Forty years ago today, a former wacky midwestern weatherman who’d become a Johnny Carson-era Tonight Show staple and scored his own morning show, moved to late night television. That man was David Letterman, and 40 years ago today, on Feb. 1, 1982, he bowed Late Night, the show that’s now run by Seth Meyers. To ring in the big anniversary, Letterman — who has his own, very different chat show now — debuted his very own YouTube channel, which will be a great place to watch high-def clips you probably had to watch as low-res bootlegs for far too long.
You’ve been warned… https://t.co/nRTSzwmrf9 pic.twitter.com/uSwioKDXmF
— David Letterman (@Letterman) February 1, 2022
Letterman bowed the channel with a tease on Twitter, which showed the very first moments from the very first show: a suitably out-there clip of Larry “Bud” Melman (real name: Calvin DeForest), the longtime regular who would appear on almost 200 Late Night and, later, Late Show episodes up until his death in 2007.
Letterman’s first show was a real banger. His first guest was no less than Bill Murray, who busted out a seemingly impromptu rendition of Olivia Newton-John’s sleazy new hit “Physical.” That clip, sadly, is not yet on Letterman’s new channel, but there are already 100 videos on there, among them iconic interviews with Andy Kaufman, Robin Williams, Carrie Fisher, Joaquin Phoenix, and more. You can also watch plenty of famous comedian’s first late night appearances, as well as the first-ever iteration of “Stupid Pet Tricks.”
Letterman had been teasing this big reveal throughout the week, including with a video of him blowing through multiple attempts to record an intro.
2.1.2022 https://t.co/nRTSzwmrf9 pic.twitter.com/cWa8BDnuxy
— David Letterman (@Letterman) January 31, 2022
Letterman’s channel, described as “artisanly-produced, carefully-curated, and chosen completely at random by an old computer that used to pick numbers for the New York Lotto back in the 90’s,” can be found here. You can watch an old clip of Martin Scorsese swinging by the show in the video above.
(Via The Wrap)