|LAST DAYS OF LETTERMAN|
|Scott Ryan interviewed 20+ LSDL staffers for his 2018 book.|
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 – 2023|
PAUL SHAFFER AND THE WMDB WILL SUB FOR THE ROOTS
A Few Words from DDY – Past Years
- Jan. 30, 2023: Jimmy Fallon has invited Paul and the WMDB to sub for his band on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, while they're at the Grammys. This will be on Feb. 3. Here's a report from Rolling Stone. I guess this will be my first time to watch a TV show since August 1, 2017!
DAVE SPENDS THE DAY WITH JOE MONTANA
- Jan. 30, 2023: I'm slow posting this, because I was busy following my Kansas City Chiefs winning the AFC championship. This is a really good remote segment, recorded in San Francisco, for 5/07/96 , on the occasion of the Late Show's week in S. F.
Hey... I just looked at that date again. I was in San Francisco that day, because I was in the audience the next day. CBS flew me and my friend Dave from Kansas for free, because I won the national Letterman trivia contest CBS ran to promote the week. By the way, Mujibur and Sirajul and Rupert made the trip out there, too. (YouTube link)
THE LETTERMAN PODCAST: JEFF MARTIN
- Jan. 27, 2023: Mike Chisholm is really gettin' it done! Flunky the Clown himself, Jeff Martin, spent 1.33 hours with Mike, in his latest podcast. I'm watching it as I'm entering this announcement. Jeff is really forthcoming with fun stories and info for this episode. Jeff wrote only for LNDL, from 1983 - 1990. He was in Flunky episodes from 1986 - 1989. (Jeff got a goodbye bumper on 2/16/90.) (The Letterman Podcast YouTube link) (Flunky the Clown videos / Thanks, Don Giller.) Hey! At the end of the podcast, Mike announced that there will be a Part 2! Now, how about a visit to hello-deli.com!
COUNTDOWN TO THE DEBUT OF LATE NIGHT
- January 27, 2023: The big premiere of the 11-year run of LNDL was on February 1, 1982... but you knew that. TV's Don Giller posted this 1 hr. 33 min. retrospective on the premiere. It's a variety of clips. You'll hear from Hal Gurnee and Paul Shaffer. There are clips of Dave hosting Tonight. Dave's a guest on Tonight, to discuss his new show. We'll get the background on Calvert's somber warning, which was the cold open of Episode 1. Oh! I don't think I'd ever noticed... in the Episode 1 control room party scene, Pete Fatovich is who was playing the accordion. I catch on eventually... sometimes. Then we get into the full episode 1. Bill Murray, of course, was a guest on the first LNDL, and the last interview guest on LSDL. It was so good to see Mr. Wizard. I watched him all the time when I was a youngster. Thanks so much to Don for this look back! (YouTube link)
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: ERIC AND JUSTIN STANGEL
- January 25, 2023: Over time, the Stangels were credited as Head Writers and Executive Producers. They have 19 minutes of fun, especially about segments. Stories include Dave's mom, Rupert, Henry Kissinger reading school absence excuse notes, outings with Biff, and the Aftonbladet. Then they get into the Super Bowl promo for LSDL, involving Leno, Oprah and Dave in 2010. A really fun part of this has clips of Jimmi Simpson as Lyle, the Intern. I think this was one of the funniest recurring bits ever done on the show. It was in 2008, at least. The Stangels had seen him on TV, and when he was doing a Broadway show, the Stangels got him to show up now and then, and do his super-creepy character. Those were priceless! (YouTube link)
HAL GURNEE'S NETWORK TIME KILLER: GIANT DOMINOES
- January 25, 2023: This is from LNDL, 6/27/90. Hal Gurtner sent Dave out to the 6th-floor hallway for a surprise. His mission: to topple. (YouTube link) 1. If this was to be a time killer, why did Hal tell Dave to "move it?" 2. Those babies were over six feet tall! 3. The toppling game pieces sounded for all the world like an old-time steam locomotive!
RUPERT JEE'S FIRST AND LAST ON LETTERMAN
- January 20, 2023: I ran across this compilation from TV's Don Giller, while linking up the Rupert extravaganza just below. Rupert's first time on was 9/20/93  for "Let's Meet the Neighbors." On the remote cam, Rupert told Dave, "You're the best thing that ever happened to us." Bill DeLace let Rupert right in for Dave's promised standing ovation, and the rest is history! Then, about 22 years later, the day before the final episode on May 20, 1993, Rupert came in while the show ran a compilation of his "Fun with Rupert" appearances (including the thumb-in-the-glass gag). By the way... my last time to talk to Rupert was on May 12, 2015, as I was leaving New York, having been in the LSDL audience, the evening before. As always, I can't thank Rupert enough for being and so patient and friendly with Letterman fans who wondered into Hello Deli, and for his countless contributions to the big show! (hello-deli.com) Finally, thanks for Don Giller for these compilations! (YouTube link)
THE LETTERMAN PODCAST: RUPERT JEE AND IRENE HOFFMAN
- January 20, 2023: It's great to catch up with Rupert, and in this 1.75-hour podcast, you'll be looking back through the Late Show era with Rupert and his friend, Irene Hoffman. All kinds of memories will be covered. Rupert bought and opened the world-renowned Hello Deli in 1991... about two years before LSDL premiered on 8/30/93. (hello-deli.com) A main topic is the "Fun with Rupert" segments, with Rupert tormenting guests at restaurants, etc., with radio prompts from Dave. (YouTube link)
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: PRODUCER SHEILA ROGERS
- January 17, 2023: Sheila has cool stories, starting with her first day working with LNDL. She booked and interacted with lots of famous people over the years, including Prince, Lou Reed, Carly Simon, Bruce Springsteen, The Beastie Boys, Pearl Jam and Eddie Vedder. She signed Paul McCartney to perform on the marquee, booked The Foo Fighters and Warren Zevon on Dave's special occasions (such as Dave's bypass in January 2000, and the final LSDL). (YouTube link)
JOE PISCOPO'S IMPRESSION OF DAVE IS... INTERESTING
- January 14, 2023: Joe Piscopo was a guest on LNDL on 7/08/82. When he first came out, he treated us to an impression of Frank Sinatra singing Pat Benatar's "Hit Me with Your Best Shot." Then he did an impression of Dave, by way of some kind of dark sticker between his teeth. From 1982 to 1984, Joe did impressions of Dave on SNL. (YouTube link)
THE TIMES SQUARE NEW YEAR'S EVE BALL DROP
- January 11, 2023: TV Boy is joined by Barbara Gaines and Mary Barclay. There will be random nonsense topics at first. Then Dave slams the NYE event a bit. He complains that the ball only drops eight feet. In addition, there are 1 million people present, with no portable outhouses. What's the ball made from? "It's not crystal," Dave says, "or it would be stolen." "I don't want to see no phony ball drop," Dave exclaims.
This episode was really fun. When Dave started his mini-rant, suggesting the NYE ball should be dropped from space, I remembered him having fun with Felix Baumgartner dropping from space, for real. I got in my episode logs to search on "drop from space." By pure luck, I hit on it with that first search entry. This was the topic in 1/06/14 . Almost at the same moment that Dave said "Felix," his name popped up in my episode log. A bumper later in the show was logged as "Felix begins his drop from space." By the way, Dave commented that Harry wanted to be waked up for the ball drop, but was disappointed when he saw it. Oops! I almost forgot to paste in the YouTube link.
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: TOM RUPRECHT
- January 10, 2023: Tom Ruprecht was a researcher, then a writer for LSDL. He has numerous stories about his fellow writers. Some of these were from the days of Dave's prison haircut. I believe that was around the early 2000s. Hey! We get the back story on Dave's bear story from 9/22/03 . A bear got in Dave's kitchen in Montana. Tom was supposed to research bear risk in Montana, got laughed at on the phone, told Dave not to worry, but then one came right in his house!! Be sure to watch this Favorite Moments video! (YouTube link)
Before we go, here's a link from my Video Archives, of Dave's Bear Story from 9/22/03. And... here's the Animated Version of the Bear Story.
Hey! Look at this. Somebody cooked up a Dave icon for the LETTERMAN channel.
SHECKY AS ELVIS COLLECTION
- January 9, 2023: There's great stuff here, so pay attention! These segments are from Late Night, spanning 1986-88. Film coordinator Rick Scheckman played Elvis. The seasoned thespian, Chris Elliott, Jr., had various roles. Grab a sandwich, because there's 65 minutes' worth of fun. Thanks much to TV's Don Giller, the mastermind with his Letterman video channel (now with 187 million views), for this compilation. Here's the link to Shecky as Elvis.
THE LETTERMAN PODCAST: DAVID KAY
- January 6, 2023: Mr. Podcast himself, Mike Chisholm (heretofore known as Mike Chisholm), has a very interesting visit with David Kay, whose charge (beginning in 1998) was to bring in audience members who were true fans of the show... who actually "got" the show... not just tourists. This is a blockbuster episode. Its run time is 1 hr. 41 min. (YouTube link) David's position title, as listed in the closing credits, was Executive in Charge of Audience Development.
Before we go further... thanks to Rupert Jee for sponsoring the podcast. Go see him at Hello Deli in New York, at 213 W. 53rd St., and/or visit hello-deli.com Also, keep in mind that you can order Late Show souvenirs, shirts, caps, etc. from the Helo Deli web site.
There are so many different topics covered in this epic interview. One of them is how David's experiences and innovations in assembling an engaged and involved studio audience could apply to a company hoping to build a loyal customer base. There was discussion of the preshow warm-up, and keeping audience members engaged during commercials. I highly recommend watching this episode.
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: JERRY FOLEY
- Jan. 7, 2023: This is from March 8, 2002. Director Jerry Foley takes us back to (YouTube video) some favorite moments of his and ours! First up was Richard Hatch of Survivor, who came on the set nekked in 3/01/04 , and disrupted Anne Heche's interview a bit. Philippe Petit is a wirewalker from France, as you might guess, who walked across Broadway barefoot, on a cable (a few stories up) on 9/26/02 , stabilizing himself with a pole. Two of Jerry's favorite characters were stagehands Pat Farmer and Kenny Sheehan, who provided big fun with their recurring segment, "Pat and Kenny Read Oprah Transcripts," which began in 1998, and ran 35 times. I loved those, and also especially enjoyed set designer Kathleen Ankers as "Kathleen, the Foul-Mouthed Chambermaid." Of course, there's the beloved, now departed Tony Mendez. Jerry enjoyed when he used the Spanish word mamarracho. (It means mess or disaster.) Paul McCartney is an old-timer in the Ed Sullivan Theater, as the Beatles perfomed there, back in the 1960s. There were some complications, however, when there was a plan for Paul to perform on top of the marquee on Broadway. (NYPD was concerned about crowds overwhelming Broadway, once word got around.) Be sure to watch this one... even though I announced it 10 months late.
