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A self-described average student, Letterman later endowed a scholarship for what he called "C students" at Ball State.

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“Diane joins our brilliant number one overnight team,” Goldston said in his memo.

The David Letterman Show (host, 1980) Late Night with David Letterman (host, 1982–93) Late Show with David Letterman (host, 1993–2015) My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman (host, 2018 – ) David Michael Letterman (born April 12, 1947) is an American television host, comedian, writer, and producer.

In 2000, he told an interviewer for Esquire that, while growing up, he admired his father's ability to tell jokes and be the life of the party.

Harry Joseph Letterman survived a heart attack at age 36, when David was a young boy.

In 1992, Johnny Carson retired, and many fans believed that Letterman would become host of The Tonight Show.

When NBC instead gave the job to Jay Leno, Letterman departed NBC to host his own late-night show on CBS, opposite The Tonight Show at p.m., called the Late Show with David Letterman.

His company, Worldwide Pants, produced his show as well as The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson and several prime-time comedies, the most successful of which was Everybody Loves Raymond, now in syndication.

Several late-night hosts have cited Letterman's influence, including Conan O'Brien (his successor on Late Night), Stephen Colbert (his successor on The Late Show), Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, and Seth Meyers.

He received some attention for his unpredictable on-air behavior, which included congratulating a tropical storm for being upgraded to a hurricane and predicting hail stones "the size of canned hams." He would also occasionally report the weather and the day's very high and low temps for fictitious cities ("Eight inches of snow in Bingree and surrounding areas") while on another occasion saying that a state border had been erased when a satellite map accidentally omitted the state border between Indiana and Ohio, attributing it to dirty political dealings.

("The higher-ups have removed the border between Indiana and Ohio making it one giant state. I don't know what to do about it.") He also starred in a local kiddie show, made wisecracks as host of a late night TV show called "Freeze-Dried Movies" (he once acted out a scene from Godzilla using plastic dinosaurs), and hosted a talk show that aired early on Saturday mornings called Clover Power, Jimmie Walker saw him on stage; with an endorsement from George Miller, Letterman joined a group of comedians whom Walker hired to write jokes for his stand-up act, a group that at various times would also include Jay Leno, Paul Mooney, Robert Schimmel, Richard Jeni, Louie Anderson, Elayne Boosler, Byron Allen, Jack Handey, and Steve Oedekerk.

It was seen as being edgy and unpredictable, and soon developed a cult following (particularly among college students).

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