Search the FAQ Archives

3 - A - B - C - D - E - F - G - H - I - J - K - L - M
N - O - P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z - Internet FAQ Archives Frequently Asked Questions (Part 1 of 3)

[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index | Neighborhoods ]
Archive-name: letterman/faq/part1
The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list
Last-modified: Fri Jul 5 00:10:32 CDT 1996
Version: 9.12
Part 1 of 3

See reader questions & answers on this topic! - Help others by sharing your knowledge
                     Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) 
                               for the 

From New York: Still the world's largest CHAT ROOM ...

It's the FAQ LIST for David Letterman!


the A. F. of L. newsgroup ...


FAQ compiler Aaron Barnhart ...


Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra ...

and now ...

a man who refuses to give up his clunky old Newton 110 ...



                                   *   *   *                         

              Top Ten Questions Asked on the A. F. of L. Newsgroup.

                                   *   *   *                         

10.	Where can I write to get free tickets to the Late Show?

	ANSWER:  Send a postcard (no letters) with your name and 
	address to

		Late Show with David Letterman
		Ed Sullivan Theater
		1697 Broadway
		New York, NY  10019

	Requests are limited to 2 tickets.  Only one request per
	six months is allowed, and a response is not guaranteed.
	Ordinarily, requests for specific dates cannot be accommodated,
	but it doesn't hurt to ask.

9.	Where can I find today's Top Ten List?

	ANSWER:  Check out the CBS Home Page at 
	(that site has a complete and searchable archive of CBS
	Top Tens).

8.	What happened to the TOPTEN mailing list?

	ANSWER:  CBS Television owns it now, but as yet has not revived
	it.  For now, go to their Web page.

7.      Why does Dave cackle and then give me that weird look when he's
        sitting at his desk?
        ANSWER:  He wants you to switch off your t.v. and go to bed.

6.	Can I send e-mail to Dave?

	ANSWER:  Yes! is the official mailbox
	of LATE SHOW WITH DAVID LETTERMAN and is manned by the show's
	research department.  Your mail will be instantly
	acknowledged by a mailbox "robot" at the LATE SHOW and you
	may subsequently get a personal response from a staffer --
	but don't hold your breath.

5.	Remember every night in the early months of _Late Show_ when 
        Dave would get a standing ovation?  Whatever happened to that?

        ANSWER:  It's been replaced by the hourlong, uninterrupted
        sitting ovation.

4.	Hey!  Last night I was watching Jay Leno's show and he did a
        comedy bit that was exactly like one Dave had done on *his* 
        ANSWER:  We're not counting the monologue, twit. 

3.	We're coming to New York next week!  Any chance we can get
        standby tickets for the show?
        ANSWER:  Sure.  See below.

2.	Why doesn't Dave have guest hosts on his show, like Johnny 
        Carson used to have on The Tonight Show?
        ANSWER:  Look where it got Carson.

And the Number One Question Asked on the A. F. of L. Newsgroup:

1.	Who do I need to sleep with to use the Letterman archive at 
        ANSWER:  Yeah, I know, it's a pain trying to get in.  There's
        not much I can do about this, now that the archive is sitting
        at about 35 megabytes.  MCSNet generously donated that space
        in late 1993 and since then has seen its customer base increase
        30-fold.  They have been raising the number of simultaneous FTP
        sessions allowed, but obviously not enough to meet demand.  Be
        persistent and keep logging in.  If you are an Internet Service
        Provider and are willing to make a long-term commitment to house
        a mirror of the Letterman archive, by all means drop me a line. 

                                   *   *   *                         

              Questions People Ask About David Michael Letterman.

                                   *   *   *                         

Was Dave born to an actual American family?

	On April 12, 1947, to Joe and Dorothy Letterman.  Dave's dad
	was a florist and had what Dave calls a "big personality.  He
	was loud and liked to goof off and say funny things and do things
	to provoke you and get under your skin."  By contrast, Dave's
	mom, as we have all witnessed, "is the least demonstrative person
	in the world."  When Joe died over 20 years ago, Dave said it was
	"the worst time in my life."  Dave's mom was church secretary
	for many years at Second Presbyterian Church in Broad Ripple,
	Indiana, now part of Indianapolis, which is where the
	Lettermans (including Dave's two sisters) grew up.  She is now
	remarried and living quietly in Indy, except when she's out 
	promoting her new cookbook. 


I understand that during his growing-up years, Dave was pretty much,
and I'm quoting now, a "dork."

	Over 30 years ago, Dave worked during high school in the
	Atlas Super Market, an Indianapolis institution even
	then.  Caroline Latham's book "The David Letterman
	Story" shows Dave standing next to an enormous side of
	beef.  It is fair to say that in the photo Dave looked
	(quoting an poster) "like a
	16-year-old serial killer."  In his own defense, Dave
	has said, "I think there's something wrong if high
	school is the greatest experience of your life."


Where did Dave attend college? 

	Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana.  He was a TV/Radio
	major with a minor in speech, and pledged Sigma Chi.  Some of
	his frat brothers described Dave as very funny and self-confident.
	Dave has been generous with donations to the university and was
	largely responsible for the new Sigma Chi building at Ball State.
	In 1985 he endowed the David Letterman Scholarship there, an
	annual gift to a telecommunications major based solely on his
	or her creativity, *not* grades.


Is Dave married?

	Dave was married to his college sweetheart Michelle Cook, but
	they divorced in 1977.  Then from 1978 to 1988 he was involved
	with comedienne Merrill Markoe were engaged, who met him on
	the standup circuit and went on to become Late Night's first
	(and, many would agree, best) head writer.  But that fizzled --
	Merrill told the New York Observer (12/11/95) that her last
	words to Dave were, "Why don't you go fuck yourself" -- and she
	took off for California and a writing career.  Dave is presently
	in a relationship with former Late Night staffer Regina Lasko,
	who is also active in Dave's professional life and is 
	reportedly pushing for marriage (see Dave's interview with
	Entertainment Weekly, 12/4/95).


I heard that Dave used to be a weatherman in Indianapolis.

	From 1969 to 1974, as an intern and later a full-timer,
	Dave worked for his hometown Channel 13 as booth
	announcer, host of a Saturday morning kids' show and of
	the late-late movie, and yes, as weatherman.  Dave once
	reported that the city was being pelted with hail "the
	size of canned hams" and he also enthusiastically
	congratulated a tropical storm when it was upgraded to
	hurricane status.  Another gem: "Let's take a look at
	the cloud-cover photograph made earlier of the United
	States today and I think you'll see that once again
	we've fallen to the prey of political dirty dealings.
	And right now you can see what I'm talking about: the
	higher-ups have removed the border between Indiana and
	Ohio, making it one giant state!  Personally, I'm
	against it."

Didn't he have a radio show, too? 

	For about a year following his t.v. job.  It was at WNTS,
	back when it was all-talk.  This gig did not go so well
	for him.  "I was miscast because you have to have somebody
	who is fairly knowledgeable, fairly glib, possessing a
	natural interest in a number of topics," he later told an
	interviewer.  "That certainly is not me.  I don't care
	about politics. ... The Nixon-Watergate nonsense was the
	perfect example of something about which I knew nothing
	and couldn't have cared less."  So Dave got bored and
	started making stuff up.  According to Caroline Latham, he
	once told listeners that their beloved 230-foot-tall Soldiers
	and Sailors Monument "had been sold to the island of Guam,
	whose government planned to paint it green in honor of
	their national vegetable, the asparagus."  >>> It has been
	rumored that Dave got fired for his on-air remarks at
	Channel 13 or WNTS.  In fact, the only place he ever got
	yanked from was Ball State's pathetic 10-watt all-classical
	campus radio station.


