|LAST DAYS OF LETTERMAN|
|Scott Ryan interviewed 20+ LSDL staffers for his 2018 book.|
by Marc Karzen
Look back at Dave's 33 years. Visit @ByeLetterman, and for great interviews, visit tumblr.
|MIKE McINTEE: WAHOOTWO|
|Keep up with Late Show producer Mike McIntee via his new blog, WAHOOTWO, the sequel to the Wahoo Gazette.|
the final TTL
|GUESTS UPDATED 5/15/15 @ 1309 CT|
|Only some bottom-row links still work.|
|A FEW WORDS FROM DDY – 2021|
A Few Words from DDY – Past Years
AN EXCEPTIONAL TRIBUTE TO ALAN KALTER
- October 6, 2021: Over recent years, an unexpected encounter with Alan Kalter led to a close and meaningful friendship between him and Fox 61 meteorologist Max Scott. Max had been a fan of both Letterman and Alan, and they bonded upon meeting each other, with a number of things in common. Their friendship spanned roughly the past 15 years.
Today, Max posted to Facebook a beautifully written tribute to Alan, which I highly recommend. It documents what a genuine and thoughtful person Alan was. Clearly there was much more to Alan than his unforgettable voice and comedic talent. Enough from me... just read it and be inspired.
REST IN PEACE, BIG RED
- October 4, 2021: I am crushed. Alan Kalter expired today, reports The Hollywood Reporter.
Alan's first day as the Late Show announcer was on September 4, 1995, and he continued to the show's final episode on May 20, 2015. He had previously worked for To Tell the Truth and The $25,000 Pyramid. To give an idea of how important Alan was to the show, in his almost 20 years as announcer, he is mentioned in my episode logs 3,229 times. I have 25+ videos of Alan in my Video Archives.
The writers knew he'd make the most of any role or segment they came up with. I have an amusing list of unpublishable names Alan called Dave over the years. In Alan Kalter's Celebrity Interview, he variously attacked his guest for taking an interview with Letterman first, or behaved in inappropriate ways, shall we say, toward a female guest. A favorite piece, used often for a stretch from 2001 to at least 2011, had actor Brian Donahue as a tough muscle man, who would show up out of nowhere and beat Alan to a pulp. As the week goes on, I intend to continue to assemble a more appropriate tribute to Alan. Here are links that commemorate Alan:
• Alan Kalter, host of The Challengers (1974, posted by Wink Martindale)
• Alan Kalter's Celebrity Interview Collection (Don Giller, YouTube)
• Alan Kalter's Secret Words (compiled by DDY)
• Alan Kalter with John Elliott of CBS2 (2015) on his Late Show memories
• Alan's funeral live, Temple Beth El
• Chicago Sun-Times
• Entertainment Weekly
• Getty Images
• MSNBC tribute, with Brian Williams
• NBC Los Angeles
• New York Daily News
• New York Times
• Paul Leslie's interview with Alan
• Rolling Stone
• Shutterstock Images
• Stamford Advocate
"BONES" ON THE IT'S ONLY ROCK AND ROLL PODCAST
- October 3, 2021: You'll see just below that I plugged the podcast episode with Paul. Then I discovered that Tom "Bones" Malone had an earlier visit on the same podcast, Episode 18, back in 2020. It ran 57 minutes. (podcast link) To catch up further with Tom, here's your link.
THE WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS SHAFFER...
- October 3, 2021: Certainly after 33 years, C. Paul Tilson-Shaffer, a.k.a. The King of Eyewear, needs no introduction. Paul has paid a visit today to the It's Only Rock and Roll Podcast. Look for Episode 34 after you click the link. This extravaganza runs about 71 minutes.
Here are some links to Paul's stuff:
• Paul's Facebook Page
• Paul Shaffer's Online Store
• The World's Most Dangerous Band biographies
CHRIS ELLIOTT GOODIES ON LETTERMAN, 1985-1988
- October 1, 2021: I don't know if I've plugged this before, but you're getting it again, because I love what Chris Elliott did for Letterman's shows. Return to the thrilling years of yesteryear, with Skylark, The Laid-Back Guy, and garden variety show business weasels. If you've been hoping to feel a little better about yourself, have a look at some of Chris's characters. (link)
DAVID LETTERMAN AND "CATS" COLLECTION
- September 29, 2021: This amazing compilation was posted by Don "The Donz" Giller back in July 2019. I was super busy that month, and didn't know about it 'til now. If you're not familiar, beginning in 1985, Dave... sometimes pretty much out of nowhere... would begin singing his own version of Memory, from the Broadway musical, Cats. Of course, part of the fun was that Dave made up his own lyrics. OK... here's Elaine Page with her own, beautiful performance of Memory (with almost 10 million views). Now here's TV's David M. Letterman with his multiple performances of it, spanning 73 minutes. What I don't know is exactly what prompted Dave to favor us with this famous show tune. As always, thanks Donz!
GEORGE CARLIN ON LETTERMAN COMPILATION
- September 27, 2021: The ever-industrious Don Giller, who just completed his Tony Mendez compilations, has posted today George Carlin on Letterman, Part 1: 1984-1992 and Part 2: 1994-2001. I always enjoyed George's takes on the ordinary things in life. He came to Manhattan in October 1991. The ticket was $13.50, and certainly money well-spent!
LETTERMAN BEGINS NEW CAREER AS SPORTSWRITER
- September 27, 2021: Who saw this coming? We at ddy.com have no idea of the back story... just that veteran broadcaster David Letterman found his way into the Brooklyn Nets' media day, identifying himself as Dave from Basketball Digest, and started firing hard-hitting, nonsense questions at Kevin Durant. As Kevin finally told Dave he'd reached his limit on questions, he said, "They'll let anybody in here!" (USA Today) (New York Daily News) (ESPN video) (Sky Sports video on YouTube) (The Hollywood Reporter) (Today) (CBS Sports HQ)
BIG RED, BACK IN THE DAY
- September 21, 2021: Alan Kalter did commercial work in the 1970s. Here's his commercial for the Gillette Trac II® razor in 1974. The mustache doesn't work for him. Shown below is a pic of a bespectacled Big Red plugging Behold® furniture polish in 1977. Don't get me wrong. I think Alan was absolutely perfect as Dave's announcer.
MIKE CHISHOLM: LETTERMAN IS MY WALTER CRONKITE
- September 20, 2021: Mike Chisholm, in he.cast Episode 77, is joined by J Ryan, founder of latenightplayset.com. He and Mike discuss their Dave obsessions. J claims he swiped Dave's RCA 77DX desk microphone (which I don't approve of). As time went on, he set up his living room as a late night studio. Mike has one of Dave's bridges, I assume designed by Kathleen Ankers. This extended interview brings up so many memories! Here's their 1¼-hour visit on YouTube.
TONY MENDEZ: EMMY AWARDS "IN MEMORIAM"
- September 20, 2021: The Academy of Television Arts & Sciences included Tony Mendez in the "In Memoriam" reel as a "cue card flipper." That's a new one for me, as I liked to refer to Tony as the "cue card technician" in my episode logs. Here's the video link for the memorial reel. The greatest tribute of all is the set of retrospective videos posted by Don Giller, just below.
TONY MENDEZ COLLECTION POSTED BY THE DONZ
- September 19, 2021: We're greatly saddened by the loss of Tony Mendez, but he's being remembered and honored by a retrospective painstakingly assembled over the past month by Don Giller. It's in 7 parts, and by my arithmetic, there's 8 hours of Tony. Here we go!
- Tony Reads Monologue Jokes, Spanish Rants, Film Endings in Spanish
- Dragged Away, Rants with Guests, Cold Opens, Simulations
- Odds & Ends
- Goofs & Gum
- Staff Top Tens, Tony Mendez Show / Closing Clips
WE MOURN THE LOSS OF NORM MACDONALD
- September 14, 2021: Beloved comedian and SNL star Norm Macdonald died today, at the age of only 61. Here's the sad news from deadline.com. Don Giller, because of Norm's quarter century of appearances on Dave's shows, already had a full set of compilations, as follows:
• 1990-95 #1
• 1996-97 #2
Here's Norm's impression of David Letterman. Also, here's part of Norm's final stand-up, on May 15, 2015.
Here's 1¼ hours of Norm on the Marc Maron Podcast in 2011. (link)
Here are two tweets regarding Norm, posted today on @Letterman: Tweet 1 Tweet 2
Now look at what Norm did on Conan O'Brien a few years back. It's considered one of the most revered jokes in late night history. (Norm's moth joke in HDTV) Conan tweeted his admiration for Norm. Finally, we have Norm's send-off as Conan got the Tonight Show.
Our friend Cheryl Levenbrown's The New York Times has a real nice tribute to Norm in the Sept. 15 issue.
