Here’s to the man who ushered in America’s Age of Irony... the television star who pioneered a new style of conceptual comedy.
David Letterman is 61 years old today.
I found a neat video artifact in the archive of the Museum of Broadcast Communications. It’s a 26-minute slice of Tom Snyder’s old late-night talk show, “Tomorrow.” Letterman, Billy Crystal and Merrill Markoe were Snyder’s guests on this 1978 telecast.
At that point, Letterman was about to be a cast member on Mary Tyler Moore’s variety show. His greatness was ahead of him. But, as you can see below, Letterman’s astringent sense of humor was in full effect at the age of 31.
(Interesting side point: Around 18 minutes into this clip, you’ll notice that Merrill Markoe is censored when she says the word “orgasm.” Keep in mind that Snyder’s show aired at 1 a.m. in the morning. My, how standards have changed in 30 years.)