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: HAL GURNEE
- Jan. 5, 2023: TV's Hal Gurnee was a beloved part of Dave's shows (but you knew that). Here we have about 12 minutes of scenes from days gone by. Those were sure good times. (YouTube)
THE LETTERMAN PODCAST: JEREMY WEINER
- Dec. 30, 2022: It's good to get acquainted with Jeremy Weiner. Our host, Mike Chisholm, referred him as a "jack of all trades" for the show. I checked the closing credits from May 20, 2015, and Jeremy was credited as a writer. He was a researcher, and an occasional Winnebago driver for Biff Henderson. Wahoo! This is another blockbuster podcast, checking in at 1 hour, 41 min.! Mike is perfect for these podcasts. He's a very good, well-prepared interviewer, and he's passionate about every aspect of the Late Show, so he has considerable perspective on any topic that comes up. Of course, along with this, Jeremy contributed all kinds of information about happenings at the show, and he's an engaging guest. Watch this now. I command you! (YouTube link)
Thanks to Rupert Jee for sponsoring the podcast. Go see him at Hello Deli in New York, at 213 W. 53rd St., and/or visit hello-deli.com. You can order Late Show souvenirs, shirts, caps, etc. from the Hello Deli web site.
HOW BARBARA WALTERS GOT CELEBRITIES TO TALK TO HER
- Dec. 30, 2022: We lost the great Barbara Walters today. She was 93. The LETTERMAN channel has Barbara's interview with Dave on Late Night on 7/26/83. One of the topics is how Barbara gets celebrities to talk to her. I found this interesting (which is why I posted it here)!
PRESIDENT VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY INTERVIEW ON
MY NEXT GUEST NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION
- Dec. 26, 2022: Netflix has posted the complete, 44-minute interview with President Zelenskyy, which took place in a subway station in Kiev, probably in October. You'll hear Dave's questions in English, but Volodymyr's replies will be captioned.
I have developed great respect for President Zelenskyy, and I certainly compliment Dave on taking a very real risk by making this trip, and for conducting a thoughtful and fascinating interview - which of course documents tragedy, sadness and courage - that will be a significant part of his legacy. OK... here you go. This video will speak for itself. (YouTube link)
THE FINAL LATE SHOW CHRISTMAS
- Dec. 26, 2022: Here's a nice surprise, compliments of Don "The Donz" Giller, #1 Letterman fan. (Don's YouTube Letterman video channel now has 186,868,940 views, and 179,000 subscribers!) This is the full episode (YouTube link) of 12/19/14 . It has Paul Shaffer's annual Cher imitation. It has Jay Thomas's traditional Quarterback Challenge, and his story about his encounter with Clayton Moore (The Lone Ranger). There's a Josh Brolin interview. There's the traditional performance of "Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home)," with Darlene Love. In the beginning of Act 2, Dave shows a printed version of our friend Marilyn Sargent's Christmas poem, " 'Twas My Night at the Late Show." Marilyn had been writing updated versions of the poem for years, and this year was able to give Dave a copy during the pre-show Q&A.
MARILYN SARGENT HAS THE LETTERMAN PODCAST #042
- Dec. 23, 2022: This is exciting! My Letterman show fan friend, Marilyn Sargent, is Mike Chisholm's guest for the latest podcast. I got to visit with Marilyn over my 9 years of DaveCon trips to New York. The ever-charming and fun Marilyn is certainly well known for her annual remake of 'Twas the Night Before Christmas'. She posted the first version of her poem in 1997, to alt.fan.letterman. When it came time for the 2014 version, Marilyn had a colorful printout of the poem. In the preshow Q&A, Marilyn presented a copy to Dave. He liked it so much that he read excerpts of it during the taping.
For those who weren't watching LSDL back in the day, I'll explain that these poems were written for insiders in alt.fan.letterman. Marilyn cited memorable events from the past year, and had numerous shoutouts to various staff from the show. The fun thing is, true, devoted fans of the show got most - or all - of those references. I'm watching Marilyn's podcast as I type this, and I'm beaming from the memories it brought.
These poems are masterful. They're written "with the love," as my DaveCon friends would say. The more the reader was invested in the Late Show as a regular viewer, the more the clever shoutouts and references to significant moments on the show, over the previous year, would be appreciated. Be sure to stay with this hour-long podcast, because over the final six minutes, you'll see and hear Marilyn reciting her wonderful, final 'Twas My Night at the Late Show. Thanks, Marilyn!
Speaking of shoutouts, thanks to Rupert Jee for sponsoring the podcast. Go see him at Hello Deli in New York, at 213 W. 53rd St., and/or visit hello-deli.com
RUPERT JEE'S FAVORITE "LATE SHOW" MOMENTS
- Dec. 20, 2022: Alright! Here's 15 minutes of hilarious fun. For those late to the game, Rupert Jee's Hello Deli is part of the Ed Sullivan Theater Building, where Dave originated his shows for 22 years. While the main entrance to the theater is at 1697 Broadway, the address for Hello Deli is 213 W. 53rd St. New York, NY 10019. Rupert first appeared three weeks into the Late Show, on 9/20/93. Dave frequently went in to see Rupert, brought him in for a comedy bit, or sent him out and about in Midtown Manhattan. My Late Show episode logs show "Rupert Jee" 121 times. That seems way low to me. Rupert became so well known to people visiting my page that I really didn't need to use his full name. A search on just "Rupert" brought him up 910 times.
The LETTERMAN YouTube channel is looking back at Dave's 33 years on late night TV... especially the 22 years on CBS. They're turning out new videos every few days. One popular theme is to have employees and friends of the show set up "favorite moments" videos, and now it's Rupert's turn.
I think something that led to the great popularity of Rupert's appearances was that a mutual trust developed. Rupert was willing to do silly stuff, to pester civilians (in "Fun with Rupert"), and even do stunts, like skydiving. He was also willing to smart off to Dave, if the plot called for it.
I became part of DaveCon, the annual trip to New York in late spring, with about 15 devoted fans hanging out together for a couple of days, and getting the red carpet treatment from the Late Show staff. We got awesome seats up front, and most years, we were the cast for some ridiculous video for The Tony Mendez Show, with our awesome host, Tony... Dave's cue card man. The video guys, Walter Kim and Jay Johnson, recorded it, and put the episode on cbs.com.
We all made a beeline to see Rupert when we got to town, and he was absolutely great to us. Ultimately, Rupert was the last person I ever talked to in New York, on my last DaveCon trip in May 2015. Well, here you go. Watch closely, won't you. Thanks, Rupert, for being such a wonderful friend and host to so many Letterman fans! Hopefully you reading this have come to understand why Rupert's Hello Deli is #1 on my navigation column, just to the left of here.
Now, (drum roll please, Anton) here's Rupert Jee's Favorite Late Show Moments.
WILL LEE: HAVE YO'SELF A MERRY
- Dec. 18, 2022: Will Lee posted this fun number on YouTube, on 12/20/2020. He's an exceptional bassist, and I know you'll enjoy it. Thanks, Will!
THE LETTERMAN PODCAST: WILL LEE
- Dec. 16, 2022: Mike Chisholm's guest is the great Will Lee, who needs no introduction! This episode runs 90 minutes! Will's an outstanding talent on the bass guitar, and he was with Letterman through all the 33 years on late night TV. I met Will in 2008, in my annual trip to the Late Show, for DaveCon. After being introduced, I made it a point to mention that I'm from Manhattan, Kansas. He kind of did a double take when he heard that, because for a period of time, his parents lived in Manhattan, which was the home of the International Association for Jazz Education, and his dad, Dr. William Franklin Lee III was the Executive Director. I knew that Will had been in MHK to visit the parents. Be sure to watch this 1 hr. 34-minute episode of The Letterman Podcast. Will's not only a virtuoso guitarist, he really knows music, and just imagine how many prominent musicians he's worked with and played with over the years!
DAVE IN "A CHARLIE BROWN CHRISTMAS"
- Dec. 15, 2022: Our pals at the LETTERMAN channel have posted this gem from 12/22/09. It's Dave doing stand-up for this Christmas classic. Here's your YouTube link.
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: MARY CONNELLY
- Dec. 14, 2022: Remember Connie Plescoe from LNDL, who seemed to be pregnant for a few years in the mid 1980s? She was actually producer Mary Connelly. My logs don't show her appearing more than once on LSDL, on 12/16/93 . She has some awesome behind-the-scenes stories, for this latest offering from the LETTERMAN channel.
THE LETTERMAN PODCAST: LEE ELLENBERG, PART 2
- Dec. 14, 2022: Mike Chisholm is at it again! Lee Ellenberg is the guest. Here's the YouTube link. The Letterman Podcast is brought to you by Rupert Jee's Hello Deli, conveniently located at 213 West 53rd Street, New York, NY 10019. (Google Map) Finally... here's the answer to an obvious question: "Where's the link to Episode 1?"
DAVE ON HIS UKRAINE TRIP AND ZELENSKY INTERVIEW
- Dec. 14, 2022: I truly admire Dave for taking a considerable risk in traveling to Ukraine, so we could hear directly from their courageous president, via a special episode of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. Here's a link to The Washington Post, for the story posted by Geoff Edgers on Dec. 9. I should point out that there's an excerpt of the interview (YouTube video) posted within this story.
LETTERMAN LEAVES BEHIND A COSTLIER NEIGHBORHOOD
- Dec. 13, 2022: Corey Kilgannon's article, Jokes Aside, David Letterman Leaves Behind a Costlier Neighborhood, was published in the New York Times in May 2015. The link went in my articles page then. It's an interesting look back, and it's always good to hear from our friend, Rupert. I think we'll all agree that this is the first time any of us have heard him referred to as "Mr. Jee." Read closely, won't you?
DAVID LETTERMAN TOLD ABOUT HIS FAITH IN UKRAINIAN PEOPLE
- Dec. 12, 2022: Dave had an interview with UATV English about the siege on Ukraine by Putin. He's convinced that Ukraine will win, and also that humor is helping Ukrainians through these difficult times. (A male translator has voiced over the interviewer who speaks the Ukrainian language. (YouTube video link)
DAVE ANNOUNCES HIS INTERVIEW WITH VOLODYMYR ZELENSKYY
- Dec. 7, 2022: We learned in early November that Dave had interviewed the Ukrainian president, in a subway station. Today, in this Facebook post, Dave announced that his interview with President Zelenskyy, TIME magazine Person of the Year, will premiere on December 12. I must confess... I don't have Netflix, so I don't know if this is one-and-done, or on demand. Just look for My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. I'm determined to watch this, one way or another. It's going to be fascinating.
