. July 16th, 2013 at 3:12 pm

    Simon said,

    Wow, that was freaking amazing! Great job, Gary! :)

  9. July 16th, 2013 at 3:13 pm

    wxguy said,

    I was on UA881 ORD-NRT recently in F. Across the aisle was a Cellist and his Mr. Cello. Due to a UA error, Mr. Cello took an involuntary downgrade to C. Cellist was fine with it – and the Global Services agent assured Cellist that Mr. Cello would get a partial refund of his paid fare and all MP miles due for the F seat.

  10. July 16th, 2013 at 3:23 pm

    eponymous coward said,

    Gary loves his SkyMiles™? Not SkyPesos™?


  11. July 16th, 2013 at 3:29 pm

    clayd333 said,

    I was waiting for just one “SkyPeso” comment! Ironic it was for Delta too… haahaha

  12. July 16th, 2013 at 3:30 pm

    Whiskarina said,

    Great job Gary! very funny!

  13. July 16th, 2013 at 4:00 pm

    Mrs. Hobo13 said,

    Laughing so hard I’m crying. Oh dear… so awesome!

  14. July 16th, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    abby said,


    but… what was he staying in?!? a supper 8?! good lord, at least put him up in a hyatt… or even aloft! if i laid on that bedspread i’d have to burn my clothes and briefly set my skin on fire to be satisfied i was clean again…

  15. July 16th, 2013 at 4:23 pm

    Geri J. said,

    OK. Gary is funny. But the main issue is that Harrell paid for the cello to have a seat (and they both fly a lot). It seems a bit mingy of Delta to take this approach — and incredibly bad PR. It would have been bad enough to cancel Mr. Cello’s account, but to strip Mr. Harrell of his EARNED miles in his account borders on theft.

    Frankly, makes me even less inclined to fly Delta than before.

  16. July 16th, 2013 at 4:54 pm

    Kathy said,

    OMG!!! ;)

  17. July 16th, 2013 at 4:57 pm

    Frequentflyergirl said,

    Sorry, but Gary Leff is not awesome. I’ve met him a couple of times at Do’s, and read some of his blog posts; to be honest, IMHO he’s a pompous, arrogant, strutting DYKWIA. YMMV, of course, in your reaction to him.

    Having said that, he did a good job in the video. Kept a straight face.

  18. July 16th, 2013 at 4:59 pm

    Ben Hughes said,

    I guess this means I shouldn’t try to get a frequent flyer account for my stuffed flightless bird travel companion (

  19. July 16th, 2013 at 5:46 pm

    Lisa said,

    EXPIRED, expired, expired… Hilarious. I especially liked lying down with the Delta manual.

  20. July 16th, 2013 at 6:03 pm

    Elenor said,

    Let me speak up for the cello also! Stringed instruments are extremely delicate and sensitive wood! They don’t do well in the cold, in humidity, with pressure changes. This instrument is that man’s LIVELIHOOD — and Delta wants to chuck it into the cargo hold?! EEK! How’d y’all feel if they wanted to put your laptop into a steamroom? Pretty bummed, yes?

    As long as he was buying one of the tix, he should have been able to use miles to bring “Mr Cello” into the air-conditioned main cabin! And, no, I’m not a musician, but my sister is a professional violist… from whom w get:

    What’s the difference between a violin and a viola?
    A viola BURNS longer!

  21. July 16th, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    FullMoon said,

    +1 for the comment by eponymous coward

  22. July 16th, 2013 at 8:11 pm

    Peter said,

    Cello A. Had a an account at one time with NW.

  23. July 16th, 2013 at 8:12 pm

    Peter said,

    Well said Elenor, and not to mention the cello in question is orobably worth considerably over $1 million.

  24. July 16th, 2013 at 8:20 pm

    Linda T said,

    Almost fell out of bed watching the Colbert Report last night and there was Gary! Absolutely hilarious and unexpected. Glad he didn’t let us know it was coming beforehand and that I just happened to be watching when it came on! His facial expressions were great.

  25. July 16th, 2013 at 8:22 pm

    Peter said,

    I agree with Geri and frankly I should reconsider my relationship with Delta (we’re both PM on DL).

  26. July 16th, 2013 at 9:57 pm

    Walter said,

    @ Frequentflyergirl

    WE REPEAT!!!

    Gary Leff is NOT AWESOME!!!!! N.O.T. AWESOME! A slightly misunderstood, mildly racially insensitive, self entitled, unfoundedly confident, banal prick maybe, but NOT awesome.

    The good news is even though there are pricks like Gary, there are also really genuinely good guys like Dariaus, Travis, Jeff and Ben (Lucky).

  27. July 16th, 2013 at 10:48 pm

    TravelBloggerBuzz said,

    If an expert lets miles expire, is he really an expert?

    Class discuss.

    Oh, I do not have a crush on Gary Leff by the way. And I also thought that piece was super hilarious too. Thumbs up for Cellos, thumbs down for Skypesos!

  28. July 16th, 2013 at 10:52 pm

    David Balcon said,

    DL really blew it with this move. Harrell is America’s most renowned cellist after Yo Yo Ma and his cello is valued at more than the average family home! DL has alienated thousands of classical music devotees who have sworn never to fly the airline again, and these are people who buy full fare premium tickets! Cellos are low maintenance fliers who pay full fare for a premium cabin seat, demand no booze or food, and are very well behaved. Imagine the positive PR DL could have received had it promoted itself as “the official carrier of Lynn Harrell’s cello” and allowed both to keep their FF accounts, with the cello’s miles used for tickets on behalf of various charities. Atlanta really blew it on this one! (No wonder the cello now flies UA…which learned its lesson from flying guitars!)

  29. July 16th, 2013 at 11:54 pm

    RBRUE said,

    @Elenor and @Peter: Delta did not have any problems with the man buying his cello a ticket and taking the cello into the main cabin. What Delta did have a problem with was that he opened a SkyMiles account in the name of “Mr. Cello” and accrued miles for the Cello as well. Delta’s excuse to close the account for the cello was that, according to the T&C, enrollment for SkyMiles is open for “a person” only.

  30. July 17th, 2013 at 12:30 am

    MT said,

    Indeed Gary is brilliant!

  31. July 17th, 2013 at 12:31 am

    Aptraveler said,

    Thanks for the laughs Gary, you’re hilarious. Well done!

  32. July 17th, 2013 at 12:53 pm

    roadwarriorette said,

    that was so awesome. thanks for sharing :)

  33. July 17th, 2013 at 3:20 pm

    IndyDavid said,

    Bravo Gary!

  34. July 18th, 2013 at 12:46 pm

    John said,

    If you bought two seats because you are too wide or heavy, wouldn’t you get the miles for both seats?

  35. July 18th, 2013 at 2:01 pm

    My top 3 travel pet peeves - Road Warriorette said,

    [...] And if you have a minute, check out this clip that our very own Gary Leff did for the Colbert Report the other night. [...]

  36. July 31st, 2013 at 7:59 pm

    Shannon said,

    Can anyone tell me why this video was removed?

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