David Letterman

David Letterman

Age
67
Birthday
Apr. 12th, 1947
Born in
Indianapolis, Indiana, USA
Height
6' 1 1/2"

David Letterman's Main TV Roles

Show Character(s)
Late Show with David Letterman TV Show
Late Show with David Letterman
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson TV Show
The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson
Late Night With David Letterman TV Show
Late Night With David Letterman
The Jacksons TV Show
The Jacksons
The David Letterman Show TV Show
The David Letterman Show
 

Main Movie Roles

2005 - Grizzly Man
1999 - Man on the Moon
1998 - Meeting People Is Easy
1997 - Private Parts
1996 - Beavis and Butt-Head Do America
1996 - Eddie
1994 - Cabin Boy

Guest TV Roles

Show Name
Characters Played
Ep Count
David Letterman
2
Rags (Voiced)
2
Himself
1
Ellsworth
1
Himself - Host
1
David Letterman
1
Himself (Voiced)
1
[Complete List]



BIOGRAPHY:

Television would never be the same after David Letterman made his second attempt at a television show in 1982. But his career before becoming host of the show was quite an interesting and long one. Letterman was born in Broad Ripple, a neighborhood in Indianapolis. His childhood was relatively unremarkable, but he exhibited tendencies of the class clown and showed a very strong independent streak as a child. Letterman went on to graduate from Ball State University in the late 1960s and married Michelle Cook in 1969. From 1970 to 1974 he worked as a weatherman and TV announcer and from 1974 to 1975 as a radio talk show host.

As the late 1970s approached, Letterman was working as a struggling stand-up comic at The Comedy Store and started writing for television shows. He wrote for the summer series "The Peeping Times" and for such shows as "Good Times" (1974). Letterman had become something of a minor celebrity by 1978, by which time he had appeared on "The Gong Show" (1976), Mary Tyler Moore's variety series "Mary" (1978), "Liar's Club" (1976), "The $10,000 Pyramid" (1973), "Password Plus" (1979) and the variety series "The Starland Vocal Band Show" (1977). (It was also revealed on the Game Show Network that Letterman hosted a pilot of a game show in the seventies called The Riddlers (1977) (TV), but it was not made into a series.)

This exposure prompted many appearances on "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" (1962). He became so popular that he was permanent substitute host by the end of the 1970s. NBC saw great potential in the young irreverent comedian, so they gave Letterman his own daytime talk show, "The David Letterman Show" (1980), which was a disaster and aired for only a few months. At about this time, Tom Snyder (I) was having problems with his late-night show, "The Tomorrow Show" (1973), which aired after the "Tonight Show." His problems were mostly with his co-host, Rona Barrett, and Snyder was forced off air in late 1981. Letterman, who was still permanent co-host of the "Tonight Show," took over the post-Carson slot with "Late Night with David Letterman" (1982).

Letterman's show was extremely unconventional. For starters, Letterman was very political, whereas Johnny Carson (I) had steered away from political jokes. Letterman's early antics changed talk shows. He would often stage elevator races in Radio City Music Hall. He made random calls to strangers and talked about the strangest subjects. At one point, Letterman got his associate Larry "Bud" Melman to stand outside the Russian Embassy and hand out pamphlets encouraging defection. He often made his guests feel uncomfortable with his intelligent and abrasive style, and guests often participated in funny and unusual skits with him. Letterman became almost an instant success, and some say he surpassed Carson in popularity.

As the late 1980s approached, Letterman was becoming more and more of a household name, often at odds with the censors over his show, and never one to kowtow to guests' wishes. But that only made him more popular, and he garnered more and more status as a world class talk show host. Among the more classic moments in his early show was the time he covered his suit with Alka Seltzer and jumped in a vat of water. Letterman helped Andy Kaufman (I) with his wrestling saga, as Kaufman and Jerry Lawler pretended to get in a fight on "Late Night." Letterman also became known for his on-screen reclusiveness with respect to other shows. While Carson at one point in his career would often make cameos and guest appearances, Letterman would shy away from cameos and stuck almost solely to doing his "Late Night" show.

