December 28, 2020: This is a huge deal. Letterman superfan Don Giller posted The Faces Project, Part 1: 1982-1993 on 8/19/20. This masterpiece runs 13:15. It has rapid-fire shots of Dave at his desk (about three-per-second) over the NBC / Late Night years. There were 1,810 Late Night with David Letterman episodes (1,809 aired). Can we even comprehend what an effort in editing this represents? I'm not talking about the duration of the clips, but the sheer numbers.
Here's the background: Early on, Don began recording every Letterman episode to videotape; however, he didn't have the earliest episodes recorded. Some years later, he picked up the missing shows from reruns on Bravo, if I recall. In addition, Don has an astonishingly detailed database of everything that happened on the shows. It's known as the SSIDB. Over the five years since LSDL ended, Don finished transferring every show to hard drives, which has made his awesome compilations possible.
So... Don has opened each of the episodes and picked out a capture of Dave at his desk... about 1/3 to 1/2 second in duration, and edited them into this 13-minute video. By the way, Don touched up some of the clips with Photoshop® (correcting color, saturation, etc.) before he saved them. Read about the process in his "making of" blog, just below. Thanks so much to Don and his staff of no one else!! Finally... the inconsistency between my mentions of 1,809 and 1,810 episodes is that the episode for the day the Gulf War started (1/16/91) was taped, but never it aired, as Tom Brokaw was busy covering the war on NBC, in Dave's time slot.
I very much enjoyed the choice of music, certainly including the Late Night theme song and Green Onions. Also, Bruce Hornsby sat in with the band, and we hear a special version of The Way It Is.
Different viewers of this epic effort have focused on different things. I was focused on Dave's ties, looking for repeats. Others were focused on Dave's hair. If you're new to my fan page, here's the link to Don's Letterman YouTube channel, with 106,000,000 views. Now, look just below for Don's detailed blog on producing The Faces Project.
THE MAKING OF THE FACES PROJECT
December 28, 2020: The Making of the Faces Project is the great Don Giller'sHow I Did It blog on his methods for the aforementioned video project. What Don has created would normally be assumed to be the work of an entire team of editors. One of the most impressive aspects of this is Don's mindblowing earlier efforts in digitizing all of the 1,809 Late Night episodes, which is what made this possible.
"CHRISTMAS (BABY, PLEASE COME HOME)"
Dec. 24, 2020: Late Show writer Bill Scheft (@billscheft) just tweeted a reminder that Walter Kim (@WalterKim) and Jay Johnson (@jayejohnson), Creative Directors of Digital Media, put together a mashup, supercut or whatever you want to call it, of Darlene Love's Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) in December 2014. It is truly amazing. They captured all the wonder of Darlene's Christmas week performances in just four minutes. Here's your link.
Oops! Later on this Christmas Eve, I've discovered that Don Giller has a 1 hr. 57 min. compilation, Darlene Love Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) Collection on Letterman, 1986-2014. I'm constantly plugging his compilations here, but didn't know that he had this one. You are hereby excused from this dump, to enjoy Don's video. By the way, early in the video, you'll witness Dave's suggestion to Paul that they should invite Darlene to the show, and the rest is history.
CHER'S DAVID LETTERMAN STORY + PAUL'S IMITATION
Dec. 22, 2020: On Feb. 21, 2020, Cher was at the Park MGM resort and casino in Las Vegas, telling about some memorable moments... turning 40, being turned down for The Witches of Eastwick, etc. (What? She was in the movie.) (YouTube video) At 07:30 into the video, the story turns to Letterman. The show wanted Cher to come on, but she wanted $28,000 instead of scale, because she owed that much. Anyway, Cher turned 40 on 5/20/86, and I believe she first appeared on LNDL on 5/22/86. That's when she informed Dave that she'd been hesitant to be a guest, because she thought sometimes Dave was an asshole to his guest. So... that interview became legendary.
Then, on 11/13/87, Cher came on with Sonny Bono, and they sang I've Got You, Babe. (video, by Don Giller) This ended up being the last time they ever performed together! (We always watched The Sonny and Cher Show, which ended with that song.)
Let's not forget Paul Shaffer's annual impression of Cher singing O Holy Night, which began in 1983. (See six of them here.) (Or, see all of them here, compliments of Don Giller.) According to my research, knowing that William Conrad was a guest on the Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour cited by Paul, it likely was in mid-December 1972 or 1973. Here's video of Cher's performance.
ALWAYS GOOD TO SEE WILL LEE
Dec. 20, 2020: Here's a fun YouTube video, posted today by the world's greatest bassist, Will Lee. The tune is Have Yo'self a Merry, played on his Sadowsky bass. If you're new in these here parts, you're hereby informed that Will was with Dave and Paul for 33 years. Wait 'til you see the fake snowflakes, by way of green screen magic. They're the size of Will's head!
Dec. 19, 2020: This is from January 25, 1990. When I saw the date, I assumed it was from an anniversary show, which usually aired around February 1. I thought it must have been recorded in Radio City Music Hall or something. Nope! What am I talking about? It's Paul Shaffer + Doc Severinsen Tonight Show Horns - David Letterman theme. My episode logs show that Late Night was in a week of reruns. The Late Night episode that night would be from 3/14/89. Paul and the World's Most Dangerous Band took a field trip to Burbank and the Tonight Show, to play with Doc's band.
Dec. 17, 2020: I'm not generally inclined to post gossip tales, but since Connie Chung was a frequent presence on Dave's shows, here's a PageSix.com story, with Connie speaking ill of several prominent co-workers. Of Dave, she says he's unhappy and antisocial. Well, Dave's said that sort of thing of himself. I mean, how many other TV personalities refer to "hiding under the porch" on weekends? Connie appeared on Dave's shows about 25 times, not including references in Top Ten lists, etc.
DON GILLER'S LATEST SHOUT OUT
Dec. 17, 2020: Merrill Markoe was a guest on The Best Show with Tom Scharpling on Dec. 12. She gave a shout out to The Donz, saying "he amazes me," after Tom, the host, referred to Donz as "this one maniac." Tom then backtracked and said, "I mean that in the nicest possible way." Merrill cited an example, when she (possibly jokingly) referred to "something about cabbage" on LNDL in the early 80s, and 30 seconds later, Donz had the details for her. The aforementioned podcast with Merrill runs just under three hours, and you can hear it by clicking in this approximate area.
HOW ABOUT SOME CHRIS ELLIOTT?
Dec. 16, 2020: OK, I've left you alone for two days, but Don Giller just reminded us of must-see running segments from the LNDL days, with the ever-adorable Chris Elliott. Let's begin the festivities with The Conspiracy Guy Collection, 1983-84. I'm sure you'll enjoy Chris's gigantic 1980s glasses. The audience were always amused by his anguish and discomfort. By the way, the tough guys who dragged Chris outside for his beatings were writers Joe Toplyn and Sandy Frank. Next up is The Panicky Guy Collection, 1984. Finally, don't miss The Fugitive Guy Collection, 1985-87. I thought Chris was great with these segments. They were written to be ridiculous, and Chris played them just right. Thanks, Don Giller!
BIG PLANS FOR RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING
Dec. 14, 2020: Spring will be here eventually, vaccines are here, and Indy Car racing will be back. Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing has drawings and plans in place for a new 100,000-square-foot facilty. It wil have a machine shop, paint shop and meeting space, and will be located in the small suburb of Zionsville, northwest of Indianapolis.
COP ON THE EDGE COLLECTION
Dec. 13, 2020: I confess. I had forgotten about this segment, but that's why we have The Donz. Here's your link to "Cop on the Edge" Collection on Letterman, 1994, 1995. I must also confess that after I consulted my episode logs and fast-forwarded through Dave's outfits, I realized that all these episodes aired on only two LSDL episodes. Normally this kind of recurring segment was one-per-LSDL, but those generally starred show staff, Rupert, etc. Don's SHOW MORE pull-down with the YouTube video reports this, but at first I thought I was misunderstanding something. This was different, because Bruno Kirby, the star, wasn't one of the staff, who was around all the time. I catch on eventually... sometimes. Siskel & Ebert were in an episode!
MARILYN SARGENT'S 'TWAS MY NIGHT AT THE LATE SHOW
Dec. 12, 2020: My friend Marilyn Sargent is a Top 5 Letterman fan. She's had her picture taken with Dave, and of course she has the David Letterman Tulip Poplar Tree in her back yard. For years, Marilyn wrote her own poetic spoof of The Night Before Christmas, namely, 'Twas My Night at the Late Show. The familiar verses gave way to references to show staff, segments and traditions that only dedicated fans could entirely understand.
On December 19, 2014, she made one of her many trips from Connecticut to be in the audience, and this time, she came with material.