What else can you tell me about Dave's career in show bidness?

	When Dave arrived in Hollywood in 1975 he found work as
	a comedy writer for Jimmie Walker and Paul Lynde.  In
	the summer of '76 he starred in the CBS four-week
	vehicle for the Starland Vocal Band (they supplied the
	songs, he supplied the laughs), and in 1978 was a player
	on Mary Tyler Moore's short-lived variety show, also on
	CBS.  Because of his friendship with game-show legend
	Allen Ludden, Dave landed a guest-star spot on Dick
	Clark's _$10,000 Pyramid_ and Ludden's own _Liars' Club_
	as a "guest celebrity."  (Incidentally, he was brilliant
	on the _Pyramid_: he never had to guess the answer more
	than once.  But Dick Clark plainly didn't care for
	Dave's efforts to insert snide comments into the
	fleeting moments given over to actual banter.)
	In his career, Dave has also played a Werner
	Erhard-alike in an episode of _Mork and Mindy,_ a sleazy
	Hollywood agent-type in a _Laverne & Shirley_ episode
	(though I haven't seen that one), made several
	appearances in _Open All Night_ (a t.v. show which
	lasted the season between the morning and late-night
	shows), and appeared in a murder mystery called _Fast
	Friends_ that starred Dick Shawn as a talk show host who
	drops dead and is replaced by Dave (later Shawn would
	actually keel over on stage and expire, and it would be
	a couple of minutes before the crowd realized he wasn't

	More recently, Dave has made small appearances in _The
	Building,_ _The Larry Sanders Show_ (playing himself,
	he leaked to Larry that the 12:35 show on CBS would be
	given to Tom Snyder, which in fact turned out to be
	true), and the Adam Resnick-Chris Elliott feature film
	_Cabin Boy_ (1994).  He has also co-produced two
	sitcoms, both for CBS, both busts, both with Bonnie
	Hunt: _The Building_ and _The Bonnie Hunt Show._


I wonder why Dave doesn't do more movies?

	In fact, Dave was under contract to Touchstone Pictures,
	but has since extricated himself from it.  What happened
	was Michael Eisner, the chairman of Walt Disney Company,
	signed Letterman to *not* do movies for other companies.
	"Eisner's kid had gotten ol' Dad to wrangle some tickets
	when Dave was in L.A.," recalls Bill Jones, who saw Eisner
	interviewed by Bob Costas on _Later._ "Eisner ... got
	excited when he got there and saw the huge lines and
	movie-premiere atmosphere.  He's thinking, this guy is like
	a movie star/rock star already. What could we do if we
	actually put him in the movies?  Delighted to find the next
	day that Dave had no movie obligations, they contacted
	Dave's people.  They were shocked to find that our TV Pal
	wanted no part of any movie deal. He was pretty sure he
	would suck, and told them so many times. ... Dave suggested
	they go look at his screen test for _Airplane!_ in the role
	eventually played by Robert Hays.  After the contract was
	signed, they finally did, and Eisner said he turned white
	as a ghost -- Dave really was that bad." Eventually, as
	Bill Carter reports, the contract was terminated and Disney's
	money more or less cheerfully refunded. 

	Dave named his movie production company Cardboard Shoe.
	Before that, he had a production company for his NBC morning
	show (1980) called Space Age Meat, and his 1981 HBO special
	"Looking for Fun" was a Recreational Poultry production.
	Dave owns the rights to his current program on CBS, his
	morning show and HBO special, but not to _Late Night._


What the hell is this thing Dave's got for Tom Snyder?

	Dave was a big _Tomorrow_ fan and has claimed to have
	seen between 80 and 85 percent of the shows that ever
	aired (Merrill Markoe, his live-in at the time, says
	Dave "revered" Tom).  So although strictly speaking he
	is the man who displaced Snyder in 1982 -- but NBC
	accelerated Tom's demise by pairing him with Rona
	Barrett and turning the pleasant chatfest into the
	obnoxious _Tomorrow:  Coast to Coast_ -- Letterman has
	always said publicly that Snyder ought to be on network
	television again.  Sure enough, in August of '94 Dave
	made good on his word, but as poster
	Bill Jones pointed out, it's not the first time:  "Much
	of the first ten Carson years of the Tonight Show were
	erased [1962-72, the New York years].  They were going
	to do same thing to the Tomorrow tapes after Snyder was
	gone, but they were stopped by -- David Letterman!  One
	of the reasons that ... Tom described Dave as a true
	friend."  (Those tapes are now safely stored at the
	Museum of Broadcast Communications in Chicago.)


I've heard it said that had Dave gotten the _Tonight_ gig, he would've
abandoned the _Late Night_ format entirely -- not just honed its rough
edges like he did on CBS -- and done a show very much like Carson's.

	The writer and infomaven Mark Evanier, who knows Leno,
	Letterman and many of the people who work for them,
	says, "One of Dave's current writers even told me he was
	glad D.L. didn't get the gig because he thinks Dave
	would have dumped most of the staff, moved to Burbank
	and done something that more resembled a variety show." 
	Yet no one will dispute that Dave *has* made a
	significant change by switching networks and venues.  He
	may not do a variety show but whatever that is he's
	doing, it ain't the old _Late Night._  Merv Griffin once
	said that all talk show hosts must freshen up their
	format every few years.  He said he did it by switching
	networks and time slots, while Johnny Carson did it by
	firing his staff.  If those are the primary choices,
	then it seems Dave has chosen to take the Merv road.


I have wondered if Dave was a recovering alcoholic.  He had John
Larroquette on the show one night, who is recovering, and talked about
the days when he used to drink heavily.

	Unfortunately, Dave is just the kind of enigmatical,
	jealously guarded private person that the media looove to
	speculate about.  He is not forthcoming at all about his
	personal life in this or any other department.  For the
	record, Dave used to drink a lot but gave it up not long
	into his _Late Night_ run.  And yes, whenever you see him
	tippling from a bottle of colored liquid purporting to be
	cooking sherry during the culinary segments of the program,
	you can be rest assured it's not alcohol.  The bottle
	switch is the oldest trick in the book.


Who was the woman who kept breaking into Dave's Connecticut home claiming
to be "Mrs. Letterman"?

	Margaret Ray.  And she still breaks in from time to time,
	according to Dave in his January 1994 _Playboy_ interview.
	He says he has tried to get her some psychiatric help,
	because the state has let her case "fall through the cracks."

                                   *   *   *                         

         Questions People Ask About _Late Show with David Letterman_
                           (CBS, August 30, 1993- )

                                   *   *   *                         

Wait!  I forgot to order tickets and I'm going to be in New York.  Are
there standby tix available?

	You may get standby tickets for the show each tape day at
	the box office at the Ed Sullivan Theater.  Standbys are
	distributed on a first-come-first-served basis, and are
	limited to one per person.  Standbys do not guarantee
	admission.  _You must be 16 or older to pick up a
	standby ticket and attend a taping._ And the consensus
	among those who've tried is that you had better get
	there early in the morning to have a shot at standby
	The actual giveaway of spare seats occurs at 12 noon.
	CBS pages now number the standby tickets as they give
	them out.  That way, recipients can enjoy the afternoon
	in beautiful Midtown knowing that when they return, they
	will reassemble in the same place in line they had


I've got tickets to the Big Show!  When should I show up to get good
seats?  Any other tips?