- In The New York Times, Jason Zinoman, no stranger to Letterman fans, posted Here's Why Norm Macdonald Was Comedy Royalty. It's Not SNL.
- September 16, 2021: Conan, Andy Richter and Frank Smiley Talk About Norm Macdonald: audio podcast
- September 18, 2021: This from Don Giller: Meanwhile, the Norm 5-parter uploaded in November 2019 has generated a scary amount of views and YT subscribers the last 4 days. Normal daily views are around 85-90,000. This past week, between 250 and 350 thousand." (tweet)
- October 15, 2021: Steve O'Donnell, head writer for LNDL back in the 80s, has shared his memories of Norm Macdonald. Steve doesn't hang out on social media, but he wanted to post a eulogy for Norm. He's done so by way of his friend, Daniel Kellison, a talent coordinator and segment producer for Dave for a time, and then to Don Giller. (Twitter link)
MNGNNI WITH DAVID LETTERMAN, SEASON 4
- September 7, 2021: A site with the URL www.whenetflix.com has reported another season for Dave's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, with a start of ~ October 10. But... based on this site's botching of the English language, I don't know that it's a reliable source. Here's a link, found later.
LETTERMAN AFTER 9/11: SEEKING NORMAL
- September 11, 2021: My friend Brad Hill posted this remembrance of 9/11 to huffpost.com on 9/09/11. Although I visited with him at several DaveCons, I didn't know he had written this until now. I highly recommend it. Brad was in the audience on that unforgettable night when Dave returned with a new episode, six days after the terrorist attacks.
If you're not familiar with the details, Dave decided that a return to normalcy for New York was necessary, and this was an appropriate step. Instead of theme music, we got a cold open and Dave's emotional response, as the world tried to make sense of what happened. Dan Rather and Regis Philbin were Dave's guests. (video, 9-17-01)
A LOOK BACK AT BORAT
- September 3, 2021: The always-inappropriate Borat appeared on LSDL on 10/30/06  to plug Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan. Practically every sentence he uttered was scandalously inappropriate, and completely hilarious. Here's my video of it. Here's a much better video, from Micky Flanagan Fan Page.
COUNTDOWN TO THE LATE SHOW
- August 30, 2021: It was August 30, 1993 when we saw the premiere of Late Show with David Letterman. The final new episode of LNDL was on June 25, 1993, then Daddy had a couple of months recharge for the big day. As you might guess, The Donz assembled this compilation, which he posted in 2017. (YouTube link) (run time: 1:51) You'll see Dave in press conferences, Paul on talk shows, the soon-to-be CBSO previewing their work (my, how I miss them...), and lots of Dave on morning talk shows. Thanks Donz!
ED ASNER COLLECTION
- August 29, 2021: Ed Asner expired today, and The Donz has just posted Ed Asner Collection, 1982-95. Ed did a couple of interviews, seven years apart, and turned up in three cameos in the 90s.
A PREVIEW OF THE TONY MENDEZ COMPILATION
- August 28, 2021: It's going to be amazing! Don Giller is tirelessly at work, locating and assembling the antics of Tony Mendez on LSDL. This clip, from Cinco de Mayo 2011, is one of the countless gems in store for us. (Twitter video)
- August 24, 2021: This remote occurred on 7/27/90. TV's David Letterman visited a Dunkin' Donuts®, where he sampled the 52 donuts available. We're uncertain why a police officer approached him. Thanks to The Donz for this trip back to the thrilling days of yesteryear! (YouTube)
REMEMBERING JAY THOMAS
- August 24, 2021: This is a sad reminder that Jay Thomas (Jon Thomas Terrell) died on August 24, 2017. Most visitors to this page don't need to be reminded of Jay's epic Christmas season visits to Dave, with the Late Show Quarterback Challenge, and Jay's beloved Lone Ranger Story. Here's a link to Jay on the Hollywood Page of Death. I have seven links to Jay in my Video Archives. Also, here's a HI RES video of Jay's last visit to the Late Show, 12/19/14 , with the greatest talk show story of all time, The Lone Ranger Story - 2014.
PAUL WISHES DARLENE LOVE HAPPY 80th BIRTHDAY
- August 22, 2021: I hope this link to a Facebook video works. Obviously Paul Shaffer and Darlene Love thought highly of each other, as Darlene did Christmas: Baby, Please Come Home on Letterman 21 times. Darlene posted that she loves and adores Paul. I'd call her appearances during the Christmas season the highlight of the year for Letterman fans. Paul found more and more elaborate ways to produce up her performance, with a small orchestra, back-up singers, lots and lots of fake snow, etc. You'll find a collection of her appearances in my Video Archives. Finally... if you can imagine this... Paul got new glasses!
BACKSTAGE AT "THE PRICE IS RIGHT"
- August 22, 2021: I didn't recall this visit by Billy Crystal and C. Paul Tilson-Shaffer to The Price Is Right, but it's fun. (YouTube clip) I'm not positive of the date, but my episode logs show Paul hosting Billy on the 2/11/00 BACKSTAGE #5 episode, while Dave was recovering from his quintuple bypass (and would ultimately return to TV on 2/21/00).
LETTERMAN'S LETTER MAN
- August 18, 2021: As we mourn the loss of Tony Mendez, it's good to reflect on his accomplishments. Exactly 20 years ago, Jeffrey Toobin wrote a very informative profile on Inky for The New Yorker. It goes way beyond the Letterman show, as Tony was a ballet dancer for some years. But... did you know that he did cue cards for The Lucy Show, Dean Martin, Milton Berle and SNL? (The New Yorker link) Tony gave me the card below on June 2, 2014.
TONY MENDEZ SHOW / TONY WITH PETEY
- August 17, 2021: DaveCon 2008 took place on June 19. The theme of the Tony Mendez Show was "Dave Fans Gone Wild?" / Here's my full trip report.
TONY MENDEZ & STEPHANIE BIRKITT ON BROADWAY
- August 17, 2021: This was a fun promotion the Late Show did for The Tony Mendez Show. On Feb. 23, 2007, Dave brought Tony and Stephanie to the Siskel and Ebert chairs, and after a visit, surprised them with a huge billboard atop a building on Broadway. (Click to enlarge.)
CAISSIE ST. ONGE REMEMBERS TONY MENDEZ
- August 16, 2021: Caissie St. Onge, Dave's assistant in the mid 1990s, posted this must-read remembrance of her friend, Tony Mendez to Facebook.
REST IN PEACE, TONY MENDEZ
- August 15, 2021: My Letterman DaveCon friends and I learned today that Tony Mendez, Dave's cue card "boy" for over 20 years, had passed away in Miami, and it's definitely a bad day for all of us. Tony's former partner, Andrew, posted to Facebook:
This is so painful to write – I found out this past Thursday night that Tony Mendez died unexpectedly. Tony and I met in 1995 and were partners for 18 years. We had our ups and downs, but remained close in the years that followed – he was family.
Tony was a total character, and one of the loveliest people you could ever meet – generous, empathetic, kind – and very, very funny. I used to call him my little magical realist because he had such a singular, wonder-filled way of looking at the world. He had kind of a wild life. He and his family escaped from Cuba in 1960, and settled in LA, where he got his first job doing cue cards for the Hollywood Palace. He had the best stories – Dean Martin, Judy Garland, Joan Crawford. Then he became a Broadway dancer – Irene with Debbie Reynolds, Applause with Lauren Bacall, Pippin, Dancin', the world tour of Evita, and more. Then more cue cards – first for SNL, then for the Late Show. He would always come out with the most unexpected stories. I still remember the time we were watching To Kill a Mockingbird together. We got to the final dramatic Halloween showdown, and he said, quite casually, "Oh, I was there. My friend's father operated the wind machine, and let us watch."
Tony had a lot of enthusiasms, but chief among them was the ballet. He was a familiar sight at ABT. He would buy tickets for virtually every performance, and he always wore shorts to the theater, unless it was the dead of winter. Ballet was a crucial thread in his family life, too, as his sister, Josefina "Yuyi" Mendez, was a major figure in the Cuban National Ballet, serving as prima ballerina and ballet mistress for decades. The fact that they were able to really reconnect in the years before her death in 2007 brought Tony a great deal of joy.
His other great love was animals, especially Togo, whom he adopted in May of 2013. Togo was his shadow, they went everywhere together. Tony would even sneak Togo into the ballet. (Sadly, Togo died on July 3.)
Tony and Togo moved to Miami Beach in 2015. That was hard for him, leaving his apartment and rooftop garden on W. 10th Street, and the city he loved so much, but he was looking forward to new larks and new adventures.
I honestly can't even begin to measure the impact he had on my life. When I met him, he was the most fully realized person I'd ever known, so totally himself. I learned so much from him. Saying I'm going to miss him is an understatement, and I know his surviving family and friends will miss him dreadfully, too.
