David Letterman hosted this popular late-night comedy/talk-show. Often, Dave would go on location or to the phone lines to play pranks. Some famous features of the show include the "Top Ten" lists and "Stupid Pet Tricks" (complete with slow-mo). Fans of the show will also remember Dave's use of unusual camera placements (Sky-Cam, Guest-Cam, etc.) and Dave's supporting cast (Paul Shaffer, Chris Elliott, Larry Bud Melman). Many famous guests and bands appeared on the show.Written by
Tad Dibbern <DIBBERN_D@a1.mscf.upenn.edu>
Thanks to the reliable laughs he generated, as well as the spontaneity of his interaction with Dave, one comic became the signature "Late Night" guest: Jay Leno. They had been linked from the earliest days together in the comedy clubs. Now they helped each other establish reputations as the two funniest guys with attitudes on television. Jay appeared almost forty times on "Late Night," and the staff almost felt these shows were the best of the season. See more »
Larry "Bud" Melman:
Good evening. Certain NBC executives feel it would be a little unkind to present this show without just a word of friendly warning. We're about to unfold a show featuring David Letterman, a man of science who sought to create a show after his own image -- without reckoning upon God. It's one of the strangest tales ever told. I think it will thrill you. It may shock you. It might even horrify you. So, if any of you feel that you don't care to subject your nerves to such a strain, now's your ...
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"Late Night with David Letterman" is without a doubt the most clever, experimental (apologies to Steve Allen and Ernie Kovacs), and downright hysterical television program in TV history. To describe it would be pointless, because so many different things would happen in a given show. From about 1986 to about 1990 was Dave's finest period (he was still smiley sarcastic Dave and hadn't yet become angry sarcastic Dave), but the show was very solid overall. The Top Ten lists on those shows were 50 times better than the lists on the CBS show, and to me are some of the most valuable comic documents of this century, a sort of numerological Dave Barry.
Kids, you think Tom Green was the first person to get into confrontations on camera? Check Dave when he went to bring "those weasels at G.E." a fruit basket and was promptly escorted out. Sure Viewer Mail and Stupid Pet Tricks were Dave's trademarks (both superior to the CBS versions), but it was things like the "Late Night Thrill Cam" and "Network Time Killers" and the show filmed in an airport, and the show that was played at a high speed to "save time," etc. that made Late Night the best thing on TV when it was on.
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