	The tapings start at 5:30 p.m.  Seating is on a first-come-
	first-served basis, and tickets are numbered when you
	arrive.  Try coming at about 1 p.m.  (Some attendees say
	come a little later, like about 2:30 or 3, to avoid getting
	seated right up front, where one's view can be obstructed
	by all the equipment.)  After your ticket is numbered you'll
	be told to return at 3:55 p.m.  At that time ticket holders
	line up by their numbers and are eventually escorted inside
	the building.

	Some former audience members endorse *not* getting advance
	tix but waiting in line for standbys instead, the advantages
	being you have a lot more control over what day(s) you see
	the show (provided the line isn't too long), and you'll
	probably get balcony seats, which feature unobstructed
	views.  Standbys discussed above.  But if you want any
	chance of getting on camera, swapping gifts for t-shirts,
	or participating in the fabulous prize giveaways, you need
	to show up early and get a front-row seat.

	The Ed Sullivan Theater typically is chilled to between 48
	and 52 degrees Fahrenheit.


How are the nightly Top Tens put together?

	Jon Beckerman, who is now the show's supervising producer and
	de facto head writer, says:  "Every day each (or almost each)
	writer turns in a few topics.  Rob Burnett [the show's
	executive producer] pitches a few to Dave, who picks
	one.  At about 2:30 or 3:00 we get the topic for the night's
	list, and everyone turns in a page of jokes (anywhere from,
	say, 5 to 20) by 3:45.  [The head writer] (selectively)
	pitches jokes to Dave and composes the list from jokes that
	Dave approves.  As you can see, it's pretty last-minute."


When exactly did Dave start referring to himself as "Regis Philbin"?

	The earliest reported sighting I've made of Dave naming his
	alter ego was the 1989 broadcast from the Chicago Theatre,
	when Penn Jillette asked Dave to write his name on a playing
	card as part of a magic trick.  There's really nothing more to
	this than to Dave paying respect to his favorite broadcasters,
	a pantheon that includes Philbin, Toms Brokaw and Snyder, and
	Late Night's all-time most frequent guest, Marv Albert.


Well, finally Dave is back to reading multiple letters during the "viewer
mail" bit.  Why'd it take so long?

	Early in the show's CBS run, head writer Rob Burnett told
	a reporter that this was one of many "improvements" that
	needed to be made to the show to make it feel more fast-paced
	than the NBC version, since it was the consensus of Dave's
	staff that the earlier airtime for _Late Show_ required a
	tighter, peppier format than the old _Late Night._ There
	was probably also a practical consideration in that the
	writers no longer had Monday off, like they did at NBC, to
	plan multiple elaborate gags for the rest of the week,
	including viewer mail bits.  My guess is that no one was
	very happy with wagering the whole Letters segment on a
	single gag and that, despite the extra work involved, they
	figured out a way to shoehorn more letters in.  >>> By the
	way, if that "Letters, We Get Letters" theme that bookends
	the segment sounds familiar, you probably remember watching
	Perry Como on t.v. back in the 1950s (e.g., Kraft Music
	Hall).  That was *his* viewer-mail theme.


The audience laughter sounds sort of canned.

	First of all, the theater is heavily miked.  Second, the
	show clearly has more energy than the old _Late Night_
	did.  Third, audiences seem to be falling out of their
	seats at even the lamest monologue jokes, in stark
	contrast to the audience across America sitting in stony
	silence before their sets.  It's not fake laughter and
	applause you hear, but the excessive noises of an
	overhyped and giddy studio audience, and as far as my
	ear is concerned there's little difference between the


Has anyone else noticed that the show seems to be running a little long?

	Perfectly normal.  The show runs from 11:35:00 pm till 12:36:30
	pm Eastern time.

These days the show seems to have some pretty noticeable edits made to
it on a regular basis.  I don't remember the program being edited for
time quite so much back at NBC.

	Our pal Mr. Donz5 provides this eyewitness account:  "The
	first show I was lucky enough to attend was in 1984. There
	was a recurring shtick before each segment (or after, I
	forget which) where a model sang some insipid song. But
	the show ran too long, and every bit with the singer in it
	was taken out when it broadcast that night.  Shows are
	routinely edited for that very reason: it went on too long."
	That, however, is a minor instance.  There have been numerous
	reports in recent months of show tapings that have gone 
	deeply into overtime -- once, nearly an hour -- owing to
	Letterman's increasing tendency to stop the taping and re-
	shoot pieces he felt didn't go properly.  This represents a
	total departure from the days of Carson, when Johnny felt
	so strongly about keeping the broadcast going that, if he
	were still changing costumes after a bit and the time for
	the commercial break had ended, Ed McMahon would sit in
	Johnny's desk and move the show along.


Does the Microphone on Dave's Desk actually work, or is it just a prop? 
(Thanks Mark Weber)

	Yes, the microphone (an old RCA DX 77) does work, but is
	usually reserved for special occasions, such as when Dave
	is "playing along with the band" by hitting it with a
	pencil.  The crew at NBC gave him the mic when he left.
	Dave's primary mic is the wireless "tie-clip" variety.
	There was a report that Dave's mike was stolen off his
	desk during the renovation of the Ed Sullivan Theater in
	the spring of 1996, but I can tell no difference in the


What time do they tape the show?

	From 5:30 to 6:30 pm, Eastern time.  Says Dave, "Everything I
	do is designed to help me do the best job I can between 5:30
	and 6:30." The thing is done live, as Dave has always felt the
	energy would drain out of the show were everything subject to


Why are there *two* guest chairs?

	Siskel and Ebert.


I have a bet with my friend.  He says the Top Ten List grew out of
the "Book of Lists" that were so very popular in the late 1970s and
early 1980s.  I say it was a spoof on Casey Kasem's _American Top
Ten_ t.v. show.  Who's right?

	You're both wrong, according to Donz5.  "Actually, when
	Dave debuted the Top 10 on September 19, 1985, he preceeded
	it by mentioning McCall's [magazine's] October, 1985 'Top
	10 Sexiest Men' list. It grew from there."


What kind of ratings is the big shoo getting versus Jay et al.?


Aaron Barnhart
From: barnhart@MCS.COM (Aaron Barnhart)
Subject: Frequently Asked Questions (Part 2 of 3)
Date: 20 Oct 1996 03:01:09 -0500
Organization: MCSNet Services
Lines: 626
Approved: news-answers-request@MIT.Edu
Message-ID: <54cm85$>
Summary: This posting contains a list of Frequently Asked Questions (and
	their answers) about the Late Show/Late Night with David Letterman.
	New readers of the newsgroup should read this
	FAQ list before posting.
Xref: news.answers:84837 alt.answers:21289 rec.answers:24817

Archive-name: letterman/faq/part2
The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list
Last-modified: Fri Jul 5 00:10:33 CDT 1996
Version: 9.12
Part 2 of 3


Exactly what can a guy in a bear suit do in New York City?  (Thanks
Natraj Kini)

	o   Get into the "Flashdancers" strip club
	o   Hail a cab
	o   Enter the Russian Tea Room
	o   Get a hug from a stranger
	o   Convince an outdoor restaurant patron to share
	    her lunch with him
	o   Get the time from a stranger
	o   Say hello on a New York City payphone


What are some of Dave's "Indiana-isms?"

