David Michael Letterman is an American TV host and comedian. He is the host of the CBS late-night talk show Late Show with David Letterman. Since the first episode of Late Night with David Letterman on NBC in 1982, he has always been there.
The late-night star owns his own show, and his long-running production company makes millions of dollars from The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and reruns of Everybody Loves Raymond and The King of Queens.
The best comedians in the world can make anyone laugh, but they’re the ones who are laughing all the way to the bank. Top stars like Jerry Seinfeld and Ellen DeGeneres make hundreds of millions of dollars for their work in front of the camera.
David Michael Letterman was born on April 12, 1947. He was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He has two sisters, one older and one younger. Harry, who was a florist, and Dorothy Letterman, who worked at a church, were his parents.
His father died of a heart attack when he was 57 years old. Letterman went to Broad Ripple High School and worked as a stock boy at a grocery store in his neighborhood. In 1969, he got his degree from Ball State University’s Department of Television and Radio.
Start of a Job
Letterman was a DJ and newscaster at WBST, the student-run radio station at Ball State. He was fired because he talked about classical music in a sarcastic and funny way. After he finished school, he got a job as a weatherman at a TV station in Indianapolis.
He was known for his unpredictable behavior and casual sense of humor on the air. For example, he would sometimes give weather reports for cities that didn’t exist. In 1975, his family and friends told him to move to Los Angeles and start writing comedy there. From there, he started doing stand-up comedy at The Comedy Store.
He met a lot of people through stand-up, and by 1978 he was writing for small acts, TV shows, and game shows and making minor guest appearances. He tried out for the lead role in the 1980 movie Airplane!, but Robert Hays got the part instead.
Eventually, talent scouts for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson noticed his sarcasm and dry sense of humor, and he quickly became Carson’s favorite comedian and a regular guest on the show. Letterman has always said that Carson was the most important person in his career.
Work After Midnight
On June 23, 1980, Dave got his own morning talk show on NBC. Even though it did well with critics, it didn’t do well with viewers and was canceled after just four months. But NBC tried to put him on at a different time. In February 1982, the first episode of Late Night with David Letterman aired.
Bill Murray was the first guest. The show came on after The Tonight Show at 12:30 a.m. EST, Monday through Thursday. It became popular with college students and young people because of Dave’s rudeness, cynicism, self-deprecating humor, and quirky bits.
Dave quickly got a reputation as a sharp and honest interviewer, and many of his fans found his honesty to be refreshing. The show also became known for sketches like “Stupid Pet Tricks” and “Top 10 Lists,” which were very different from the rest of the show.
Johnny Carson left The Tonight Show in 1992, and fans were sure that Letterman would take over. But NBC surprised everyone by giving the job to Jay Leno. Letterman left NBC to start his own show, The Late Show With David Letterman, on CBS.
It airs at the same time as The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, so the two shows will always be in competition over the 11:30 p.m. time slot. The first episode of the show aired on August 30, 1993, at the famous Ed Sullivan Theater. Letterman got a three-year contract with CBS that pays him $14 million per year.
This is double what he made at NBC. Letterman’s crazy and fiercely unique sense of humor was toned down a bit so that he could appeal to a larger, more traditional, and conservative audience. He gave the show a sidekick named Paul Shaffer and his band, and he made the opening monologue longer.
He was able to keep many of the best parts of his old show by giving them a new name (i.e., The Top Ten List became The Late Show Top Ten). During the years that they both had shows, Letterman and Leno were known to be fierce rivals. Each one took turns being on top, depending on the year.
In his first 20 years as a late-night host, Letterman’s shows were very popular and well-reviewed. He was nominated for 67 Emmy Awards and won 12 of them.
Letterman said he was leaving in April 2014, and his last show, which was full of big names, aired on May 20, 2015. There were 13,76 million people who watched it. Stephen Colbert was named to take over by David Letterman.
Letterman was the host of both Late Night and Late Show for a total of 6,080 episodes. He beat out his friend and mentor Carson to become the longest-running late-night talk show host in the history of American TV.
After “Late Show,”
Letterman has mostly stayed out of the public eye since he retired. He has spent his time and money on hobbies and charities that are important to him. His private foundation, the Letterman Foundation for Courtesy and Grooming, has given millions of dollars to charities like the American Cancer Society, Doctors Without Borders, and Ball State University. He still owns Worldwide Pants, Inc., a company he started in 1991.
The company that made his show has also made a number of other shows. In 2018, Letterman started a Netflix show called My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman, which is a long-form interview show. His first guest was Barack Obama. On May 31, 2019, the second season began.
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During a regular checkup in January 2000, doctors found a major blockage in one of Dave’s arteries. They rushed him to the emergency room, where he had five bypasses. He had other people host the show while he was getting better.
In 1968, Dave married Michelle Cook, a girl he met in college. They split up in October 1977, right after moving to Los Angeles. He was with Late Night producer Merrill Markoe for a long time, from 1978 to 1988. She is said to have had a big impact on how he became a funny person.
In February 1986, Letterman began dating Regina Lasko. In 2003, Lasko gave birth to their son. The couple got married in 2009 and now lives with their family in North Salem, NY.
In 2005, police found out that someone wanted to kidnap his son and hold him for $5 million. A man who had worked for Letterman as a house painter was charged in the plot.
In 2009, someone tried to blackmail Letterman by saying they would tell everyone about his affairs with a few of his female staffers. Letterman said that all of these things were true and apologized to his wife and staff on his show on October 5, 2009.
Letterman has said that he had trouble with alcoholism and anxiety, and he doesn’t drink anymore.
Property and other businesses
Dave has used his money to buy a lot of property and become a real estate mogul. He has a 108-acre estate in Westchester County, New York, which he purchased for $5 million for 88 acres in 1994 and $5 million for the rest in 2007.
He also owns a 2,700-acre ranch near Chateau, Montana, a place on Martha’s Vineyard, and a house in St. Barth’s. He is a part-owner of the Indy Racing League team Rahal Letterman Racing.
How much does David Letterman make and what is his net worth?
David was asked by Netflix to make the very popular series My Next Guest Needs No Introduction With David Letterman. He has also made some of the most popular comedies on prime-time TV, like “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “Ed.”
As of October 2022, it is thought that David Letterman has a net worth of $400 Million.