David Letterman

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Letterman, David

(1947–  ) television comedian; born in Indianapolis, Ind. He studied radio and television at Ball State University (Muncie, Ind.) (B.A. 1970), then worked as a television weatherman and radio talk-show host in Indiana before coming to New York to write comedy material for several major television comedians and specials. He became well known as a brash guest host for Johnny Carson on the Tonight Show during the 1978–80 seasons. His own weekly David Letterman Show on NBC-TV in 1980 failed to take off, but in 1982 NBC-TV gave him the time slot following Johnny Carson: Late Night with David Letterman soon became popular with young people by mixing the usual talk-show ingredients of celebrity guests and music with his irreverent manner and zany comic stunts. After NBC-TV rejected him as the replacement for the retiring Johnny Carson, in 1993 he moved to CBS-TV to host the Late Show with David Letterman.
The Cambridge Dictionary of American Biography, by John S. Bowman. Copyright © Cambridge University Press 1995. Reproduced with permission.
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