	From Tim Veatch --
	o   ask...or as we say in
	o   Bush...or as we say in Indiana...Boosh
	o   extra...or as we say in Indiana...extree
	o   Illinois...or as we say in Indiana...Illinoiz
	o   Italian...or as we say in Indiana...Eye-talian
	o   mosquitos...or as we say in Indiana...skeeters
	o   nuclear...or as we say in Indiana...nuc-u-lar
	o   President Clinton...or as we say in Indiana...Pars'dent Clinton
	o   pumpkin...or as we say in Indiana...punkin
	o   show business...or as we say in bidness
	o   similar...or as we say in Indiana...sim-u-lar
	o   special...or as we say in Indiana...spay-shul
	o   statistics...or as we say in Indiana...suh-tistics
	o   veteran...or as we say in'rin
	o   Washington...or as we say in Indiana...Warshington
	o   wolf...or as we say in Indiana...woof


Why did the _Late Show_ move its home office from Sioux City, Iowa
to Grand Rapids, Michigan in June 1995?
	Dave was a guest on CNN's "Larry King Live" on a Friday night
	and a caller from Grand Rapids made the request.  Dave said
	okay and on Monday it was done.  One year later, he moved the
	home office to Wahoo, Nebraska following a protracted and not
	terribly entertaining "graft competition" between the citizens
	of Grand Rapids and Wahoo, who were encouraged to send in 
	souvenirs and other goodies in an attempt to sway Letterman's
	decision (which needless to say was always, always going to
	go Wahoo's way).


I want to get an authentic K & L Rock America souvenir and possibly
glimpse Mujibur & Sirajul.  Where do I go?  

	K&L's Rock America is located at 1705 Broadway (10019), just
	down the street from the Ed Sullivan Theater.  The phone is
	(212) 757-3926.  (Thanks Tony Rice)


I rented that "Cabin Boy" video and Dave Letterman had a cameo in
the movie, but in the credits they announced that "Earl Hofert" played 
the part played by Dave.  Who's Earl Hofert?

	Possibly an uncle on his mom's side.  Every now and then you'll
	hear him use "Hofert" on the show.  Also "Henderson."


I heard that the late Bill Hicks was censored once on Dave's show!  They
never showed his act, and replaced him with some lame in-house comedian.

	Well, it's true.  On the night of October 1, 1993, comedian
	Hicks (who died in early '94 of pancreatic cancer) delivered
	a routine that, in post-production, was deemed inappropriate
	for broadcast.  Although initially co-executive producer
	Robert Morton claimed CBS standards and practices had
	ordered the cut, CBS later countered that *Worldwide Pants*
	had cut Hicks -- the truth is probably that both offices
	agreed on the excision.  In a subsequent piece in _The New
	Yorker,_ Hicks complained that Letterman's staff 86'd the
	routine because of attacks on pro-lifers that did not appeal
	to the show's "mainstream" audience, which Hicks clearly
	believed was a fiction.

	Angus MacDonald, who was in the audience that night, has
	a different interpretation of the events: "He did do a joke
	early in the same routine that could be taken as being
	anti-gay ...  Basically, Hicks made fun of bigots ... [and
	was] impersonating a bigot -- 'Those people have gone too
	far. We've got to draw the line,' or words to that effect
	-- for a stretch of many seconds during which there was
	virtually no audience laughter, though one guy in our row
	yelled 'Yeah' in agreement to the excerpt above.  Creepy.
	Because no one was laughing, Hicks had the worst of both
	worlds: controversial material that was not entertaining.
	The rest of his routine, as detailed in the New Yorker
	article and elsewhere, was well received.  There was almost
	no reporting about the gay joke, though, and I think the
	silence it induced may have had as much to do with the
	excision as the attack on right-wing Christians." 

	A recent special on the life of Hicks airing on Comedy
	Central included interviews with Dave and Morty, both of
	whom expressed regrets about the incident.  Dave said he
	felt even worse knowing that he won't be able to make it
	up to Bill now that he's gone.  Incidentally, the 10/1/93
	broadcast is the only one on CBS to have featured Dave as
	the introductory voice-over, since Bill Wendell had gone
	home before the decision was made to nix Hicks.


What's the deal with Teri Garr?  I heard she has MS.

	No, she has a degenerative back condition that went 
	undiagnosed for too long.  She's receiving treatment now.
	(Thanks Richard Handal)


Who are the the members of the "CBS Orchestra?"

	o   Paul Shaffer, leader/keyboards
	o   Anton Fig, drums
	o   Will Lee, bass guitar
	o   Sid McGinnis, guitar
	o   Felicia Collins, guitar
	o   Bruce Kapler and Tom "Bones" Malone, horns

	The first four players comprised The World's Most Dangerous
	Band when Dave was on NBC (more musicians from that show
	in the NBC section below).  There was talk that the network
	might litigate to keep certain items of _Late Night_'s
	"intellectual property," including the band name, so the
	boys came up with this in-your-face moniker.

What happened to funkmeister Bernie Worrell?

	He left.  It didn't work out.  Anyway, you'll agree the band
	sounds much better with a horn section, no?


Heyyy, knock me out with some of those great musical intros Paul and
the band have done over the years for Dave's guests.

	Below is a sampling -- please, no more submissions for this
	area!  Besides these, two selections should be singled out
	from the variety of bridges that Paul uses to play Dave over
	to his desk: the themes from "I Love Lucy" and the old Jack
	Benny t.v. show (it includes bars from "Yankee Doodle 
	Dandy"), two huge shows on the early CBS Television Network.

	o   Prince's "I Want To Be Your Lover" for Kim Basinger
	o   "White Lines" by Grandmaster Flash/Melle Mel for Cokie
	    Roberts (thanks Malinda McCall)
	o   "Everytime You Go Away (You Take A Piece of Me With You)"
	    by Paul Young following "Top Ten Things Overheard at the 
	    Lorena Bobbitt Trial"
	o   "I Am the Walrus" by the Fabs for Mike Wallace
	o   "Faith" by George Michael for Faith Ford
	o   "If" by Bread during Dave's throw-Wonder-Bread-at-the-
	    audience sequence
	o   "Turn, Turn, Turn" by the Byrds for Laura Dern
	o   "A Day in the [Dana] Life" for Dana Carvey
	o   "Thank You Falettinme Be Myself (Again)" by Sly & Family
	    Stone, as one of Dave's staff and his grade-school gym
	    teacher were re-enacting a groin rejuvenation exercise
	o   A Sam & Dave tune, when Sam (Donaldson) was on with Dave
	o   "Cocaine" by Eric Clapton following a Top Ten list
	    on the space shuttle Columbia
	o   "Raindrops Keep Fallin' on My Head" by B.J. Thomas
	    for Jay Thomas
	o   "Walk This Way" by Aerosmith for "Top Ten Things Aeroflot
	    Can Do To Improve Its Image"
	o   "It's Raining Men" (written by Paul Shaffer!) for Damon
	    Wayans (who used it for his "Blaine and Antoine" routines)
	o   "Joy to the World" by Three Dog Night for Jeremy Irons
	o   The theme from "Three's Company" for "Top Ten Good Things
	    About Marrying Tom and Roseanne"
	o   "Shipoopi," from _The Music Man_ for "Top Ten Ways To
	    Mispronounce Jeff Gillooly"
	o   "I Don't Know How to Love Him," as sung by the Mary Magdelene 
	    character in _Jesus Christ Superstar,_ for Mary Matalin (Joe
	o   The theme to the t.v. classic "Mr. Ed," for "Top Ten Signs
	    Your Name Is Ed" (thanks Dylan Behan)
	o   And this prize from viewer Wayne Snell:  "'Groovin' by the
	    Young Rascals for CBS newsperson Lesley Stahl (and I believe
	    also one time for actor Leslie Nielsen).  The explanation:
	    when 'Groovin' was hot on the radio in the '60s, there was
	    a controversy that one section of the song, 'Life would be
	    ecstasy/For you and me endlessly', was actually 'Life would
	    be ecstasy/For you and me and Leslie'!"