Marilyn chose this night because she wanted to be present for the final Christmas show, which was the Late Show taped before Christmas... usually around Dec. 21. This meant the night when Darlene Love would be there to sing Christmas (Baby Please Come Home), Jay Thomas would tell his Lone Ranger story, Jay and Dave would compete in the Late Show Quaterback Challenge (throwing footballs at the Empire State Building model / pizza / giant meatball atop the show's Christmas tree, etc.).
In case you didn't know, before each taping, a warm-up comedian like Eddie Brill would come out and tell jokes, then Dave would come out and take audience questions. Marilyn came prepared with a pamphlet of her poem, with a Christmas cover. She got Dave's attention, and presented him with a copy. Dave liked it so much that he 1) read it on the air to the North American viewing public and 2) presented her with the 2014 version of the custom Letterman jacket, which each staff member received. This was a very high compliment.
This week, Don Giller has put in great effort of late to add relevant photo thumbnails to video of this unforgettable event, resulting in Marilyn's Poem for Letterman, December 18, 2014. This includes Dave's preshow visit with Marilyn, Dave reading it on air, Marilyn (and my friend Cheryl Levenbrown to her right) in the audience, and Marilyn reciting the poem. This was a lot of work for Donz, and it's a real nice addition to the presentation!
Finally, here's my episode log for the big day. It includes a transcript of the poem, and a look at the cover. I hope you enjoy all this as much as I have. Here's a big-time shout out to Don Giller for a very nice new video!
THE MYTHICAL WEEKEND LATE SHOW
Dec. 9. 2020: A recurring segment on LSDL was the Weekend Late Show, a spoof of morning TV shows. This one had Bruce and Linda, the weekend hosts, behind Dave's desk. My logs show that it premiered on 10/06/11, and ended on 3/27/13. I wasn't too crazy about it, but according to a careless check of my episode logs, it ran 47 times. Here's some footage, from Don Giller, of course, of those thrilling days of yesteryear, Weekend Late Show Collection, 2011-2013.
Of interest here is a story on the history of what's now known as the Ed Sullivan Theater, with the familiar address of 1697 Broadway, which I believe transitioned from CBS radio to television on December 6, 1948. The first program originating from there was Arthur Godfrey's Talent Scouts. As we know, Late Show with David Letterman originated from The Ed from August 30, 1993 to May 20, 2015. Here's a YouTube video of a couple of minutes of Arthur Godfrey. Be forewarned... this is hardly HDTV.
Dec. 6, 2020: The Late Show's Lyle the Intern... OK, Jimmi Simpson, has just returned from South Korea with a rescued, eight-year-old doggie named Milo. Here's Twitter video. Go to Korea Animal Rights on Facebook for more information.
Dec. 6, 2020: My friend Tony "Inky" Mendez signed on with Dave's shows in 1990, after his career in ballet, and he began 24 years in the cue card profession, until 2014. Don Giller has posted Tony Mendez's First On-Camera on Letterman, dated April 27, 1990. Dave hadn't been informed there was a new cue card man. Tony... not as ornery as he was in later years, was all smiles. It was a blast appearing in a few Tony Mendez Show episodes on cbs.com, earlier in this century.
Nov. 28, 2020: Here's Paul Shaffer, with a sample of his latest sidewalk mini concert. And... Happy birthday, Paul!. (Facebook link)
THANKSGIVING STAFFERS MONTAGE COLLECTION
Nov. 27, 2020: Don Giller has a fun compilation of the annual staff Thanksgiving day feed. Why does the show produce a new episode on Thanksgiving? The show has to visit with Dave's mom for pie guessing!
Nov. 25, 2020: I've known for a while that Dave has had some involvement with Habitat for Humanity. This page, What Home Is, has videos from prominent individuals telling what home means to them, and Dave's in one of them. You can go straight to Dave's own video, with him making a case for donating to Habitat for Humanity. Links for one-time or monthly donations are available on the page linked above. Finally, here's a brief interview Dave gave in 2018 in support of the organization.
Nov. 20, 2020: Could 2020 get any worse? We lost stagehand Kenny Sheehan today. Don Giller is our provider, as usual, for the following 02:42 of stagehand funnies. Do not miss 'em! In Part 1, they somehow convinced Kenny to prance around onstage in a Cupid outfit. Yes, of course, there's throwing stuff off the roof of the Ed (like 150 pounds of chili). / What you don't get in the first three videos is Kenny's best work ever, Pat and Kenny Read Oprah Transcripts, and they run just short of two hours! Here's Kenny's IMDB listing. The first report of Kenny's passing I've seen was posted by heavy.com. Also, I've seen some glowing comments from fellow Late Show staff who held Kenny in high regard. RIP, Kenny.
Nov. 19, 2020: Letterman archivist extraordinaire Don Giller has gone and done it again! His YouTube Letterman Channel has hit 100,000 subscribers, to go along with his 101,000,000 views! If you're not aware, finish reading this paragraph, because Don has every episode of Letterman (LNDL and LSDL) digitized. With digital video plus his massive database to look up guests and segments, he can make any compilation video he thinks up. So... what are you doing looking at my pathetic page, when you could be having the video extravaganza of a lifetime?
TOMMY LASORDA COLLECTION
Nov. 15, 2020: The Hall of Fame manager is 93 now, and he's in a hospital for an unknown reason. He's quite a colorful character. Here's Don Giller's Tommy Lasorda Collection on Letterman, 1985-2012. Some of the segments you'll see have Biff going to a World Series, or other cameos, and the final one is just after his HOF induction.
Nov. 11, 2020: Spanning a decade on the morning show and LNDL, we have Kids Performance Collection on Letterman, 1980-1990. Cast members range in age from about nine to 12, and most of the mini-plays are holiday-themed. Madeleine Smithberg booked most of the kids. The final segment, from 12/21/90, offers a quick look at guest Penelope Ann Miller, but we miss Paul's annual Cher imitation. Please allocate a half hour for these thespians, and send your thank you cards to Don Giller.
Nov. 9, 2020: Mr. 101,000,000 YouTube views himself, Don Giller, has posted A 1988 Christmas Tale Collection on Letterman, 2000-2011. It runs 36 minutes, so get a snack. Dave has a heartwarming story about Al Maher, for example. Dave told the Al story a number of years. Alright! At 19:24, Sarah Billington Connell's in a segment for a few fleeting seconds.
ALEX TREBEK ON LETTERMAN, 1990-95
November 8, 2020: We lost the legendary Alex Trebek today. He first appeared in 1990 on LNDL. On LSDL, he was referenced often... much more than he appeared as an interview guest. Don Giller posted Alex Trebek on Letterman, 1990-95 last year.
November 7, 2020: Paul Shaffer, who certainly needs no introduction here, posted this video, of him singing on a street corner in New York, to his Facebook page, paulshafferofficial. I don't know what the occasion was.
THE LAST DAYS OF LETTERMAN
November 5, 2020: Mike Chisholm has a 53-minute interview on YouTube with a gent known well around here, Scott Ryan, author of the must-read 2018 book, The Last Days of Letterman. A revelation to me was that Scott never sought to interview Dave himself. An interview Scott tried hard to get, but didn't, is Jude Brennan. When Scott eventually met her, she said she was glad he did the book, and even gladder she's not in it! I highly recommend Mike's visit with Scott!
A very interesting aspect to Late Show with David Letterman is its ownership by Dave's Worldwide Pants Incorporated... not CBS. I personally loved it, as the keeper of a web site about the show for 24 years. Not once have I been told that I couldn't post videos or photos, or my recaps of every episode. The awesome staff there considered it free advertising, not a cut into their profits. Every person on staff who I interacted with on my trips to New York was great to me and my friends.
November 4, 2020: laineygossip.com has posted an enthusiastic review of Dave's MNGNNI interview with Dave Chappelle. Lainey said, "Letterman delivers on giving the audience more insight into where Chappelle came from, what shaped him, what he struggles with."
November 4, 2020: Eddie Vedder's First Appearance History on Letterman, Jan.-Feb. 1996 premiered on Don Giller's YouTube channel today. (Click here!) There's a lot going on with this story, so go get a snack. Eddie appeared on LSDL seven times as a member of Pearl Jam, between 1996 and 2006. Eddie appeared on LSDL under his own name four times, from 1996 to 2015. His last appearance, singing Better Man, was on 5/18/15... two days before the final episode. I'd say Eddie should take it as quite an honor to be asked to appear in LSDL's final week.
