David Letterman and His Late Show: A Decades-Long Television Mainstay

Late-night talk shows had the decades-long staying power of the Late Show With David Letterman. The show debuted as Late Night with David Letterman on February 1, 1982 on NBC. It ended as Late Show with David Letterman on CBS in 2015. When host David Letterman moved to CBS in 1993, his sidekick and band director, Paul Shaffer, made the move with him.

David Letterman’s talk show kept audiences enthralled with light comedy and inspired comic successors. The entertainment variety show included celebrity interviews, a recurring comedic Top Ten List, talent performances, a house band and a monologue. Letterman was absent from the TV show for a brief period in 2000 while he recovered from heart surgery. The show also took a break in late 2007 because of a writer’s strike. In 2009, police arrested a man for trying to extort Letterman with threats to reveal Letterman’s sexual relationships with female employees.

At its peak, the late night TV show garnered more than seven million viewers each night. The TV show earned sixty-seven Emmy Award nominations and twelve Emmy wins during its storied run. Stephen Colbert replaced Letterman as the host of the late show.

Here is a funny segment with Ricky Gervais from the Letterman Show:

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