I know that Paul is from Canada, but where?

	Thunder Bay, Ontario.  He was born there November 28, 1949.


The voice of Worldwide Pants is ... ?

	Jay Gardner.


Who produces and directs LSWDL?

	Executive Producer -- Peter Lassally (longtime Carson associate)
	Executive Producer -- Rob Burnett
	  before Rob ... Robert Morton 
	  before Morty ... Barry Sand
	Supervising Producer -- Jude Brennan
	Supervising Producer -- Jon Beckerman (de facto head writer)
	Supervising Producer/Director -- Jerry Foley
	  before Jerry ... Hal Gurnee (see below)
	Head Writer -- Joe Toplyn (but his oversight duties are now
	                carried on by Beckerman)
	  before Joe ... Donick Cary (1995-96)
	  before Donick ... Rob Burnett (1992-95)
	  before Rob ... Steve O'Donnell (1983-92)
	  before Steve ... James Downey (1983)
	  before James ... Merrill Markoe (the original head writer, now a
	                    very funny authoress)
	Notable Ex-writer ... Chris Elliott
	Notable Ex-Visuals Coordinator ... Edd Hall (now the _Tonight_
	  show announcer on NBC and brother of Stupid Pet Tricks
	  coordinator Susan Hall Sheehan)

	Hal Gurnee's 15-year association with Dave as the director
	of all of his programs (beginning with the 1980 morning
	show on NBC) ended on May 26, 1995.  Dave gave a brief
	valedictory -- which I take it was even more recognition
	than the modest Gurnee sought -- at the end of that night's
	broadcast.  Dave thanked Hal generously for his work over
	the years, and singled out his vision for the Ed Sullivan
	Theater at a time when no one else, including Dave, could
	possibly imagine doing a television show in that unimproved
	dump.  A small plaque was mounted outside the show's control
	room acknowledging this contribution.  Hal continues in an
	advisory role to the program and is still listed in the
	credits for designing the show's opening sequence.  Before
	signing on with Dave, Hal spent the better part of a quarter
	century as Jack Paar's director for his various t.v.
	vehicles, most notably _The Tonight Show._


Boy, CBS sure pays Dave a lot of money.

	We don't know for sure what it is, but you're certainly
	right.  However, given that CBS is now earning several times
	in late night what it made with "Crime Time," its previous
	entry, he is well worth the cash.  Also, take a look at
	what other companies were willing to pay to get Dave.
	According to the writer Bill Carter, Viacom would have
	dished out $50 million per year, given Worldwide Pants a
	huge show budget, and made Dave the focal property, including
	possible special projects for Viacom-owned cable networks
	(MTV and VH1).  But Dave wanted to be on network t.v. and
	so no offers besides the Big Three's were ever seriously


Is the Late Show closed-captioned?

	It is.  Scott Barvian says, "They obviously do the captioning 
	after the final edits are done; all the spelling is correct 
	and nothing is missed.  They catch all of Paul's little 
	comments that [we] don't always pick up ... they even spelled 
	out Dave screaming in terror after picking up a hot towel 
	(OHHHH! AHHHH! JEEEZ!)."  This is true of all the late-night
	shows, in fact.  Jeff Zuk adds that sometimes the
	closed captioning will even tell you what song the band is
	playing.  But Karen Owen has noticed various errors in
	transcription, and she says whoever's doing the captioning
	has a limited knowledge of popular music prior to 1964 (for
	instance, always referring to the theme from the Ed Sullivan
	Show as "peppy show biz music").


Gosh, I'm young and stupid.  Wouldn't it be great to intern at the Late

	Currently there are about 15 internships at the show,
	including Dave's area, production, talent, research, music
	(Shaffer), sound (Michael DeLugg), mailroom, Rob's area,
	and writers.  The important thing to bear in mind when
	contemplating an internship is that it's not enough to be
	a "fan" of a given show.  General interest in broadcasting
	is essential.  After all, this is a broadcast internship,
	not a Dave internship.  And, oh yes, most of the time you
	can expect the work to be pure drudgery.  One book which
	rated the old NBC show one of the top 100 internships to
	have reported this tidbit: "Several interns reported having
	to fetch lunch for Dave ('every day it was the same pasta
	primavera and vegetable soup') or whip up a snack ('Dave
	always had to have his fresh pineapple -- cut in strips,
	not squares')."

	Still, what makes Dave's show distinctive is the good chance
	that as an intern you will be used on camera at some point.
	Pea Boy was an intern on the show, as was the recent
	character "The Lethargic Fan."  For all of the drudgery,
	you should remember that most of the present and past staff
	were interns, including Adam Resnick, Rob Burnett, Daniel
	Kellison, Mary Connelly, Spike Feresten, Donick Cary,
	Jennifer Crittendon, Holly Hester, and many more.  There
	are dozens more in top positions in the industry.


Is there some way to find out in advance what reruns of Late Night are
showing on the E! entertainment television network?

	Call (213) 954-2750.  Press 1 to hear the Late Night schedule for 
	the week (changes every Monday).  The reruns are aired "five
	Daves a week" at 10 p.m. Eastern time.  Or, check each week's
	issue of LATE SHOW NEWS (see the end of this FAQ).  In fact,
	that's the course I recommend, because some weeks E! doesn't
	even bother to update the hotline -- and wouldn't you really
	rather learn that on someone else's nickel?


Let's say I want to be a guest on the show -- what should I do?

	Directly from Dave himself: "I don't care who you are, I don't 
	care what you do.  If you have four funny stories, you can be a
	guest on this show.  That's what we're looking for."

                                   *   *   *                         

        Questions People Ask About _Late Night with David Letterman_
                     (NBC, Feb. 1, 1982-June 22, 1993)

        [Sorry, I'm no longer accepting submissions for this area.]

