Entertainment

Letterman celebrates 30 years in late-night TV

Thursday, February 02, 2012
FILE - In this April 21, 2010 file photo released by CBS, host David Letterman is shown on the set of the Late Show with David Letterman, in New York. A frequent poster on a jihadist website has threatened David Letterman, urging Muslim followers to cut the tongue of the late-night host because of a joke made by the comic on his late-night CBS show. The poster, who identified himself as Umar al-Basrawi, was reacting to something Letterman said after the U.S. military said on June 5 that a drone strike in Pakistan had killed al Qaida leader Ilyas Kashmiri. (AP Photo/CBS, Heather Wines) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES; NO ARCHIVE; NORTH AMERICAN USE ONLY

FILE - In this April 21, 2010 file photo released by CBS, host David Letterman is shown on the set of the "Late Show with David Letterman, in New York. A frequent poster on a jihadist website has threatened David Letterman, urging Muslim followers to "cut the tongue" of the late-night host because of a joke made by the comic on his late-night CBS show. The poster, who identified himself as Umar al-Basrawi, was reacting to something Letterman said after the U.S. military said on June 5 that a drone strike in Pakistan had killed al Qaida leader Ilyas Kashmiri. (AP Photo/CBS, Heather Wines) MANDATORY CREDIT; NO SALES; NO ARCHIVE; NORTH AMERICAN USE ONLY

As David Letterman and Howard Stern can attest, a 30-year anniversary celebration is a ripe opportunity to cringe at geeky haircuts.

Letterman marked three decades in late-night TV on Wednesday on CBS by bringing Stern, one of his favorite guests, onto his "Late Show." They congratulated each other on age improving their looks.

Then Letterman proved it, displaying a picture of them from when Stern first appeared on the then-NBC show in May 1984. Letterman had a bushy head of hair. Stern had a mustache.

Letterman said about Stern's old picture: "It looks like a guy who was on to talk about a career of writing bad checks."

Stern advised burning the picture but recalled how grateful he had been for the invite.

"Back then, the fact that you asked me to be on a national television show was mind-blowing to me," he said.

Letterman also brought some of his long-time employees onstage to present the "Top Ten Things Staffers Would Like to Say to Dave on his 30th Anniversary in Late Night."

One of the cleanest, and most succinct, entries came from veteran executive producer Rob Burnett: "You're incompetent."

The "Late Show with David Letterman" airs weeknights at 11:35 p.m. Eastern time.

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