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He enjoyed collecting model cars, including racers. "[184], At the same time, Letterman received a Sagamore of the Wabash award given by Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels, which recognizes distinguished service to the state of Indiana. Subsequently, while still recovering from surgery, Letterman revived the late-night talk show tradition of "guest hosts" that had virtually disappeared on network television during the 1990s, allowing Bill Cosby, Kathie Lee Gifford, Dana Carvey, Janeane Garofalo, and others to host new episodes of the Late Show. "[113] Letterman would do a characteristic Johnny Carson golf swing after delivering one of Carson's jokes. He won four American Comedy Awards and in 2011 became the first recipient of the Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence at The Comedy Awards. A bypass is what happened to me when I didn't get The Tonight Show! ", "CBS Extends Letterman Contract Through 2014", "CBS announces new contract extensions with late night stars David Letterman and Craig Ferguson through 2015", "David Letterman to Retire From CBS' 'Late Show' in 2015", "So Was David Letterman Fired Or What? [182], In his capacities as either a performer, producer, or as part of a writing team, Letterman is among the most nominated people in the history of the Emmy Awards with 52 nominations, winning two Daytime Emmys and ten Primetime Emmys since 1981. [34] He made a guest appearance on Mork & Mindy (as a parody of EST leader Werner Erhard)[35] and appearances on game shows such as The $20,000 Pyramid,[36] The Gong Show, Hollywood Squares, Password Plus,[37] and Liar's Club, as well as the Canadian cooking show Celebrity Cooks (November 1977), talk shows such as 90 Minutes Live (February 24[38] and April 14, 1978),[39] and The Mike Douglas Show (April 3, 1979 and February 7, 1980). [16] Though he registered for the draft and passed his physical after graduating from college, he was not drafted for service in Vietnam because he received a draft lottery number of 346 (out of 366). Letterman and Baldwin introduced seven films for the series. In early 1980, NBC's daytime morning lineup consisted of six game shows. [163][164] Law professor Eugene Volokh called the case "patently frivolous".[165]. [168] Halderman pleaded guilty in March 2010 and was sentenced to six months in prison, followed by probation and community service. [70] Following Leno's return to The Tonight Show, Leno regained his lead. [133] On November 5, 2013, he and Bruce McCall published a fiction satire book, This Land Was Made for You and Me (But Mostly Me)..mw-parser-output cite.citation{font-style:inherit}.mw-parser-output .citation q{quotes:"\"""\"""'""'"}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-free a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-free a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/6/65/Lock-green.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .id-lock-registration a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-limited a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-registration a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d6/Lock-gray-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .id-lock-subscription a,.mw-parser-output .citation .cs1-lock-subscription a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/a/aa/Lock-red-alt-2.svg")right 0.1em center/9px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration{color:#555}.mw-parser-output .cs1-subscription span,.mw-parser-output .cs1-registration span{border-bottom:1px dotted;cursor:help}.mw-parser-output .cs1-ws-icon a{background:linear-gradient(transparent,transparent),url("//upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Wikisource-logo.svg")right 0.1em center/12px no-repeat}.mw-parser-output code.cs1-code{color:inherit;background:inherit;border:none;padding:inherit}.mw-parser-output .cs1-hidden-error{display:none;font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-visible-error{font-size:100%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-maint{display:none;color:#33aa33;margin-left:0.3em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-format{font-size:95%}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-left,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-left{padding-left:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-right,.mw-parser-output .cs1-kern-wl-right{padding-right:0.2em}.mw-parser-output .citation .mw-selflink{font-weight:inherit}ISBN 0-399-16368-9. "[150][151] When he is shown drinking what appears to be alcohol on Late Night or the Late Show, it is actually replaced with apple juice by the crew. The appearance was Letterman's idea: Leno flew to New York City on an NBC corporate jet, sneaking into the Ed Sullivan Theater during the Late Show's February 4 taping wearing a disguise and meeting Winfrey and Letterman