                                   *   *   *                         

What are the different cities where Dave's "home office" was located
during Late Night?

	o   Lebanon, Pennsylvania
	o   Lincoln, Nebraska
	o   Milwaukee (the first Late Night home office)
	o   Oklahoma City, Oklahoma
	o   Omaha (home of Arnie Barnes, who called in his own Top Ten lists)
	o   Oneonta, New York (the last Late Night home office)
	o   Scottsdale, Arizona
	o   Tahlequah, Oklahoma


What are the different types of "cams" that were used on Late Night?

	o   Amphi-cam (8th anniversary show at Universal Amphitheatre)
	o   Chair-cam
	o   Cow-cam
	o   Crash-cam
	o   Fig-cam (worn by Anton)
	o   Guest-cam (worn by Tom Hanks)
	o   Host-cam (worn by Dave, of course)
	o   Las Vegas Showgirl-Cam (from Dave's 1987 shows there)
	o   Love-cam (Bill Murray)
	o   Monkey-cam
	o   Sewer-cam
	o   Sky-cam
	o   Thrill-cam
	o   Thrill-cam 360
	o   Tiger-cam


What types of gifts did Dave give to audience members on his old show?

	o   Bacon
	o   Bagels
	o   Baked ham
	o   Beef
	o   Bug Busters
	o   Tom Brokaw stationery
	o   Cartons of cigarettes (handed out by Larry during a remote)
	o   Collapsible drinking cups
	o   Composters
	o   Edible plunger
	o   Fajitas
	o   French fries
	o   Frozen turkeys
	o   Gallon jars of mayonnaise
	o   Goodwill Games medals (given to audience members who asked
	        questions of Larry "Bud" Hussein)
	o   Handfuls of nickels from a big bucket
	o   Handfuls of watches from a fish bowl
	o   Hot towels (by Larry during a remote)
	o   Jumper cables
	o   Kentucky Fried Millipedes (actually a bucket of fried clams)
	o   Kielbasa
	o   Large squares of sod
	o   Late Night with David Letterman facial blotters (if you
	        were an *especially* good little audience member, 
	        Dave would use it first)
	o   One volume of an encyclopedia set
	o   Packs of assorted GE light bulbs
	o   Pounds of hair
	o   Randomly selected prescription eyeglasses (by Larry)
	o   Roll of garden hose
	o   Selections of fluorescent lighting
	o   Six dollars
	o   Sponges
	o   Tee-shirts (Larry: "Bob Rooney, please give that nice
		lady/gentleman two Late Night t-shirts")
	o   Tires
	o   Toast
	o   Toast on a stick
	o   _Today_ show coffee mugs
	o   Waffles

	No, I will *not* attempt to list all the giveaways since Dave
	moved to CBS and transformed the Ed Sullivan Theater into "The
	Price is Right."


What were the films in LNWDL's Holiday Film Festivals? (1985)

	o   "With My Own Eyes," by David Letterman
	o   "But I'm Happy," by Michael Keaton (with Clint Howard)
	o   A film on PMS, by Catherine O'Hara and Andrea Martin
	o   "Dress Cool," music video by Paul and the band
	o   "Why Bother?" by Bette Midler
	o   Industrial video spoof, by Harry Shearer, Christopher 
	    Guest, and Michael McKean

	From the "2nd Annual Holiday Film Festival" (1986):
	o   "Feelin' in Love,"  David Letterman
	o   "The Iceman Hummeth,"  Michael J. Fox
	o   "An Audience of My Own,"  Diane Sawyer
	o   "My Day With the Stars,"  Jonathan Winters
	o   "You Kill Me" (music video),  Paul Shaffer w/Teri Garr
	o   "Chris Elliott: A Television Miracle," w/George Takei
	    (aka Mr. Sulu from "Star Trek")


What are the different types of "suits" Dave has worn?

	o   Suit of Alka-Seltzer
	o   Suit of Lard (worn by someone other than Dave)
	o   Suit of Magnets
	o   Suit of Marshmallows (they tried to light the marshmallows
	        with propane torches but failed; eaten by audience)
	o   Suit of Nachos (eaten by members of the audience after
	    Dave was dunked in cheese)
	o   Suit of Rice Krispies (milk poured on Dave)
	o   Suit of Sponge (they weighed Dave, dunked him in water,
	        then weighed him again, but it was off the scale)
	o   Suit of Suet (Dave went into a cage of birds)
	o   Suit of Teabags (no, wait, that was Steve Allen)
	o   Suit of Vegemite (tm)
	o   Suit of Vegetables
	o   Suit of Velcro (Dave wore the soft part, then he jumped
	        onto a wall covered with the other part, and stuck)


When Chris Elliott was still writing for Late Night, what were some of
the characters he played?

	o   Marlon Brando
	o   The Guy Under the Seats
	o   Marv Albert
	o   Jay Leno (with large fake chin)
	o   Letterman imitation-- "Late Night with Chris Elliott"
	o   The Fugitive Guy
	o   The Nervous Guy
	o   The Regulator Guy
	o   Chris Elliott, Jr. (Morton Downey, Jr. take-off w/ lots
	    o' moles)
	o   The Panicky Guy
	o   The Conspiracy Guy
	o   Gerard Mulligan's baby boy, "Kevin" (complete w/ diaper)
	o   Jack Hanna of the Columbus Zoo
	o   Walter Murphy, "the man with the miracle mind" who had
	    memorized all the animals portrayed in that memorable NBC
	    fantasy-adventure series, "Manimal" (as this was early in
	    his career, Chris actually did a Harvey Korman trying to
	    suppress the giggles)
	o   Singularly unhelpful Radio City Music Hall custodian (Anniversary
	    show; thanks to Jim Lyden)


What is Larry "Bud" Melman's real name?

	Calvert DeForest.  And in fact, for intellectual property reasons,
	Dave is calling "Larry" Calvert on the new show.


Who all have been the means of delivery of Cokes, etc., from the vending
machines? (Late Night)

	o   The Rockettes (and now on the Late Show as well)
	o   Members of the NYC area chapter of Mensa
	o   Carl Lewis
	o   Boy Scouts
	o   Marching Band
	o   Andy Grayson, trail bike rider, rode down the stairs and
	    jumped up on Dave's desk (w/the bike) without touching a


How has Dave paid tribute to his erstwhile telephone companion, the
lovely auburn-haired book publicist Meg Parsont?

	o   Sent the "Three Amigos" to serenade her with Mexican rest-
            aurant music
        o   Sent Billy Dee Williams over with a bouquet of roses, a 
            matching his-and-her set of his designer fragrances, and a
            six-pack of Colt 45 malt liquor
        o   Closed off 49th Street so the Jamestown High School Red
            Raiders marching band could parade below her window playing
            "Happy Birthday" and spelling out M-E-G in formation


I know Bill Murray was the first scheduled guest on both Late Night in
1982 and the Late Show in 1993.

	Although recently, Dave told Tom Brokaw that *he* (Tom) was
	"the first guest on our new show" (when Tom came out to
	reclaim certain cue cards as "the intellectual property of

Right.  But back to Bill Murray in '82 -- what was *that*?

	According to Dave, "Bill wanted to do something special, so he
	was coming down early to talk to the writers and see what they
	could come up with together. When he arrived, Merrill and I were
	out filming a segment, and Bill showed up with about six gallons
	of whatever tequila was on sale. When we got back, everybody
	was shitfaced, and it was dark, since Bill had decided the
	flourescent lights were leeching Vitamin E from them and he'd
	hidden all the lamps.  Nothing was written, and the only
	explanation I could get from anyone was, 'Bill was here.' When
	we did get on the air, Bill decided not to do any of the stuff
	we'd written and got an urge to sing 'Let's Get Physical' and
	do aerobics. So he did."  >>> As a tribute to that historical
	debut, Paul and the band played "Physical" for Bill's intro on
	the first Late Show.


The wife and I were up last night watching Dave, and we got to talking
about the old show and that wild-eyed longhair freak who tried to kick
Dave in the chops.  Remember that?

