08-16-1984 Letterman Gilda Radner, Jay Leno43:17

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Published on July 9, 2016

David Michael Letterman (born April 12, 1947) is an American former television talk show host, comedian, and producer.

He hosted a late night television talk show for 33 years, beginning with the February 1, 1982, debut of Late Night with David Letterman on NBC, and ending with the May 20, 2015, broadcast of the Late Show with David Letterman on CBS. In total, Letterman hosted 6,028 episodes of Late Night and Late Show, surpassing friend and mentor Johnny Carson as the longest-serving late night talk show host in American television history. In 1996, Letterman was ranked No. 45 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time.

Letterman is also a television and film producer. His company, Worldwide Pants, produced his show and formerly produced The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Worldwide Pants has also produced several prime-time comedies, the most successful of which was Everybody Loves Raymond, currently in syndication.

Several late-night hosts have cited Letterman’s influence, including Conan O’Brien (his successor on Late Night), Stephen Colbert (his successor on The Late Show), Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Meyers.

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