Of course, everyone’s been indulging in Dave’s greatest hits for weeks. You can find lots of photos, videos and stories — going back to Letterman’s weatherman days — by following Letterman Memories on Twitter.
My personal recommendations include the 1990s fast-food drive-through videos. In 1993, Dave worked the drive-through at McDonald’s, demanding that customers prove they were happy in order to get a happy meal.
Then, in 1996, he was “the manager, Kenny” at a Taco Bell drive-through.
But some of my all-time favorite moments come from Letterman’s original late-night show, Late Night with David Letterman, which was on NBC from 1982 to 1993. When Letterman announced his retirement last April, I just had to reminisce about those years, especially his visits to 1983 visits to Just Bulbs and Just Shades and 1984’s Velcro suit.
Another great memory from the NBC days is Meg From Across the Street. In 1990, the Letterman writers realized they could see into the offices in the high-rise across from their studio on 49th Street. They got a list of the occupants’ phone numbers and Dave started dialing randomly. A young publicist named Meg Parsont picked up the phone, and a new comedy routine was born. Guess what? I got in touch with Meg and interviewed her for the Huffington Post. Read my story to find out what Meg is up to now and her suggestion for how Dave can kill time during his retirement.
She hasn’t changed a bit!
UPDATED TO ADD: Cool links for you!
- Robert Sullivan’s story for Vogue includes the show in 1985 they were just too tired to do a show.
- Crowds of onlookers are outside the theater, Variety reports. I’m sad I’m not there too now!
- The New York Times did a great interview with Dave.
- Funny guy Jack Fogelnest makes it all about him.
- New York Magazine’s Vulture blog reflects on the ways Dave changed television.
- Favorite Letterman clips from an expert — Steve O’Donnell, Letterman head writer from 1983 to 1992. He was responsible for Meg!
- Gotta include former head writer and show co-creator Merrill Markoe’s faves! I’m especially enthralled by Chinese Restaurant College Bowl.
- Hello Deli owner and frequent on-air guest Rupert Jee says goodbye to Dave.
- Highlights of stage manager Biff Henderson’s on-air work and Biff driving the Golf Cart of Death — with Dave as a passenger — through a pyramid of condiments.
- Band leader Paul Shaffer on the end of an era, plus five of his most memorable musical moments.
- Here’s a list of other Letterman sidekicks, including the much-missed Mujibur and Sirajul.
- Behold! Meg’s first Letterman appearance.
- Shoutout to Paul Wong for pointing out Meg’s second Letterman appearance.
UPDATED AGAIN POST-FINALE:
Here’s a link to Dave’s farewell speech, via Vulture.
UPDATED DEC. 16, 2015 TO ADD: There’s a nice post-retirement interview with Dave here. I’m glad he has no regrets!