Late Night With David Letterman

Season 1 Episode 1

Show #0001

Aired Weekdays 12:35 AM Feb 01, 1982 on NBC



  • Trivia

    • This first episode was also the very first aired when reruns began on A&E in 1991.

    • Due to Conan O'Brian's "Late Night" not being ready by the week Dave moved to CBS, this episode and the nine episodes that followed it reran in the 12:35 EST timeslot on NBC, directly after the first ten episodes of CBS's Late Show with David Letterman.

  • Quotes

    • David Letterman: In all those years was there ever any serious mix-ups when a little kid was roughed up on the show?
      Don "Mr Wizard" Herbert: No, not really, but because of the type of show we were doing anything could happen. Only once during an experiment where we light a candle under a glass bottle with a little coil next to the wick. And one time in rehersal we got the wick wet, so when we later set it up and turned the current on it got hotter and hotter and vaporized the candle so that in the bottle we had a mixture of vaporized parafin and oxygen and it disappeared from the close up. Sssssssswit! Up into the lights. And of course I was shocked because I thought 'my gosh the bottle blew up'. Turned out I heard the bottle clang down behind me so I knew -- and the child standing next to me was covered in water, I was too. As soon as I saw she wasn't hurt I got a towel and dried her off and dried myself off. And we went on doing it.
      David Letterman: Was she stunned a little bit?
      Don "Mr Wizard" Herbert: She sure was. And that was the only time we ever edited the show -- we cut the laughter of the crew.
      David Letterman: (Sarcasticly) Well, what crew doesn't like seeing a child vaporized?
      Don "Mr Wizard" Herbert: We could hear them laughing all the way in the control room.

    • The show began with these words:

      Larry 'Bud' Melman: Good evening. Certain NBC executives feel it
      would be a little unkind to present this show without just a word of
      friendly warning. We're about to unfold a show featuring David
      Letterman, a man of science who sought to create a show after his own
      image -- without reckoning upon God. It's one of the strangest tales
      ever told. I think it will thrill you. It may shock you. It might
      even horrify you. So, if any of you feel that you don't care to
      subject your nerves to such a strain, now's your chance to...well,
      we've warned you.

  • Notes

  • Allusions

    • David Letterman: (After the Mr Wizard science demo) And as Cathy Lee Crosby would say....'Don't try this at home, kids!'

      Reference to the early 80s reality show That's Incredible! which Miss Crosby co-hosted and featured death defying stunts and similar warnings.