Rest in peace, Inky. You will not be forgotten.
Here's a link to Biff Henderson and Tony Mendez in a Q&A in 2013.
NANCI GRIFFITH COLLECTION
- August 14, 2021: I was very saddened to learn that we lost Nanci Griffith this week. I had recently replayed her beautiful and powerful performance of From a Distance, on LNDL on 8/30/88, its network TV premiere. Earlier today, the ever-reliable Don Giller posted a 1½-hour compilation of her appearances. Thanks, Donz! (YouTube)
PAUL SHAFFER AND JOE WALSH TALK ABOUT THE EAGLES
- August 11, 2021: This is a very enjoyable video, from what I hope and assume was a longer interview. So far, this 5.5-minute clip is all I've found. It was produced by AXStv.
THE CONSEQUENCES OF GERARD MULLIGAN DANCING
- August 10, 2021: Compliments of Don Giller, watch the beloved Gerard Mulligan get killed a few times for dancing the Macarena on LSDL, back in 1996. My, oh my, I enjoyed the days of gunplay on the big show! By the way, Mike McIntee has a part in this! (Don's compilation on YouTube) / Then, compliments of Gerard Mulligan Fan, here's Gerard's retirement interview, which aired on 8/06/04. (YouTube link)
KALTER AND WENDELL WENT WAY BACK!
- August 8, 2021: Letterman fan Adam Nedeff made us aware of The Challengers, hosted by Alan "Big Red" Kalter, with the late Bill Wendell as the announcer. (Facebook video) This was an unsuccessful pilot. Another tidbit is that Alan was introduced as Alan Roberts! A check of IMDB casts light on that, as Big Red's birth name is Alan Robert Kalter.
STUPID PET TRICKS BECOMING A SHOW
- July 28, 2021: Drew Baumgartner of collider.com reported today that Sarah Silverman will host a Stupid Pet Tricks show on TBS. Production will start later this year. (Collider link) (deadline.com link)
IN MEMORY OF CALVERT DEFOREST
- July 23, 2021: Today would have been the 100th birthday of TV's Calvert DeForest, who you knew and loved as Larry "Bud" Melman. Don "The Donz" Giller has reminded us of his compilation, Toast on a Stick Collection. It ran now and then on LNDL from 1983-85. / Hey! How about some Ask Mr. Melman? / Part 1
RICK SCHECKMAN ON THE CARSON PODCAST
- July 21, 2021: Shecky was with Dave for about 30 years, as film coordinator. I always enjoyed his bits on the Late Show, and just discovered that he was Mark Malkoff's guest this month on The Carson Podcast, for 70 interesting and enjoyable minutes. (link) There's a download link.
The first record I have of Shecky in my episode logs is an Elvis-themed Peace Through Dramatization Players (1/08/86). Early on, his bits were as an Elvis impersonator. On LSDL, Shecky turned up in a variety of bits. (Shecky's IMDB)
OK... I went through the steps of linking to this, and now I've listened to the entire podcast. Don't miss it! Shecky had countless interesting anecdotes, and perspectives on the staff. He mentioned Dave's generosity to staff and others, which I've heard from staff myself. By the way, The Donz got several shout outs. This podcast has all kinds of good stuff. Thanks much, Mark and Shecky!
DON GILLER PROFILE ON KGW-TV
- July 20, 2021: I hadn't seen this profile on Don Giller. It's dated 11/09/95, and is from KGW in Portland (Oregon... not Anna Kendrick's Portland, Maine). (YouTube link) I'm fairly certain I hadn't heard of alt.fan.letterman or The Donz in 1995. I have e-mails with him going back to 1998. I didn't know about AFL when I won the trip to LSDL in San Francisco in May 1996. By the way, Don jokingly called himself a geek when reporting that Dave called him "sir." Well... the only time I spoke to David Letterman, he called me "sir." OK... enough from me. Watch The Donz.
FOO FIGHTERS EVERLONG COLLECTION ON LSDL
- July 17, 2021: The great purveyor of Letterman knowledge and footage, Don Giller, has given us all of the Foo Fighters' Everlong performances, spanning 1997 to 2015. (YouTube). On the first one, I didn't recognize Dave Grohl immediately, as it dated back to 8/14/95  (my 45th birthday)! Everlong quickly became Dave's favorite. When he came back from his octuple (almost) bypass, he asked for it to be played at the end of his return show, 2/21/00 , and they blew the roof off the dump. One of the performances has been edited out temporarily, as some ne'er-do-well put in a copyright dispute with the YouTubes. (I'm sure Dave Grohl had nothing to do with that.) I did a quick check of the episode logs, and it looks like between 20 and 25 appearances. Thanks, Donz!
LARRY "BUD" MELMAN WITH DENNIS JAMES
- July 14, 2021: These two gents, Dennis James and the great Calvert DeForest, need no introduction. Actually, neither does DeForest Kelley. This is from a Dennis James Facebook group, and the occasion seems to be a United Cerebral Palsy telethon, c. 1985. (link) I'll always remember the day in October 1992, when I got to meet and visit with Larry "Bud," as shown below.
KOOP'S KORNER: ENTIRE GABE ABELSON INTERVIEW
- July 13, 2021: John Kuperman tweeted yesterday that some good stuff didn't make the cut in his interview with Gabe. Here's Gabe Abelson's entire interview. OK... I have downloads of the earlier and later versions. I haven't yet figured out what's missing from the first version, but between John's intro of Gabe and kicking him off the show, there's 9 minutes more material in the new version. As Dave would say, "Watch closely, won't you?"
A LOOK AT STAND-UP COMEDY IN THE EARLY 1980s
- July 11, 2021: Bill Scheft posted this to YouTube today. It's from October 1980, for what seems to be a local feature called 730 Magazine. (I couldn't find it on Wikipedia or Google.) A 50-years-younger Bill O'Reilly hosted the seven-minute piece. The point is, a lot of aspiring comedians face a lot of failure, and make very little money early on. Included is a visit to Catch a Rising Star (a small chain of comedy clubs). O'Reilly interviews David Letterman and Henny Youngman, who give their perspectives on the business. I recommend it!
WHY DID DAVE BAN BILL HICKS?
- July 5, 2021: I was a little hesitant to post this video from a Facebook group, Weird History, but it's quite interesting, and I have no reason to question the information provided. The video was posted on 9/21/20. I knew there was controversy over a Bill Hicks performance on 10/01/93, the date of the 25th episode of LSDL. (Facebook video link)
The appearance was edited out. There were some awkward edits, as guests are previewed early on. It seems that no one at the Late Show was aware that Mr. Hicks was terminally ill at the time of his performance. He'd been on LNDL 11 times, and was welcomed back. My episode log shows that tape of Bill Scheft, doing stand-up on an August 26 shakedown show, was aired instead of Hicks. In the aftermath, the producers blamed CBS Standards and Practices for the decision, but Weird History states that it was a decision by Dave and his staff. Years later, Bill's mother, Mary Hicks, appeared on 1/30/09 , and Dave not only apologized for the decision, but aired Bill's 1993 performance.
MARV ALBERT IS RETIRING
- July 3, 2021: The New York Post has a nice Q&A with Marv Albert, as he approaches retirement as the Knicks' play-by-play man. (interview link) I have an extensive collection of Albert Achievement Awards on VHS. For me, he was certainly a Top Five guest on Dave's shows. Yessssss (and it counts)! Don Giller reported in April 2015 that Marv had been on with Dave 133 times. I wish him the best! / Here's what Phil Mushnick had to say about Marv in the New York Post.
Here are some of my videos of the Albert Achievement Awards:
DAVE TALKS TO KIDS COLLECTION
- July 3, 2021: Here's part of the collection, 1995-1999, compliments of Don Giller. While we're at it, allow me to recommend Late Show's Kids on Film (1996), a Coca Cola® ad with David Letterman. It's presented by FT Depot on YouTube.
KOOP'S CORNER - EPISODE 1: GABE ABELSON
- July 1, 2021: John Kuperman (@JohnKuperman) has done stand-up comedy for 15 years. Now he's started a podcast, Koop's Korner, on YouTube. Guest #1 is Gabe Abelson (@Gabelson) (IMDB), a five-time Emmy nominee, and monologue writer for TV Boy for five LSDL years, 1996-2001. The interview with Gabe runs just over an hour, and John has a tie on! Gabe has numerous inside stories on preparing for the monologues. It's like going to dinner with Tony Mendez (which I have several times)! Gabe wrote an awesome monologue joke that was used on 2/21/00 , Dave's comeback day after his quintuple bypass. Be sure to watch this. Gabe has so many great stories! It's rated PG-35!
STEVE MARTIN IS IN THE HOUSE!
- July 1, 2021: TV's Don Giller has outdone himself again, with a four-part Steve Martin Collection.
