Brown - Light
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Claim to Fame
Late Show with David Letterman (1993)
Writer, Producer, Actor/Actress
Has Detailed Data (New)
Profile Bio Text
David Letterman is a gap-toothed, grouchy, balding and bespectacled comedian, who has been the funniest man on television for more than twenty years. He is old enough that as a youngster he admired radio star Arthur Godfrey. When Letterman watched The Tonight Show as a boy, the host was Steve Allen and then Jack Paar -- and Letterman was watching. He was 14 when Johnny Carson took over in 1962, and always looked up to Carson as the best of the best, the epitome of comedy and class. For years, Letterman wanted to be Johnny Carson.
Letterman married his college girlfriend, Michelle Cook, a music major, and got his own degree in telecommunications. Then he went to work as a wacky weatherman in Indianapolis, occasionally making up cities that didn't exist ("Eight inches of snow in Bingree and surrounding areas"), and once erasing state borders from a weather map during a broadcast. He anchored the evening news for a short while, and even hosted a news/talk radio show. Too funny to play it serious, though, Letterman starred in a local kiddie show, and wisecracked as host of late night TV "Freeze-Dried Movies" until he quit his job, loaded his possessions into his truck, and left Indiana in 1975.
In Los Angeles, Letterman wrote for Good Times, the Jimmie Walker sitcom. Letterman became popular in local comedy venues, making friends with another young comic, Jay Leno, though Letterman now says he hasn't heard from Leno in years. Letterman wrote songs and comedy for The Starlight Vocal Band Show, and after his stand-up gigs, he cheated on his wife with more than one woman who wanted to catch a rising star. The marriage ended in 1977, before Letterman had even enough success to be ordered to pay alimony. His ex-wife got custody of the car and the dog.
Over the next few years, Letterman did the daytime game shows (Liars Club, Password, The $10,000 Pyramid, The Gong Show, etc.), and sang and danced (woodenly) on Mary Tyler Moore's short-lived sketch comedy show Mary. When he made his first of dozens of appearances on Carson's Tonight Show, after doing a few minutes of stand-up, he was invited to join Carson on the couch -- at the time, the highest honor any comedian could earn.
His own David Letterman Show debuted in 1980, but it was aired weekday mornings, opposite game shows and soap operas. Wacko actress Edie McClurg was a regular, and the show was humorous, but housewives didn't seem to get the jokes, so the show was cancelled after just a few months. It was nominated for five Emmys, and won two -- one for writing and one for the host.
Letterman's Late Night debuted in 1982. With Paul Shaffer, Chris Elliott, Dwight the troubled teen, gruff but lovable Gus, Larry "Bud" Melman, the NBC bookmobile, and "The Museum of the Hard to Believe", Late Night proved a perfect follow-up to Carson's Tonight Show on NBC. Unlike other talk shows' predictable chats with stars hawking movies or authors selling books, Letterman's interviews were irreverent, unpredictable, smart-alecky and sarcastic. He had memorable on-air spats with a few stars who needed to have their egos punctured, including Cher, Madonna, and Shirley MacLaine.
In 1991, Letterman, well-known for his Connecticut speeding tickets, was involved in an accident in St. Petersburg when his rental Chrysler collided with a pick-up truck in a rain-slicked intersection. The police report found neither driver at fault, but two people in the pick-up were injured. Letterman later visited both, apologizing profusely, and paid $125,000 to settle their medical bills -- apparently without being sued.
In 1992, when Carson retired and NBC announced that Leno would take over The Tonight Show, Letterman felt jilted, or worse, that his career was over. Carson had always been Letterman's idol, and hosting Tonight had always been Letterman's ambition. He had guest-hosted Carson's show exactly 50 times, and Letterman was a guest on Carson's next-to-last Friday night show, ten days before Tonight would be Leno's show. Letterman took the opportunity to offer Carson a job.
"I have a show," said Letterman. "You could be on my show. You could be a guest. You could be a guest host. Come to think of it, you can have the damn thing. Why not? Things ain't that great." Carson laughed and said, "You're still pissed, huh?" Even Carson thought Letterman would have been a better choice than Leno to take over Tonight. On Carson's advice, Letterman took his "Top 10" lists and his band leader Shaffer to CBS, and started The Late Show with David Letterman.
Late Show's schtick includes most of the familiar bits from Late Night, as well as "Will it float?", "Is this anything", "Know your current events," "Dr. Phil's words of wisdom," innovative ways to beat the hell out of announcer Alan Kalter, and stagehands
Broad Ripple High School, Indianapolis, IN (1965)
BA Telecommunications, Ball State University (1969)
Full Name at Birth
David Michael Letterman
Page Display = 2 (Legacy)
Count - Awards
Harry Joseph Letterman
Janice Shelton, Gretchen Letterman
David Michael Letterman (born April 12, 1947) is an American television host and comedian. He hosts the late night television talk show Late Show with David Letterman, broadcast on CBS. Letterman has been a fixture on late night television since the 1982 debut of Late Night with David Letterman on NBC. In 1996, David Letterman was ranked #45 on TV Guide's 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time. In 2013, Letterman surpassed friend and mentor Johnny Carson as the longest-serving late night talk show host in TV history, at 31 years. On April 3, 2014, Letterman announced he will retire sometime in 2015 around the conclusion of his current contract which ends in August 2015. CBS announced that Stephen Colbert, comedian, writer and host of Comedy Central's The Colbert Report since 2005, will take his place.
Has Detailed Data (105)
Talk Show Host, Actor, Producer, Writer,
Couple Profile Source
Talent Agency (e.g. Modelling)
Creative Artists Agency, Celebrity Talent International, Richard De La Font Agency
Super Bowl ad with Jay Leno and Oprah promoting Dave's "Late Show" on CBS (2010)
Gap Tooth Grin
www.nndb.com/people/395/000022329/, www.rotten.com/library/bio/entertainers/comic/david-letterman/, twitter.com/Letterman, www.cbs.com/shows/late_show/, www.youtube.com/user/TheLateShow
Posted by brian 1 year ago
what a hot band. love all their music
Posted by Joe 1 year ago
Would love to meet you before I die,
Posted by greg fischer 1 year ago
We are unable to find our family pictures. We would like to order our pictu...
Posted by Michael Wren 1 year ago
You can find the statue proposal on Kickstarter dot com