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Harry Joseph Letterman survived a heart attack at age 36, when David was a young boy.The fear of losing his father was constantly with Letterman as he grew up.On March 27, 1995, Letterman acted as the host for the 67th Academy Awards ceremony. On his first show after the Oscars, he joked, "Looking back, I had no idea that thing was being televised." He lampooned his stint two years later, during Billy Crystal's opening Oscar skit, which also parodied the plane-crashing scenes from that year's chief nominated film, The English Patient.Critics blasted Letterman for what they deemed a poor hosting of the Oscars, noting that his irreverent style undermined the traditional importance and glamor of the event. For years afterward, Letterman recounted his hosting the Oscars, although the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences continued to hold Letterman in high regard and they had invited him to host the Oscars again.The Late Show lost nearly half its audience during its competition with Leno, attracting 7.1 million viewers nightly in its 1993–94 season and about 3.8 million per night as of Leno's departure in 2009.
gained power from its rigorous formalism", as his biographer Jason Zinoman puts it, he was "a fascinatingly disgruntled eccentric trapped inside a more traditional talk show." The main competitor of the Late Show was NBC's The Tonight Show, which was hosted by Jay Leno for 22 years, but from June 1, 2009, to January 22, 2010, was hosted by Conan O'Brien.Letterman became a favorite of Carson and was a regular guest host for the show beginning in 1978.Letterman credits Carson as the person who influenced his career the most.For Letterman's arrival, CBS spent But while the expectation was that Letterman would retain his unique style and sense of humor with the move, Late Show was not an exact replica of his old NBC program.
Recognizing the more formal mood (and wider audience) of his new time slot and studio, Letterman eschewed his trademark blazer with khaki pants and white wrestling shoes wardrobe combination in favor of expensive shoes, tailored suits and light-colored socks. Paul Shaffer and the World's Most Dangerous Band followed Letterman to CBS, but they added a brass section and were rebranded the CBS Orchestra as a short monologue and a small band were mandated by Carson while Letterman occupied the slot.
Murray later went on to become one of Letterman's most recurrent guests, guesting on the show's 30th anniversary episode, which aired January 31, 2012 and on the very last show, which aired May 20, 2015. Eastern Time, immediately following The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson (a Friday night broadcast was added in June 1987).