DAVE PERFORMS PROFESSIONALLY
received word that, although the Executives liked him, he
was not getting high enough ratings to continue producing
the show. This was a low point in Dave's career, but he
continued on professionally. In a last ditch effort to go
out with a bang, Dave started to let down his guard -and
began to enjoy the show.
He did more of his pestering of the public-type segments
- roamed NYC, he held dog races and elevator races in the
NBC Halls and went out into the public to find that one
"off the wall" guest for his show. He even did
investigative reporting on the NBC vending machines. He
took ordinary people off the street, and treated them
like stars, asking them to join him on stage during the
show. I loved those shows -where he had people in the
audience- or someone he called on a pay phone outside -
to come into the studio and be part of the show. Rupert
does a little of this today. It is quite enjoyable.
It was at this time that the "Stupid Pet
Tricks" segment was invented by Merrill. My personal
favorite (which describes just how shallow I like my
After 19 weeks on the air, Mr. Lettermans show was
canceled. When the public discovered that The David
Letterman Show was canceled, they were not very
happy. NBC received many letters, petitions, and there
were even some demonstrations across the country to
protest the cancellation of Dave's show.
With all of this commotion, NBC must have smelled ratings
and advertising money. They decided to offer Dave a
Next, Dave began to sub for Johnny Carson again. Carson
and Letterman developed a friendship. NBC Executives
began to discuss Dave's daytime show, and decided to try
it out on the Late Night Format.