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March 07, 2010



Early diner? I was always under the impression that this show came on at 8pm or 9pm at night.

DJ ManRich

Brilliant article!
Thanks for that.
Some of his sordid TV past must have been the impetus for a particularly amusing episode of the NBC Late Nite Show where he lampooned bad variety shows from the 70's for an entire episode. This was sometime in the mid-eighties and even the opening and closing were 'in character'. It was called something like The David Letterman Summer Happy Funtime Hour. The set was hideous, the did some intentionally corny skits and he even lip-synced a Bobby Goldsboro-type song to a bunch of beehive hairdo'd women.
I would love to see it again.

Listener Coolie

I have always found it much more fascinating to hear or read about what goes on BEHIND the cameras than what goes on in front of them. Terrific post, Kliph!


Love these in-depth posts, Kliph. Keep 'em coming.

Never knew Dave had been on Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, which brought to mind Paul Shaffer's wicked Kirshner impersonation from his SNL days.

Marv Mendenhall

I wonder how Edwin Newman felt about his role on the Letterman morning show.


I was always fond of Dave's stint as the Starland Vocal Band's "Roving Reporter," interviewing folks like the SVB's "Brother Billy," as the interviews always became contentious, and resulted in Dave warning his subject, "Well, now I'm gonna have to deck ya." That's a Master Moment that's stayed with me over the years, and sums up in a few seconds Dave's lasting appeal for me.


I'm a big fan of Kliph's work generally, but holy cow, this was one of the best ones ever. Good work--thanks a lot.


Kliph has hit a Grand Slam!
I have been totally entertained for several hours checking out Dave's career. I remember his crappy game shows, but I always loyally watched them in disbelief; it was as if he and the network were putting all of us on! My own mother despised him, but I liked him from the first time I ever saw him because he had a space between his front teeth-- just like my girlfriend.
He sure "paid his dues" and I feel that is much of the reason why he is one of the finest entertainers of our time.

Ira Shorr

After hearing about Kliph on Maron--it's been a bonanza of great writing about a
now not so "lost" comic age from whence I come. Thanks!

Michael R.

Found out on the commentary track of the Kentucky Fried Movie, Letterman auditioned for the part of the newscaster. Thinking how the words "The Popcorn you're Eating has been Pissed in, Film at 11" if he said it.


Have you heard Alec Baldwin's discussion with Letterman on Baldwin's "Here's the Thing" podcast? They cover some of this ground and it's interesting to hear Letterman talk about his past -- a very rare bit of introspection.

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