David has declined numerous offers to host Saturday Night Live because he feels he is terrible at sketch comedy. His time on Mary Tyler Moore's short lived variety show convinced him of this.
In September 2009, David Letterman found himself the target of an attempted extortion plot. A CBS producer, Robert J. Halderman, threatened to release evidence of several sexual affairs that Letterman had with members of his staff unless he paid him $2 million dollars. Letterman wrote a phony check in order to help prosecutors build a case against Halderman.
In the week of September 21 to 25 of 2009, David Letterman hosted two American Presidents (Barack Obama and Bill Clinton), New Zealand Prime Minister John Key and marked his 5000th show.
On September 21, 2009 and September 22, 2009, David Letterman became the first talk show host in history to interview two American presidents on successive days: sitting president Barrack Obama and former president Bill Clinton.
On Monday, September 14, 2009, David made a rare public appearance at the New York Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center when it opened its new Ronald O. Perelman Heart Institute.
A "Fire David Letterman" campaign (spearheaded by conservative supporters of Alaska Governor Sarah Palin after Letterman's poorly thought out joke at Palin's daughter's expense) not only failed to unseat Dave from his position at CBS, but actually helped to increase his ratings.
On June 11, 2009, Letterman made some off-color jokes about Alaska governor Sarah Palin and her duaghter after they had attended a Yankee game in New York City. The resulting controversy and backlash prompted Dave to apologize to the entire Palin family and to the American public for any offense or misunderstanding that he may have caused.
On March 19 2009, David Letterman and longtime girlfriend Regina Lasko were married in a secret ceremony. The pair have a son, Harry, who was born in 2003.
For many years, Dave has suffered from tinnitus, a type of hearing damage which leaves him with a constant ringing in his ear that never goes away.
The pencils used on The Late Show with David Letterman are specially designed with erasers at both ends, since Dave is in the habit of tossing them at his camera operators and on rare occasions, the band or the guests.
Many of the staple routines of David Letterman's shows ("Late Night" and "The Late Show") have been compiled and published, such as "Late Show Fun Facts" and several volumes of "The Late Night With David Letterman Book of Top Ten Lists".
Like many celebrities before him and like many since, David Letterman has had difficulties with a stalker. Margaret Mary Ray believed that a romantic relationship existed between herself and the talk show host, but it was simply a manifestation of her mental illness. She committed suicide on October 5 1998.
A perceived 16 year feud between David Letterman and Oprah Winfrey was finally put to rest on December 1 2005 when Oprah appeared on The Late Show as a guest. The two talk show hosts were unclear how or why this rivalry ever started in the first place, but both were happy to put it behind them.
A Life Loyal Member and Significant Sig laureate of the Sigma Chi fraternity, David Letterman helped finance the construction of a house for Ball State University's chapter.
In March 2005, police in Choteau, Montana, where David Letterman owns a home, foiled an alleged scheme to kidnap David Letterman's son, Harry.
David's name is of Hebrew origin and means "Beloved".
David is sometimes credited as Earl Hofert, which was his grandfather's name on his mother's side.
David's trade marks include the following: gap-toothed grin and his spinning pencil trick on the Late Show with David Letterman.
David's nicknames are Dave, Daddy, and The Big Man.
The struggle between Letterman, Jay Leno and NBC executives as to who will succeed Johnny Carson as host of The Tonight Show after Carson's retirement in 1993 was dramatized for the television movie The Late Shift. The role of David Letterman was portrayed by John Michael Higgins.
He won the Indy 500 in 2004 as a car owner (5-30-04) with co-owner Bobby Rahal and winner Buddy Rice.
He had petitioned to get a highway in his hometown named "The Dave Letterman Bypass" as a reference to his heart bypass surgery.
David Letterman often does an in-joke on his show that only his studio audience will understand. This is done by speaking with the audience before taping begins and finding out where people are from, what they do, etc. During the opening monologue, he will then make a reference to one of the audience members.
These are some multi-purpose names he uses for any man: "Larry," "Kenny," and "Rodney". These are some multi-purpose names for women: "Linda".
His production company is called "Worldwide Pants". His previous production companies include "Space Age Meat" and "Cardboard Shoe Productions".
He says he never uses the same tie twice in his show.
He held a deep admiration for Johnny Carson and considered him a close friend. He was deeply hurt when NBC executives gave the hosting responsibilities for The Tonight Show to Jay Leno over him.
He was born at 6:00am-CST.
Before his career as a talk show host began, David Letterman auditioned for the role of Ted Stryker in the Abrahams, Zucker & Zucker comedy classic, Airplane!
Letterman guest hosted "The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson" 51 times.
Letterman was named one of People Magazine's "25 Most Intriguing People of 2001".
Letterman attended Broad Ripple High School and was voted Class Smart Alec.
David Letterman: (after the Bristol/Willow Palin joke controversy) I would like to apologize, especially to the two daughters involved, Bristol and Willow, and also to the Governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke. I'm sorry about it and I'll try to do better in the future.
David Letterman: As you know now, Rush Limbaugh is the new face of the Republican Party, but they'll probably go with a different body.
David Letterman: Mitt Romney looks like an American President in a Canadian movie.
David Letterman: Everybody is wondering what Paris Hilton will be doing next, and hell, I'm wondering what she did before.
David Letterman: Today is a big day in TV history. On this day forty-one years ago, the Beverly Hillbillies aired for the first time right here on CBS. They took a little break, then in 1992, they moved into the White House for eight years.
David Letterman: Fall is my favorite season in Los Angeles, watching the birds change color and fall from the trees.
David Letterman: Traffic signals in New York are just rough guidelines.
David Letterman: Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, everybody loves them. But I thought this was interesting on the box, "Konsult Kardiologist".
David Letterman: I cannot sing, dance or act. What else would I be but a talk show host?