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: DAVE RYGALSKI
- Dec. 6, 2022: This is a compilation of segments from the Late Night years... written by or including Dave Rygalski. Included are Biff Tracy, Tick Boy, one of my all-time favorites: Chris Elliott as a barking desk maggot, and Calvert DeForest's Pan American Goodwill Tour (which began on 11/11/88, and ran for over a month... ending with Calvert begging to come home). (YouTube link)
CHRIS ELLIOTT'S SELF DEFENSE TIPS FOR DAVE
- Dec. 6, 2022: This bit with the always-twisted Chris Elliott aired on 4/12/90... Dave's 43rd birthday. It seems that Mr. Elliott has assembled a vigilante group. He's been asked for a demonstration on how to fend off huckleberrys. (or is the plural correctly spelled huckleberries?) I just noticed that this was during Dave's Adidas® shoes era, but who cares? Spoiler: The demo ends with inappropriate flashlight discovery, and was dismissed from the set. Here we go. (YouTube link)
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: BRIAN TETA
- Dec. 6, 2022: I was so excited to discover this one. Brian Teta, aside from his Supervising Producer duties, often appeared in comedy segments. At some point in the segment, whatever character Brian was playing would get a look of terror, and sprint off the stage. I loved his appearances on the show. On June 3, 2014, when I was in New York for a DaveCon, I ran into Brian somwhere on Broadway, and introduced myself. Well, he followed this fan page, because he thanked me for my "effusive praise" of his appearances. I'm thanking Brian here for all the ways he contributed to the Late Show! (YouTube link) Don't miss this one!
SANDRA BERNHARD'S FIRST APPEARANCE WITH DATE
- Dec. 4, 2022: It was always fun when Sandra Bernhard dropped by. According to my episode logs, this appearance, on 2/21/83, was her first of 24, and 22 of those were on LNDL.
What I loved about her was there was no filter in what she said. I had forgotten that she earlier in her life, she was a manicurist, who encountered a number of prominent women. Later, she found her way into stand-up comedy. I know she was hilarious! Sandra obviously enjoyed her appearances with Dave, or she wouldn't have shown up 24 times. Here's the YouTube link.
HOUNDMOUTH WITH "SEDONA"
- Nov. 28, 2022: This performance is from 3/31/15 , and it's gotten rave reviews from several who have see it. Houndmouth first appeared on LSDL on 7/10/13. (I have a hopeless crush on Katie Toupin! She is now touring solo.) They're in this night to perform Sedona, from their Little Neon Limelight album. (YouTube link)
LENO'S ADVICE FOR GETTING ON DAVE'S SHOW
- Nov. 26, 2022: I always looked forward to Jay's appearances on Letterman shows. Of course, I was highly irritated when we learned he hid in that closet, but that's another story. In this guest LNDL segment (04/05/83), Jay talks about his comedy club work. (YouTube link) Well... I didn't pick out much discussion of the "getting on Dave's show" topic listed above, but I left the segment here, anyway.
THE LETTERMAN PODCAST: WRITER STEPHEN WINER
- Nov. 25, 2022: Happy turkey leftovers day! Stephen Winer was an original writer for Letterman. Our host, Mike Chisholm, is very excited to have Stephen on. (It turns out that really likes books. The shelves behind him look like the video cassettes in Don Giller's Dave Cave. Stephen began by insisting that Mike had to set aside a picture of Sarah Palin behind him. (YouTube link) As always, this podcast is sponsored by Rupert Jee's Hello Deli.
THANKSGIVING PIE GUESSING, WITH DOROTHY
- Nov. 24, 2022: Possibly the best Letterman tradition of all was the annual trip (via satellite) to Carmel, Indiana, to Dorothy's house, to guess what kind of pies she baked. (YouTube link) The air date of this visit was 11/23/00. I have a few of these visits in my Video Archives. Once you arrive there, scroll down to Dave's Mom, Dorothy. I have links to six of the visits.
THANKSGIVING WITH LARRY "BUD" MELMAN AND FAMILY
- Nov. 22, 2022: Don't miss this one, from 11/21/83! It's Calvert starring in "Dave and Larry Bud's Thanksgiving Etiquette." You'll meet Tiffany "Bud" Melman, Troy "Bud" Melman and Clifford "Bud" Melman. The presentation would have gone a bit more smoothly if Dave hadn't inadvertently blocked the sight line to the cue cards. (YouTube link) I highly recommend setting aside some time to tour the LETTERMAN channel on YouTube!
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: PRODUCER JILL LEIDERMAN
- Nov. 22, 2022: Jill has some very fun moments. They involve celebrity encounters. Don't miss this! (YouTube link)
THE LETTERMAN PODCAST: JOE GROSSMAN, PART 2
- Nov. 18, 2022: Here you'll find the long-awaited link to the second part of Mike Chisholm's interview with Joe Grossman. (OK... here's the YouTube link.)
Mike and Joe have a lengthy discussion of Joe's applications to work for various shows, and his early days working for LSDL. He talks about standard practice for writing the various segments, such as the Top Ten. Fairly early in the day, he'd be called on to pitch a certain number of suggestions. I didn't realize how much pressure there was to be productive. Joe said a fair number of writers weren't retained for a long time. Joe said he wasn't part of meetings with Dave, and actually spent more time with him on camera than in person! Joe's first interaction with Dave was on an elevator, three or four months after he started there. (Dave didn't know who he was at the time.) But, Joe says Dave was very friendly and "socially normal," and the "stay away from Dave" idea came from staff... not Dave. Something that was news to me was that LNDL was more focused on comedy segments than the more guest-oriented LSDL.
To conclude, I just want to state my appreciation for both Joe and Mike, and their two hours together recalling memorable moments, behind-the-scenes happenings, and how the shows were put together! Oh... and thanks much to my friend Rupert Jee for sponsoring the Podcast. Be sure to check out www.hello-deli.com, for Letterman show merchandise and apparel!
FLUNKY THE CLOWN'S ONE MAN PARADE
- Nov. 17, 2022: Oh, how we loved the visits from Flunky, the Late Night Viewer Mail clown, featuring writer Jeff Martin as Flunky! This gem is from the 5/28/87 LNDL. (YouTube link) Also part of the fun that evening was Chris Elliott as Skylark.
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: CHRISTOPHER GOUMAS
- Nov. 15, 2022: Christopher Goumas was the art director. He was tasked with creating gadgets. There was the Quiz Machine, bolting a fake bag of groceries to the back of a car, dropping stuff off the roof of the Ed onto 53rd Street (including pinball machines), etc. Then there was the time when Harold Larkin opened a stage door, and a black hole's massive gravitational force ripped his pants right off. OK... you don't need to take my word for this. Here's your link. (Thanks much to the LETTERMAN channel for all the fun memories!)
BID ON DAVE'S AUTOGRAPHED LETTER JACKET
- Nov. 14, 2022: Once again, we join Dave and Barbara Gaines in the mysterious room where LETTERMAN channel videos are produced. (YouTube link) Since last century, Dave gave a letter jacket to each staff member at Christmas time... each customized for the year. (I'm the proud owner of two of them!) (An awesome producer... who shall not be named... sent me one as a surprise.)
Dave decided it would be nice to put the jacket shown here (which he autographed during the video shoot) on eBay, for a good cause. (eBay link) As of this moment, the current bid is $8,100. The organization to receive the dough is the U. N. World Food Programme. I've donated to the program in the past, because Dave has been a supporter of the program for some time.
In the left-side navigation column here, I've had a link to the program for a few years now. Dave has had leaders of the organization as guests on LSDL, and the show often ran bumpers promoting donations in its later years... especially after natural disasters in other countries.
I'm at Kansas State University. Since 1967, we've had the Landon Lecture series, which has brought in many leaders, politicians and international figures. As it happens, David Beasley, Executive Director of the World Food Programme, gave the latest Landon Lecture at Kansas State on Nov. 3, 2022. Good luck with your bid!
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: BILL SCHEFT
- Nov. 13, 2022: Bill Scheft was employed by TV's David Letterman for 24 years. He's hosting himself on this latest offering from the LETTERMAN channel. Bill goes through various memorable jokes and segments he wrote, as well as a variety of fun memories and mishaps. Hey... how about YouTube's closed captioning? Over the course of 19 minutes, Bill was Bill Shaft, Bill Shift and Bill Chef. (YouTube link)
THE LETTERMAN PODCAST: JOE GROSSMAN, PART 1
- Nov. 12, 2022: This is so exciting! Mike Chisholm's guest for the latest podcast is TV's Joe Grossman, a writer for LSDL who arrived on the scene on April 5, 2004. Mike reports that The Donz says Joe appeared 112 times. I think he was perfect for a bunch of segments... usually acting as though he wasn't hooked up quite right. Watch this now... I command you!
My episode logs show Joe's first appearance on 7/22/04 . Audience Pan: "Late Show Staff Member of the Week" is Joe Grossman, who carved "jackass" into Dave's car hood. On 9/02/05 , Joe put away the Late Show bear. I enjoyed how Joe would refer to his tattered little notebook, to look up jokes or whatever.
Re: the urine segments, the Herbie Hancock bit was on 8/26/10 . It went exactly like this:
desk chat: Dave likes the survival shows, like Bear Grylls. There's a guy right around New York, who does most of his work in the Pine Barrens. Each week he's going to appear on the Late Show with a survival tip, which brings us to the new segment, "Ox, the Wilderness Expert." (OK... you guessed it. Ox is really writer Joe Grossman. This is going to be funny, and you can bet he'll walk offstage the wrong way.) Here we go.
(Dave): "Good to see you, Ox. Thank you very much for being here. I hope you're not spooked by being around all this civilization. Now, I know from what little camping I have done you can go a long time without eating, but you have to drink. You have to hydrate yourself, and I understand that's kinda your tip for us tonight. What is your tip, Ox?"
(Ox): "While in the woods, sometimes you might find yourself in a position where you have to drink urine to survive."
(Dave): "Where you have to drink urine to survive?"
(Dave): "And what do you have in the canteen? Is that, in fact, urine?"
(Ox): "It's urine."
(Dave): "Yeah. And whose... it's none of my business... but whose urine is that?"
(Ox): "It's Herbie Hancock's."
[This is hilarious, because the ever-somber Joe just about busts out laughing after delivering that line. Jerry Foley has to cut to Dave for a bit.]
(Paul): "Ha. Ah ha ha! Ha! Ha ha!"
(Dave): "Really? Um... I guess it doesn't make any difference, but how did you happen to get Herbie Hancock's urine?"
(Ox): "You know. The usual way."
(Ox takes the opportunity to enjoy a long drink of whizz from the canteen. He knocks back about a quart.)
(Ox): "Some tasty urine."
(Dave): "Ox, ladies and gentlemen, from the Pine Barrens."
CHRIS ELLIOTT FINISHES THE NYC MARATHON
- Nov. 10, 2022: How could I not link to this touching and inspiring segment from 11/09/89, with TV's ever-adorable Chris Elliott, Jr., and his sidekick, Gerard Mulligan? Chris finished his journey in about 105 hours, and is perspiring profusely. Dave is very proud of Chris, and presents him with a brand new pair of orange Keds®.
HIS NAME IS "THE DONZ."
- Nov. 7, 2022: I came across this on Facebook. It's a very positive shout out to TV's Don Giller, from the YouTube channel Late Night Saga Shorts, telling about his recording of every LNDL and LSDL episode. This resulted (as shown by the graphic at the top of this page) in currently over 182,000,000 views of his YouTube channel, and his current role as a consultant for the relatively new LETTERMAN channel.
DAVE INTERVIEWED ZELENSKYY!