In 1992 Johnny Carson (I) made a landmark announcement: he was retiring. Many thought that Letterman would be the natural choice as Carson's replacement, but many at NBC were leaning toward current "Tonight Show" substitute host Jay Leno. The battle was very public and very vicious, but in the end Leno won out, and Letterman continued hosting the post-"Tonight Show" slot. But in 1993, Letterman made his own big announcement: he was leaving NBC for a lucrative contract with CBS to star in the "Late Show with David Letterman" (1993). The battle intensified even more. NBC claimed that many of Letterman's gimmicks and jokes, including throwing the pencil at the camera, the Top Ten List, and Larry "Bud" Melman, among many others, were NBC's "intellectual property." NBC lost, but Larry "Bud" Melman would now be called by his real name, Calvert DeForest, on the CBS show. Competing in the late night wars with not only Leno but also Chevy Chase, Arsenio Hall and Ted Koppel, Letterman consistently won over all of his competition until the summer of 1995, when Leno had guest Hugh Grant (I) on his show to discuss his highly publicized arrest for being caught with prostitute Divine Brown (I) and Grant cried on screen. The ratings were tremendous, and Leno has consistently been beaten Letterman ever since.

In recent years, Letterman has toned down his act. He dresses more conservatively and tends to go the more traditional route of talk shows. It can be said that every talk show since, including Craig Kilborn and especially 'Conan O'Brien', has been influenced a great deal by Letterman's unconventional, irreverent, off-the-wall style. It was thought that Letterman was going to retire in the mid-'90s, but an impressive $14 million-per-year deal has kept Letterman with CBS. Near-tragedy struck, however, in January of 2000 when Letterman was diagnosed with coronary arterial blockage and underwent quintuple bypass surgery. The operation was successful, however, and Letterman received countless get-well cards and a great deal of publicity. Among David's better-known incidents in recent years have been Drew Barrymore (I)'s infamous table dance, an interview with a bizarre and ditzy Farrah Fawcett, his appearance in the movie Cabin Boy (1994) (written by and starring his former "Late Night" writer and performer Chris Elliott (I)), his stint as host of The 67th Annual Academy Awards (1995) (TV), and his appearance in the Andy Kaufman (I) bio Man on the Moon (1999). When "Politically Incorrect" (1994) was canceled in 2002, Letterman was sought after to leave CBS for ABC, but he declined to do so and stayed with CBS, where he will probably remain for quite a while.

Aside from being a talk show host, Letterman is an active producer. His production company is called Worldwide Pants. Over the years he was executive producer of his original show, his new show, "Everybody Loves Raymond" (1996), "The Building" (1993), "The Bonnie Hunt Show" (1995), "The High Life" (1996), "The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn" (1999), and "Ed" (2000).


TRIVIA:
  • Born at 6:00am-CST.
  • Had a running gag with Indianapolis radio station WNAP during the 1970s. He would telephone in comedic "reports", allegedly from the Indiana State Fair, using the name Moferd Pardo.
  • Early in his television career, Dave did some ring announcing work for an Indianapolis wrestling promotion run by Dick the Bruiser ('Dick Afflis' (qv)). Years later on NBC, Dave nicknamed his band "The World's Most Dangerous Band", based on Dick the Bruiser's nickname of "The World's Most Dangerous Wrestler".
  • In 2007, Forbes Magazine estimated his earnings for the year at $40 million.
  • Was a resident of New Canaan, Connecticut, but moved to Westchester County, New York, around 2001.
  • He often does an in-joke that only his studio audience will understand. This is done by speaking with the audience before taping begins and finding out where people are from, what they do, etc. During the opening monologue, he will then make a reference to one of the audience members.
  • Multi-purpose names he uses for any man: "Larry," "Kenny," and "Rodney". Multi-purpose names for women: "Linda".
  • Funds a scholarship at Ball State University (his alma mater, class of 1969).


Related sites for this celeb
» IMDB
» BuddyTV
» TVGuide
» AceShowbiz
» Celebrity-Mania
» Zap2it.com
You are successfully logged out.
login
[close]

ShareTV Login

Username
Password
Enter the text in the image shown if you are human.
WARNING: after 2 more failed attempts you will be locked out
[close]

Create Account

Username
Password
Verify Password
EMAIL

Verification code (check your email for the verification code)

Verification code has been sent to the following email address:
If you didn't receive the verification code:

1. Check your bulk/spam folder.

2. Try to whitelist our email address (noreply@sharetv.org)

3. Resend verification email

If you mistyped your email address change it here
Create a free ShareTV account to make a personalized schedule of your favorite TV shows, keep track of what you've watched, earn points and more.
Verify your username and email to complete your Registration
Enter the text in the image shown if you are human.
WARNING: after 2 more failed attempts you will be locked out
[close]

Forgot Your Password?

EMAIL
Enter the email address you used to create the account and your password will be emailed to you.