	Yes, it's remembered for us about every three weeks, on average,
	on the newsgroup.  For that reason we have
	provided for the general public an annotated transcript of that
	episode, from July of 1987, featuring guest Crispin Glover, on
	the Letterman archive at (see the end of this FAQ
	for info).  Thanks to Mark Schweingruber for the effort.


Whatever happened to Brother Theodore?  I heard he had passed away.
Otherwise Dave would surely have had him on the new show, no?

	Bro. Theo. is still around and thriving in the Village.
	According to Kevin R. Kraynick, he's performing Saturday
	nights at 9:30 p.m. at the 13th Street Theater.  Admission
	is $12.50.  Mark Evanier notes, "He seems to have joined 
	the list of guests that Dave is no longer interested in 
	having on."


I heard that one night, Dave bumped Cindy Crawford from a show just
so he could talk with a guy named Herb Clumpy!

	Mm hmm.  By the way, the name's spelled Klumpe, not "Clumpy,"
	and he has become one of the regulars on the old A. F. of L.
	newsgroup.  Herb, who hails from Oneonta, New York, site of the
	very last home office of _Late Night,_ was in the audience for
	one of Dave's last NBC broadcasts on June 17 '93, wearing a
	sweatshirt emblazoned with the letters ONEONTA.  Dave was notified
	before the show that a guy from the home office with a delightful
	name was in the crowd, so upon entering the studio he opened
	that evening's show with the line, "Tonight's program is dedicated
	to Herb Klumpe III."  Not only did the monologue go out the
	window, but Herb and Dave chatted on-air after the break and
	they exchanged sweatshirts as the alluring Miss Crawford looked
	on forlornly from the green room.  It turns out that Herb and
	four of his enterprising friends also held tickets for the very
	last _Late Night_ so, to commemorate his good fortune, Herb's
	friends showed up wearing "Friend of Herb Klumpe III" T-shirts.
	NBC staff spotted Mr. Klumpe and escorted him to the green room,
	where he got to watch the final show with a gaggle of extree
	special guests that included Tom Hanks and his wife.  He is
	living proof that Dave Letterman, much like _Late Night_'s
	revered final guest Bruce Springsteen, can both entertain the
	masses and brighten the lives of ordinary fans -- and in so
	doing touch the lives of each one of us who watches his show.
	[*dab corners of eyes with blue index card*]
Aaron Barnhart
From: barnhart@MCS.COM (Aaron Barnhart)
Subject: Frequently Asked Questions (Part 3 of 3)
Date: 20 Oct 1996 03:01:18 -0500
Organization: MCSNet Services
Lines: 305
Approved: news-answers-request@MIT.Edu
Message-ID: <54cm8e$>
Summary: This posting contains a list of Frequently Asked Questions (and
	their answers) about the Late Show/Late Night with David Letterman.
	New readers of the newsgroup should read this
	FAQ list before posting.
Xref: news.answers:84836 alt.answers:21288 rec.answers:24816

Archive-name: letterman/faq/part3
The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list
Last-modified: Fri Jul 5 00:10:33 CDT 1996
Version: 9.12
Part 3 of 3


Does Sid have a "running jones"?

	Yes indeed.  A full account is given in a _Runner's World_
	feature on the longtime Letterman guitarist, who joined Late
	Night in 1984.  "Nike, upon learning that its Sock Racers [running
	shoes] were showcased on Late Night ... supplied McGinnis with
	as many pairs as he needed."  Now that the shoe is out of stock,
	"Nike has fashioned close facsimiles ... custom-made Air Sids.
	'There are five million pairs of Air Jordans,' McGinnis estimates,
	'and two Air Sids.'"  The story also reports that at age 40,
	Sid ran the 1989 New York Marathon in 3:14:44.

Has Sid *ever* missed a show? 

	Twice, says Donz5.  "On the March 3, 1989 show, Paul praises
	Sid for having missed only 2 shows. I checked, and, sure enough,
	Sid missed show #679 (March 13, 1986) and #683 (March 20, 1986),
	both shows subbed by Steve Kahn."  These were during the time
	Sid's wife was giving birth to their first child.


Other than Paul, Anton, Will, and Sid, who were members of "the band,"
later titled "The World's Most Dangerous Band" on Late Night?

	Hiram Bullock was the original guitarist and Steve Jordan the
	original drummer.  Over the years there were also these occasional
	honorary members:

	Francisco Centano, bass 
	Neil Jason, bass
	Marcus Miller, bass
	Buzz Feiten, guitar
	Steven Khan, guitar
	Jeff Lee, guitar
	Elliott Randall, guitar
	John Tropea, guitar (it's true, Donz5 confirms it!)
	Waddy Wachtel, guitar
	Kenny Aronoff, drums
	Charlie Drayton, drums
	Steve Ferrone, drums
	Steve Gadd, drums
	Omar Hakim, drums
	Allan Schwartzberg, drums
	Rob Mounsey, keyboard
	Leon Pendarvis, keyboards
	Bette Sussman, keyboard

	And Donz5 reminded me not to overlook frequent Thursday (later
	Friday) guest band member David Sanborn on saxophone.


What's "the GE corporate handshake"?

	In 1986, shortly after General Electric announced its acquisition
	of NBC, Dave went with a camera crew and a fruit basket and/or
	bottle of wine/champagne to the corporate headquarters in
	Manhattan as a gift to GE Chairman Jack Welch.  In one of the
	most-talked-about moments in Late Night history, Dave and his
	crew were met in the lobby by a security thug who told them to
	shut off the camera and get out of the building.  Being the
	polite Midwesterner he is, Dave extended his hand to the security
	guy, who in turn extended his hand ... then *retracted* it
	without consummating the grip and release.  This sleight of hand
	is what became known as the GE corporate handshake.  (The security
	guy repeated this handshake moments later with Hal Gurnee, who
	was accompanying Dave on the shoot.)  The event is now remembered
	as the turning point in Dave's relationship with the network
	and its GE-appointed brass, notably the weasels in Burbank who
	thought that Dave was too "mean" for the Johnny Carson slot.


I can't believe NBC just let Dave go because they didn't like his

	As Bill Carter reports, one senior NBC executive was heard to
	say after the Letterman-Leno debacle, "It was amazing to have
	made that many mistakes in a row."  But perhaps the biggest
	mistake was the network's failure to chisel out a long-range
	strategy for late night, which ideally would have been to coax
	Johnny out of his job (a task eventually taken up by Helen
	Kushnick, Jay Leno's longtime handler), offer Dave the 11:35
	show, and tossed Leno, who might well have landed on his feet
	bringing new fame to CBS, where his current 4.4 rating would
	have realized millions in new revenue for the then-doormat of
	late night television.  Instead, Jay got a clause inserted in
	his contract that made him the next _Tonight_ host; Johnny got
	wind of it and quit; and Dave was left in the dust.  

	If there is a wildcard in this, it is possibly John Agoglia,
	the president of NBC Productions and its "no man" in matters
	relating to talent relations.  It is true that Letterman made
	life difficult for Agoglia, but the latter's weasely actions
	were inappropriate even for a grouchy talent like Dave.  After
	all, here is a man who (a) threatened to bring Maury Povich's
	show into Studio 6A every day if Dave didn't cooperate with the
	network's stupid "Sunday Best" program, (b) bragged that he had
	Dana Carvey locked in as Dave's 12:35 replacement, a flat lie,
	and (c) even when instructed by his boss Robert Wright to
	negotiate a plan to give _Tonight_ to Letterman, would not put
	anything in writing.  However mean Dave was to Agoglia on his
	show, the NBC man returned it with interest later on.


