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October 14, 2015

Check out David Letterman's first show - no, not that one! - VIDEO

by Bob Sassone, posted Aug 11th 2008 2:27PM
LettermanI think I'm one of the very few people - maybe not even David Letterman himself - who remembers the very first David Letterman Show with a real fondness. No, not NBC's Late Night with David Letterman, I'm talking about his morning show, which ran on NBC for a very short time in 1980. I'm not quite sure how I watched this show. I would have been in high school in 1980, so I don't know if I skipped school to see some episodes or what (it was way before I had a VCR). Anyway, I thought it was quite good and had some real style, fun regulars (Edie McClurg!) and great guests (Steve Allen, Andy Kaufman). It's interesting to see how much this show resembles later Letterman. I wish he'd bring back some of these segments (like viewer mail and videotaped humor) on his current show.

After the jump is the first part of the September 12, 1980 episode (with original commercials!). After you watch that check out the other three parts here (on the right). If you've never seen this particular show it's quite intriguing.

[via TV Tattle]

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I went to a taping of the show at 30 Rock as a kid.
Edwin Newman did the news.
Bob Uecker was on and the dog from Here's Boomer.

August 21 2008 at 5:40 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I watched that show in the summer when I was 13. It was my favorite show. Wil Shriner was brilliant.

"Pitkinville Porker" had me rolling on the floor laughing.

August 17 2008 at 7:35 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I was an elementary teacher in those days and spent the summers tutoring. When I discovered Letterman on in the mornings I scheduled my tutoring sessions so I'd be able to watch Dave. I remember telling my husband that Dave was too funny for day time TV and would not last in that time slot. Thank goodness he got the late night gig. He still makes me laugh.

August 16 2008 at 10:18 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob S.

Back in the grand old '80s, at my first job out of college, I actually had a boss cool enough to let my coworker Jerry and me bring a small B&W TV into our work area so we could watch while working.

Rich Hall, back when he was funny (i.e. before his "Sniglets" phase), was a regular on the show as well.

The first two months of "Late Night" was largely material from his daytime show. The structure of the show was definitely more mainstream than the daytime show had been, but all of the sketches those first couple of months were vintage -- probably saved them both time and money.

August 11 2008 at 9:51 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
mj green

At that time, I was on bedrest due to complications from pregnancy. I also lived in the boonies, which meant 2 channels, 3 on a good day. Watching Dave was a lifesaver. It made me laugh and get through the day.

August 11 2008 at 7:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Bob Mc

I remember watching it as a kid and thinking it was hilarious. How come we can't get good reruns?

August 11 2008 at 5:24 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Eric Cotton

I remember the show well. Back when it premiered, I was spending my summer break from college working for my local public school district cleaning an elementary school from stem to stern. It was pure drudgery: cleaning gum off of desks, mopping floors, cleaning walls, replacing florescents, etc. The only thing that kept me sane was a portable TV in the corner and my brief hour(?) of Letterman's morning show every day.

August 11 2008 at 4:31 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I remember it fondly too. When it first began, it was 90 minutes long, but NBC gradually cut it back. Bob Sarlotte, Wil Shriner and Edid McClurg were regulars. I seem to remember that Edie would show up as homemaking expert 'Mrs. Marv Mendenhall'(?) to demonstrate things like how to make patriotic decorations from egg cartons. It was a hoot.

August 11 2008 at 4:22 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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