Now, for some more angles. On 2/06/96, Dave becomes fascinated with "Wahoo." He claims he'd heard a lot of people say "Wa." In response, Dave asks, "Wa who?" That topic continues to the next show. Dave starts hollering "Waaaaaa." Then he tells Paul to get Eddie Vedder into the facility to sing it. On 2/16/96, Dave held up a Wahoo, Nebraska paper. They were bidding for their town to be the next home office. On 2/27/96, Eddie shows up unannounced to fulfill Dave's request. On 5/03/96, Dave proclaimed that the home office was relocated to Wahoo, Nebraska. On 11/25/96, Wahoo Mike McIntee published the first edition of the Wahoo Gazette. (Fun Fact: Wahoo, Nebraska is 140 miles due north of my city, Manhattan, Kansas.)
November 2, 2020: I wasn't familiar with the YouTube channel, Netflix Is a Joke, but they got world-renowned talk show host David Letterman on a few days ago. The topic in this preview is Dave's stand-up comedy days in the 1970s.
THE LETTERMAN FACES PROJECT
November 2, 2020: Don Giller, now with 100,000,000 YouTube views, by the way, finished The Faces Project in August. Part 1 is from the Late Night years, and runs 13 minutes. It's a look at Dave's hair, clothes, etc., over time. I'm not positive if other parts will follow, but I'm formatting this post with that hope in mind.
Something very cool is that a good part of the video has Green Onions, the Booker T. & the M.G.s 1962 hit, as the background music. Paul Shaffer & the World's Most Dangerous Party covered it when the show was in transition to CBS in 1993. I was very aware of the group in the 1960s, but in those days we didn't have the Internet to learn more about things. I wasn't aware until today that at one time or another, Anton Fig, Steve Jordan and Paul Shaffer played with the group. As to the name of the group, it's hard to get a definite answer. It's been claimed that M.G. stands for the British car (which was named for Morgan Garages), Memphis Group or musical genius. Who knows, but we loved being reintroduced to them in the 1980s, via The Blues Brothers. (Wikipedia) Anyway, the ties to Letterman musicians may explain Don's choice of Green Onions for this video.
November 1, 2020: This Don Giller production took me completely by surprise. It's Your Moments of DaveZen Tweets Collection, 1983-2009. It's 37 minutes of Dave and staff in brief moments that have been fan topics over the years. At first I didn't pick up on the themes, because I went straight to the video, and didn't click on SHOW MORE, just above the YouTube comments. There are imitations. There are staff screw-ups. There are messes that should only have to be cleaned up by convicted felons. There are brushes with death (like on 4/07/86, when Dave set out to jump on top of a cake - five days before his birthday - but slipped instead of landing squarely, and fell on his spine). There's Biff Henderson's Golf Cart of Death (a 1991 feature). And... there are moments that never made it past the editors and/or censors. Watch closely, won't you? This just in... Don's YouTube channel is at 99,876,800+ views this evening.
SEAN CONNERY COLLECTION
October 31, 2020: I'm not pleased to announce this one, as the world lost Sean Connery today. He was 90. Don Giller helps us remember him with Sean Connery Collection on Letterman, 1993 & 2000. My favorites of Sean's performances were not as 007, but as Captain Marko Ramius in The Hunt for Red October, and as Indy's father in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.
HIT BY CABS COLLECTION
October 31, 2020: I know you've been waiting for this. It's not all-inclusive, but Don Giller's latest compilation reminds us of a recurring bit, with staff and guests of the show getting hit by cabs. (Yes, Paul Shaffer was the default victim, even though he probably didn't deserve it.) (Here you go.) Also part of Chris Schukei's Who Asked for It? segment, the lovely Nadine Hennelly has a legendary appearance. You see her brieftly with an aisle seat in the audience, waiting for her turn. (Nadine's video)
October 31, 2020: On 7/24/00, we had Pat Farmer and Kenny Sheehan trying to play frisbee between the roof of the Ed and Roseland Ballroom. It's 1,000 feet vs. 20 feet. Here's your video from Don Giller, and you get to see Dave's 2000 prison haircut!
DAVID LETTERMAN'S UNSIGHTLY iPHONE
October 30, 2020: Here's a hot topic nationwide, as far as you know: David Letterman's iPhone case. We saw this contraption on the latest My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, and Jimmy Kimmel made sure his viewers got a peek at it. What I'd like to know is: who's the guilty party for creating this eyesore, and what's it made of? Is it red and tan duct tape? Is it papier mache? My best guess is, it's garden variety cardboard, held in place by duct tape. Please excuse my deficient color vision. What I called tan may be a sorry shade of green. Is Sue Hum OK with Dave carrying around that color combination?
DAVE ON JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE
October 29, 2020: Here's a must-see. It's Dave on Jimmy Kimmel Live last night. Topics are the Dodgers, Regis, the recent MNGNNI with Kim Kardashian and, of all things, his iPhone case. (YouTube) Dave's appearance is getting rave review comments, and I certainly enjoyed every bit of it!
DAVE CHAPPELLE COLLECTION
October 28, 2020: One of the new episodes of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction is a visit with Dave Chappelle. The ever-alert Don Giller is on it, and there will be more videos in the collection. My episode logs show eight appearances total. Something surprising that I noticed is a 10-year gap between appearances 7 (2004) and 8 (the final one) in 2014. Anyway, I just watched his first appearance, and thought that he's really funny.
October 27, 2020: Dave will be on Jimmy Kimmel Live on Oct. 28. (link)
October 26, 2020: Several years ago, I linked to David Letterman on Facebook, and went on with my life. I've discovered that it's now being frequently updated with My Next Guest Needs No Introduction content. You find both video clips and photos. I counted 17 posts so far this month.
October 26, 2020: This is random! I've never seen an episode of The David Letterman Show, but here it is, brought to you by Don Giller! The air date was 10/24/80... 40 years ago! I starting watching Late Night in its opening week in 1982. I didn't know the morning show existed, back in those days. (I was 30.) If you watch this episode, you'll hear a number of Dave's catch phrases, and he was biting the hand that fed him, even then. A fun aspect is that Don included the 1980s commercials. One thing you won't see is a gigantic, white beard.
I found 15 names in the closing credits of individuals we'd see often on Late Night – many who would be with Dave for years to come – including Merrill Markoe, Hal Gurnee, Biff Henderson, Gerard Mulligan, Candy Carell, Jack Rollins, Barry Sand, Rich Hall, Lisbeth Anderson, Kathleen Ankers, Edd Hall, Brian J. McAloon, Marie O'Donnell, Jeff Samaha and Bob Pook.
KENNY SHEEHAN ON LETTERMAN 71 TIMES!
October 25, 2020: Our tireless purveyor of digital video, Don Giller, released Kenny Sheehan TV Cameos on Letterman, October 13, 1997. The legendary stagehand appeared on Today, Cosby, Guiding Light and The People's Court in wacky outfits, usually. Then Dave and staff set up Kenny for a speaking part in Michael J Fox's Spin City.
I have Kenny appearing on LSDL about 71 times. He was best known for co-starring with Pat Farmer in Pat and Kenny Read Oprah Transcripts. My logs show 37 episodes, running from 1998 to 2013. Anyway, thanks to The Donz (now with 98,000,000+ views!
October 25, 2020: Yellow Springs is a community of 3,500... a suburb of Dayton, Ohio. In July, it was the location of an outdoor exploration on the latest My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, with Dave Chappelle as the guest. (dayton.com story)
The New York Times posted a must-read interview with Dave, by Dave Itzkoff today. It's a nice life update, along with Dave's thoughts on the whole virus thing, and adjusting My Next Guest Needs No Introduction accordingly. (link)
October 17, 2020: Here's an interesting story in the Minneapolis Star Tribune on Dave's visit with Lizzo in one of this fall's episodes of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. I knew nothing about Melissa Viviane Jefferson until I ran Shazam on Juice, which was/is the theme song for Spain and Company on ESPN Radio. Until reading this article, I didn't realize that Lizzo had been a music guest on LSDL on 10/07/14 . (article link)
GEORGE MILLER COLLECTION
October 15, 2020: In the desk chat for 3/02/06 : Dave has a story to tell us. His friend, George Miller, died on March 5, 2003. George and Dave were tight when they were part of the Los Angeles comedy scene in the 70s, and George appeared on Dave's shows 56 times. George liked pills... any kind of pills, Dave said. He had a girlfriend he really loved, but she dumped him. George broke in her house, and he wrote an obscenity on her picture of Jesus. When the police questioned him, George said, "Oh, I thought that was Dan Fogelberg." (video) While George passed on 17 years ago, he'll be a topic here for a while, as Don Giller has a six-part compilation series for us. Here's my video of Dave's eulogy for George on March 2, 2006.
October 12, 2020: Do you enjoy high-quality, copyrighted photos? If so, go so the countless Late Show photos from Getty Images. As with everything else on this site, I'm not getting paid for this plug.
