David Letterman is a television host and comedian. He hosts the late night television talk show, Late Show with David Letterman, broadcast on CBS. Letterman has been a fixture on late night television since the 1982 debut of Late Night with David Letterman on NBC. Letterman recently surpassed friend and mentor Johnny Carson for having the longest late-night hosting career in the United States of America.
Letterman is also a television and film producer. His company Worldwide Pants produces his show as well as its network follow-up The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson. Worldwide Pants has also produced several prime-time comedies, the most successful of which was Everybody Loves Raymond, currently in syndication.
In 1996, David Letterman was ranked #45 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Stars of All Time.
David Letterman started his own production company—Worldwide Pants Incorporated—which produced his show and several others, including Everybody Loves Raymond, The Late Late Show, and several critically acclaimed, but short-lived television series for Bonnie Hunt. Worldwide Pants also produced the dramedy program Ed, which aired on NBC from 2000–2004. It was Letterman’s first association with NBC since he left the network in 1993. During Ed’s run, the star, Tom Cavanagh, appeared as a guest on The Late Show several times.
In 2005, Worldwide Pants produced its first feature film, Strangers with Candy, which was a prequel to the Comedy Central TV series of the same title. In 2007, Worldwide Pants produced the ABC comedy series, Knights of Prosperity. Worldwide Pants made significant news in December 2007 when it was announced that Letterman’s company had independently negotiated its own contract with the Writers Guild of America, East, thus allowing Letterman, Craig Ferguson, and their writers to return to work, while the union continued its strike against production companies, networks and studios who had not reached an agreement.
In late April 2010, several music industry websites reported that David Letterman started a record label named Clear Entertainment/C.E. Music and signed his first artist, Runner Runner. Lucy Walsh announced on her MySpace page that she has been signed by Letterman and Clear Entertainment/C.E. Music and is working on her album.
Rahal Letterman Lanigan Racing (RLLR) is an auto racing team that currently races in the American Le Mans Series, and full-time in the IZOD IndyCar Series. It is co-owned by 1986 Indianapolis 500 winner Bobby Rahal, businessman Mike Lanigan, and Letterman himself, and is based in Hilliard, Ohio. The team won the 2004 Indianapolis 500 with driver Buddy Rice. Letterman was a pit reporter for ABC in the 1971 Indianapolis 500.
How David Letterman Made His Money – Television and Entrepreneur
Estimated Net Worth: $410 Million
Birthday: April 12, 1947
[image via Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff]