1. David Letterman
held plenty of tv jobs before finding his place as the host of Late Night. One of the first big breaks that David Letterman got in small screen comedy was a guest spot on the sitcom Mork & Mindy. In a far cry from his usually wry persona, he played a charismatic new age guru.
2. Some of the most memorable shenanigans on the David Letterman show have involved him intruding on other television shows, preferably live ones. He once interrupted a live local news show by strolling through the studio, much to the dismay of Al Roker, who was on-set at the time, and in the midst of a segment. In another prank, David Letterman interrupted a live taping of The Today Show by yelling through a bullhorn, claiming to be the president of the NBC network, and announcing that he was, in fact, wearing absolutely no pants.
3. David Letterman’s son, Harry Joseph, is named after Letterman’s late father.
4. David Letterman started his career as a weatherman for the Indianapolis television station WTHR, where he was a weatherman. Gradually, his unique brand of off-beat humor crept into his segments. In one famous example, when describing a storm, he said that it featured hail “the size of canned hams.”
5. According to a 2005 statement by Jay Leno, he and David Letterman had not spoken to each other in thirteen years.
6. David Letterman occasionally works under the pseudonym “Earl Hofert.” The name comes from his maternal uncle, and is the name that appears instead of David Letterman in the credits of the film “Cabin Boy,” in which Letterman plays a minor role.
7. David Letterman wasn’t always a late night face. In 1980, he was given a chance to host his own daytime talk show. It lasted just three months before it was cancelled, but still managed to take home two Emmy awards.
8. David Letterman showed an early flair for comedy; his high school yearbook shows that his classmates at Broad Ripple High voted him the official “Class Smart Alec.”
9. In his early years as a late night talk show host, David Letterman was so unpredictable with and, in some cases, combative towards his guests, that some celebrities specifically asked their agents not to book them on the David Letterman show because they were afraid of what might happen.
10. David Letterman has certainly given some trouble to his guests, and over the years some of his guests have given him trouble right back. He was even attacked once on-air, when actor Crispin Glover playfully attempted to kick him square in the forehead. Glover’s appearance on the show was later named by Cracked magazine to be the one of the top five Most Obviously Drug-Fueled Television Appearances Ever. You can watch the clip, and see the rest of the list, at http://www.cracked.com/modules.php?op=modload&name=News&file=article&sid=880
11. David Letterman is an avid racing fan, and is part owner of the Indy auto racing team Team Rahal.
12. On September 17th, 2001, David Letterman was the first major network comedy star to return to the television airwaves after the attack on the twin towers. For that episode, the cheering crowd and theme song that usually start the show were replaced by a heartfelt and respectful monologue in which Letterman shared his confusion and disbelief about the events of September 11th.