- Nov. 4, 2022: Apparently this interview with Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelenskyy happened recently. Deadline.com has a video link. The video clip only lasts 21 seconds, and it certainly appears to be in a subway station. We presume that the interview will be carried by Netflix's My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. This will be fascinating to watch.
GAINES AND DAVE: DAVE MAKES A BIG ANNOUNCEMENT
- Nov. 2, 2022: This starts with props from the show. Barbara first shows Hot and Spicy Tylenol® capsules. They were from a segment "FDA Rejected Products" (or words to that effect), which may have aired on 10/14/93 . Or... it may have been in 4/19/94 : "FDA Rejected Items." Or... it may have been from "Rejected FDA Products," 9/21/94 . It may have come from 2/09/95 : "Rejected FDA Products." Let's not forget "Rejected FDA Items" on 7/03/96 . Then there was "FDA Rejected Items," on 1/08/97 . We certainly musn't forget "Rejected FDA Products," from 5/13/98 . Might I also mention "Rejected FDA Products," on 2/16/99 ? "Rejected FDA Products" on 1/12/00  is a possibility. Will I ever shut up? There was "Rejected FDA Products" on 3/19/01 . Man... talk about a Letterman tradition! There was "Rejected FDA Products" on 2/20/02 , and "Rejected FDA Items" on 10/07/02 , and a sequel on 5/02/03 . If I haven't annoyed or bored you enough already, I'll mention "Late Show Rejected FDA Products" (including Gerber® Red Bull, Swanson® Frozen Leftovers, Heinz® Gravy Juice Boxes, Colgate® Lamb Flavored Toothpaste, A-1® Steak Sauce and Conditioner, Skoal® Macaroni and Chaw, Honey Roasted Tylenol® and Ronzoni® Pre-Cooked Spaghetti and Poland Spring® Water with Goldfish) on 10/19/05 . Since I'm kind of on a roll, there was "FDA Products" (including: Bird's Eye® Monkey Pot Pie, Gently Used Irish Spring®, Windexicle®, Emeril's® Restaurant Table Scraps, Perdue® Feet and Beaks, Kellogg's® Individually Wrapped Rice Krispies and Gerber's® Five Alarm Chili) 5/04/06 . Finally, there was "Rejected FDA Products" on 11/21/06 . Barbara and Dave had a lot of fun with Dr. Kevorkian's Suicide Death Mints®. This Just In: Dave claims he can't be on Barbara's show anymore, because he's signed an exclusive deal with TikTok. Lordy mercy! I almost forgot the link!
WARREN ZEVON: "THANK YOU, AND GOODBYE."
- Warren Zevon's final appearance on Letterman was on October 30, 2002. He died on September 7, 2003, and Dave announced his passing the next day. Warren (and Dave) knew at the time of his last appearance that he had terminal mesothelioma, and Warren's thoughts on his remaining time were summarized in his famous quote, "Enjoy every sandwich."
According to my episode logs, Warren appeared on LNDL at least 8 times, and appeared on LSDL 30 times. Often in his appearances on LSDL, Warren would sit in for Paul... for example, when Paul was performing with Carole King, and during Paul's bout with pneumonia.
The October 28 issue of The Ringer has a detailed look back at Warren's final appearance on his show, with photos and video, and Dave's own comments on his last words with Warren. I highly recommend reading this.
SULLY IS ALL BETTER!
- Oct. 28, 2022: Here's a brief YouTube video with TV's David M. Letterman and Sully Letterman. Dave reports that Sully had tumors on his liver and spleen in the summer. He wants us to know that Colorado State University saved him, and he's doing great. Dave recommends visiting the site of the Flint Animal Cancer Center to learn how they help animal and humans. Sully, a Labrador retriever, joined the Letterman family in about 2010, when Harry would have been 6. Harry wasn't in the video. He's off at college now!
FUN WITH RUPERT: HALLOWEEN TRICK OR TREATING
- Oct. 26, 2022: You know what Fun with Rupert means. Rupert's set up with a radio receiver, and Dave's in the area, sending in silly stuff to say. This time, Rupert's wearing various trick or treat outfits, and is carrying a plastic pumpkin to tote his treats. (We're not sure if he ever got one.) Rupert was always a good sport with these segments. This one, from the LETTERMAN channel, is from 11/03/97 . (YouTube link)
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: SUE HUM
- Oct. 25, 2022: The LETTERMAN channel staff were really on it today! Costume designer Sue Hum was responsible for coming up with legendary outfits, often on very short notice, e.g. The Suit of Suet, The Suit of Chips and Dip, The Suit of Magnets, a stripper outfit for Bruce Willis, kids' Halloween costumes, The Late Show Bear... on and on. On 4/27/12, there was "Sue Hum Tells Don Rickles Jokes." There are so many great memories in this compilation. There were a bunch of times when Sue would throw a scripted tantrum, and wish death - or worse - for Dave. Watch it right now!
TAYLOR ALLISON SWIFT: "SPEAK NOW"
- Oct. 25, 2022: I love Taylor Swift! In September 2015, I made the 125-mile trip to Kansas City two nights in a row, to see Taylor in concert. OK... our pals at the LETTERMAN channel have Taylor's 10/26/10 appearance uploaded, as she performs Speak Now. (YouTube)
ALAN KALTER'S SCARY, SEXY HALLOWEEN STORY
- Oct. 25, 2022: Oh, dear... the late, beloved Alan Kalter just about got himself sent to the principal's office over this one. He was seductive and suggestive, and Dave had to cut him off, lest the FCC came knocking. This gem aired on 10/29/02. Alan was ordered off the air that late October night, but the LETTERMAN channel has him on YouTube. Watch closely, won't you?
BRIAN DONAHUE: THE GUY WHO BEATS UP ALAN
- Oct. 22, 2022: I'm sure everyone reading this greatly appreciated and enjoyed the work of the late Alan Kalter, long-time announcer on LSDL. With that in mind, I'm sure you were with me in hopes of Alan getting the highest quality beatings that money could buy. Who better to deliver Alan's negative reinforcement than Brian Donahue, a.k.a. The Guy Who Beats Up Alan? (YouTube video) I noticed that this video was made by Don Giller. A check of my episode logs shows it's from 9/08/04 , in a weekly CBS Mailbag segment.
Letter #4. If you could choose anyone to be President of the United States, who would you choose, and why? / "President Bill Clinton now is recovering from the heart surgery. I know how difficult that can be. Let's not engage in partisan politics." / Alan Kalter gives an update on his condition. Hillary has been at Bill's side throughout the ordeal. / Alan addresses Hillary: "With Bubba out of commission, why don't you give me a call?" / on and on, until Dave puts a stop to it / "I was just fooling around," Alan replies. "What's the harm in talking?" / A black-suited Secret Service man beats the crap out of Alan to the CBSO's "Secret Agent Man." / Dave calls for an Advil® for Alan.
THE CBS ORCHESTRA IS SIMPSONIZED!
- Oct. 15, 2022: I don't know the story behind this awesome picture. Al Chez posted it on his Facebook page, in late 2015. LSDL ended on May 20 that year, but I think this cartoon pic of the CBSO was done by The Simpsons.
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: RODNEY ROTHMAN
- Oct. 11, 2022: OK... this is one of the best Staff Favorite Moments so far. The guest is writer Rodney Rothman, from the 1990s. The first story is about a segment I remember, for sure. It had Chris Farley entering as a madman, turning cartwheels, and picking up Rodney, carrying him outside and depositing him in a dumpster! Then there was crashing Walter Matthau's haircut. 6/05/98  How about Art Garfunkel shooting free throws on 53rd St.? 6/01/98  On 10/13/99 , teenager Paul Fiore's driver's license test was covered by helicopter. On 11/16/99 , there was coverage of a new gazebo for Kankakee, Illinois. On 10/15/99 , there was Top Ten Things That Sound Creepy When Said by John Malkovich. On 2/04/99 , we saw fake boy band Fresh Step. I'm not sure it was originally known that this band was a Late Show creation. In fact, in my episode log that lists their second LSDL appearance (3/03/99), I commented that they "sucked." Be sure to see Rodney's Favorite Moments! (YouTube link)
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: MADELEINE SMITHBERG
- Oct. 4, 2022: This is a great episode! We have Madeleine in her kitchen, telling tales of Late Show adventures. She has a Jack Hanna story (getting bitten by a beaver). Madeleine was a major player in the epic stunt of border collies herding sheep into a New York taxi. I didn't think Madeleine would mention the remote when Dave... unaware it was Madeline... referred to her as a "husky idler," but she did.
Another classic was when Rena Smaha (on 8/26/87) staged a monkey tea party. (I have it in my video archives.) One little monkey sensed correctly that Dave was making fun of her, and started getting real aggressive with him... threatening and lurching at him. Dave feigned being scared, and the little monkey fed off that and got even more aggressive. Madeleine's 14-minute video is on YouTube.
OH, BOY HOWDY...
- Oct. 3, 2022: Today's installment on the LETTERMAN YouTube channel is a life hack from TV's David Letterman. It includes a demo, and a Q&A with cohosts Barbara Gaines and Mary Barclay. (YouTube link) Dave's stewing about a planetary drought, so he reveals how to save water during your toothbrushing procedure: brush your teeth in the shower. It's just that simple. / OK... what's the deal with the grandfather clock on our host's left arm?
TV BOY IS A GUEST ON JIMMY KIMMEL LIVE
- Sep. 28, 2022: Dave's a guest on Jimmy Kimmel. As you might expect, Dave takes over the interview, 'cause he doesn't have a show anymore (except My Next Guest). He has stories about Harry's first month at college (which I can relate to, since I've spent 54 years at college). The next topic is Dave's history with Howard Stern. Did you know Howard paints pictures now? Then it's Kevin Durant. Jimmy brings up his near obsesson with Dave in his early years (the lengths he went to to get into Late Night episodes, stalking him, etc.). Set aside 17.38 minutes, and be entertained. Here's your YouTube link.
JIMMY KIMMEL'S FAVORITE 'LATE NIGHT' MOMENTS, PART 2
- Sep. 27, 2022: Don't miss this! It's well known that Jimmy Kimmel's a big Dave fan (and he has the VHS tapes to prove it)! Jimmy introduces a bunch of favorite segments, like The Guy Under the Seats, Camping with Barry White, Dave taking the gift basket to the GE Building when they bought NBC, the catch phrases, like "They pelted us with rocks and garbage.", surprising Colleen Boyle at her workplace at Sears, and Chris Elliott's antics and impersonations. (YouTube)
THE MUSICIANS ON LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN
- Sep. 21, 2022: Happy fall, all. My friend, Don Giller, has really done it this time! Regular visitors here are likely familiar with his amazing YouTube channel, which currently has 178,000,000 views. Well, another contribution from The Donz is The Donz Blog, which in 'The Musicians on 'Late Show with David Letterman' has all manner of information on the CBS Orchestra and The World's Most Dangerous Band. Don details the band members and their performing histories.
In case you're new to Planet Earth, I'll just mention that The Donz has logs of every episode of every Letterman late night show (NBC and CBS). Furthermore, he hs digitized his videotapes of each show, which helps immensely if, for example, he decides to produce a compilation of a recurring segment on the show.