at a living room set created in the theater's balcony, where they taped their promo. "),[79] including Dr. O. Wayne Isom and physician Louis Aronne, who frequently appeared on the show. Time magazine wrote, "Letterman's innovation ... gained power from its rigorous formalism"; as his biographer Jason Zinoman puts it, he was "a fascinatingly disgruntled eccentric trapped inside a more traditional talk show. Microsoft and partners may be compensated if you purchase something through recommended links in this article. Paul Shaffer and the World's Most Dangerous Band followed Letterman to CBS, but they added a brass section and were rebranded the CBS Orchestra (Shaffer's request); a small band had been mandated by Carson while Letterman occupied the 12:30 slot. Three years after he left for CBS, HBO produced a made-for-television movie called The Late Shift, based on a book by The New York Times reporter Bill Carter, chronicling the battle between Letterman and Leno for the coveted Tonight Show hosting spot. [2], In the months following the end of Late Show, Letterman was seen occasionally at sports events such as the Indianapolis 500, during which he submitted to an interview with a local publication. Cell phone recordings of the appearance were posted on YouTube by audience members and were widely reported in the media. Your favorites, all in one place. Letterman credits Carson as the person who influenced his career the most. The head writers are brothers Justin Stangel and Eric Stangel. The company also produces feature films and documentaries and founded its own record label, Clear Entertainment. In one appearance, in 1982, Andy Kaufman (who was wearing a neck brace) appeared with professional wrestler Jerry Lawler, who slapped and knocked the comedian to the ground (Lawler and Kaufman's friend Bob Zmuda later revealed that the incident was staged).[59]. [74] Although Letterman attracted the highest ratings to the annual telecast since 1983, many felt that the bad publicity he generated caused a decline in the Late Show's ratings.[75]. [122] Palin was in New York City at the time with her then 14-year-old daughter, Willow, and some contemporaries thought the jokes were aimed at Willow, which caused some controversy. "I'm thrilled to be continuing on at CBS," said Letterman. [14] According to the Ball State Daily News, he originally wanted to attend Indiana University, but his grades were not good enough, so he instead attended Ball State University, in Muncie, Indiana. [67][68][69] O'Brien initially drove the median age of Tonight Show viewers from 55 to 45, with most older viewers opting to watch the Late Show instead. Several late-night hosts have cited Letterman's influence, including Conan O'Brien (his successor on Late Night), Stephen Colbert (his successor on The Late Show), Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, John Oliver, and Seth Meyers. [134] Worldwide Pants received significant attention in December 2007, after it was announced the company had independently negotiated its own contract with the Writers Guild of America, East, thus allowing Letterman, Craig Ferguson, and their writers to return to work, while the union continued its strike against production companies, networks, and studios with whom it had not yet reached agreements. [78] During the initial weeks of his recovery, reruns of the Late Show were shown and introduced by friends of Letterman including Norm Macdonald, Drew Barrymore,[69] Ray Romano, Robin Williams, Bonnie Hunt, Megan Mullally, Bill Murray, Regis Philbin, Charles Grodin, Nathan Lane, Julia Roberts,[69] Bruce Willis, Jerry Seinfeld, Martin Short, Steven Seagal, Hillary Clinton, Danny DeVito, Steve Martin, and Sarah Jessica Parker. On the Late Show in 1996, Letterman talked about his experience with tinnitus during an interview with William Shatner, who himself has severe tinnitus caused by an on-set explosion. The feud apparently ended in 2005 when Winfrey appeared on CBS's Late Show with David Letterman on December 2, in an event Letterman jokingly referred to as "the Super Bowl of Love".[116]. Her exploits drew national attention, with Letterman occasionally joking about her on his show, although he never referred to her by name. In spite of Johnny Carson's clear intention to pass his title to Letterman, NBC selected Jay Leno to host The Tonight Show after Carson's departure. [139] Time magazine stated that theirs was the defining relationship of Letterman's career, with Markoe also acting as his writing partner. [86] He addressed his decision to re-sign on the air, stating that he was content at CBS and that he had great respect for Koppel. [109] The second season premiered on May 31, 2019. Letterman's biggest influence and his mentor was Johnny Carson. ", "Jay Leno And Jimmy Fallon Win the Late-Night Week of April 27 – May 1 – Ratings", "David Letterman: Julia Roberts helps him beat Conan O'Brien for first time; Denzel Washington, Jonas Brothers visit Thursday", "Who's loyal to Leno, O'Brien, and Letterman? 