Before carving out his place on the Mt. Rushmore of late night comedy, Letterman began his full-time NBC career with this short-lived morning show. He had first caught the network’s attention after becoming one of Johnny Carson’s favorite guest hosts for The Tonight Show in 1978. But the offbeat, subversive comedy which would make Late Night with David Letterman a cult smash just a few years later didn’t click with a.m. viewers expecting the comfort food of traditional talk shows and game shows. The program was canceled in October after just 18 weeks, though it would go on to win two daytime Emmys.
Despite its low ratings and short life, archivists today generally agree The David Letterman Show is only the second-least-viewed item on Letterman’s resume, just ahead of Cabin Boy. -A.D.
Today’s Birthdays: Selma Blair, had a small role on The Adventures of Pete & Pete one time and that’s good enough to make this list (40); Randy Jackson, the Jack McCoy of American Idol (56); Ted Shackelford, soap stalwart (66); Joss Whedon, nerd diety (48).