CONAN TALKS TO DAVE ABOUT JOHNNY
- June 30, 2021: I highly recommend this. Conan O'Brien and Dave compare notes about Johnny Carson, and especially the many appearances of Bob Hope on the Tonight Show. (YouTube) Look for a Full Podcast link under the YouTube video.
I've seen Steve Martin with Martin Short in 2016, and twice in 2019 on their Now You See Us, Soon You Won't tour, along with the Steep Canyon Rangers. Go see them!
COCA COLA® AD WITH KIDS, 1996
- June 27, 2021: Here's a 1½-minute ad, with Dave joking around with kids, produced in 1996. I'd never seen or heard of this! Apparently it was made for movie theaters.
COUNTDOWN TO THE FINAL LNDL + FULL SHOW
- June 25, 2021: Here's a fun look back, compliments of Don Giller, on the occasion of the final Late Night with David Letterman. It begins with an interview by Katie Couric. Then there's the final episode. Late Show with David Letterman would begin on August 30, 1993. (YouTube)
WRITER PROPOSES AN EMMY FOR DON GILLER
- June 18, 2021: On June 13, Darryl Reilly, a writer for theaterscene.net, posted Grodin on Letterman, a review of Charles Grodin's "fabled mock cantankerous TV appearances." Mr. Reilly lauds Don "The Donz" Giller for his exceptional effort, saying,
"No doubt inspired by Grodin's recent death, foremost David Letterman scholar and archivist Don Giller has just uploaded to YouTube, a seven-part sequential compilation of Grodin on Letterman that is hours and hours of supreme funniness. There's also the dymanic of them aging over 26 years while their personalities remain the same. Mr. Giller deserves a special Emmy for this immense project that will delight Grodin and Letterman fans while also preserving a chapter of show business history. Giller even provides bonus features such as Tom Snyder interviews and excerpts of Grodin's cable television talk shows, one of which is Grodin interviewing Letterman."
DAVECON 2006: STAR OF THE TONY MENDEZ SHOW
- June 15, 2021: I don't know when The Tony Mendez Show started. It was on once a week, I believe, on cbs.com, starring your host, Tony Mendez. It was co-hosted for a time by Stephanie Birkitt. I also don't know when the first DaveCon started, but it was an annual gathering of rabid fans... 15 to 20 of us... which was before, during and after a show's taping. I was fortunate to attend each DaveCon from 2007 to 2015. Anyway, some years we starred in a TMS, and some years we just hung out with show staff after the Late Show credits rolled.
Tony Mendez was our host until he got fired for a difference of opinion with Bill Scheft. Then Todd Seda, Mike McIntee, Steve Young, Jay Johnson and Walter Kim were still our hosts.
Anyway, our pal Don Giller has posted Meet the Star of the Tony Mendez Show on the YouTubes.
DON GILLER'S LETTERMAN CHANNEL HITS 125,000,000
- June 8, 2021: We're constantly linking to Don "The Donz" Giller's vast collection of Letterman compilations on YouTube. No other human could produce his array of videos, spanning the 33 years of Letterman on late night television, because only Don kept a detailed database, and recorded every episode. The popularity of Letterman resulted in reruns on cable channels, and gave him the opportunity to record and document episodes, back to Day 1. In recent years, he began converting videotapes to digital versions, which made his themed compilations practical, although still requiring countless hours of editing effort. We can't think him enough for what he has given us! (The Donz on YouTube)
CHARLES GRODIN COLLECTION
- June 7, 2021: Charles Grodin expired on May 18. His first appearance on LNDL was in 1982. Don Giller has been very busy putting together a compilation of his appearances. It's been a major undertaking. By the way, Don got permission from Carson Productions to include Dave's interview of Charles on the Tonight Show. Thanks, Donz, for this exceptional effort!
DL TO GUEST ON DAVE CHAPPELLE'S PODCAST
- June 5, 2021: pagesix.com reported this week that David M. Letterman will appear on Dave Chappelle's The Midnight Miracle podcast on June 8. The two hung out last July, and Chappelle has been on My Next Guest. Dave Khari Webber Chappelle first appeared on LSDL in 1994, and once a year for five years straight, then was scarce for five years. (Luminary Podcasts)
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, CHRIS ELLIOTT!
- May 31, 2021: Bridey Elliott has reminded us that it's the 61st birthday of the great Chris Elliott, who brought us The Guy Under the Seats, The Panicky Guy, The Conspiracy Guy, The Laid-Back Guy, The Fugitive Guy, the Marv Albert impression, The Regulator Guy, Gerard Mulligan's adorable baby, the Stevie Nicks impression, the Jack Hanna impression, the Jay Leno impression, the Paul Shaffer impression, Night Life with Chris Elliott, The Hitchhiker, Skylark, the Marlon Brando impression, The Chris Elliott, Jr. Show, The Goddess of Love, The Barking Desk Maggot, NBC Security episodes, the dog food tester, the Late Night Anthem, The Cable Pulling Guy, the Olestra® tester, Chris with newborn Harry Letterman, Skink, the Bounty Hunter, the Mac Guy, Bionic Guy, Chris and Gerry's Kitchen Nightmares, Chris as President John Adams, Chris and Gerry's Tips for Green Living (Chris eats compost), Knight Car, the hilarious The Curious Case of Bennington Butterworth, Money-Saving Tips with Chris and Gerry, Chris plugging his new book, The Guy Under the Sheets: An Unauthorized Autobiography, on and on...
Be sure to watch Don Giller's Chris Elliott & Gerard Mulligan Collection on Letterman, 1989-90, and my video of Chris Elliott's Final Appearance on Letterman, 2/10/15.
Finally, read about Bridey's work with Clara's Ghost.
24-YEAR-OLD LETTERMAN WORKING THE INDY 500
- May 31, 2021: Here you'll see what may be Dave's first big-time interview, questioning the great Mario Andretti after an accident. (YouTube) This must have been an ABC broadcast, as the anchor introduced Dave as Chris Economaki, who eventually became a member of the Indianapolis Motor Speedway Hall of Fame. This was 50 years ago this weekend.
DAVID LETTERMAN AND CONAN O'BRIEN, PART 2
- May 30, 2021: CNN's new documentary on late night TV has prompted memories of the drama of Leno getting the Tonight Show. Don Giller has reposted a wildly successful (1.3 million views) two-hour compilation, David Letterman and Conan O'Brien, Part 2: 2010-2012 There is epic Dave stuff to enjoy. When you've completed this assignment, cast your eyes upon the suggested videos on the right side of your web browser contraption, for other compilations by Don. And... at 1:22... Joe Grossman jokes!!!
- May 29, 2021: I really, really enjoyed Houndmouth when Katie Toupin was with them. I absolutely love her! This performance was Sedona, from their album, Little Neon Limelight. This was 3/31/15 . Dave, the Indiana native, must have been daydreaming a bit, as he originally stated they were from Albany, Indiana, but we knew it was really New Albany. (YouTube) Once you're finished with this, you can watch one of Katie's latest videos, Astronaut, which she produced with the help of her young niece, Wren, earlier this year.
PAUL SHAFFER AND DARLENE LOVE ON HANGIN' & BANGIN'
- May 27, 2021: I'm not familiar with this program, but today we had about an hour of Paul Shaffer and Darlene Love, with hosts Ron Onesti, Carmine Appice and Vinny Appice. They reminisced about their work in music, years ago. (YouTube)
DAVID LETTERMAN ON TIME AND AGAIN
- May 24, 2021: Jane Pauley interviewed TV Boy for this show in 1999. It runs 39 minutes, and has all kinds of clips from Dave on the air early in his career, as well as interviews. (YouTube)
LETTERMAN'S BIGGEST FANS SAY GOODBYE
- May 21, 2021: Rolling Stone posted this video in 2015: Letterman's Biggest Fans Say Goodbye. It's comments from fans on Broadway, Don Giller telling about his database, the SSIDB, and a visit with Rupert Jee. Look how warm people were dressed on May 20. Don't miss this. It's your last chance to see Morticia.
COUNTDOWN TO THE FINAL LATE SHOW
- May 20, 2021: It was 6 years ago today that we saw the final Late Show. Over the years, we saw 6,028 episodes, 19,932 guests and 4,605 TTLs, reports Don Giller. In 2017, Don assembled a blockbuster compilation. It's 02:28 hours. I highly recommend it. (YouTube)
REMOTES TO G.E. HEADQUARTERS COLLECTION
- May 17, 2021: An epic Late Night episode was a response to General Electric® purchasing NBC. Dave kindly took a camera crew to the GE building on 4/08/86, to present a fruit basket and wish them well. Security was not amused, and ran Dave off. (video) Our video benefactor, Don Giller, has slapped together this 46:52 compilation. I didn't recall that LNDL cashed in on this story to such an extent. Don posted this in 2020. (video) DonzTV: Be a part of it, when it comes to your area!