'These are people who were complete strangers when they opened my chest,' he says. Personally, I'm against it. After she killed herself at age 46 in October 1998, Letterman told The New York Times that he had great compassion for her. In this and other appearances, Letterman is listed in the credits as "Earl Hofert", the name of Letterman's maternal grandfather. In 1993 and 1994, the Late Show consistently gained higher ratings than The Tonight Show. [161] A spokesperson for Letterman said: "This is a sad ending to a confused life. [106] Also in 2017, Letterman and Alec Baldwin co-hosted The Essentials on Turner Classic Movies. I was satisfied. Soon after graduating from Ball State in 1969, Letterman began his career as a radio talk show host on WNTS (AM) and on Indianapolis television station WLWI (which changed its call sign to WTHR in 1976) as an anchor and weatherman. In a rarity for a late-night show, it was also the highest-rated program on network television that night, beating out all prime-time shows. Background. [158][159] Worldwide Pants co-produced Dave Grohl's Sonic Highways TV series. "[183] Over many years Letterman "has provided substantial assistance to [Ball State's] Department of Telecommunications, including an annual scholarship that bears his name. On October 1, 2009, Letterman announced on his show that he had been the victim of a blackmail attempt by a person threatening to reveal his sexual relationships with several of his female employees—a fact Letterman immediately thereafter confirmed. ", "David Letterman Says Goodbye: Inside Rolling Stone's New Issue", "David Letterman comes clean without telling all", "David Letterman's 10 Ferraris stored at Danbury warehouse", "Watch Jerry Seinfeld and David Letterman in, "Foo Fighters – Miracle [Live on David Letterman]", "A Brief History of David Letterman's Love for the Foo Fighters", "Foo Fighters to Serve as Letterman's Final Musical Guest", "For Letterman Stalker, Mental Illness Was Family Curse and Scarring Legacy", "The Woman Who Stalked Letterman Is a Suicide", "David Letterman on extortion attempt: 'I felt menaced by this, "Robert Joe Halderman, 48 Hours Producer, Named in David Letterman Sex Extortion Plot", "Suspect in Letterman extortion pleads not guilty", "Ex-CBS producer Robert Halderman pleads guilty to blackmailing David Letterman over intern affairs", "Letterman Extortion Raises Questions for CBS", "Stephanie Birkitt Secret Diary at Center of Letterman Sex Extortion, Say Cops", "Will women viewers turn away from Letterman? ", "America's Favorite Television Personality", "For Third Year in a Row Oprah Retains Her Position as America's Favorite TV Personality", "Dave vs. Dave: Forget Leno & Koppel — Letterman May Be His Own Worst Enemy", "Artery Blocked, Letterman Has Heart Bypass Surgery", "Dave at Peace: The Rolling Stone Interview", "Foo Fighters To Welcome Letterman Back To, "The top 10 reasons David Letterman's heart bypass operation was a good thing", "David Letterman says goodbye after 33 hilarious years", "Letterman is Ill, so Guest Takes Over Late Show", "Remembering the Ted Koppel interview when his mask came off", "CBS Signs David Letterman As Host Of The 'Late Show' Through Fall 2010", "Letterman Reaches a Deal With CBS to Extend 'Late Show, "Is David Letterman Ready to be Done with the Late Show? Letterman would kick over to Kalter, the Late Show announcer, for short, left-field bits that would often end with the red-headed sideman beat up, in tears, or running offstage. Watch full episodes of Late Show with David Letterman and get the latest breaking news, exclusive videos and pictures, episode recaps and much more at TVGuide.com “Late Show with David Letterman” is an hour-long weeknight comedy and talk show broadcast by CBS from the Ed Sullivan Theater on Broadway in New York City and is produced and hosted by David Letterman. Letterman told the audience he nearly missed the ceremony because his truck became stuck in mud two miles from their house. "Letterman was the first person to get behind this project," Grohl said. Letterman appeared in the pilot episode of the short-lived 1986 series Coach Toast, and appears with a bag over his head as a guest on Bonnie Hunt's 1990s sitcom, The Building. Winfrey and Letterman also appeared together in a Late Show promo that aired during CBS's coverage of Super Bowl XLI in February 2007, with the two sitting next to each other on the couch watching the game. - news - att.net", "Stephen Colbert Next Host of 'The Late Show, "David Letterman's farewell episode nabs biggest audience in over 2 decades", "Exclusive Post-Retirement Interview with David Letterman", "David Letterman briefly unretires to roast Donald Trump", "David Letterman skewers Trump with top 10 list in break from retirement", "David Letterman un-retires to lampoon Trump", "David