October 9, 2020: Here's a detailed look back at the final Late Show on 5/20/15, by Matthew Biesiada, who was in the audience. He wrote it in May 2016. I got to be there on May 11... nine days before the end, and that was unforgettable, too. If you don't have Scott Ryan's awesome book, The Last Days of Letterman (Facebook link) (publisher's link), you're missing out.
October 9, 2020: I learned about a new podcast, Busy Philipps Is Doing Her Best. Our hero, TV's David Letterman, is involved in the October 7 episode, starting at 55:35 minutes. Busy refers to Caissie St. Onge as her creative partner in this podcast. There's a connection, as Caissie was Dave's assistant on LSDL around 1994 and 1995. On 11/25/94, Caissie was involved in "Physics Night," wherein she, Beth Ann Holden and Laurie Diamond dropped a safe out a 7th-floor window onto a dummy resembling Dave. A pinball machine was also involved.
LETTERMAN / SNYDER / CARSON
October 7, 2020: Here's an interesting, 54-minute look back: The Late Night Saga: Three's A Crowd. It focuses on David Letterman, Tom Snyder and Johnny Carson, with lots of clips from their shows.
MY NEXT GUEST RETURNS TO NETFLIX
October 7, 2020: Netflix is promoting the next round of episodes of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, including Kim Kardashian West, Robert Downey Jr., Dave Chappelle, and Lizzo.
EDDIE VAN HALEN COLLECTION
October 6, 2020: It's a sad day for millions of people, as Eddie Van Halen died young today, at 65. One of my best days ever was when Van Halen came to Kansas State University on April 6, 1992, and I got to hear Jump live. I'll never forget it. By that time, Sammy Hagar was in for David Lee Roth. As always, Don Giller's on the job, so here's Eddie Van Halen Collection on Letterman, 1985, 1995. RIP, Eddie, and thanks much, Don! ••• Update: As of 10/13/20, Don's Eddie Van Halen Collection has 762,000 views.
October 5, 2020: There's a new Comedy Store documentary series coming up on Showtime. David Letterman, Merrill Markoe, Jeff Altman and Michael Keaton will be interviewed and/or seen. Apparently only the first hour is out at this time. Here are links for IMDB and Showtime.
RUPERT JEE'S FIRST AND LAST APPEARANCES
October 4, 2020: Aside from band members and Dave himself, no one appeared on LSDL more than Rupert Jee. What a great friend the proprietor of Rupert Jee's Hello Deli was to the DaveCon group! On my final DaveCon trip, on my way out of New York on May 13, 2015, the last person I talked to was Rupert. Hello Deli is plugged at the top of this page for a reason!! Don "The Donz" Giller reports that Rupert appeared 401 times on LSDL. The first time I saw him in person was on May 8, 1996, when the show flew him out to San Francisco. Here he is in Rupert Jee's First and Last on Letterman, 1993 & 2015. For Rupert's first appearance 9/20/93, Bill DeLace let him in the staff entrance. Rupert went up to the stage and took a bow, in front of a standing ovation. Then there's his last appearance on May 19, 2015, the day before LSDL ended. He sat down in a guest chair, and reflected on almost 22 years on the show. We see clips of Rupert bothering people, as directed by Dave by radio, and the last one shown includes the "thumb in the water glass" gag. As always, thanks Donz (now with 96,000,000 YouTube views), and thanks Rupert!
October 4, 2020: Here's a video documentary that represents a considerable amount of work by Don Giller. It's a look at the Ed Sullivan Theater before, during and after Letterman, A Sullivan Theater Timeline in Pictures and Videos, Spring & Summer 2015. I'm thankful that Emmy-winning set designer, Kathleen Ankers, didn't have to witness her amazing creations being taken apart and discarded. I got to see her set pieces from an arm's length away. The minute details were mindblowing. You can see some close-up photos in my 2010 DaveCon Trip Report.
BONNIE HUNT COLLECTION
September 28, 2020: The Donz keeps cranking out the hits! Bonnie Hunt was a frequent guest on Dave's shows. She was on LNDL four times, and on LSDL 22 times, according to my logs. It's noteworthy that Bonnie was a guest host on 3/19/03, when Dave missed a few episodes because of shingles. Oddly, considering the nice relationship Bonnie and Dave had, her last appearance was six years before LSDL ended. Here are Don's compilations:
September 24, 2020: We lost a good friend today. My friend Bob Shriver, from Connecticut, died after some recent health concerns. By we, I mean the group of Letterman fans who got acquainted on the former usenet group alt.fan.letterman, and were hosted by the Late Show staff every late spring for many years. I met Bob on my first DaveCon trip. We were both newbees in 2007. Dave's cue card boy, Tony Mendez, took us on an extended tour of the studio, backstage and the basement of the Ed Sullivan Theater... the location of the green room, control rooms, etc. I took the picture below of Bob at Dave's desk, then he took mine.
Bob was a very kind and fun friend, and just a very good man. Most years before DaveCon, he'd bring a nice supply of Catherine's Chocolates from Massachusetts, for after-dinner treats for the group. We will miss him greatly, and I'll be passing my condolences on to his survivors.
September 24, 2020: Dave's guest on 4/05/95, Bruce Springsteen, certainly needed no introduction. In fact, out of commercial, Dave announced that this was his last show, because they were moving to ABC. Why? On the last new episode of Late Night with David Letterman on 6/25/93, surprise guest Springsteen blew the roof off the dump at the end of the show, with Glory Days. (video) Fast forward to today. Our pal Don Giller hit 95,000,000 views on his Letterman YouTube channel today, which brings us to Bruce Springsteen & E Street Band on Letterman, April 5, 1995. You'll see a still photo at first. Do not despair. The video will show up before long.
September 23, 2020: David Letterman's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction Sets Netflix Return. Here's the news from The Hollywood Reporter. Season 3 will have four guests: Kim Kardashian, Robert Downey, Jr., Dave Chappelle and Lizzo. The first episode will be out in October.
September 21, 2020: Here's a YouTube video on the channel Netflix Is a Joke: Remember Comedy? Your Favorite Comedians Check In. Dave shows up two times, at 11:42 and at 14:16 minutes. It's past stand-up comedians recalling their days in stand-up comedy.
September 20, 2020: I'm sure some of you remember TV's David Letterman. He was a presenter at the Emmy Awards tonight. It seems he got dumped, out in the sticks, by an Uber driver, so that's where he presented the Emmy for Outstanding Variety Talk Series. (YouTube)
September 19, 2020: This series will be amusing and weird. I'm not sure what all Don Giller will bestow upon us, but I believe Lev Schneider was the first. Other psychics on LNDL were window washer Morris Fonte, animal psychic Beatrice Lydecker, Hindu psychic Ostaro, body scanner Janet Brennon, Dean of the University of Psychic Science C. Ralph Campo, and pet psychic Lydia Hiby. Psychics on LSDL were Shaw, a Psychics Night on 11/11/94, Stacy, intuitive Deborah Lynn (with multiple visits), and "Andy Kindler Visits Psychics" in 2007. Psychics were a long-running go-to on Dave's shows. Word from Don Giller after my original post on this is that his compilation will be limited to the Late Night years. This is fun stuff. Be sure to have a look!
September 15, 2020: On Sept. 12, about 24 loyal, slightly maniacal Letterman fans came together via Zoom. Many of us originally became friends on the old-time Usenet group, alt.fan.letterman, and we still interact all the time on Facebook. Most of of us in this three-hour encounter made an annual, late-spring trip to the Ed Sullivan Theater for DaveCon. There were at least two pre-show gatherings. The show's staff arranged prime seats for us. After the taping, we had the run of the stage for photos. Most years, the staff wrote a ridiculous script for us to perform for The Tony Mendez Show, which ran once a week on the Late Show web site. Our annual episode ran probably 10 minutes. Tony Mendez, of course, was Dave's cue card man for many years, and you'll never meet a more colorful character. He was so fun, and kind to us! Writer Steve Young was a great friend of our group, as was producer Mike McIntee, video / digital media specialists Walter Kim and Jay Johnson, audio man John Moran, along with Al Chez, Sid McGinnis and Uncle Will Lee from the CBS Orchestra. The great Rupert Jee, proprietor of Hello Deli (part of the Ed Sullivan Theater building), was an incredible friend to us over the years, and Rupert was the last person I talked to on my last trip in 2015. I wanted to thank him one last time. I got to go to the Big Apple (from Manhattan, Kansas, the Little Apple), and be part of this for nine straight years.