Bonus! There's an episode of the Peace Through Dramatization Players at 22:00! It's No Time for Love.
TV BOY CAPTURED BY DANNY CLINCH PHOTOGRAPHY
- May 12, 2021: I don't want to swipe this photographer's work. You can see the original photo by Danny Clinch Photography via this link. Hey! Along the way sometime, Dave has had the famous gap fixed! I don't like the beard, but it's his life, as I understand it.
THE STORY OF LATE NIGHT: THE WOMEN BEHIND LATE NIGHT
- May 14, 2021: Here we see a Zoom session (or equivalent) with Bill Carter, author of The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno, and the Network Battle for the Night, interviewing Merrill Markoe, who certainly needs no introduction, Madeleine Smithberg and Amber Ruffin about their contributions and beginnings in late night television. (YouTube) It's always good to hear from Merrill.
CRUSH, SMASH AND CRASH COLLECTION, 1985-90
- May 14, 2021: It's the highly-coveted, much-sought-after collection we've been waiting for, compliments of TV's Don Giller.
• Crush, Smash and Crash Collection, 1985 - 90
• Crushing Things with a Steamroller Collection, c. 1983
• Tower Drop Collection, 1984 - 86
A TASTE OF TOM SNYDER ON HIS 85th BIRTHDAY
- May 12, 2021: Tom Snyder was born on May 12, 1936. Don Giller decided to produce a compilation in his honor. It runs 09:06. (YouTube) I watched him a lot in the early days of the Tomorrow show in 1973, and later, The Late Late Show with Tom Snyder.
THE FINAL DAVECON, MAY 11, 2015
- May 11, 2021: Oh, the memories! Nine times, I got to be part of the late spring trip from the Little Apple to the Big Apple for DaveCon, the gathering of 15-or-so rapid Letterman fans, for a night out before a Late Show taping, followed by a pre-show lunch, lining up in the afternoon for audience duty, then post-show festivities, including taping a Tony Mendez Show, then dinner with some of the staff from the show... always including Dave's cue card "boy," Tony Mendez. Six years ago, last night and tonight, marks the end for us. I've not seen any of them since, sadly, but many of us are in constant touch on alt.fan.letterman. All credit for this video goes to #1 fan Don Giller. I'm so thankful for being part of this annual extravaganza. Oh... and Howard Stern and Don Rickles were the guests. Just imagine that... (YouTube)
ROBERT SMIGEL WANTED CONAN TO BE ANTI-LETTERMAN
- May 10, 2021: Comedy writer Robert Smigel told Howard Stern on April 28 that he loved Dave, but promoted doing sketch comedy on Conan. This is just 02:26, but it's good stuff. (YouTube)
- May 8, 2021: TV Boy made an appearance on Vax Live: The Concert to Reunite the World tonight. The goal was to encourage people to get their vaccination(s). Musical guests included Jennifer Lopez, Eddie Vedder, Foo Fighters, J Balvin, and H.E.R. Selena Gomez hosted. (YouTube) This event ran about 1:47. Dave appeared from 1:18 to 1:20. He introduced Foo Fighters, who blew the roof off the dump with Everlong and more.
JACK HANNA & MEGASNAKE VISIT DAVE (LEGOS)
- May 4, 2021: No. Jack Hanna and Megasnake is not the name of a rock group. Ray Harryhausen, a stop-motion filmmaker, produced this video of Jack Hanna appearing on Dave's stage with a 304-pound snake. The video only runs 02:41, but it's very cute and well-done. It has the original audio. You have to see it! / I checked my episode logs. This seems to be from November 6, 2006 (a Sweeps month episode, of course). (YouTube)
JACK HANNA COLLECTION
- Apr. 25, 2021: Our friend Don Giller (@thedonz5) worked for a full 2½ weeks producing this 11-part compilation of the 101 appearances of Jungle Jack Hanna (Wikipedia) on Dave's shows. As noted here on April 7, Jack's family has recently announced that he has been diagnosed with dementia, and will no longer make public appearances. This is an extremely sad thing, which will be underscored when you see these videos. Jack is extremely knowledgeable and dedicated, and his fun approach and manner endeared him to millions. Hopefully, watching these videos will inspire others to approach something in life with the passion that he demonstrated. Finally, I'm sure you'll be inspired by the dedication of The Donz in making this compilation posible. Be sure to go see his YouTube Letterman channel!
CNN's THE STORY OF LATE NIGHT APPROACHES
Don's work with this resulted in just minutes short of 20 hours' worth of viewing.
• 1: 1985 - 1986
• 2: 1987 - 1988
• 3: 1989 - 1993
• 4: 1993 - 1997
• 5: 1998 - 1999
• 6: 2000 - 2002
• 7: 2003 - 2005
• 8: 2006 - 2008 (with Amanda Peet!)
• 9: 2009 - 2010
• 10: 2011 - 2012
• 11: 2013 - 2015 (Jack's farewell appearance)
- Apr. 22, 2021: Letterman Bumpers posted this trailer earlier in April. It's to premiere on May 2.
STEVE YOUNG INTERVIEW
- Apr. 20, 2021: Steve Young, who has a beard these days, was the guest for a 53-minute Special Edition Interview with Trent Mabry. (YouTube) Topics include Steve's path to comedy, in part resulting from his association with the Harvard Lampoon. They also talked about Bathtubs Over Broadway. Steve told about what his day at the Late Show was like. You'll enjoy it!
WHY PRINCE'S BODYGUARD DRAGGED HIM OFF THE SET
- Apr. 13, 2021: This entry looks back at an interesting appearance by Prince Rogers Nelson on LSDL, on 12/13/94 . The episode began with a cold open: Paul, Dave and Prince. Creepy Dave popped up a couple of times, in the backdrop and by Dave's command module. Prince was to be the musical guest, prior to a visit from Fran Lebowitz.
Several times prior to the performance, Dave held up Prince's symbol, obviously making fun of it. Prince was steamed, and he arranged to be dragged off the stage after his performance, so he wouldn't have to speak to or shake hands with Dave. Then Dave was steamed when Prince exited the stage without acknowledging The Most Powerful Man in American Broadcasting®. This is the topic of a 60 Minutes interview with an unnamed individual, complete with some clips.
Hey... it's me again. I checked my episode logs. Prince returned for another musical performance on 7/08/96 . Electronic Maintenance Technician Gary Mintz impersonated Prince on 2/02/07 . Then we had Purple Reign (a Prince tribute band) on 11/17/08 . That's all I've got.
SCOTT RYAN ON HE.CAST
- Apr. 13, 2021: This podcast, he.cast, hosted by Mike Chisholm, is new to the Internet. It's for men, focused on mental, emotional, physical and social wellbeing. It's on YouTube, and started in August 2020. Mike is a big Letterman fan. (See Mar. 22, 2021 below.) His first interview with Scott Ryan, author of The Last Days of Letterman (53 min.) was posted on Nov. 4, 2020. The reason I called you here is that this week, Mike has scored a second interview with Scott (1:09). The topic is more about Moonlighting than Letterman, but I wanted to promote it here, because of both gents' ties to Dave.
- Apr. 13, 2021: One of the many reasons for the success of Letterman in the early years was what they called found humor. Dave would do a remote, out and about in New York, and let nature takes its course. Think Just Bulbs, Just Shades, visits to K & L's Rockamerica, sending Larry "Bud" to the bus station to hand out hot towels, etc. The reason I called you here today is to recommend Hairpieces Remotes on Letterman. The first is to Nickolas of Hollywood on 5/16/85, and Dave also visited the International Hair forum on 10/06/97. Yes, TV's Don Giller miracled this material onto the Internet. Thanks, Donz!
SNACK CRACKERS THAT KIND OF LOOK LIKE STATES
- Apr. 9, 2021: I have some very cool Letterman fan friends. Some I just know from interacting for 25 years on the Internet. I got to meet and visit with others at our annual DaveCon summer trips to tapings in New York. I met Alabama's own Brady Cox early on, and we had great visits.
Today, I'm excited to present Brady's brand new instructional video, Snack Crackers That Kind of Look Like States. You'll want to share this video with your significant others, and your dietitian. Subscribe to Brady's channel today, to catch the next action-packed episode. A fun fact is that I have a map of the USA with state names erased, so I can practice naming them. Rest assured that I don't do this every day. In case you're wondering, no pinking shears were used in the creation of Brady's video. Remember to subscribe, and smash that Like icon. (YouTube) (If you're having trouble seeing the crackers when Brady shows them, try clicking the rectangle icon at the bottom of the YouTube window.)