Letterman Goes Top 10 on Donald Trump", "Behind David Letterman's New TV Climate Series Gig", "Season Two of the Emmy Award-Winning and Critically Acclaimed Series Years of Living Dangerously Set to Premiere Sunday, Oct. 30, 8/7c Exclusively on National Geographic Channel", "David Letterman's 10 funniest jokes about Pearl Jam at Rock Hall", "David Letterman to Host Netflix Interview Series", "David Letterman Netflix Series Sets Barack Obama as First Guest", "Breaking News - Letterman Is Back with a Second Season of "My Next Guest Needs No Introduction" on May 31 | TheFutonCritic.com", "Johnny Carson, king of late-night chat, dies at 79", "Free lunch behind 16-year Letterman, Oprah feud", "How the Letterman-Oprah-Leno Super Bowl Ad Came Together", "Letterman On 'Oprah's Next Chapter': 'I'm Sorry' (VIDEO)", "e-mail 12-28-07 "Letter from the Presidents : To Our Fellow Members, "Late-night shows return fully bearded — with and without writers", "Letterman "Jokes" About Palin's Daughter", "One Pregnant-Teen Joke Too Many? Uma...Oprah," "Have you kids met Keanu?" In 1980, Letterman began hosting an Emmy Award-winning morning comedy-variety program, "The David Letterman Show," which ran for three months on NBC. Letterman said that he contacted the Manhattan District Attorney's office and partook in a sting operation that involved the handover of a fake check to his extortionist. "[123], His remarks did not put an end to public criticism, however. [41], On June 23, 1980, Letterman was given his own morning comedy show on NBC, The David Letterman Show. "After Two Decades, Letterman Wit Shows No Signs of Stopping.". He stated: "This is the second song of theirs that will always have great, great meaning for me for the rest of my life". Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants, was the first company to make an individual agreement with the WGA,[120] allowing his show to come back on the air on January 2, 2008. [137], On July 2, 1968, Letterman married his college sweetheart, Michelle Cook, in Muncie, Indiana; their marriage ended in divorce by October 1977. [132] In June 2013, Letterman appeared in the second episode of season two of Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. [122], In a statement posted on the Internet, Palin said, "I doubt [Letterman would] ever dare make such comments about anyone else's daughter" and that "laughter incited by sexually perverted comments made by a 62-year-old male celebrity aimed at a 14-year-old girl is disgusting. I don't know what to do about it. In total, Letterman hosted 6,080 episodes of Late Night and Late Show, surpassing his friend and mentor Johnny Carsonas the longest-serving late night talk show host i… Later that year, Letterman was a cast member on Mary Tyler Moore's variety show, Mary. He appeared in The Simpsons as himself in a couch gag when the Simpsons find themselves (and the couch) in "Late Night with David Letterman". Did Dave get real tequila in a tequila bottle? The David Letterman TV show also has hilarious recurring segments like the "Top Ten List" and of course Dave's opening monologue. Letterman was the focus of The Avengers on "Late Night with David Letterman", issue 239 (January 1984) of the Marvel comic book series The Avengers, in which the title characters (specifically Hawkeye, Wonder Man, Black Widow, Beast, and Black Panther) are guests on Late Night. Letterman was interested, as he believed he could never match Leno's ratings at CBS due to Letterman's complaint of weaker lead-ins from the network's late local news programs, but was reluctant to replace Koppel. [72], On March 27, 1995, Letterman hosted the 67th Academy Awards ceremony. He was also screen tested for the lead role in the 1980 film Airplane!, a role that eventually went to Robert Hays. ("The higher-ups have removed the border between Indiana and Ohio, making it one giant state. And I thought: That's really what I want to do! He also featured a montage of faux news coverage of his bypass surgery, which included a clip of Letterman's heart for sale on the Home Shopping Network. '"[88], According to a 2007 article in Forbes magazine, Letterman earned US$40 million a year. [99] He made a surprise appearance on stage in San Antonio, Texas, when he was invited up for an extended segment during Steve Martin and Martin Short's A Very Stupid Conversation show, saying "I retired, and...I have no regrets," Letterman told the crowd after walking on stage. [110] Season 3 premiered on October 21, 2020, and includes Kim Kardashian West, Robert Downey Jr., Dave Chappelle and Lizzo as guests.[111]. [94] Later in his retirement Letterman occasionally stated, in jest,[95] that he was fired. He lampooned his stint two years later, during Billy Crystal's opening Oscar skit, which also parodied the plane-crashing scenes from that year's chief nominated film, The English Patient.

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