As one of late night television’s original stars, David Letterman has become a household name as the host of The Late Show since the 1980s. Letterman’s show has lent a hand in launching the careers of many successful writers and comedians and has showcased nearly 20,000 guest stars over Letterman’s 33-year tenure as host. Stars from Barack Obama to Robin Williams have had a chance to appear on the show, but on the show, no one is more iconic than Letterman himself—who has had his fair share of scandals involving Paris Hilton, Cher, Drew Barrymore, Madonna, and more.
Dave’s Early Years
David Letterman’s career beginnings are rooted in Indianapolis broadcast news, where he worked as a radio talk show host on WNTS and as an anchor and weatherman on WLWI. He received attention for his humorous and unpredictable behavior while on camera, reportedly congratulating a tropical storm for being upgraded to hurricane status and predicting hail stones “the size of canned hams.”
In 1975, he and his then-wife, Michelle Cook, decided to move to Los Angeles where he performed stand-up comedy. After finding work as a writer and actor, scouts for Johnny Carson’s talk show discovered Letterman, who by 1978 became a regular guest host.