So... if you have a written record of everything that happened over 33 years, you have digital video of everything and a tireless work ethic, an amazing history of Letterman shows is the result. I highly recommend that you click on the links above, for a sample of work that no one else has the determination or ability to produce. Thanks, Donz!
DOROTHY TOURS LONDON
- Sep. 20, 2022: TV Boy's late mother, the beloved Dorothy Mengering, is sent by LSDL to London in Sweeps month. Here, from 5/15/95, is a video of Dorothy taking in the sights. Unfortunately, it only lasts a couple of minutes. Watch it now... or else! (YouTube link)
DAVE GETS ROASTED FOR HIS QUEEN ELIZABETH II TOP TEN
- Sep. 19, 2022: Queen Elizabeth's funeral was today, and Dave and Gaines have posted their latest video about Dave's Top Ten List for Queen Elizabeth II, which landed on YouTube on Sep. 9. It was harmless material, with one entry being a crack about Dairy Queen®. As of today, that Top Ten has about 31 kiloviews. Apparently comments are turned off. Oh, OK... there was some material about Charles' ears. To my way of thinking, the #1 topic should be What's the Deal with Dave's Watch? (the one he had on on Sep. 9) The diameter of that contraption is about 3". At least we know from it that the video was recorded at 4:32 P.M. ET.
The link above is for the scandalous Top Ten. Here's today's entry, Dave Gets Roasted for His Queen Elizabeth II Top Ten. Hey! How about a shout out to the great Walter Kim?! I got to visit with him a few times when I co-starred in Tony Mendez Show episodes. He and Jay Johnson were always wonderful hosts to us DaveCon participants (which included producing a Tony Mendez Show episode during our annual visits).
Dave keeps hinting that Mary Barclay has left the building, but Gaines insists that's not true. Mary, along with Stephanie Birkitt, was Dave's assistant (and earlier, one of the production staff)... at least as far back as 1998. She wasn't seen on air frequently, but she often got a shout out on her Sep. 29 birthdays. I hope she re-emerges soon! Of course, it's awesome to have Gaines in on the fun.
DAVE REACHES OUT TO JIMMY KIMMEL ABOUT THE EMMYS
- Sep. 15, 2002: The aforementioned LETTERMAN channel on YouTube has a new set! It's a two-seater next to a window. Gaines is hosting. Apparently Mary Barclay is "on assignment," which is show business talk, sometimes, for being in the doghouse. We know nothing more about that. Today's visit sort of draws from Will Smith's misbehavior at this Oscars this spring. I'll not reveal any more about today's episode. It's free, of course. (YouTube link) "DON'T FORGET TO SUBSCRIBE," Gaines commands us.
NORM MACDONALD AND LETTERMAN: THE BEST OF THE BEST
- Sep. 18, 2022: The world lost Norm Macdonald a year ago, on Sep. 14, 2021. In honor of a tremendous comedian and a wonderful man, here's a compilation of his appearances with TV Boy. Wait a minute! Here's another one, from Netlix Is a Joke on YouTube. This is a panel discussion, including Dave Chappelle, Dave Letterman, Adam Sandler, Conan, Molly Shannon and David Spade.
TAYLOR SWIFT REVEALS HER SONGWRITING PROCESS
- Sep. 13, 2022: I've been to see Taylor Allison Swift in concert a few times... including two nights in a row. Here, from 10/26/10, is Taylor's first interview with TV Boy. Taylor's very forthcoming and articulate, and she gives a fun interview. Thanks, as always, to the LETTERMAN channel for all they're doing! (YouTube) Oops! Taylor grew up on a Christmas tree farm. Along the way, Dave referred to pine trees as deciduous. No! Deciduous trees drop their leaves every fall. Pine trees are gymnosperms, which have unprotected seeds.
MERRILL MARKOE 2: CLASSIC REMOTES
- September 13, 2022: This is a collection of classic, hilarious remotes from LNDL. Included in Dave's destinations were Just Bulbs, Just Shades, Dupont Dry Cleaners, Burger Joint, The Mattress King, Lumber Boys and Coliseum Vacuum Cleaner Co. Merrill got the idea for Dave's Shame of the City expose. Dave also visited the inventor of the casket life detector, meant to rescue unfortunate individuals who were buried alive. A martial arts instructor interviewed Ghandi. What better way to end this awesome presentation than Dog Poetry? (This was aired on the Tonight show.) The Late Night years were tremendous! Here's your YouTube link.
IT'S RAINING MEN CELEBRATES ITS 40th ANNIVERSARY
- September 10, 2022: Paul Shaffer and Paul Jabara wrote It's Raining Men in one afternoon in 1979. The Weather Girls eventually recorded it, and it was nominated for a Grammy, but we knew that. (link)
DAVE'S TOP TEN LIST FOR QUEEN ELIZABETH II
- September 9, 2022: Observing the passing of Queen Elizabeth, Dave, Gaines and Mary Barclay present a Top Ten. (YouTube)
DAVE MEETS MANNY THE HIPPIE
- September 8, 2022: Dave had a week in San Francisco in 1996, and a fun segment was hanging out with Manny Papp, in the Haight-Ashbury neighborhood. This aired on 5/10/96 . A fun fact is that my friend, Dave, and I were in the 4th row of the audience for the 5/08/96 episode. CBS ran a Letterman trivia contest on the cbs.com site. I knew the answer to every trivia question, which got me into a random drawing of contestants with a perfect score. Well... I won the drawing, and got a trip for two to San Francisco... with free air travel, a chauffer and hotel... then VIP seating in the audience. That was the first of my nine trips to a Letterman show.
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: GERARD MULLIGAN
- August 30, 2022: This video popped up on the LETTERMAN channel, just after the aforementioned podcast with Gerard, which I enjoyed tremendously. It's 4 a.m., and I haven't watched it yet, but I wanted you to know about it. (YouTube)
THE LETTERMAN PODCAST 023: GERARD MULLIGAN
- August 29, 2022: I'm sure looking forward to this 98 minutes of hearing from Gerard! (YouTube link) Gerard worked with Dave for almost 40 years, starting with the morning show, I believe. He has so many stories, and he's a very forthcoming guest. Don't miss it! By the way, The Donz got a big-time shout out from Gerard in this podcast, for being able to give the date (and provide video) of any person, place or thing ever seen on Letterman shows.
LATE SHOW AT 29
- August 29, 2022: As you know, 2022–1993 = 29. Late Show with David Letterman was born on August 30, 1993, and it would run on CBS for about 22 years. Counting 4 prime time specials, Dave hosted 4,218 of the 4,255 Late Show episodes. TV's Don Giller has 1 hr. and 51 minutes' worth of coverage on the big event. He calls it Countdown to Late Show with David Letterman. What Donz has could be called "coverage of the coverage.'' Watch closely, won't you? Thanks, Donz. As you might expect, every single person covering the event is trying to be funny.
THE LETTERMAN PODCAST 022: STEVE YOUNG
- August 26, 2022: Mike Chisholm's guest for 1.5 hours is TV's Steve Young. (He has a beard now!) You'll hear Steve comment about found comedy, Dave's Record Collection, Bathtubs Over Broadway, Celebrigum, writing The Strong Guy, the Fat Guy, the Genius (4-08-94)... on and on. The podcast is sponsored by Rupert Jee's Hello Deli. Be sure to visit it, as well as Rupert's online store and Letterman apparel store!
THE SUIT OF SPONGES
- August 24, 2022: From the LETTERMAN YouTube channel (and from 2/14/85), it's Dave in the Suit of Sponges. (YouTube link) A bunch of large, yellow sponges were glued to a jumpsuit, and Dave, suspended by two cables, was to be lowered into a calibrated tank. First he was weighed, at around 190 pounds. The tank, pre-dunk, showed 240 gallons of H2O. After Dave was submerged and removed, the tank showed 216 gallons, and Dave + soaked sponges weighed about 500 pounds.
OK... that was a loss of 24 gallons, and a gain of 310 pounds. A gallon of water weighs 8 pounds. 310 pounds / 8 = 38 gallons of water, which is a fairly big discrepancy with 24 gallons missing from the tank. Also, there had to have been a fair amount of water slopped onto the floor, so the numbers don't line up for this fan.
For my videos on other suits, go to my Video Archives, scroll down to David Letterman, and focus on Suit. Dave also had the Suit of Alka-Seltzer®, the Suit of Chips and Dip, the Suit of Magnets and the Suit of Velcro®. There may have been more that are missing from my archives. It looks like most of the episodes of this stunt occurred between 1984 and 1986.
NORM MACDONALD'S NETWORK TELEVISION DEBUT
- August 21, 2022: Norm's debut was in May Sweeps, on LNDL, May 9, 1990. He had some fun jokes, and we saw that one of his standard approaches, slightly mispronouncing words, was already in place. (YouTube) Get back here, Norm!
DARLENE LOVE vs. MARIAH CAREY
- August 19, 2022: There's a dustup on Twitter, as Mariah Carey is trying to trademark the phrase "The Queen of Christmas." (Variety link) Our hero, Darlene Love, is taking exception to Mariah's move, stating that TV's David Letterman proclaimed Darlene to be the Queen of Christmas 29 years ago. Furthermore, Ellie Greenwich, Jeff Barry and Phil Spektor wrote Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) for Darlene in 1963. You'll find links to a number of Darlene's performances of that classic in my video archives. (Scroll down to the Ds.) OR... you'll do even better with Don Giller's playlist of Darlene's hit... all 21 performances.
Here's a fun video with 11,000,000 views, All Alone on Christmas, with Darlene and Macaulay Culkin.
THE LETTERMAN PODCAST 020: TOM "BONES" MALONE
- August 12, 2022: Mike Chisholm has a great choice with this one. It's an hour+ with Tom "Bones" Malone, who had 10 years on SNL, and 22 years on Letterman, on Mike's The Letterman Podcast. The podcast nas a nice focus on Tom's work with arranging music, as he's credited with arranging about 3,000 musical numbers. (YouTube link)
REMEMBERING NORM MACDONALD
- August 11, 2022: This discussion on Netflix Is a Joke is really interesting. It's a group discussion on Norm's work, with Dave Chappelle, David Letterman, Conan O'Brien, Adam Sandler, Molly Shannon and David Spade. (YouTube link)
The participants tell about their personal experiences with Norm, and characterize and analyze his approach to comedy. A major focus is Norm's work on his Netflix offering, Nothing Special: Norm Macdonald.
It was leukemia that took Norm, and he knew that his days were numbered. In retrospect, his friends now know why he was so emotional in his interactions with them, toward the end. Norm had the honor of being the last person ever to do stand-up comedy on Late Show with David Letterman, on one of the final shows in May 2015. Norm said,
"So anyways, I'd just like to say, I know that Mr. Letterman is not for the mawkish, and he has no truck for the sentimental. But... if something is true, it is not sentimental, and I say in truth, I love you."
Wait a minute. Hold everything. Don't miss Don Giller's Norm Macdonald Collection on Letterman, Part 5 of 5: 2003-15.