My state of Kansas didn't make the cut in Episode 9, but I remain hopeful. Kansas is almost a rectangle. The winding Missouri River is the east border of four counties, starting at Nebraska, down to Kansas City, where the river turns east to St. Louis. I grew up in Doniphan County, in the corner. Also bordered by the river are Atchison, Leavenworth and Wyandotte Counties. At the age of 20, I moved to Riley County, home of Kansas State University. I regret that Kansas isn't a perfect rectangle for Brady, but he has skills. The geographic center of the 48 states of the USA is in Smith County, which borders Nebraska. In the screen capture above, Brady's displaying the Iowa cracker.
A SAD DIAGNOSIS FOR JACK HANNA
- Apr. 7, 2021: Jack's daughters have announced, via the Columbus Dispatch, that he has dementia, and possibly Alzheimer's. He was certainly in the Top Five of Letterman guests, and a very nice man. I am truly saddened by this news. I have met Jack, and have great admiration for his life's work. I wish him and his family the best. / A quick check of my episode logs shows Jack appearing on Late Night about 25 times, and on the Late Show 75 times. A post from Don Giller agrees with my total of 100 appearances. (A Letter from the Hanna
Family) (Columbus Dispatch) (a partial compilation of Jack's appearances)
HOW CHRIS ELLIOTT AMASSED HIS $10,000,000
- Apr. 5, 2021: The ever-adorable Chris Elliott, Jr. had a major part in the success of LNDL, in my opinion, via his willingness to play twisted and pathetic characters (including show business weasels), his on-air lack of reverence for Dave, and his collaborations with Gerard Mulligan, which were reliably gold. Obviously he wasn't spanked enough when he was little. Mere hours ago, thethings.com released How 'Schitt's Creek' Actor Chris Elliott Amassed His $10 Million. I hope you enjoy it. If not... what did it cost you? Is the story true? I have no idea. I just post this stuff as a hobby. Here's an example of one of Mr. Elliott's memorable appearances, back in 2012.
COAST TO COAST WITH MUJIBUR & SIRAJUL
- Apr. 3, 2021: The first appearance of Mujibur Rahman and Sirajul Islam was on September 13, 1993... less than a month after LSDL was born. They operated K&L's Rock America (Wikipedia), just a few doors from the Ed Sullivan Theater. A quick check of my episode logs brought them up 124 times. We'd visit their store, M & S would come in the studio, or Dave would send them off on adventures... certainly including Mujibur and Sirajul's Coast to Coast Tour, which was in June, 1994. My last entry for them on LSDL was in December, 2002. The store owner was paying very high rent, and the store closed. Our friend Don Giller posted Coast to Coast with Mujibur and Sirajul today. It runs 01:49, so pack a lunch!
CNN's THE STORY OF LATE NIGHT
- Apr. 1, 2021: We've been awaiting this announcement for quite some time, and here it is! The series, which includes more than the Letterman shows, will premiere on Sunday, May 2, at 9:00 ET. It will be presented in six parts. There will be archival footage, and some interviews. There will also be an audio podcast, beginning on April 22. Bill Carter, author of The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno, and the Network Battle for the Night, is an executive producer. This is sure to be interesting!
PUP CULTURE: THE IMPORTANCE OF ADOPTING A DOG
- Mar. 31, 2021: Victoria Lily Shaffer has about a three-minute promotion on adopting doggies. (YouTube)
G. GORDON LIDDY
- Mar. 30, 2021: G. Gordon Liddy expired today, at the age of 90. (Wikipedia) Whether you liked him or not, he was a fascinating character. I got his 1982 book, Will, back in the 1990s. While I don't condone everything he did, his mental fortitude is interesting. Don Giller posted his 1982 LNDL interview today. (YouTube).
ELMER GORRY COLLECTIONS ON LETTERMAN
- Mar. 29, 2021: Elmer Gorry was a production manager on LNDL, and he had a few acting roles. He had a number of parts as NBC bosses Grant Tinker and Robert C. Wright. Don Giller has outdone himself by producing two compilations. Part 1 (Grant Tinker) runs 1 hr. 52 min., and spans 1985-86. Part 2 (Robert C. Wright) checks in at 54 minutes, and spans 1986-91.
I recommend these as a fun look back at the Late Night years, and they come with comments to Don from Dave's staff. I personally consider 1986 to be the peak of Letterman awesomeness. Talk about starting out with a bang... This segment turned up now and then, often with Chris Elliott in on the fun, acting like a complete showbiz weasel. It's The Late Night Anthem, which we may have first seen on 6/12/85, and which was performed by Tom Jones on 2/02/89. (That's right. Sweeps month.) Thanks, as always, Donzie!
LETTERMAN WITH AL FRANKEN!
- Mar. 28, 2021: Here's a 73-minute audio visit with TV's David Letterman. I'm linking to YouTube because everybody can get it, but you just see Dave's picture for 73 minutes + audio. Here's your link to ART19. Anyway, I'm listening to it via YouTube as I'm coding this plug, and I definitely recommend it!
THE ED SULLIVAN THEATER MARQUEE
- Mar. 26, 2021: Here's a two-minute video from 1967. Mayor John Lindsay journeyed to 1697 Broadway to participate in officially naming the Ed Sullivan Theater, previously Studio 50. The name still stands, although there have been various versions of the marquee. In my opinion, the best by far is the LSDL version. I remember, as I walked northeast on Broadway from there on May 13, 2015, how many times I stopped and turned around, for one last look at the marquee that came to mean so much to me. (I got to be there for tapings nine times.)
MERRILL MARKOE'S INTERVIEW WITH STEVE MASON
- Mar. 24, 2021: I'm not familiar with Steve Mason or Stephane Kolinsky, but I think all would be interested in hearing from Merrill Markoe. Here are your links. (iTunes) and (Spotify). One of the topics reportedly is We Saw Scenery: The Early Diaries of Merrill Markoe, which was released in October 2020. I can't review the interview for you, because my iTunes version is too old, and I don't have the Spotify app on my 11-year-old iPhone.
MIKE CHISHOLM'S EPIC 2015 TRIP REPORT!
- Mar. 22, 2021: I discovered an amazing LSDL trip report today, authored by the aforementioned Mike Chisholm. He wrote this while in isolation, last March. The episode he describes was one month before Dave's retirement... 4/20/15 .
Mike is a very passionate fan, and he was determined to make one last Letterman taping before it was too late. He was 44 when he penned this report, and he'd been a fan since he was 9! That must have included Dave's days of guest-hosting for Johnny. He signed on for good when he saw a silly stunt on LNDL. Mike's account of his first LSDL taping refers to a Jim Carrey segment on 3/15/04 . My episode log reported the stunt Mike described: Jim shaving a blank space on his noggin, upon which a clip from Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind was projected.
Mike wanted a great seat at the 4/20/15 taping, and he worked the system perfectly, ending up on the front row, after getting on a staffer's Gold List. That paved the way for interaction with Dave in the pre-show Q&A, a photo op at Dave's command module after the show, and an on-air mention in the monologue.
Here's his post to Facebook on 1/21/21, Mike's Trip Report. His story reminds me so much of my 10 Letterman trips. I was taking in every minute detail, and was constantly fascinated watching how the show came together. Mike has done an amazing job of telling his story, and I'm delighted that he's allowed me to link to it!
Wait a minute! Mike also has a YouTube channel, Tales from the Late Show. It has interviews with Late Show staff. I can't wait to watch them all!
CRAIG FERGUSON ON LETTERMAN
- Mar. 18, 2021: I always liked Craig Ferguson, and would have him on while I slapped together my daily Late Show episode log. I just ran across a 52-minute compilation of Craig's interviews with Dave. I think you'll like it (even though I don't have any idea who you are). (YouTube)
REAL TOYS COLLECTION ON LETTERMAN, 1984 - 1993
- Mar. 17, 2021: Here you'll find 71 minutes' worth of segments (10 of them) that are focused on toys, of all things. These were remotes to the New York City Toy Fair. This extravaganza was assembled by TV's Don Giller. Thanks, Donz!! One of his followers mentioned the great Dan Aykroyd's role on SNL as Irwin Mainway, a sleazy purveyor of extremely dangerous toys. (link)
THE TRAGIC REAL-LIFE STORY OF HOWARD STERN
- Mar. 15, 2021: I ran across this 2020 in-depth story on nickiswift.com today. I've never called myself a fan of America's Sweetheart, but I found this feature interesting. The primary reason for posting is Howard's long-time association with Dave.
My LNDL logs, which are incomplete until late 1985, have Howard appearing 18 times. Including cameos, Howard appeared on LSDL approximately 27 times. Something I found interesting is while Howard was a fairly regular guest over the years, there was a five-year gap between 9/24/98 and 11/06/03. I have no explanation for that. The mother-of-all appearances was multiple segments (a 23-minute interview) on 11/22/13. A longer-than-usual time passed from then until Howard's farewell appearance on 5/11/15. I was in the audience for that one... a tag team with Don Rickles, and my, was that fun!