Most of us hadn't seen each other since our last DaveCon, on May 11, 2015... nine days before the final LSDL episode. The Zoom meeting was nonstop laughs, as we recalled fun memories, caught up with each other, repeated many of our inside jokes, viewed clips from our past Tony Mendez Show episodes, etc. I'm so thankful to Dave Sikula for putting this together!
ASK MR. MELMAN COLLECTION
September 13, 2020: You know him, you love him, you can't live without him. (I used Oxford commas there.) Don Giller hit 94 million views on his YouTube Letterman channel in the wee hours today. For the first installment of Ask Mr. Melman, from the early days of Late Night, click below. The series was inspired by a March 1, 1983 interview with Dr. Bernard Meltzer, a radio host who gave advice on household problems. On December 8, 1983, Ask Mr. Melman premiered, and ran until December 19, 1989. The final installment was interrupted by an NBC News bulletin about something or other.
Be sure to read Don's background information (included with Part 1) on this series, along with his comments and replies. It was quite a meticulous, ongoing satire of Dr. Meltzer's appearance. For example, notice the unconvincing, dark brown toupee worn by Larry "Bud," beginning with the May 1, 1984 episode, after a hint of a lawsuit in April, 1984.
By the way... I've been struggling to come up with the name of the song that Paul and the band played for Calvert's entrances. It became his theme song. It finally came to me! It's Shangri-La, by The Letterman! (YouTube)
September 4, 2020: Here's the set-up for Hal's NTKs. On March 7, 1988, LNDL aired the first rerun in a series that would span 16 weeks of a blockbuster writers' strike. On June 28, 1988, Dave got permission from NBC to come back and produce new shows, but without writers. On that day, we saw the premiere of the Late Night Security Cam, followed by Pete Fatovich playing his accordion.
The next day, June 29, brought us the premiere (using its brand new title) of the beloved television series, Hal Gurnee's Network Time Killers. #1 is "This Day in History" and "Menu Helpers", and Pete Fatovich played the accordion again. What? You want video proof? You can thank Don Giller for it! The writers returned to work on August 9, 1988, and Hal's NTKs lived on. Thanks to Don for these fun memories!
August 28, 2020: Our pal Don Giller posted Countdown to Late Show with David Letterman, July, August 1993 three years ago. It's a 1-hr., 51-min. compilation of interviews with Dave, talk show hosts, regular guests, etc., prior to the premiere of LSDL on CBS on August 30, 1993, when the home office moved to Sioux City, Iowa. This had to be a lot of work for Don, because it includes countless clips, but hard work has never stopped him.
You'll see the Ed Sullivan Theater, the former home of Topo Gigio, being transformed to the beautiful facility it was during Dave's almost 22 years there (after $8,000,000 worth of renovation). There are interviews with Hal, Paul, Morty, Rob and Peter Lassally. Harry Smith had an especially good interview with TV Boy. Oops! At 1:30, we see that WCBS-TV 2 misspelled Paul's name. Dave told Harry and Paula Zahn that he intended to get married someday, and have a kid, and 10 years later, in November 2003, he did! (Strictly speaking, Regina did.) Katie Couric even interviewed Leno about the new show!
Did you know that Ed Sullivan got himself killed in his theater? Dave verified that information to a CBS interviewer. Who knew? Please keep in mind that sometimes comedians make stuff up.
Oh, no! Morry Alter of WCBS called the new show The David Letterman Show, at least twice! We were all thankful that Biff made the journey to CBS, and he took a bow. At 1:33, we get a peek at a much-younger-looking Bill DeLace (who kept me from getting my picture with Dave in 2015). At 1:38, there's a brief shot of Sue Hum looking out of an upstairs window at the big crowd below.
Alright... you have the link above. Commence watching this now. I command you!
August 25, 2020: 1. Congratulations to Dave, and his pals at Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing. 2. What are we supposed to rent?
ED SULLIVAN THEATER, LONG AGO...
August 24, 2020: New York City Time Machine is a Facebook group. I enjoyed seeing this post, which is a picture of the Hammerstein Theater at 53rd and Broadway, taken on December 4, 1928! Letterman fans who paid attention from 1993 to 2015 will recognize that it later became the Ed Sullivan Theater building, home of Late Show with David Letterman, Rupert Jee's Hello Deli, the CBS Store for a while, Angelo's Pizza, etc. The Facebook link has the full-size photo. Some have wondered if the picture was colorized. I don't know.
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING WINS THE INDY 500
August 24, 2020: Congratulations to Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing! Yesterday Takuma Sato won the long-awaited 104th running of the Indianapolis 500, postponed from Memorial Day weekend. (race recap from RLL Racing). And... Graham Rahal came in third!
August 24, 2020: You know him, you love him, you can't live without him... Don "The Donz" Giller has hit 92 megaviews on his YouTube channel. There is no better occasion for posting 10th Anniversary Special on Letterman, February 6, 1992. The festivities begin with an interview with Katie Couric, in advance of the big telecast. You'll get 1:44 of Dave for free, because he (and Don Giller) care about you... the home viewer. Watch closely, won't you?
Here's what my episode log has for this special:
2/06/92: (taped 1/18/92): fun with guests, Larry Bud and Andrea Sande bring out the Top Ten Reasons We've Been On the Air Ten Years, highlights from past shows, Bill Murray, Dave goes to the beach with some Elite models, kid guests, Stupid Pet Tricks, remotes and other stunts, [Paul introduces the band: Chrissie Hynde, Jim Horn, Carole King, Jim Keltner, the J. B. Horns, Edgar Winter, Doc Severinsen, Steve Vail sitting in], past guests of the band, [Emmylou Harris, Michelle Shocked, Nanci Griffith, Mavis Staples and Roseanne Cash singing with the band], Bob Dylan with the WMDB, clips of special moments, Tom Wilson's border collies load five sheep into a cab, closing credits, Dave delivers the fruit basket to the G. E. building (taped)
August 19, 2020: Jerry Seinfeld has a book, Is This Anything?, coming out on October 6, 2020. It's a compilation of his favorite material from his stand-up career, organized by decade. Here's an information link to Simon & Schuster. Of course, we in the Letterman world know "Is This Anything?" as the venerable segment on LSDL from 2001 to 2013, featuring acrobats and balancing acts, fire, stilts, juggling, hamsters driving cars, Regis, singing doggies, all backed up by Anna Jack on hula hoops and Kiva Kahl on grinder. "Is This Anything?" was seen around 130 times on LSDL.
THE LETTERMAN FACES PROJECT
August 19, 2020: This is a huge deal. Letterman superfan Don Giller treated a few of us to The Faces Project, Part 1: 1982-1993 11 days ago, and has released it to the world today. This masterpiece runs about 13 minutes. It has rapid-fire shots of Dave at his desk (about three-per-second) from the indicated years. As you can see from the title, this installment spans the NBC / Late Night years. Depending on a few fine details, there were about 1,809 Late Night with David Letterman episodes, and the clips in this video span about 2,340 seconds. Can we even comprehend what an effort in editing this represents? I'm not talking about the duration of the clips, but the sheer numbers.
I very much enjoyed the choice of music, certainly including the Late Night theme song and Green Onions. Also, Bruce Hornsby sat in with the band, and we hear a special version of The Way It Is.
Different viewers of this epic effort have focused on different things. I was focused on Dave's ties, looking for repeats. Others were focused on Dave's hair. If you're new to my fan page, here's the link to Don's Letterman YouTube channel, with 91,000,000 views so far. Now, look just below for Don's detailed blog on assembling The Faces Project.
THE MAKING OF THE FACES PROJECT
August 19, 2020: The Making of the Faces Project is the great Don Giller'sHow I Did It blog on his methods for the aforementioned video project. What Don has created would normally be assumed to be the work of an entire team of editors. One of the most impressive aspects of this is Don's mindblowing earlier efforts in digitizing all of the 1,809 Late Night episodes, which is what made this possible.
August 2, 2020: 8th Anniversary Special on Letterman, February 1, 1990 begins with an interview with Dave and Gaines, with appearances by Al Roker, Gene Shalit and Biff. This is the one with the cold open of the Cheers gang taking a powder when they see Dave coming on. I thought they went over to Radio City. Nope. It was taped at the Los Angeles Universal Amphitheatre. As always, this extravaganza is brought to you by Don Giller, who now has 90,000,000 views on his Letterman YouTube channel. Thanks, Donz!
July 30, 2020: Dave Chappelle and David Letterman have been spotted together in Chappelle's hometown of Yellow Springs, Ohio. TMZ suggests that this encounter was for an episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. It's been many moons since we've seen a new episode, right?
R.I.P. REGIS PHILBIN.