THE LETTERMAN PODCAST: STEVE O'DONNELL, PART 2
- August 5, 2022: Dave's head writer, Steve O'Donnell, is an exceptional guest in this 48-minute conversation with host Mike Chisholm. (YouTube) Steve has all kinds of experiences, and a brilliant, Harvard-educated, mind for putting them into perspective. Steve has memories from his time at LNDL and LSDL. If you're a fan of Dave and his shows, I guarantee that you'll enjoy this.
THE LETTERMAN PODCAST: STEVE O'DONNELL, PART 1
- August 5, 2022: This is fun! It's tape of a rehearsal, with Sid, Will, Paul and Anton, joined by Bob Weir and Jerry Garcia of The Grateful Dead. It may be from 9/17/87. (YouTube)
THE ULTIMATE BEAVIS & BUTT-HEAD COLLECTION
- August 3, 2022: Prominent intellectual leaders Beavis and Butt-head are honored in this collection. Enjoy cameos by Mujibur and Sirajul, and Siskel and Ebert. (YouTube)
WILD ISLAND HUMPING
- July 29, 2022: Confession: I've been working double-time, and looked for this while watching Part 2. I'll write more when I've watched it, but let's not delay with the link! (YouTube)
THE WMDB REHEARSING WITH JERRY GARCIA
- July 25, 2022: Here's the latest offering from the LETTERMAN channel, entitled Dave's Dog Goes Under the Knife. (YouTube) Mary Barclay, who Dave seems to think is Gaines, is our host. So, it seems that Dave's dog, Dutch, had a problem with his innards, and had to go to Vet School at Colorado State to be carved upon. Guess what! Dutch got to wear a t-shirt after his procedure, instead of one of those cones! We get to see one of Dave's cars, but the license tag is blocked out, so we don't stalk him.
DAVE WAS IN ON ANDY KAUFMAN'S OUTRAGEOUS BITS
- July 13, 2022: Here's video of TV Boy as an interview guest on Howard Stern's show on SiriusXM. A topic was Andy's appearances on Dave's shows... including the gem discussed here (from 7/28/82), when Jerry Lawler knocked Andy out of a guest chair with a slap/punch. Don Giller has a compilation of Andy's segments on YouTube, with two million+ views. Also, someone else has an AndyOnLetterman channel on YouTube.
DAVE AND PAUL GO SURFING
- July 12, 2022: This fun segment from the new LETTERMAN channel is from a week in Los Angeles, Sweeps month, 5/13/94. (link) Here's my entire episode log from this Los Angeles episode:
Dave and Paul go surfing. ••• Calvert as Johnny Carson ••• Johnny Carson ••• Top Ten Things We'll Miss about L. A. ••• Bette Midler ••• Dave and Zsa Zsa eat fast food. ••• Traffic with the CBSO ••• Dave and Zsa Zsa get into the pool in the backdrop.
WILL LEE: MUSICIANS HALL OF FAME BACKSTAGE
- July 10, 2022: Joe Chambers, founder and CEO of the Musicians Hall of Fame, introduces this pair of interviews with the great Will Lee. In addition to The Fab Faux (which goes back 23 years), Will's now has another band, The Band of Other Brothers. Will is a tremendous interview and communicator. He really knows the music scene, and all kinds of musicians. His 33 years on Letterman - with guest musicians on the show almost every night - no doubt played a significant part in the connections he has. (Part 1) Then it's back to 2004 for Will and Joe. (Part 2) Will tells about the early days of Late Night with David Letterman.
DAVID LETTERMAN: THE NEXT JOHNNY CARSON?
- July 4, 2022: Our pal Don Giller ran across this 42-year-old TV Guide. This story ran in April 1980, just before Dave's morning show was announced. Click through Don's Twitter post for a scan of the article. Thanks, Donz!
DROPPING STUFF FROM A 7th FLOOR WINDOW OF THE ED
- June 16, 2022: It's Tomfoolery in the name of science - or Sweeps month - as staff drop perfectly good stuff from a window. It aired on 11/25/94. Included in the
fun, we have a watermelons and a pinball machine. Watch closely, won't you? (link)
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: JEFF MARTIN
- June 21, 2022: What a great surprise to hear from Flunky! Goodness... a loyal viewer would recognize his voice anywhere. I'm not sure what year Jeff signed on with LNDL, but we're glad he did. Along the way, Jeff's presentation turns to Flunky, and he describes him with the word dissolute. Well, I had to look that one up. It means, lax in morals or licentious. Then I had to look up licentious, which means promiscuous or unprincipled in sexual matters. Regular viewers had much to learn from Flunky.
I didn't know this. Jeff wrote the Late Night Anthem! I'll close with the comment that I really appreciate everything Jeff brought to the Letterman shows, and Flunky was perfect! Here's your YouTube link.
- June 11, 2022: I was reminded today of the two must-see Leaving Letterman videos, recorded by Walter Kim, and posted in 2015 and 2016. Part 1 is focused on staff learning that the show was going to end. In Part 2, you'll hear from Barbara Gaines (35 years), Kathy Mavrikakis (30 years), Rob Burnett (29 years), Jerry Foley (25 years), Jerry Foley (25 years), Steve Young (25 years), Bill Scheft (24 years), Joe Grossman (11 years) and Brian Teta (11 years) about their post-Letterman lives. I find it interesting that Paul Shaffer, Will Lee and Biff Henderson weren't interviewed for these videos.
BRUCE WILLIS: BADASS INTERN
- June 8, 2022: Here's the latest from the LETTERMAN YouTube channel. Bruce Willis plays a tough guy college intern for LSDL. Watch for cameos by Sarah Billington, Todd Seda and Schecky! The air date was June 8, 2009. (YouTube)
DAVID LETTERMAN SHOULD JOIN THE 60 MINUTES TEAM
- May 26, 2022: Neal Justin of the Minneapolis Star Tribune has posted an interesting opinion piece, praising My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. He stated that Dave is thoughtful, considerate and curious, and has one of TV's best interview shows.
TOP TEN THINGS I'LL MISS ABOUT
WORKING AT THE LATE SHOW
- May 20, 2022: Today marks seven years since the final Late Show. Here you'll see 10 of Dave's long-time staff laying a few jabs on him. If the video comes up with closed captioning, you can click it off. (YouTube)
BILLIE EILISH TAKES DAVE GO KART RACING
- May 18, 2022: What happens when a musician takes on an owner of Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing? Danger! This is a fun couple of minutes of preview of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction. Watch it now, or else! (YouTube)
DAVE DIDN'T GET BEATEN UP
AT THE NETFLIX COMEDY FESTIVAL
- May 17, 2022: Dave talks about the weekend's lunar eclipse... well, actually he talked more about solar eclipses. (YouTube) In other news, Dave didn't get beaten up at the Netflix Comedy Festival... on either weekend. Dave laments that he's "not funny enough to be attacked onstage." Nonsense!
35 YEARS OF LETTERMAN, VOL. 1: 1980 - 1993
- May 9, 2022: Robert Wilson has taken on a project of assembling best-of playlists of Letterman segments, that will span 1980 - 2015. The source will primarily be our pal Don Giller, with some coming from the new LETTERMAN YouTube channel. Here's #1.
TOP TEN PIECES OF ADVICE ON HOW TO BE A GOOD MOTHER
- May 8, 2022: From her kitchen in Carmel, Indiana, Dave's mom, Dorothy Mengering delivered her Top Ten Pieces of Advice on How to Be a Good Mother. This gem aired on May 7, 2010. Watch closely, won't you? (YouTube) I'm sorry about any ads from body builders.
BILLIE EILISH NEEDS NO INTRODUCTION
- May 7, 2022: My Next Guest Needs No Introduction will re-emerge in Sweeps Month, on May 20. Hey... that's the 7th anniversary of Dave's last episode of LSDL. The Netflix promotion reminds us of Dave's numerous Emmys, the Peabody Award, the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor and The Johnny Carson Award for Comedic Excellence. I'm looking forward to the visit with Billie Eilish!
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: ZOE FRIEDMAN
- May 3, 2022: Here's a fun 10 minutes, presented by Zoe Friedman, an intern, and later a talent coordinator. She was involved in a few wacky segments of her own, network debuts for some, and stunts by well-known stars. (YouTube)
DAVE'S FUN WITH PHOTOS
- May 2, 2022: Gaines is the host of this installment. She has the pictures, and TV Boy fills in the story. (YouTube) We see macaroni, a bison, or some other kind of varmint, bears in a forest, etc. I think Dave and the host are in front of a green screen. The background is always a blurry picture of a room, and our panelists are in perfect focus. Click the icon to see more from the channel.
THE MERGING: EAST AND WEST
- April 30, 2022: On January 25, 1990, The World's Most Dangerous Band traveled to the Tonight Show, where they played the Late Night theme with Doc Severinsen's band. It's a great collaboration, and a fun look back. (YouTube)
JIMMI SIMPSON TALKS ABOUT LYLE THE INTERN
- April 26, 2022: Jimmi Simpson played the ever-creepy Lyle the Intern 14 times, from 2/05/08 to 11/19/09. He'd turn up unexpectedly, plant himself in a guest chair and do his creepy banter, until Dave ran him off. Apparently the Stangels dreamed up the character. I think it's genius. From the new LETTERMAN channel, here it is. When you've seen that, you are hereby instructed to go watch the entire Lyle collection (with 1,000,000+ views), compliments of The Donz. (YouTube) It runs 66 minutes. Thanks, Donz!
DAVE RESPONDS TO YouTube COMMENTS
- April 25, 2022: Former Executive Assistant Mary Barclay hosted TV Boy as he replied to viewer comments and questions. It's like Viewer Mail or the CBS Mailbag without the peppy theme song. Watch closely, won't you? (YouTube)
ALLOW ME TO PRESENT RUPERT JEE AS DR. MEAT
- April 25, 2022: From a quarter century ago, 5/23/97 , (and I don't remember a thing about this fun CBS Mailbag segment), it's TV's Rupert Jee as Dr. Meat. Don't miss this, as Rupert's attire includes a codpiece. I looked it up. They're from the 15th and 16th centuries, so 100 to 200 years for that ridiculous fad! (YouTube)
THE LETTERMAN PODCAST ANNOUNCEMENT
- April 20, 2022: The Letterman Podcast premiered today. (Facebook post) It's a project of Letterman fan Mike Chisholm. Our host reports that it will be free, and available from sources of other podcasts, plus YouTube. Here's a link to the first live podcast. The YouTube HD version will be up tomorrow, Thursday.