What's all this about an Australian version of Late Night?

	There used to be a self-admitted knockoff of Dave's
	show, "Tonight Live," hosted by Steve Vizard.  It was
	cancelled in late 1993 and replaced by the first
	Australian broadcast of the Letterman show.  >>> In 1994
	and 1995, German television aired _Nacht-Show_ starring
	Thomas Koschwitz, which one viewer described thus: "A
	shameless rip-off with almost identical intro, identical
	desk, (attempted) identical host behaviour, repartee
	with the band leader, top 10 lists, etc."  That was
	followed by _Die Harald Schmidt Show_ which is still on
	the air <>.  I reviewed
	it for the Village Voice (April 2, 1996; sorry, no
	electronic copies available).  >>> Then there's the
	*Norwegian* version, a show called "RiksDan." Bjorn
	Brattland writes: "The host is called Dan Borge Akero,
	and has his own top 10 list (actually, it's top 6, but
	this is a small country), chats with the band leader,
	and his general behaviour is modeled after Dave."


What was the translation of the Japanese on the kites in the Late Night
opening sequence (1992-93)?

	One said "Late Night," another, "G.E. sucks."  

                                   *   *   *                         

       Questions People Ask About this FAQ List, the A. F. of L. 
                       Archive, and LATE SHOW NEWS.

                                   *   *   *                         

Where can I find this FAQ when I need it (i.e., later)? 

	The Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list
	is posted to news.answers and other newsgroups on the 6th
	and 20th of each month.  If for some reason you miss the
	posting, the list is available via anonymous FTP from in the files
	and is also available via anonymous FTP from 
	as the files

	The FAQ is also via mail server.  Send mail to  
	with the following lines in the body:
		send usenet/news.answers/letterman/faq/part1
		send usenet/news.answers/letterman/faq/part2
		send usenet/news.answers/letterman/faq/part3


How can I contribute to the FAQ?

	Send your submissions, questions, and comments to:


Is the newsgroup available as a mailing list?



Does this newsgroup have an archive?

	The FTP directory
	is brimming with text files, images, sounds, and Top Ten Lists.
	Also, check out these World Wide Web clients if you've got
	WWW-compatible software:

	If you want CBS Top Tens, the television network itself has
	a great archive that's searchable.  Point your Web browser
	at <>.  If you don't have Web access, send
	mail to with this message:
		get topten archive
	(Any Subject: line is okay.)  You'll get instructions on
	searching the TOPTEN mail server's archive of CBS Top Tens.

Jeez, it seems like I can never get into by FTP.

	Sorry about that; it's the best we can do for now.


I crave that late-breaking news about all the big stars, and what bigger
star is there than Dave Letterman?

	Look no further, Sparky, because your FAQkeeper has taken
	that matter into his own hands.  LATE SHOW NEWS supplies
	you with up-to-the-moment info from the late-night talk
	circuit generally, and especially Dave's show.  It's posted
	to,, alt.zines, and every Tuesday.  You also may subscribe
	to the LATE-SHOW-NEWS mailing list to get each issue mailed
	directly to you.  Write and send only
	the following as your message:
		subscribe late-show-news Your Name

                                   *   *   *                         

              Sources for this Frequently Asked Questions list.

                                   *   *   *                         

Beautiful People.

	Well, of course, kudos to D. Keith Rice for maintaining the list
	since way back, I think 1956, '57, before giving it to me.  
	Special mention should go out to for his endless
	contributions to this list and the newsgroup,
	as well as Scott Barvian, Sue Trowbridge and Richard Handal,
	who've supplied me with important research materials, and
	Richard Scheckman, Christine Schomer, and Jay Johnson for their

	For contributing to this list, Keith and I are indebted to
	Dean Adams, Fritz Anderson, Greg Anderson, Ken Anderson,
	Jason Bak, J.D. Baldwin, John Bartol, Scott Barvian, Laurence
	Bier, John Bonacci, Joel Chan, Crist Clark, John Clear,
	Brian Conn, Marc Conte, Todd Cooper, Lewis Coury, Richard
	Dawson, Matt Dittrich, Jef Dodd, Sean Donnelly, David
	Eccleston, Susan Fanelli, Kevin Fong, Eric Fritzius, bj
	gleason, Mark Goldberg, Robert Goldsborough, Norm Gregory,
	Chris Eliot Haroian, Mathew A.  Hennessy, Rachel Hill, John
	Hritz, Ben Jackson, Bill Jones, Doug Krause, Ed Krauss,
	Lana Krotenko, Bob Kupiec, James Langdell, James LaPlaine,
	Don Leaman, Jason Lindquist, Gord Locke, Robert Lopez, Lon
	Lowen, Ian McCuaig, Ken McGlothlen, Bill McGonigle, Alan
	"Mr. Tucks" McKendree, Leigh Meydrech, Shamim Zvonko Mohamed,
	Ken Mohnker, "Noel" at, John Oram, Brian
	Peek, Marshal Perlman, Alan Perry, Tad Perry, Dave Platt,
	Michael Regoli, Tony Rice, Tom Sakoda, Steve Shauger, Bill
	Sherman, Jeff Shimbo, Jason Snell, Mike Southworth, Greg
	Sroka, Jeff Stephan, Ben Sterling, Christopher Taylor,
	David C. Tuttle, Wendy Tyrol, Rich Urena, Tim Veatch, Jeff
	Wilder, Mike Wittman, Eric Witmayer, and Eric Wood.

Primary Print Sources.

	"Is This Man the New Johnny Carson?", _Chicago Tribune,_ 1/6/80.
	_Playboy_ magazine interviews, 1984 and 1994.
	_The Late Shift_ by Bill Carter, 1994.
	_The David Letterman Story_ by Caroline Latham, 1987.
	"Stay Up Late" by James Kaplan, _The New Yorker,_ 1/16/89.
	"Flying Feet & Fingers," by Peter Gambaccini, _Runner's World,_ 3/92.

This article is Copyright (c) 1996 by Aaron Barnhart.  All rights reserved.

                                      .o ____~~~~_____~.
                                   ..(                  )....
                                  (      Remember ...        ))
                  .ooo.          (                           .  )
                 / ))' \         (    it ain't ham, unless     )  o.
                 { , , }       'o (                             )
                (  "_"  )   ..o'   (...   it's a BIG ASS HAM     .)
                 " .o. "            .(.                       ) )
             .---/\___//\----.         .(.~~~        ___...) o
            ."  .\  Y  |.     `.           .o -------o.
            :    .\ ^  |.      `>.  ." ".
            ;   \  /^\ t.   e\.   >"     "
            ;   |  /^\  \   " `.. "       "
            :   :  /^\   | ./   "#  B i g  #
            ;   h  /^\    \./:   !  A s s  !
     ________\   "~~~~...._\/_V__!---------!________________
              c,,,...a~~~=~      `  H a m  '
(courtesy Tim Veatch)

Aaron Barnhart

User Contributions:

Comment about this article, ask questions, or add new information about this topic:

[ Usenet FAQs | Web FAQs | Documents | RFC Index ]

Send corrections/additions to the FAQ Maintainer:

Last Update March 27 2014 @ 02:11 PM