This was Television on February 1

1982: Late Night with David Letterman debuts

Further cementing its dominance in the realm of late night, NBC premiered Late Night to follow The Tonight Show at 12:30 a.m. Tapped to host was a young, irreverent comic, David Letterman, who a year and half prior had ended an extremely brief and unsuccessful morning show stint for the network. In late night, though, Letterman thrived. The program ran for 11 years and more than 1,800 episodes before the host decamped to his own 11:30 p.m. timeslot on CBS in 1993, after losing the Tonight succession race to Jay Leno.  -A.D.

Also on February 1

1984: Cable mainstays A&E and Lifetime launch.

1994: Premium movie channel Starz launches.

Today’s Birthdays: Sherilyn Fenn, Twin Peaksian (48); Michael C. Hall, serial killer (42); Sherman Hemsley, moved on up (d. 2012); Terry Jones, Python (71); Garrett Morris, Not Ready for Primetime Player (76); Heather Morris, cheerleader (26); Bill Mumy, spacefarer (59); Pauly Shore, VJ (45); Elisabeth Sladen, companion (d. 2011); Hynden Walch, voice actress (42); Lee Thompson Young, famous (29).

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