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: BIFF HENDERSON
- April 19, 2022: There isn't a man, woman or child alive today who won't like this compilation, introduced by Biff Henderson. His favorite moments, over 34 years with Dave, include his remote to a Super Bowl, Fun with a Bullhorn, May We Turn Your Pants into Shorts?, and being hypnotized (maybe... maybe not) on 4/05/96 by Marshall Sylver. Biff contributed so much to Dave's shows over the years. It's only fitting for him to be included in this series. (YouTube video)
THE MUSICIANS ON LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN
- April 17, 2022: Here we see an exceptional effort by Don Giller. Viewers of Late Night with David Letterman were treated to the talents of the members of The World's Most Dangerous Band, who added greatly to the success of the show. On episode one, February 1, 1982, the band consisted of Paul Shaffer, Steve Jordan, Hiram Bullock and Will Lee. As you know Paul and Will spent the next 33 years with Dave. Hiram Bullock was replaced by Sid McGinnis in 1984, and Steve Jordan would be replaced by Anton Fig in 1986.
This blog is full of details and quotes. It's obvious that Don spent a colossal amount of time bringing all of this history together. Few other people would be capable of what he has produced here. Part 1 is an amazing documentary on the formation of the WMDB, and its members over 11 years.
When I first linked to this blog, there was only Part 1. Not long afterward, I revisited and found Part 2. The Guest Performers and More. This includes links to nine spreadsheets... each with minute details of musical performances on LNDL... available for download.
With my thanks and admiration, here's your link, including Part 1: The Musicians on Late Night with David Letterman, and Part 2: The Guest Performers and More.
HOW DAVE GOT KNOCKED OUT
- April 12, 2022: On the occasion of Dave's 75th birthday, he joined Barbara Gaines to tell the tale of getting knocked out last summer, while on a college campus visit to Rhode Island with Harry J. Letterman. The YouTube video runs about nine minutes. There was a fire truck, ambulance, IVs and 180 stitches. I know we're all glad there was a happy ending.
I wondered re: the first video in this series if Dave and host are in front of a green screen, as the background is fuzzy. Well... maybe, but from the episode with Mary Barclay, there are subtle differences in furniture placement, lighting, etc. OK... this edition of the video welcomes guests to send questions or comments to Barbara at 765 273-3611.
BEST OF LETTERMAN SERIES
- April 10, 2022: I don't know who posted this compilation, but Don Giller produced the segments I've seen so far. This extravaganza is in five parts... each video spanning several years. In total, there are 10 hours, from 1980 - 2015. (reddit.com link)
DAVE'S FAVORITE SHOW MOMENT: A WALK ON ZE WILD SIDE
- April 6, 2022: The Letterman YouTube channel just posted "Dave's Favorite Show Moment." Former segment producer Mary Barclay hosts TV's David Letterman in this episode. It's 80-year-old rocker Gertrude "Gerty" Molzen with a Lou Reed number, Walk on the Wild Side. (Gerty: YouTube video) (Lou: YouTube audio) Didn't the CBSO play this as a bumper song now and then? Anyway, Gerty blows the roof off the dump, and the WMDB was so good on back-up. My logs show Lou appearing on Dave's shows 21 times, depending on what you count, and including a tribute to him when he passed at the age of 71.
KIMMY KIMMEL'S FAVORITE MOMENTS
- April 5, 2022: Jimmy Kimmel is a huge Letterman fan, and has been since he was a kid. The Letterman channel invited Jimmy to review his favorite moments from the show. In this 15-minute video, Jimmy talks about "Just Shades" and "Just Bulbs," Larry Bud's fiasco with hot towels, and one of the great classics, Rena Smaha with her disagreeable monkeys. Here's my video of the full monkey segment. Talk about monkeyshines!!
LETTERMAN BUMPERS WEBINAR
- April 3, 2022: It's the 40th anniversary of the program that Larry "Bud" Melman warned us about, but that's not why I called you here. Arlen Schumer narrated this 43-minute YouTube video. Arlen is a graphic designer, and he added to the photos that Marc took. He gives us his memories about the bumpers. Don't miss this video!
Marc Karzen took the pictures for the bumpers that led into - and out of - most commercial breaks. I highly recommend Marc's 72-page coffee table book of the bumpers. (Amazon link) (lettermanbumpers.com) (arlenschumer.com)
AL CHEZ TO THE WORLD DRUM CORPS HALL OF FAME
- March 30, 2022: Today, longtime CBS Orchestra member Al Chez posted to alt.fan.letterman the wonderful news that he's being inducted into the World Drum Corps Hall of Fame. Here's Al's Facebook post, which in part of a day, has about 1,000 congratulations.
FOO FIGHTERS AND JOAN JETT
BLOW THE ROOF OFF THE DUMP
- March 30, 2022: It was a Sweeps month home run! My future bride, Joan Jett, joined the Foo Fighters on LSDL on Nov. 11, 2011 for an amazing performance of Bad Reputation, released in May 1980. MTV was born on August 1, 1981. I watched MTV daily, to see my other future bride, Martha C. Quinn, and learned about Joan there.
YouTube has official audio of Bad Reputation. It has 12 million+ hits!
In 2011, the aforementioned musicians came to The Ed to perform the song. It was tremendous... and it was a perfect showcase for Taylor Hawkins' talent and energy. Taylor passed away on March 25, 2022. The YouTube video linked here has almost a quarter million views. I highly recommend it!
Finally, if ever there was any doubt about how much the Foo Fighters mean to David Letterman, I'd just point out that the last song ever heard on LSDL was Everlong, which the Foo Fighters performed as a video montage of 33 years of Letterman rolled.
PAUL SHAFFER'S STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS
- March 29, 2022: Don't miss this! It's Paul Shaffer's Staff Favorite Moments. Included are: Dave almost accidentally kills Paul, Paul's parents join Paul onstage, Dave calls Paul's mother, Dave disappears and Paul looks for him on other shows' sets, the origin of "Paul's Cape Thing" (my Paul's Cape Thing Page), and Darlene Love's annual Christmas (Baby, Please Come Home) performance. (YouTube link)
DAVE, ELLEN AND MARY: GRAPE TOSS CHALLENGE
- March 28, 2022: In this YouTube video, our friends amuse themselves for two minutes by throwing grapes at a glass. Mary Connelly is really good at it, and may be our winner. LNDL fans will remember Mary playing Connie Plescoe (an imaginary, pregnant character) from 1986 to 1988. Then, beginning in November of 1990, she threw footballs around the office a few times. By 1991, that led to the Mary Connelly Football Challenge, and Mary Connelly's Quarterback Challenge, vs. NFL players. In 1992, Dave and Mary worked out at Yankee Stadium. The last record I have of Mary on Dave's shows was in late 1993. She was a segment producer in 1993. It was excellent to see these three again!
DAVE ON THE WILL SMITH / CHRIS ROCK OSCARS DUSTUP
- March 28, 2022: The new Letterman YouTube channel has this one-minute video with Barbara Gaines as the host, and Dave doing the talking... (who knows where). He'd just like to remind us that there was no violence when he hosted the Academy Awards in 1995.
A LOOK BACK AT THE 1995 OSCARS
- March 28, 2022: Here you'll see the first 11 minutes of TV Boy doing stand-up before the Academy people. "Oooprah... Uuuuma." There's quite a range of opinions, but I think it was fine. Hey! That was before Dave had the gap in his front teeth fixed. (YouTube)
NO BETTER LETTERMAN GUEST THAN AMY SEDARIS
- March 10, 2022: In an impressively-researched feature by Tom Smyth for Vulture, we're reminded of the very entertaining appearances by Amy Sedaris on LSDL, spanning 2001 to 2015. My episode logs have her at 33 appearances, including the time she delivered Paul Shaffer's cape. I'll let the article speak for itself, but I assure you that this is very good writing!
THE WORLD'S MOST DANGEROUS BAND
- March 2, 2022: Don Giller, in The Donz Blog, has a look at the evolving names of Paul Shaffer's band, finally ending with The CBS Orchestra. (The Donz Blog link)
DAVE FIRES HENRY COLLECTION
- February 26, 2022: This series ran in the early 1980s. (I didn't start logging until late 1985. Thank goodness for Don Giller!) Poor Henry, who appeared to be 90-something, repeatedly got fired for innocent shortcomings, by that heartless bastard, Dave. The carnage goes on for about 55 minutes! One time, Henry (Paul Andor), played Louise, a feeble cleaning lady, who also was put out to pasture. (YouTube)
- February 26, 2022: It's late at night, and I've got nothin' to do, so I'm watching Jeff Martin as Flunky, the Late Night Viewer Mail Clown. Thanks to TV's Don Giller for slapping this together. According to my episode logs, Flunky's segments only ran until 1989. I have no idea why we didn't see more of it. (YouTube)
GORDON COOPER CALLS COLLECTION
- February 25, 2022: Here's Don Giller's compilation of phone calls from Mercury astronaut Col. Gordon Cooper... about 1.5 hours of them! They ran in the 1980s. (YouTube link)
THE PEACE THROUGH DRAMATIZATION PLAYERS
- February 25, 2022: Don The Donz Giller posted this almost five years ago. It's one of my favorite recurring bits on LNDL, "The Peace Through Dramatization Players." Regulars included Jeff "Flunky" Martin, Chris Elliott, Marie O'Donnell, Steve O'Donnell and Shecky. (YouTube link) This extravaganza runs 85 minutes. Thanks, Donz!
MERRILL MARKOE ON "THE DAVID LETTERMAN SHOW"
- February 23, 2022: I ran across this on the new Letterman YouTube channel. Merrill looks back at off-the-wall skits from the morning show, as well as the premiere of some favorites, like Viewer Mail and Stupid Pet Tricks. Merrill was Dave's girlfriend in those days, and it's kind of interesting that she kept referring to him as Mr. Letterman. (YouTube link)
STEVE O'DONNELL'S SHOUT OUTS FOR DON GILLER
- February 24, 2022: I'm not sure what podcast this is. Steve O'Donnell's the guest. As a long-time Letterman writer, he has great appreciation for the tireless work of Don Giller in archiving all of Letterman. This podcast is dated Oct. 20, 2017. (YouTube link)
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: HAL GURNEE
- February 15, 2022: This YouTube video has Hal Gurnee looking back at some memorable moments from the Late Night years. I've always had great appreciation for what he did for the shows. His last show as director was on May 26, 1995.
PAUL SHAFFER INTERVIEW WITH SQUIRE BARNES
- February 13, 2022: TV's Paul Shaffer gave a three-minute interview with Squire Barnes of Global News in Vancouver two days ago. It's always most excellent to hear from him. Closed captioning often amuses me. Maybe there isn't an easy way to fix obvious errors. Paul, talking about his time as a youngster in Thunder Bay, said, "...one didn't think it was possible to go into show business." Closed captioning turned show business into Chauvis, whatever that means. (I can't find it anywhere.) (Facebook link) In case you're wondering, yes, they did misspell Shaffer.
PAUL SHAFFER AND THE VANCOUVER SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA
- February 11, 2022: Paul has concerts two days this week with the VSO. Together they - along with Valerie Simpson - will play his favorite songs, including Paul's own It's Raining Men. (announcement page) (tickets page) (Paul's announcement on YouTube) I have not yet found a link to download the full concert.