July 29, 2020: Watch what happens when Dave calls TV's Regis Philbin on 7/28/04 . (YouTube)
July 29, 2020: Here's a video I posted back in 2007: Kids' Letters to Regis. I don't know. This seems like material Dave's writers would come up with. Supposedly the drawings (with big-time slams) came from Mrs. Patrick's third grade class, but I'm not buying it.
July 28, 2020: Howard Stern has some real nice memories of Regis Philbin. (YouTube link)
July 27, 2020: Entertainment Tonight has paid tribute to Regis Philbin with a perfect idea: memories from Kathie Lee Gifford and Kelly Ripa. (YouTube link)
July 25, 2020: Here's a nice look back at the relationship Regis Philbin had with the Late Show, via a story posted today by Variety. Included with this article is video from Regis's appearance on the first new Late Show (9/17/01) after the attack on the World Trade Center. (YouTube) This video will look better if watched within the Variety article.
July 25, 2020: I'm very sad to report the passing of Regis Philbin on July 24, at 88. He was a great sport in terms of whatever nonsense Dave and his writers came up with. According to Guinness, Regis accumulated more hours on television than any other human. (Variety) (People) (USA Today)
David Letterman, via @LETTERMAN on Twitter, posted, "Regis is in the same category as Carson. Superlative. He was on our show a million times, always the best guest we ever had, charming, lovable and could take a punch. When he retired, I lost interest in television. I love him."
I looked at my episode logs, and for just the Late Show, there are 150+ references to Regis Philbin. Beyond guest interviews, there were numerous cameo mentions or appearances, for example:
10/06/94: Top Ten Signs Regis Philbin Is Nuts
7/23/97: Pointless Celebrity Cameo Theater (with Calvert, Tony Randall and Regis Philbin)
1/30/01: The Regis Philbin Hacking Cough of the Night
8/01/02: Audience Pan: Unflattering Shots of Regis Philbin
2/28/03: Regis is guest host while Dave recovers from shingles.
7/28/05: Regis Philbin puts away the Late Show bear.
10/30/09: Soupy Sales passed away on October 22. Dave and Regis hit each other with cream pies.
12/15/09: Top Ten Ways Regis Is Passing the Time While Recuperating from Hip Surgery
3/23/10: da Vinci's The Last Supper shows Regis ducking out just as soon as the check arrives.
10/13/10: monologue: "Don't you love fall, ladies and gentleman? In the fall, parts of Regis Philbin change color and drop off."
8/25/11: monologue: "Regis celebrated his 80th birthday quietly, with his money. Firefighters have the cake under control."
1/03/13: Alan Kalter's Trivia Question: What was the first show hosted by Regis Philbin? Live! with Regis and Mary Todd Lincoln
The always-reliable Don Giller has videos of Regis on his YouTube channel, including:
July 25, 2020: Will Lee gave a shoutout today on Instagram to the great Hiram Bullock, who died on July 25, 2008. Hiram was a guitarist on LNDL in the 1980s. Sid McGinnis replaced him when he left. Hiram came back and sat in now and then. On the July 28, 2008 LSDL, Paul Shaffer described Hiram as, "the greatest guitarist since Jimi Hendrix, who could play any kind of music."
July 19, 2020: I originally posted on June 25 that Don Gillerrevealed in The Donz Blog that he had been interviewed for a production by CNN, The Story of Late Night, which will air on Sundays at 9:00 P CT. This series been indefinitely postponed. Don's interview ultimately wasn't included, but he supplied video clips. (Facebook link) Here's a July 13 update, posted by Variety.
July 17, 2020: TV's David Letterman, when interviewed about the 6th anniversary of Late Night, claimed to be very surprised about that landmark. Ironically, Johnny Carson's 25 years came up. No one knew Dave was destined to go 27 more years in late night TV. Now, having logged 88,000,000 YouTube views, Don Giller has posted 6th Anniversary Special on Letterman, February 4, 1988. There's also an earlier edit E! aired on July 4, 1995, plus a couple of interviews.
MERRILL'S NEW BOOK!
July 16, 2020: Merrill Markoe has a memoir, We Saw Scenery: The Early Diaries of Merrill Markoe, coming out in October 2020. It's a look at her preteen and teenage years, serving time in the Girl Scouts, etc., and we can be sure it's nonstop funny. (Amazon) We're not certain why there's a hippopotamus on the cover.
July 9, 2020: Not live from New York, it's not Saturday Night Live! My pal, The Donz, has amassed another megaview in six days, with a total of 87,000,000. As explained on July 3, you're now entitled to the 5th Anniversary Special on Letterman, February 7, 1987. If you didn't get my off-the-wall reference in sentence #1, I should explain that this special was recorded in Studio 8-H at 30 Rock. The festivities begin with a bonus feature from Entertainment Tonight. Thanks, Donz!
July 3, 2020: Are you aware of what happens when Don "The Donz" Giller hits another million views? Well, for example, having hit 86 megaviews today, Mr. Donz has posted the 1986 anniversary special. You know it best as 4th Anniversary/Airplane Special on Letterman, February 1, 1986. It runs 01:59, and is set on a Boeing 747, bound for Miami (the one in Florida). From my episode logs: It won an Emmy for writing. / tour of the plane, Fun with a Bullhorn, Viewer Mail, Stupid Pet Tricks, past guests (including Mr. T, Tom Selleck, Teri Garr and Johnny Carson), gag airline accessories, remotes, visiting the cockpit and Captain Billy, stewardesses and the galley, Tossing Stuff Off a Five-Story Tower in New Rochelle, New York, Things You Have to Edit, theme shows and stunts (rocket sled, etc.)
June 29, 2020: Our pal Don Giller hit 85 million (views... not dollars) on YouTube today! His latest production is Third Anniversary Special on Letterman, January 26, 1985. See updates on The Late Night Baby, highlights from the past year, delightful moments with guests, Eddie Murphy with the remote-controlled blimp, and the always-adorable Chris Elliott as Leylock, King of the Mole People. Watch closely, won't you?
June 25, 2020: You may remember Don Giller from everywhere else on this page. He's done it again! (Oh, by the way, he hit 84,000,000 on YouTube today.) You can Click Right Here for Late Night with David Letterman 2nd Anniversary Special, February 4, 1984. This is provided free to all regulars on this fan page. Well... what are you waiting for?
June 25, 2020: Here's something I didn't know about. (I catch on eventually.) 74,727 Late Show with David Letterman Images. In the navigation bar, it has options for Locations, Photographers, Collections, Events, etc. They're from Getty Images.
June 16, 2020: Brian Veys has put together 21 minutes of bumpers from the 1980 David Letterman Show. (link) Bob Pook, who created the LNDL title graphics, contributed some of the bumpers.
June 16, 2020: In observance of 83,000,000 YouTube views, The Donz has posted First Anniversary Special on Letterman, February 4, 1983. It's 65 minutes of awesomeness. You'll see the Jack LaLanne Q-Tip® Dispenser, The Giant Doorknob, remotes, James Brown, Stupid Pet Tricks, odd moments with guests, Mr. T and Larry "Bud" Melman. (link)
June 16, 2020: Wear a Mask is a brand new song by Hank Beebe and Steve Young. (video) It's performed by Paige Siegwardt and Joe McGinty.
June 11, 2020: Jungle Jack Hanna, who's already director emeritus of the Columbus Zoo, is totally retiring. I know we all wish him the best! (link) (another link) Here, from Don Giller, are some visits from Jack, including his first and last visits. (video)
SHECKY AS ELVIS COLLECTION
June 9, 2020: Yes, I know. You've waited 32 years for this. The Donz has come through. Rick Scheckman was with Dave since 1982, briefly as a Researcher, and for decades as Film Coordinator. Here's the Shecky as Elvis Collection on Letterman, 1986-88. A delightful bonus is having TV's Chris Elliott along for the ride for some of this, along with Biff, Calvert and Jeff Martin.
June 7, 2020: WatchMojo.com, back in 2015, produced the Top 10 Most Memorable David Letterman Moments. They have some good segments, including Dave's 911 remarks, Paris Hilton, Farrah Fawcett, Madonna saying naughty words (well, one of them, anyway... 14 times), Johnny Carson, Andy Kaufman getting sucker-punched, Joaquin Phoenix's bizarre segment, Crispin Glover's spaced-out martial arts demo, Dave's first show after his octuple heart bypass, Warren Zevon's final appearance and Drew Barrymore's flash dance on Dave's birthday. This compilation has 5 million-plus views.
June 7, 2020: You always knew there would be lots of fun when Bill Murray was on with TV Boy. Here's Bill plugging Ghostbusters on LNDL on 5/31/84. Bill was kind enough to bring Dave a souvenir Ghostbusters flyswatter. (Thanks for the video, Donz!)