I know nothing about the reputation of nickiswift.com, which Wikipedia describes as celebrity gossip. I'll let you be the judge of what you read. Here's a link for nickiswift.com/about.
TOM CRUISE'S FIRST APPEARANCE
- Mar. 14, 2021: Tom Cruise was an interview guest once on LNDL and eight times on LSDL. Of course, his name came up now and then in monologues, Pat & Kenny segments, etc. Don Giller just posted Tom's first appearance, on 8/10/88. It's a fun look back. (He knows Newman and Hoffman, by the way.)
DON GILLER, THROUGH THE YEARS
- Mar. 12, 2021: Today is the 70th birthday of the world's #1 Letterman fan, Don Giller. I took 1951-2021 out of the title line, so no one would think that Don kicked the bucket. He's still very much with us, and has posted a six-minute video photo gallery of his years on earth. I thought there would be more Letterman pictures, but instead, it's family and school pictures, in a video gallery. I know we all wish The Donz a great day, and are thankful for the thousands of hours of Letterman fun he's made available to us.
THE KRESKIN EXPERIENCE
- Mar. 9, 2021: The Amazing Kreskin was a recurring Letterman guest from 1990 to 1999. Our friend Paul Leslie, of The Paul Leslie Hour, has interviewed the mentalist Kreskin twice this year. (January 20) (March 5) Please check the left-side navigation column on this page for a long list of Paul's Letterman-related interview guests. Paul does in-depth and highly engaging interviews, and I've learned a lot about my Letterman heroes via his interviews.
Also, I want to make you aware of The Kreskin Experience. It's a series on Zoom, limited to 15 currently, meant to help participants tune into their own minds, and have successful thinking. The sessions are about $50.00. (Kreskin on Wikipedia)
ECCENTRIC CIVILIAN GUESTS ON LETTERMAN, 1982-1991
- Mar. 7, 2021: This latest compilation from Don Giller is priceless. It runs 2¼ hours! Leave this site immediately and watch it. I command you! (link) Something Dave was known for was found comedy. He and his staff found earthlings, both relative unknowns and celebrities, who were a bit eccentric, if you will. At times he would visit an offbeat business, like Just Bulbs or Just Shades. In this compilation, Don has a potato museum curator, Ruth "Uriel" Norman, who has lived on multiple planets, Elizbeth Tashjian of the Nut Museum, Lowell Davis, the Names Keeper, The Turtle Lady, a potato chip collector, a hair collector and The Button King. Watch closely, won't you?
OK... I got on Google to see what I could find on Uriel. (Wikipedia) (racked.com) (Unarians article) (Facebook) Uriel turned her cosmic experiences into quite an industry!
This just in... Don Giller just sent me this link to a current web site of The Potato Museum. It is a real trip!
DOMINOES ON LETTERMAN, 2004-2006
- Mar. 5, 2021: Send your fan mail to Don Giller for this 11-minute extravaganza: Dominoes on Letterman. Some of it's real and amazing, with the final installment by stagehand Gene Szymanski. I always enjoyed Rube Goldberg displays, and you'll see some in this impressive collection.
BIFF HENDERSON INTERRUPTS COLLECTION, 1989-90
- Mar. 5, 2021: Every Letterman fan was happy to see James J. "Biff" Henderson in a segment, and Don Giller has fixed us up with this 15-minute collection. (YouTube) The joke here is Biff interrupts the monologue, back in the Late Night days, and a big-time celebrity shows up in a cameo.
WILL LEE INTERVIEWS
- Feb. 28, 2021: You never know what you're going to get here. Neither do I. If I find good stuff, I post it. Bassist and singer Will Lee was with Paul Shaffer and David Letterman for 33 years, but he's been all over, and he tells us about it.
• playing with Paul Shaffer and studio work, with Joe Chambers, MHOF, 2004
• playing with The Beatles, Ringo and The Fab Faux, with Joe Chambers, MHOF, 2004
• with Dom Famularo, The Sessions Panel Artist Series
• with Rob Arthur, 2020
INTERVIEWS WITH OTHER CBS ORCHESTRA MEMBERS
- Feb. 28, 2021: Paul Shaffer's bands had exceptional musicians over 33 years, and I'm going to continue to add video interviews, so you can get acquainted!
• Sid McGinnis and Felicia Collins with Rebecca Dirks, Rig Rundown, 2012
• Aaron Heick with Dom Famularo, The Sessions Panel
• Tom "Bones" Malone with Dom Famularo, The Sessions Panel
THE VARIOUS ALIASES OF PAUL'S BANDS
- Feb. 27, 2021: Our distinguished professor of Letterman fun facts, Don Giller, released a history of fun names for the LNDL bands today, in two tweets. (Tweet 1) (Tweet 2) The tweets have the information in image form, so click on 'em to enlarge.
Here are Amazon links to CDs that Paul and/or members of the band have released over the years.
• Coast to Coast, 1989
• The World's Most Dangerous Party, by Paul Shaffer and The Party Boys of Rock 'n' Roll, 1993
• Figments, by Anton Fig, 2007
• Oh!, by Will Lee, 2008
• Live on Letterman, with guest artists, 2008
• Paul Shaffer & The World's Most Dangerous Band, 2017
• Love Gratitude & Other Distractions by Will Lee, 2020
• Al Chez and The Brothers of Funk CDs
FROM THUNDER BAY TO LETTERMAN
- Feb. 21, 2021: C. Paul Tilson-Shaffer has a 7-minute interview with Ian Hanomansing of CBC about his beginnings in show bidness, Godspell and his time with a gent named Letterman. (YouTube) You also get a complimentary Noom ad.
BOB DOLE COLLECTION ON LETTERMAN
- Feb. 20, 2021: Senator Dole, 97, from Russell, Kansas (pop. 4,500) is ailing, and The Donz has posted his Bob Dole Collection, 1995–96. We have Dole Hall at Kansas State University, and I've seen him here numerous times. (Russell is 125 miles west on I-70 from Manhattan.)
DAVE SURPRISES DREW BARRYMORE!
- Feb. 19, 2021: I didn't know that there's a Drew Barrymore Show! It has a web site. Apparently it's a morning show on CBS. The web site has details.
Most of you know that Drew had quite a surprise for Dave on his birthday in 1995. (video) Now... a check of IMDB shows that Drew's 46th birthday is on Monday, Feb. 22, but this episode of her show was taped today. Anyway, Drew first thought she was seeing Dave via Zoom or something, but then he appeared onstage. For the record... Dave didn't dance for Drew. Oops! I almost forgot to link the video preview from Drew's show! / This just in on Feb. 22: Here's a link to the entire show on YouTube.
PAUL SHAFFER PLUS ONE: JOE WALSH
- Feb. 16, 2021: This is awesome. Rock & Roll Hall of Famer and Eagle Joe Walsh joins our hero, C. Paul Tilson-Shaffer, a.k.a. Babbit, for the latest Paul Shaffer Plus One. His series is on axstv on SiriusXM. This 93-second clip was posted to YouTube in December 2019. The topic of the two gents is how to practice. Joe Walsh was born in Wichita, where my parents lived during WW2. / I went back in "A Few Words" to 2019, and found this link, posted by SiriusXM, along with subscription information.
STEVE YOUNG'S TEACHING COMEDY
- Feb. 15, 2021: You saw Steve Young in the video in the previous post, as a police officer drawing a chalk heart around a carcass on a sidewalk. He's teaching a comedy writing symposium this weekend on the Internet. I'm sure this is not intended for fans, but rather for serious writers, but it's nonetheless interesting to see what Steve's up to. (link) By the way, he is also teaching television history at NYU, and his CelebriGum page is still available.
VALENTINE'S DAY ON LETTERMAN, 1996
- Feb. 14, 2021: The Donz posted this today. Journey back to yesteryear on LNDL, as our pals Mary Tyler Moore, Paul Shaffer, Anton Fig, Steve Young, Biff Henderson, Gerard Mulligan (in a dress, as usual) and Calvert "Larry Bud" DeForest Melman reveal their plans. It's like the Hallmark Channel on CBS. (YouTube)
MORE NEW CHRIS ELLIOTT SEGMENTS
- Feb. 7, 2021: I was going back and forth with Don Giller today, as I recalled The Chris Elliott, Jr. Show. I mixed it up with Night Light with Chris Elliott, from 1987. The first was a spoof of The Morton Downey, Jr. Show. Anyway, the spoof is linked here (and under the topic below). Here's a compilation that includes Night Light with Chris Elliott and others!