SÉBASTIEN TREMBLAY'S LETTERMAN PASTICHE
- February 11, 2022: This post is about a Letterman pastiche (I had to look up the word) created by Sébastien Tremblay, in honor of our pal, Don Giller. This YouTube video is a masterpiece that brings together countless players in Letterman history. You'll see producers, writers, regular guests, Dorothy, Don Giller, Drew Barrymore 1995, Flunky, the Late Night Viewer Mail Clown, Rupert, Tony Randall, Tony Mendez, Marv, Chris Elliott, Bill, Will, Alan, Gaines, Hal, Biff, Felicia, etc. etc. Sébastien has them floating around... crossing paths with each other, all set to the legendary Late Night with David Letterman theme song. This reportedly took 150 hours to complete.
DAVE RE: BALL STATE PAIRING UP WITH
RAHAL LETTERMAN LANIGAN RACING
- February 9, 2022: Here's Twitter video (51 seconds) of David M. Letterman commenting on a partnership of RLL Racing to provide annual scholarships to Ball State eSports team members. (Dave has some new Paul Shaffer glasses, by the way.) Learn more @RLLracing. Here's a related article in the Feb. 12 Indianapolis Star. Apparently you have to be a subscriber to see the picture.
FUN WITH RUPERT
- February 8, 2022: Here you'll find a fun, two-minute recap of Fun with Rupert on the new Letterman YouTube channel. Dave would send Rupert's lines by radio. The segment stopped when an exasperated citizen pulled a knife on Rupert. (link) Anyway, in this video, Dave tells the story of the series, as Rupert does his thing. The series started back in the 1990s, but wasn't referred to by the Fun with Rupert title. Rupert was first introduced to North America on 9/20/93 . A check of my episode logs shows the segment was first seen on 12/02/94 , and it was known as Rupert and Me. My entry on 5/12/95  was without a title... just "Rupert bothers people." I know they did one for 5/08/96 . I was there, in the front row of the Palace of Fine Arts, at a taping in San Francisco. Late in the 1990s, Leonard Tepper helped out. You can bet Leonard pushed the envelope!
DAVE WORKS AT TACO BELL®
- February 8, 2022: Letterman and crew had a number of remotes that became legendary. Two that immediately come to mind are Larry "Bud" Melman offering hot towels at a bus station, and Dave's unwelcome visit to the General Electric building, on the occasion of GE acquiring NBC. The subject here is Dave working the drive-through window at a Taco Bell in New Jersey, for 6/17/96 . The segment was aired in parts, as there was so much good stuff, and it turned up in repeats, over the years.
Writer Rodney Rothman tweeted this week, "This was the first 'remote' I oversaw at Letterman... I was sure it sucked, and I was gonna get fired. Then the opposite happened." It went great, Rodney! (YouTube video)
TOP TEN VIDEOS FROM THE LETTERMAN YOUTUBE CHANNEL (SO FAR)
- February 7, 2022: Ramsey Ess of vulture.com has counted down his favorite videos on the new LETTERMAN channel. Included in the list are Taco Bell, Kaufman vs. Lawler, Stupid Pet Tricks, Norm MacDonald, Dave's mom, Dorothy, and Larry Bud with hot towels. Be sure to have a look!
"LATE NIGHT" 40th ANNIVERSARY SHOW
- February 2, 2022: I'll list a few recaps and reviews, as I find them. Variety reports, "Late Night at Its Best." I found some of the points interesting, but quickly tired of the author's pompous writing style.
LETTERMAN ON YOUTUBE
- February 2, 2022: Well, I thought the YouTube channel, Letterman, was brand new. Nope. It was born on Nov. 20, 2006, and there are 205,000 subscribers. It just hasn't been used. All 122 videos have been added in the past two days! So far, the videos are an assortment of memorable guest interviews and scripted segments.
STAFF FAVORITE MOMENTS: STEVE O'DONNELL
- February 2, 2022: Here's former LNDL head writer Steve O'Donnell talking to the camera, with back stories on lots of memorable segments in the Late Night years. (YouTube link) Don't miss it!
PAUL SHAFFER PLUS ONE: DONALD FAGEN
- February 1, 2022: Donald Fagen of Steely Dan is Paul Shaffer's guest on this episode of Paul Shaffer Plus One. Paul definitely knows the music scene, which leads to a very interesting interview for SiriusXM. I'm no authority on Steely Dan, but I knew I have one song by them on my iTunes. It's Reelin' in the Years. (YouTube) I played it just now, and thought, "That has to be a 70s song." Yup: 1973. I don't have any information, but I feel like the CBSO played it on LSDL often. Steely Dan produced another classic 70s song, Do It Again. (not the Beach Boys' song of the same title)
THE STORY OF LATE NIGHT BUMPERS
- February 1, 2022: Marc Karzen, the photographer for LNDL, tells about collaborating with Bob Pook and Edd Hall on the Late Night-themed photos seen transitioning into and out of commercials. (YouTube link)
PAUL SHAFFER'S LETTERMAN, SNL AND
BLUES BROTHERS MEMORIES
- February 1, 2022: I just stumbled onto this interview that Paul Shaffer did for vulture.com, posted yesterday. I have great respect and appreciation for Paul, and found it fascinating. Here's your link!
"TODAY" ON THE 40th ANNIVERSARY OF "LATE NIGHT"
- February 1, 2022: The Today Show has about a six-minute segment to recognize the big anniversary. Harry Smith drops an item from a window. (Twitter video)
HELLO DELI'S 30th ANNIVERSARY CELEBRATION
- January 31, 2022: According to my calculator, Hello Deli went into business less than a year before Dave also moved into the Ed Sullivan Theater building. This event, which included the mayor of New York proclaiming Hello Deli Day, took place on this cold January day, right under the Hello Deli awning. A podium was set up for speakers. That group included Rupert Jee, Mae and Paul Shaffer. Our old friend, Pat Farmer, was on the scene, too. The PA setup wasn't effective, so it's very difficult to catch everything said. I'll always remember Rupert for his tremendous hospitality for the DaveCons I was part of. He always found time for us, our questions and our photo ops, and the food there was always yummy! Rupert was the last person I talked to on my last DaveCon trip, in 2015. If you're not aware, Hello Deli is at 53rd St. and Broadway. (YouTube link)
DAVE ON THE 40th ANNIVERSARY OF "LATE NIGHT"
- January 25, 2022: TV's David Letterman will appear on Late Night on February 1, the 40th anniversary of episode #0001, reports Entertainment Weekly and, no doubt, hundreds of other sources over the next few days. Here's a quick video from Seth Meyers, with the exciting news.
Here, thanks to Don Giller, is a YouTube video of LNDL #0001.
"AL MAHER'S BOX O' THRILLS"
- January 22, 2022: Compliments of The Donz, here's "Al Maher's Box o' Thrills Collection, 1989." This segment ran Jan. - Feb. 1989, and along with random objects being dropped on Dave's desk, we get Paul's peppy them song. Watch closely, won't you?
LOUIE ANDERSON, 1988-1997
- January 21, 2022: Everyone was saddened by the passing of Louie Anderson this week. Don Giller is on it, with 55 minutes of Louie to remember him by. He had a bunch of ironic takes on ordinary life that left me thinking I should look for. RIP, Louie.
COUNTDOWN TO AN ANNIVERSARY
- January 17, 2022: Here's the latest project from our pal, Don Giller. Late Night with David Letterman premiered on NBC on February 1, 1982; therefore, a 40th anniversary is imminent. Today, Don posted 93 minutes of video that documents the pieces coming together. (YouTube link) We'll see Dave making the announcement on the Tonight show. There are interviews: Hal Gurnee, Paul Shaffer, Will Lee (who was with Dave 33 years), Dave plugging the show with Johnny Carson, Dave with Jane Pauley on Today and Calvert DeForest with Paula Zahn (?). Hal gives the back story on Calvert delivering the eerie warning message as the first episode began. I didn't know that it was inspired by the beginning of Frankenstein (1931)!
Then we get into LNDL #1. Bill Murray was the first guest (and the last guest 33 years later). Don Herbert, Mr. Wizard, a childhood hero of mine, was the second guest. (There was an upload glitch in the video near the end.) Steve Fessler wraps the episode with a dialog from Bowery at Midnight. Thanks so much to Don Giller for his tireless work, as usual!!
Here's my log from LNDL No. 0001: opening announcement and warning by Larry Bud, NBC Peacock Girls, Bill Wendell's intro, Dave appears, "What Would You Like to See on Late Night TV?", [all night long: welding], a tour of the set, Bill Murray / Bill dances to Olivia Newton-John's "Physical", a message from the Undersecretary of Education, the first remote: "The Shame of the City," Mr. Wizard (Don Herbert), show ends with Steve Fessler reciting lines from the movie Bowery at Midnight
LETTERMAN CAMEO ON "SEINFELD"
- January 16, 2022: I don't know the story behind this, but in 1996, TV Boy was seen during the closing credits of a Seinfeld episode. It's just silly stuff, as you might imagine, similar to the "Would you like to buy a monkey?" scene. Please note that this 43-second clip is ©1996 Castle Rock Entertainment, so you'll probably end up in the slammer if you watch it. (YouTube link) / OK... since you begged me... here's a similar one, from 11-06-95.
VIEWER MAIL: THE GREATEST RECURRING SEGMENT
- January 12, 2022: The Donz Blog by Don Giller has a real interesting look back at the origin and success of Viewer Mail. (link) Head writer Merrill Markoe cooked up the segment. I didn't know that it began on Dave's NBC morning show. It reappeared in the second week of Late Night. As a fan with about 600 hours of Dave's shows recorded, I almost always recorded Viewer Mail. Don, by the way, is compiling yet another massive database, that will cover the history of the segment.
Note: You can download Don's Viewer Mail database info as PDFs. It will be useful to first read his blog, to learn what he's done. The links are clearly marked, at the end of his blog.
RONNIE SPECTOR ON LETTERMAN, 1983-2010
- January 12, 2022: RIP Ronnie Spector, who we lost today. She formed the Ronettes in 1963. I certainly remember them. Don Giller released this collection today. (YouTube)
BOB SAGET ON LETTERMAN
- January 10, 2022: RIP Bob Saget, who we lost way too soon this week. Don Giller has added his latest compilation to YouTube. It runs almost two hours. Don't miss Bob's pretzel dispenser!
WILL LEE: "SHOULDER WORTH CRYING ON"
- January 3, 2022: Will Lee, who needs no introduction here, posted a YouTube video today. It's a very catchy song. I don't know why he went with animation.
DAVE IN "THE PEEPING TIMES" (1978)
- January 3, 2022: I've never heard of this one! It's an off-the-wall spoof of investigative reporting, from January 25, 1978. TV's David Letterman is one of the intrepid reporters. Don Giller posted it to YouTube four years ago. It's 55 minutes of nonsense.
ALLEN LUDDEN AND BETTY WHITE WITH LETTERMAN
- January 1, 2022: This extravaganza, compliments of Don Giller, of course, spans 1978 - 2012. The occasion, as you probably all know, is that Betty White died yesterday, just 16 days before her 100th birthday. Personally, I considered Betty a Top Ten guest on Letterman. She wasn't on a huge number of times, but she was always fun and hilarious. Don's compilation runs 1:18. (YouTube)
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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