David Letterman Net Worth 2022: How Much Did He Make Per Show?

David Letterman Net Worth: The longest-tenured host of a late-night talk show in American television history belongs to David Michael Letterman, better known by his stage as David Letterman. Up until 2015, he has been the host of a late-night talk show for 33 years, beginning with the premiere of “Late Night with David Letterman” on NBC on February 1, 1982.

The 50 greatest TV stars of all time according to TV Guide rated David Letterman at number forty-five. He founded his own business, Worldwide Pants, which produced some of his shows as well as other prime-time sitcoms like “Everybody Loves Raymond” and “The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.”

He is also a comedian and television and film producer. Letterman, who was well-known for his “disrespectful” comedy, left NBC when Jay Leno was chosen by the network to succeed Johnny Carson as host of “The Tonight Show.”

The Late Show with David Letterman, which directly competed for viewers with “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” was the first program he hosted after joining CBS. He declared his intention to leave the show in 2015. A few years later, he made an appearance in a brand-new chat show series that made its Netflix debut in January 2018.

David Letterman Early Life

On April 12, 1947, David Micheal Letterman was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. His sisters range in age from older to younger. Harry Letterman, a florist, and Dorothy Letterman, a church secretary, were his parents. Take a look at Phil Rosenthal and Pam Grier’s net worth.

His father suffered a heart attack and passed away at age 57. Letterman attended Broad Ripple High School and was a stock boy at a nearby supermarket. He received his degree in television and radio from Ball State University in 1969.

David Letterman’s Personal Life

In January 2000, Dave underwent a quintuple bypass procedure after doctors discovered a severe blockage in one of his arteries during a regular checkup. While he was recuperating, the show had guest hosts. Dave married Michelle Cook, a woman he had met in college, in 1968.

They separated shortly after relocating to Los Angeles in October 1977. He was wed to Late Night producer Merrill Markoe from 1978 to 1988. She is said to have had a big impact on his comic style. Letterman started dating Regina Lasko in February 1986; Lasko gave birth to their son in 2003.

The couple wed in 2009, and their family resides in North Salem, New York. In 2005, police uncovered a plot to kidnap his son and hold him for a $5 million ransom. The former painter of Letterman’s house was charged with taking part in the scheme.

When someone threatened to reveal his liaisons with some of his female crew members, Letterman was the target of a blackmail attempt in 2009. On October 5, 2009, during a portion of his show, Letterman publicly apologized to his wife and his team after learning about these affairs. Letterman has recognized his struggles with anxiety and alcoholism, and he has given up drinking.

David Letterman Career

Letterman was a newscaster and announcer for Ball State’s student-run radio station, WBST. He was let off for making jokes and disparaging remarks about classical music. He started working as a weatherman for an Indianapolis TV station after graduating.

David Letterman Net Worth
David Letterman’s Net Worth

On air, he was renowned for his erratic conduct and lighthearted banter, which occasionally included giving the weather for made-up cities. His family and friends urged him to relocate to Los Angeles in 1975 so that he might pursue a career as a comedy writer there.

He started doing stand-up there at The Comedy Store. Through stand-up, he built a lot of connections and by 1978, he was writing and making short guest appearances for a variety of tiny acts, TV shows, and game shows. He underwent a screen test for the lead role in the 1980 film Airplane!, but Robert Hays ultimately won the part.

Eventually, talent scouts for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson got interested in his blend of sarcasm and dry humor, and he soon became Carson’s favorite comedian and a frequent guest on the program. Letterman has consistently cited Carson as having had the most impact on his career.

Late Night Career

On June 23, 1980, Dave had his morning comedy program on NBC. Despite receiving positive reviews, it received poor ratings and was canceled after only four months. NBC attempted to move him to a different time slot, though.

In February 1982, Late Night with David Letterman made its debut. Bill Murray was the first person invited. Monday through Thursday, the show aired at 12:30 A.M. EST, immediately after The Tonight Show. College students and young adults developed a cult following for Dave’s irreverent, brash, cynical, self-deprecating comedy, and eccentric bits.

Many of Dave’s followers found his candor refreshing, and he quickly developed a reputation as a witty and direct interviewer. The program also became well-known for its absurd comedy, such as “Stupid Pet Tricks” and Top 10 List segments.

Fans passionately anticipated that Letterman would take over The Tonight Show when Johnny Carson retired in 1992. But in an unexpected move, NBC hired Jay Leno. To compete against Jay Leno for the same 11:30 p.m. time slot, Letterman departed NBC to host his program, The Late Show with David Letterman, on CBS.

At the venerable Ed Sullivan Theater, the show made its debut on August 30th, 1993. Letterman accepted a three-year, $14 million per year contract with CBS, more than doubling his prior pay at NBC. In preparation for a larger, more traditional, and more conservative audience, Letterman somewhat toned down his outrageous and fiercely original brand of humor.

He extended the introductory monologue and added Paul Shaffer and his band as a sidekick. By gently rebranding many of his standout moments from his last program, he was able to maintain them (i.e., The Top Ten List became The Late Show Top Ten).

Over the years that they both hosted, Letterman and Leno were infamous rivals who alternated between controlling the top slot. In his first 20 years in late-night, Letterman received 67 Emmy Award nominations and 12 wins for his programs, which were extremely well-liked and well-regarded by critics.

Letterman announced his retirement in April 2014, and on May 20, 2015, a lavish and celebrity-studded farewell edition of Letterman aired. There were 13.76 million people that watched it. Stephen Colbert was named Letterman’s successor.

In total, 6,080 episodes of Late Night and Late Show were presented by Letterman. He outlasted his buddy and mentor Carson to become the longest-running late-night talk show host in the annals of American television.

David Letterman’s Net Worth

A former host of late-night talk shows and comedian from the United States, David Letterman has a $400 million fortune. Letterman used to be able to easily make $50 million a year in licensing and syndication fees, but recently, that sum has somewhat decreased. David Letterman makes $2 million per episode.

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