June 4, 2020: Brad Loligar is a guest on the Why Bother? with John Szablewski podcast. These gents have a very engaging 67 minutes, comparing notes on becoming Letterman fans, favorite memories of his shows, and getting to be in the audience in June 2013. Brad is a great guest, because of his enthusiasm, and his very specific memories from those days. Here's your link!
DDY's Late Show Fan Page got a shout out from Brad that begis at 11:55 into the podcast, and of course Don Giller got a big-time mention at 33:47, for his nonstop work providing Letterman compilations, and answering fan questions. Looking back in my records, Brad and I exchanged e-mails in 2015 and 2017, as he was looking for video clips.
Brad and I share Martin Short as a favorite guest. Guess what! He cited Martin's ode to Osama bin Laden, Bastard in the Sand, as a classic example of his contributions.
June 4, 2020: Paul Shaffer is awesome on piano for this Rubin Museum benefit for the David Lynch Foundation for Transcendental Meditation. (link) Al Jardine's there for this Beach Boys number, and Blondie Chaplin is the lead singer. I've not been able to find the date. I've met Paul, Blondie and Al, and got to thank Al for Sloop John B.
June 1, 2020: They fought foo, because it was the right thing to do. Don Giller has just treated us to Foo Fighters "Everlong" Collection on Letterman, 1997-2015. They played Everlong on LSDL several times, plus once on Live on Letterman. That one couldn't be included here. For context, please note that they played it on 2/28/00, the first show Dave hosted after recovering from his quintuple bypass. And, of course, it was the last music ever heard on LSDL. Speaking of that, here's the montage coordinated by Barbara Gaines for the last LSDL ever, on 5/20/15. It's the full show, including credits during the Everlong performance. Thanks, Donz!
May 26, 2020: Just days after the final Late Show, Randy Cohen, former Late Night writer, interviewed long-time writers Gerard Mulligan and Steve Young, focused on Top Ten lists, for his Person Place Thing Podcast. It's both memories of writing them, and sample TTLs. Yup, Don Giller produced this video. (link)
May 26, 2020: Here's a tremendous package deal for you, and it's free! The Donz ran across an essay by Kay Gardiner, Knit to This: Julia Child and David Letterman. It's from an online newsletter about knitting. I don't know if it's a regular feature or not, but the idea is to encourage members to watch Julia and Dave while knitting. Watch what? It's 93 minutes of Julia Child's cooking segments, the Julia Child Collection on Letterman, 1982-1994. These are from the days when Paul Shaffer had hair!
May 23, 2020: I'm sorry I haven't posted in two days, but you deserve a vacation now and then. TV's Don Giller has posted a Letterman classic. The date was August 26, 1987. Rena Smaha came on with an ill-mannered Rhesus monkey. (link) You'll also get a quick sample of a recurring segment, "What's Hal Wearing?". Also, the Thrill Cam® took a totally unplanned side trip.
May 21, 2020: I just noticed that Scott Ryan's awesome book, The Last Days of Letterman, is on sale today for $14.99. Scott interviewed about 20 Letterman staff as part of this look at the Late Show heading toward the finish line.
May 20, 2020: Late Show producer Wahoo Mike McIntee has just linked to his final edition of the Wahoo Gazette. It covers the final Late Show, on May 20, 2015. If you look on the upper right-hand corner of the browser window, you'll see a download icon. Don't miss it!
May 17, 2020: It's the Final Week of Late Show with David Letterman... well, five years ago this week, that is. Don Giller has posted a blockbuster compilation, duration 2.5 hours, Countdown to the Final Late Show, May 17-21, 2015. (link) Wednesday, May 20, 2020 will mark five years since Dave said, "Alright. That's pretty much all I've got. The only thing I have left to do, for the last time on a television program... Thank you, and good night."
May 12, 2020: Don Giller has really gone and done it this time! He's just passed 80 million views on his Letterman YouTube channel. Yes, that's 80 megaviews. It's 80 x 106 views, if you like scientific notation.
Let's get The Donz up to 100 million views by late May. Here are your links: (Playlists) (Videos) Look right here on this page, in the lefthand navigation column, for even more links. Congrats, Donz! We appreciate you!
May 9, 2020: We're saddened that Little Richard passed this week. What a career he had, and he was copied by others. Don "The Donz" Giller has posted this video in his honor. His performance of "Joy, Joy, Joy" (and a visit with Dave) was on October 17, 1984. His sit-down with Dave was way too brief!
May 4, 2020: I'm not sure who's behind tvdb.com. I've just discovered this site, which has pages for both Late Night and the Late Show. You'll find mini episode logs, and there are clips that you can get, somehow or other. I don't know how on earth they acquired them.
April 29, 2020: OK... we all knew about Dave and Merrill's German Shepherds, Stan and Bob. Now Dave has a new critter, named Dutch. How do we know this? Watch a clip from SiriusXM, David Letterman's Dog Crashes His Stern Show Interview. Unfortunately, it's only a minute long. Also, unfortunately, Dave seems to think Dutch is a poodle. he he
April 24, 2020: So, I have 2,500 articles linked on this site, and can't announce each one here in "A Few Words." I do have this fun story about a couple of gents, Jay Putt and Karl "Skip" Wolf, who set out to get Dave's home office moved to Lebanon, Pennsylvania 30 years ago.
April 23, 2020: Just released... Rob Burnett joined Mark Malkoff this month on The Carson Podcast. You can download it as an .mp3, if you like.
April 22, 2020: This isn't new, but Letterman Bumpers on Facebook deserves a shout out. Marc Karzen was the brilliant photographer behind the bumpers leading into commercials, back in the Late Night days. I guarantee you'll enjoy these.
April 22, 2020: This is new to me. Lisa Gilliam has a Pinterest page entitled Late Show with David Letterman
Collection. At present, she has 333 photos that will bring back all kinds of fun memories. Included are guest visits, photos of Dave out and about with his family, remotes, magazine covers, Dorothy, Harry, etc. I highly recommend it!
GUEST TRIBUTES TO DAVE, 2014-15
April 21, 2020: Don Giller, now with 78 million views on his Letterman YouTube channel, has really done it this time. On May 20, five years will have passed since the final Late Show with David Letterman. Dave announced his retirement intentions on April 3, 2014. In the 13 months that followed, many favorite guests and staff paid tribute to him. Don has videos of those moments. The format will generally be first and last appearances, with tribute comments obviously coming in the last appearances. This is just the latest example of the ability Don has, thanks to his one-of-a-kind database of Letterman happenings, and his colossal efforts in digitizing every show, that allow for a compilation like this. Here are your links, starting with the great Bill Murray!!
April 10, 2020: Don Giller added to his 75 megaviews yesterday, with a wonderful performance, that I remember well. No... Don didn't perform. Nanci Griffith did, singing From a Distance. (YouTube) This is from August 30, 1988, on Late Night with David Letterman. Don't miss this one!
April 8, 2020: Ding ding ding! YouTube star Don Giller hit 75 million views of his Letterman videos within the past couple of hours. We're all quarantined. Let's get him up to 100 million by the end of April. Here are your links: (Playlists) (Videos) Look right here on this page, in the lefthand navigation column, for even more links. Congrats, Donz! We appreciate you!
April 5, 2020: You must wait no longer. The Donz has bestowed upon us Dr. Demento on Letterman, May 17, 1983. The good doctor brought samples from his offbeat record collection for our enlightenment. I never paid any attention to him, so I visited Wikipedia to find out what I've been missing.
March 28, 2020: I guess this is sort of an anniversary. Stagehand Gene Szymanski played exotic food expert Arnold Sinclair. By request, Mr. YouTube himself, Don Giller, has posted Gene Szymanski, "Exotic Food Expert," on Late Show, March 28, 2007. Dave and Gene got tickled about something early. I'm not sure what got to them, but I especially enjoyed the panda nuggets. I won't reveal exactly why, but ultimately, Gene requests to be Heimliched.
March 24, 2020: The Donz has just posted Custom-Made Show #1 on Letterman, November 15, 1983. Via the NBC applause meter, audience members voted on the episode's theme song (Gilligan's Island), the backdrop, sound effects, segments, etc. The result was lots of fun, and the show's first Emmy Award, for Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program. Dr. Ruth Westheimer and Teri Garr were guests, and Larry "Bud" Melman appeared in a bear suit. Watch closely, won't you?
March 21, 2020: The world is sorry to have lost Kenny Rogers yesterday. We still have Mr. 71,000,000 views, Don Giller, and he has just posted Kenny Rogers Collection on Letterman, 1985-1998. Please allocate 39.75 minutes for this retrospective.
