From Ralph Hipp
Late Show fans, if you're truly a fan of David Letterman, you know that February 1st marked 30 years since Dave came on the air with his first LATE NIGHT with David Letterman. He had been a morning show host, kind of a wild and crazy program in between NBC's game shows and soaps. As you can imagine, he was spot on being funny at that time of the day, but the time period was way off base.
So NBC moved him to his own Late Night program which began on February 1, 1982.. 30 years ago Wednesday night. His first guest was Bill Murray. That's why Bill was on Tuesday night's show; he's sort of like Dave's Good Luck charm. Bill Murray was also Dave's first guest when Mr. Letterman joined our team and moved to CBS on August 30, 1993. (You might also recall that's the show where Paul Newman was sitting in the audience, asking "Where the hell are the CATS?" as in waiting for the Broadway show!)
While it's not exactly Dave's 30th anniversary on the air (Dave was off the air for several months until his CBS show started..) three decades of late night is quite a big deal! Johnny Carson, David's idol and mentor, hosted the "Tonight Show" for almost 30 years, just a few months short of the milestone.
Mr. Letterman is still in talks with CBS to extend his stay with us until 2014, which would place him tops on the list of late night hosts.. longer than Mr. Carson held the helm of the show that set the gold standard.
Dave, you're one of a kind, too! (I was lucky enough to visit Dave's old LATE SHOW during the 1980s, and it was great fun. Would still love to go to the CBS show in New York sometime, but don't get up that way very often.)
Share a thought or two about Dave on his 30 years, and if you can remember a funny moment or two, share that with us, too! I still love Dave's old stuff of dropping in a vat of water while he was covered in Alka-Seltzer.. hey, Dave, how about doing that again to celebrate the big three-oh! rh