Late Night celebrates its first anniversary with a 90-minute all-star gala, featuring Hollywood's own Army Archerd, who introduces luminaries, such as Captain Haggerty, Howard Taylor, and Calvert DeForest as they emerge from their limousines and enter the NBC studios at Rockefeller Center to watch a clip show. Dave introduces "El Knob Grande," also known as The Giant Doorknob. James Brown appears for three segments, performing "I Feel Good" and "Doin' It to Death."moreless
The debut of "Audience Book Reports," as Joanne Hickman and Ron McCoy review "Shogun" and "Fame" respectively; Joan Howard Maurer (daughter of Moe Howard) promotes a Three Stooges biography and shares some home movies.
It's February 22 Reunion Day, as guests from last year's February 22nd show (Jessica Savitch, Simon Bond, and students from P.S. 84) come back on the show and share wonderful memories. Later on, NBC Director of East Coast Programs Jon Maas gives them all a tour of the studio.
Actor and raconteur Peter O'Toole (promoting a re-release of 1972's The Ruling Class) makes his first appearance on Late Night. It takes him a minute or two to orient himself. Later, Phoebe Snow performed "Blue Monday."
Elizabeth Tashjian, curator of the Nut Museum in Old Lyme, Connecticut, makes her first of two appearances on Late Night, gracing viewers with her song, "Nuts Are Beautiful." Also, Smokey Robinson drops by to promote the upcoming "Motown 25" TV special.
After much negotiating, The World's Largest Vase begins a week-long display on the show; Carrie Fisher drops by to promote a tiny independent movie called "Revenge of the Jedi."
Tonight marks the last night of The World's Largest Vase, and in tribute, Dave reads Kids Letters to the Vase; Carl Reiner drops by to sit on Dave's head again; Daniel Stern plugs Blue Thunder; Bill Wendell plugs his Announcer Camp for Boys in Berkshire.
A "Brush With Greatness" segment is interrupted by a (real) power outage at 30 Rock; Jeff Goldblum plays the piano with his sister Pam.
Dave telling the audience who will be on the next night's show turns into a convoluted explanation featuring Paul, several writers and staffers, and Frank Zappa. Also, basketball great/future talk show host Magic Johnson and psychic Morris Fonte makes their first guest appearances on Late Night.
In his first proper Late Night sitdown, Robin Williams plugs The Survivors; Stupid Pet Tricks features a dog that doesn't smile, a parrot that doesn't walk through a tunnel of love, a poodle that doesn't sing, and a dog that barks at numbers; Peter Tosh performed "Johnny B. Goode" and "Where You Gonna Run."moreless
Dave explains that tomorrow's show is preempted for Wimbledon coverage, so to ease worried viewers Dave and Bill Wendell appear in a sketch called "Anatomy of a Preemption." The sketch ends with Bill reading from actor George Kennedy's new novel. Also, Chris Elliott is "The Psychotic Page" during a rare Wednesday "Viewer Mail" segment.moreless
Marv Albert makes his ninth appearance in 17 months on Dave's show, while Morris Fonte makes his second appearance in three weeks.
Simon and Garfunkel appear on the show to promote their upcoming tour; Chris Elliot displays a Stupid Plant Trick: a plant that can play the harmonica and ride a skateboard at the same time; Dave's former employer Mary Tyler Moore drops by to say hello.
Randy Newman makes a rare appearance on Late Night, performing "I Love L.A." and "Political Science." Later, survivalist Tom Brown Jr. weirds out Dave.
"New Dial-It-Services" includes Dial-a-Standing-Ovation: "Hello, this is Jimmy Stewart." Later, during "Your Tax Dollars at Work," Andy Breckman and James Downey walk out after the first joke tanks, then bring out a handwritten joke to "tie the whole thing up."
Tonight's comedy bit is "Airplane Etiquette," as Calvert is handed a magazine called "Nosedive"; Don Rickles makes his first Letterman appearance; Mr. Larry's Mystery Dinner makes its first broadcast promotion; writer Amy Wallace discusses the creative process.
Police guitarist Andy Summers promotes his photography book "Throb" and fields questions about the future of the band. At the end of the show, Dave and Paul leave the studio and walk down the hallway discussing their favorite Funkadelic songs. Larry Bud joins them and leads them to the record library to rob them.moreless
Several (fake) audience members comment on a TV super-flop in "Manimal: Show at the Crossroads," with final words from Morris Fonte; Redd Foxx promotes his new comedy special videotape and gives Dave a pomegranate; tonight on "Limited Perspective," professional stuntman David Copland reviews "The Big Chill"; novelist Ken Kesey arrives in a tuxedo and shows off a giant ball of baling twine.moreless
Tonight on "The Museum of Animal Heroes": the Goat of Hope, the Plankton That Saved Elke Summer, and Koner the Wonder Wolf, who saved a child then billed the family for $27,500. Later, "Reasons for Editing the Show" marks the second appearance by the Conspiracy Guy.
In a rare TV appearance, punk band X performed "Hot House" and "Breathless."
An emotional Jack Paar appears on the show to promote his new memoir. Later, Paar escorts Dave to his old dressing room, where he points out steam pipes painted by Jim Henson in the mid-60s.
Chris Elliott is The Conspiracy Guy, an agitator who's thrown out of the audience during the monologue by security guards. Later in the show, Jeffrey Tabin, a member of the Oxford Dangerous Sports Club who climbed up the treacherous east face of Mt. Everest, helps Dave recreate that feat by having him climb a rope up to the studio rafters.moreless
In his first Late Night appearance, C&W great Waylon Jennings performs "Living Legends" and sits down with Dave.
Dave presents the Bill Wendell Manhunt, where two bloodhounds compete to find Bill. One does find him, while the other keeps sniffing. Also, Mr. Larry's Toast on a Stick makes its debut, and Paul and the band (in lieu of a musical act that never materialized) perform "Dance to the Music."moreless
A segment called "Year-end Comedy Leftovers" includes a Dial-It Service called "Dial-Some-Bad-Advice-to-Out-of-Towners," during which Dave suggests licking the sidewalk and laughing at subway passengers. Later in the show, to honor the 50th anniversary of the NBC page program, Dave grills the interns on-stage with quiz questions from their handbook.
The Conspiracy Guy is coerced to apologize on Viewer Mail; Julie Walters plugs Educating Rita.
A Viewer Mail request leads to the firing of a beloved Late Night staffer; the first edition of "Floor Crew Show n' Tell" (see recap).
Dave wears a striped, long-sleeve polo in lieu of a suit; "Dial-It-Services" feature a call to the "Dial-a-Prayer-for-Cable-TV-Viewers" ("Oh, Lord, please don't let it be 'Beastmaster' again") and then a call to "Dial-a-Black-Pro-Bowling-Star" (there’s no answer); in his sole Late Night appearance, Andre the Giant promotes a WWF match at Madison Square Garden and jokes about his size.moreless
Dave wears a green, long-sleeve polo shirt; the WMDB plays Doors tunes throughout the night; "New Gift Items" include Stick-up Adhesive Cologne Patches, a Sandpaper Calendar, and an Electromagnetic Photo Album; Ray Manzarak promotes his new concept album, but his performance is cut for time.