March 16, 2020: Ultimate Letterman fan Don Giller, who needs no introduction, reports that his Letterman YouTube channel hit 70,000,000 views today. (Playlists) (Videos)
March 13, 2020: Broadway plays and talk shows are shut down because of germs. This brings to mind Hurricane Sandy in October of 2012, when a similar situation applied for a couple of days. Don Giller has taken us back to yesteryear, with No-Audience Hurricane Sandy Shows on Letterman, Oct. 29 & 30, 2012. You get 85 minutes without audience interruptions!
March 5, 2020: Dave was famous for biting the hands that fed him. You may remember references to "pinhead executives" at NBC, mentions of Robert C. Wright, Grant Tinker, Les Moonves, etc. Don Giller has fixed us up with 46 minutes' worth of The Letterman Remote to G.E. Headquarters Collection, 1985-93. My favorite was Dave's visit to GE headquarters on April 8, 1986, on a mission to deliver a fruit basket. He quickly encountered a security supervisor who had no sense of humor whatsoever, and the result was an instant classic! Thanks as always, Donz.
February 26, 2020: Oh, the memories with this one: The Late Show Online Cards, February to May 2015. Don Giller, who compiled this video, wrote, "On February 28, 2015, The Late Show online site inaugurated a series of art cards commemorating the last 50 shows before it closed shop on May 20. All but five were uploaded. Here's a compilation of all that were shared online." Nice work, Donz! Thanks!
February 24, 2020: The soundtrack for Bathtubs Over Broadway is going on sale on Wednesday, Feb. 26! Here's the trailer, and a link to mondoshop.com, for full details.
February 22, 2020: I had forgotten this one. From LSDL #262, it's Cast Reunion Night on Late Show, November 2, 1994. You'll see the cast of Happy Days, Cagney & Lacey and Late Night with David Letterman, all thanks to your host, Don Giller. It's great fun, because of how bad it is!
February 20, 2020: This from TMZ... an on-the-street interview with David Letterman on having presidential candidates on the show. Trump pigs out. Bloomberg eats like a bird. (link)
February 7, 2020: Dave's relationship with Paul Newman grew through the years. On the occasion of Late Show with David Letterman #0001, the ghost of Ed Sullivan introduced Paul, who delivered the historic line, "Where the hell are the singing cats?" Don Giller has produced his Paul Newman and David Letterman Collection, 1982-2008. As a bonus, you'll see a brief clip of Pete Fatovich playing his accordion! Hey! While you're lurking around YouTube, have a look at Kirk Douglas Collection on Letterman, 1986-1992.
February 3, 2020: Here's Laraine Newman introducing Merrill Markoe, and Merril's acceptance of the 2020 Paddy Chayefsky Laurel Award Television Writing Achievement from the Writers Guild of America. (YouTube) As you might expect, it's funny.
February 1, 2020: HEY! LOOK HERE!! Something I've been hoping for has landed on the Internet. The great Don Giller has posted an index of videos! Now that he has the Letterman episodes in digital format, he's able to more efficiently put together collections of every appearance by a guest, or a recurring segment, for example: Dwight, the Troubled Teen or Paul Shaffer's annual Cher imitation, etc. (link) I highly recommend having a look. By the way, Here's his YouTube channel.
February 1, 2020: On February 1, 1982, America witnessed the first episode of Late Night with David Letterman. I signed on as a fan in the first week of the program, but didn't see episode one until it was rebroadcast sometime later. The always-productive Don Giller posted episode one three years ago. You may be excused from this site to watch it now on Don's YouTube channel, with 64,000,000 views.
January 28, 2020: From BBC Archive, here's a Facebook video from the 1/28/80 Des O'Connor Tonight. Dave looked younger 40 years ago. It's an interesting look back!
January 28, 2020: Well... this was unexpected. Jason Bailey of The New York Times has just rolled out an interview/opinion piece about Dave's Oscars hosting gig on March 27, 1995. The title is "Was Letterman Really Such a Bad Oscar Host? He Still Thinks So." After reviewing the video linked here, and having watched Dave for 8,000 hours, one thing I'll say for sure is Dave seemed very uncomfortable in that role. Oprah and Uma didn't seem to mind being introduced. I remember enjoying when Dave hosted the Emmys, and thought he was more in his element with that. (New York Times link) (video)
January 26, 2020: The world's #1 Letterman fan, Don Giller, whose video compilations are constantly being recommended here, was surprised with a subpoena in the Harvey Weinstein case. The subpoena was issued by the Supreme Court of the State of New York. Why? Weinstein's defense team had been digging around, and assumed Don would have video of Annabella Sciorra appearing on the Late Show in 1997. Get this: Annabella described herself, basically, as a recreational liar. She told Dave that she often made up stories; therefore, Weinstein's team wanted video of her statement, to attack her credibility as a witness for the prosecution. Don had the video, of course, and delivered it via the Internet, avoiding a court appearance (and contempt of court). Here's a recap of this situation by Don himself, entitled My Brush with the Law.
January 24, 2020: Don Giller has just released David Letterman's Eulogies Collection, 1984-2017. It's over two hours of Dave commenting on the passing of staff members, favorite guests and sometimes relatives, who had recently passed on. (And then there was the time when Dave delivered a eulogy for Calvert DeForest, who hadn't really kicked the bucket, and Calvert strolled onstage and called him a bastard.) Don's YouTube Letterman channel now has 62,000 subscribers and 62,000,000 views, so march yourself over there and partake of them!
January 23, 2020: It's been a long time since I've posted anything on My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. Here's a YouTube clip from the latest episode, with Zach Galifianakis. One of the topics is Zach pranking his brother.
MORE CHRIS ELLIOTT GOODIES
January 13, 2020: Related to my previous post: I learned that The Donz cranked out The Guy Under the Seats Collection, back in 2016. It's 1:07 of creepiness with the legendary Chris Elliott. Go there now. You'll feel better about yourself after viewing this compilation.
January 12, 2020: This is so great! Don Giller has just posted More Chris Elliott Goodies on Letterman, 1985-1988. Over the years, Chris played The Conspiracy Guy, The Guy Under the Seats, The Laid-Back Guy, The Fugitive Guy, Marv Albert, The Regulator Guy, Gerard Mulligan's hideous baby, Stevie Nicks, Chris Elliott from the Columbus Zoo, Mummenschanz, Jack Hanna, Jay Leno, the host of Night Life with Chris Elliott, a leprechaun, Paul Shaffer, Skylark, Oliver North, Marlon Brando, Chris as Marlon Branco as Santa Claus, host of The Chris Elliott, Jr. Show, The Goddess of Love, a barking desk maggot, an actor on TV's Dangerous Liaisons, an actor on NBC Security, an actor on The Abyss, a dog food tester, as Johnny Graham, art teacher, an actor on Housewives, an actor on The Traveling Poet, an actor on Poolside Ecstasy, The Cable Pulling Guy, an Olestra® tester, plugging his actual role in Scary Movie 2, putting the cape on Dave, baby Harry Letterman, author of The Shroud of the Thwacker, plugging Scary Movie 4, promoting Skink the Bounty Hunter with Gerard Mulligan, the Mac guy (with Gerard) in an Apple ad, an actor on Bionic Guy, striking with the Writers Guild of America, plugging Chris and Gerry's Kitchen Nightmares, President John Adams, plugging Chris Elliott's Wacky World of Hockey, plugging Chris and Gerry's Tips for Green Living, plugging Knight Car, plugging The Curious Case of Bennington Butterworth, Money-Saving Tips with Chris and Gerry, plugging Eagleheart, and plugging The Guy Under the Sheets: An Unauthorized Autobiography. ANYWAY... here's the link to Mr. Giller's aforementioned, 39-minute compilation (which doesn't include all of the above).
January 3, 2020: The Donz just released a Teri Garr on Letterman Compilation, in five parts. A quick check of my episode logs showed Teri with 25 appearances on LNDL, and 6 on LSDL. (Update: I didn't start reliably logging LNDL until late 1985. Don Giller sent word that Teri actually appeared on the NBC show 31 times. I appreciate the word from the expert!) Here are your video links:
Part 1Part 2Part 3Part 4Part 5
January 2, 2020: Here's a look back at Dave having fun with KOIN-TV, the CBS affiliate in Portland, Oregon. Traffic reporter Carly Kennelly accidentally admitted on-air that she never watched the Late Show. Dave got tape of the scandalous confession, and aired it on episode 1/20/10 . Coincidentally, a lady in the audience was selling Girl Scout cookies. Dave had Eddie Brill give her $2,000 for the cookies, and shipped all of 'em to Portland. He also had some fun on-air, naming KOIN the CBS Affiliate of the Night.
January 1, 2020: Dave, Regina and Harry vacationed at their place in St. Barts to start the new year. The Daily Mail has details, photos and a complete vacation wardrobe report!