After 11 seasons and over 1,800 shows at 12:30 a.m., the seminal talk show host concluded his NBC career. A few months before, Letterman was passed over for the honor of succeeding Johnny Carson as host of the The Tonight Show in favor of Jay Leno. His final Late Night guests included Tom Hanks and Bruce Springsteen. Later in the year, he would begin hosting The Late Show at CBS, as a direct competitor to Leno’s Tonight. Late Night would pass into the hands of an unknown Simpsons writer named Conan O’Brien.
The circumstances surrounding this transition permanently fractured Letterman’s relationship with NBC, the network that introduced him to America, according to exhaustive research conducted by This Was Television into an event that has rarely been discussed ever since. -A.D.
Today’s Birthdays: Pamella Bellwood, Dyanst (61); Ariana Grande, Nick-com star Part I (19); Sean Hayes, Will & Grace sidekick (42); Matt Letscher, Eli Stone (42); Jeanette McCurdy, Nick-com star Part II (20); Mark McKinney, kid in the hall (53); Chris O’Donnell, does whatever it is they do on NCIS (42); Nick Offerman, Pyramid of Greatness (42); Aubrey Plaza, heiress to the Snakehole fortune (28); Jason Schwartzman, signing on to that Bored To Death movie any day now (32).