TALK SHOW HOSTS ON LETTERMAN
- Feb. 7, 2021: CNN is preparing to air a documentary series, The Story of Late Night. The release date is unknown. Don Giller, to supplement the event, has released Talk Show Hosts Collection on Letterman. If you'd like to see related tweets from @thedonz5, here's the first. Here are direct links to his impressive YouTube compilations for these hosts:
JAMES BROWN'S CAPE MAN
- Feb. 5, 2021: On June 7, 2002, a fun Letterman segment began. It ran for two years, and had 68 episodes. During his shows, when singing "Please, Please, Please," James Brown would collapse in pretend distress. An associate, Danny Ray, would hurry to the stage to comfort and assist James. Mr. Ray died on Feb. 2, at the age of 85. Here's a story by the Los Angeles Times, from earlier this week. The Late Show segment had Paul Shaffer playing the part of James Brown, and celebrities and staff would appear onstage to place the cape on Paul, and attempt to comfort him. Paul would soon recover and rise, and conclude his performance. As you can see itemized in my Paul's Cape Thing page, among those who appeared with the cape included David Letterman, Rudy Giuliani, Kareen Abdul-Jabbar, Hal Gurnee, Donald Trump, Sue Hum, Michael Bloomberg, Jerry Springer, Wolf Blitzer, the lovely Don Rickles and, of course, James Brown on Feb. 7, 2003.
LATE NIGHT #1 – 39 YEARS AGO TODAY
- Feb. 1, 2021: On Feb. 1, 1982, Late Night with David Letterman premiered. Our friend and benefactor of awesome video, Don Giller, has just reminded us on his Twitter channel, @thedonz5, of his YouTube video of episode one, but that's not all. He's started a Twitter thread with that episode and more. I don't know what all is in store, but Don already has the script cover, writers' notes, comments from Paul Shaffer, etc. I'll try to keep up with links, but I recommend going to Twitter thread for now! Thanks, as always, Donz.
HISTORIC LETTERMAN ARTICLES
- Jan. 30, 2021: Renowned Letterman archivist Don Giller (@thedonz5) has taken to the Internet, in search of articles documenting Dave's career. With his permission, I'm linking to some of his tweets. Don credits Christopher Bay for these. (Please note that for some of these, only part of the article will be visible. These articles are JPEGs. Do a right-click or Control-click, then "Save Image As...") Here you go.
• 7/30/77: Starland Band in Wrong Orbit, The Los Angeles Times
• 1/25/78: A Pilot ('Peeping Times') Satirizes News Magazines, The Los Angeles Times
• 3/19/79: 'Fast Friends' Blends Satire, Soap, The Los Angeles Times
• 5/20/79: The Diary of Four Young Comics, The Los Angeles Times
• 8/23/79: Letterman: Waiting in the Wings, The Los Angeles Times
• 1/06/80: David Letterman and the Great Tonight Show Circus, The Chicago Tribune
• 4/04/80: Letterman Could Succeed Johnny Carson, People Weekly
• 6/20/80: Letterman Show to Bow Monday, The Los Angeles Times
• 6/20/80: Talk Is Cheap, The New York Times
• 7/07/80: David in the Daytime, Newsweek
• 9/17/80: Letterman Under Scrutiny, The New York Times
• 9/27/80: Letterman Show Canceled, The New York Times
• 10/23/80: Letterman Was Done in by Ratings, The New York Times
• 10/29/80: For Letterman, the Games Are Up, unknown
• 11/10/81: Letterman Replacing Snyder, The New York Times
• 11/11/81: NBC Sends a Letterman to Snyder, The Los Angeles Times
• 2/03/82: TV: 'David Letterman', The Los Angeles Times
• 2/04/82: 'Late Night' Feud: Hitch for NBC, The Los Angeles Times
• 2/08/82: Letterman: Better 'Late' Than Never, The Los Angeles Times
• 2/08/82: Letterman Show: From Soup to Nuts, The Los Angeles Times
REMEMBERING CLORIS LEACHMAN
- Jan. 27, 2021: We lost Cloris Leachman yesterday. Born in Des Moines, she was 94, and will long be remembered for her role as Frau Blücher in Young Frankenstein. I remember well seeing it at the Campus Theater in 1974. On October 22, 1980, Dave and Cloris visited Cresco, Iowa, near the Minnesota border, for The David Letterman Show. Don Giller has posted Cloris Leachman on Letterman, October 22, 1980.
HANK AARON COLLECTION ON LETTERMAN
- Jan. 22, 2021: Our pal Don Giller posted this back in November. Unfortunately, Hank Aaron passed away today, and we're reminded of Hank Aaron Collection on Letterman, 1982-2011. Thanks, Mr. Giller!
- Jan. 17, 2021: Phil Spector died yesterday. Darlene Love worked with him early in her career, and Variety has just posted an interview with her, with a main assertion being, "He wanted to control my talent."
DAVE'S CALLS TO MOM COLLECTION
- Jan. 15, 2021: TV Boy's mother, Dorothy Mengering, was beloved by fans of LNDL and LSDL. There were many, many references to Dorothy over the years, but the calls didn't begin right away. The call I think of first was for instructions on making a fried baloney sandwich on 11/06/90. (Yes, I've had a few.) Don Giller has assembled this 87-minute compilation, Dave's Calls to Mom Collection on LNDL, 1990-93. Thanks, Donz!
DAVID LETTERMAN: A REMARKABLE TALK SHOW HOST
- Jan. 14, 2021: Here's quite an elaborate review from Hollywood Insider related to David Letterman and his work with My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. It's complimentary on his honesty and interviewing skills, variety of guests and warmth shown to his guests. There is a text article and a YouTube video. Also, here's a related article, Top 5 Episodes of My Next
Guest Needs No Introduction on Netflix.
BEHIND THE SCENES WITH PAUL SHAFFER
- Jan. 10, 2021: I don't know how I ran across this, but it's a fun 10 minutes with C. Paul Tilson-Shaffer, a.k.a. Babbit, presented by It's a Living. It has comments from Paul about how LSDL comes together, praise from fellow staff, and a quick look at Paul Shaffer Drive in Thunder Bay. (YouTube)
- Jan. 2, 2021: Dave and Peyton Manning were in Muncie on Oct. 20, visiting Ball State. As this article reports, "The visit included production work on an upcoming installment of Peyton's Places, the football-themed documentary series hosted by Manning, and produced by ESPN."
Today, Ball State president Geoffrey Mearns announced the premiere of the Peyton's Places series on ESPN. In addition, on Dec. 31, the Ball State Cardinals, the fiercest robin-sized birds in all the world, defeated San Jose State in the Arizona Bowl.
DOROTHY'S THOUGHTS ON BEING A GRANDMA
- Jan. 2, 2021: I don't recall ever seeing this interview, so here it is... Dave's mom, Dorothy Mengering, with Patty Spitler. It was on the 9/12/03  episode that Dave announced that he was going to be a father. He said he's so old, he'll be both baby's father and grandfather. "I don't know anything about babies, and I've got to find a place for it to stay," Dave said, "and my, it's my girlfriend is having the child... Regina, bless her heart, and, and, and, uh, but I just don't want one of those kids that's always takin' a dump in its pants." It was on 11/03/03 that Paul Shaffer was guest host, while Dave was in the hospital with Regina for the birth of Harry Joseph Letterman.
ALAN KALTER WITH PAUL LESLIE
- Jan. 2, 2021: I think Alan Kalter contributed to the Late Show in a major way. Actually, I don't even think he deserved some of the beatings he received on air. Tonight I was checking Paul Leslie's interviews, to see if there were any Letterman-related entries I needed to add, and I ran across Paul's visit with Alan, from 2019, and thought you should have a listen. Please note that all of Paul's interviews with Letterman staff and friends are linked in the left-side navigation column, right here. I highly recommend them!
DAVID LETTERMAN SKETCHES
- Jan. 2, 2021: I have discovered a page on Wikipedia that offers a nice look back, seemingly more focused on LSDL: List of David Letterman Sketches. I have no idea who compiled it. It's not complete, but worth a look. For example, it lists Will It Float?, but it doesn't link to my complete Will It Float? page. It mentions Explod-O-Pop®, but if you click on the popping corn link, it just lists a dictionary definition. Anyway, I recommend it for an enjoyable reminder of Letterman antics over the later years.
A Few Words from DDY – Past Years
DDY's Headlines and News, 2000 - 2014
|Kathleen Ankers' amazing Late Show set, by DDY, May 22, 2010|
|Kathleen Ankers' amazing Late Show set, by DDY, May 22, 2010|
|DaveCon 2010: My friends and I hung around onstage after the taping, visiting with band members and staff.
||DaveCon 2009: with Rupert Jee in Hello Deli
|with Calvert DeForest in the Little Apple
Manhattan, Kansas – October 1992
||Dr. Rod Fernandez, Bill Lehecka and Micah White
scored Dave's ties on-air on May 14, 2009.
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