David Letterman (b. 1947) is an award-winning American television host, comedian, writer, producer, and actor. In 1982 Letterman became host of the NBC television program Late Night (a show which was handed over to Conan O'Brien after Letterman's move to CBS). In 1993, Letterman moved to CBS to become host of the Late Show (a show which was handed over to Stephen Colbert in 2015 after Letterman's retirement). Letterman's band leader throughout his talk show career was Paul Shaffer.

Letterman got his start in show business as a weatherman in Indiana before making his move to California to be a comedy writer. Performing stand-up comedy at The Comedy Store, he got his first major break as a cast member on Mary Tyler Moore's variety show Mary. Guest appearances on Mork & Mindy and game shows followed, leading to numerous appearances on The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. In 2013, Letterman surpassed friend and mentor Johnny Carson as the longest-serving late night talk show host in American TV history. In total, Letterman hosted 6,028 episodes over a period of 33 years.

Letterman has also made guest cameos on Murphy Brown, Seinfeld, The Dana Carvey Show, The Nanny, and the Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon. He hosted the 67th Annual Academy Awards and appeared as one of the stars in Night of 100 Stars. Letterman appeared in an episode of Hollywood Squares in the 1970s that also featured Big Bird (footage from this appearance was featured in the 2014 documentary I Am Big Bird).

During a 1984 appearance on Late Night with David Letterman, Jack Paar took David Letterman down the hall to reveal the Muppet pipes. Upon seeing the pipes, Letterman questioned Paar, "How long did you keep this poor guy waiting in here, Jack?"

Behind the scenes, Letterman served as a producer on the Sesame Street television specials Families Stand Together and When Families Grieve.


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