Late Show with David Letterman is an American late-night talk show hosted by David Letterman on CBS. The show debuted on August 30, 1993, and is produced by Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants Incorporated and CBS Television Studios. The show’s music director and band-leader of the house band, the CBS Orchestra, is Paul Shaffer. The head writer is Matt Roberts and the announcer is Alan Kalter. Of the major U.S. late-night programs, Late Show ranks second in cumulative average viewers over time and third in number of episodes over time. In most U.S. markets the show airs at 11:35 p.m. Eastern/Pacific time, but is recorded Monday through Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., and Thursdays at 3:30 p.m and 6:00 p.m. The second Thursday episode usually airs on Friday of that week.
In 2002, Late Show with David Letterman was ranked No. 7 on TV Guide’s 50 Greatest TV Shows of All Time. CBS has a contract with Worldwide Pants to continue the show through 2015. As host of both Late Night and Late Show for more than 30 years, Letterman surpassed Johnny Carson as the longest running late-night talk show host in 2013.
Host: David Letterman
David Michael Letterman (born April 12, 1947) is an American 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. In 2013, Letterman surpassed friend and mentor Johnny Carson as the longest-serving late-night talk show host in TV history, at 31 years.
Letterman is also a television and film producer. His company Worldwide Pants produces his show as well as its network followup 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.
Sidekick: Paul Shaffer
Paul Allen Wood Shaffer, CM (/ˈʃeɪfər/; born November 28, 1949) is a Canadian-American musician, actor, voice actor, author, comedian, and composer who has been David Letterman’s musical director, band leader and sidekick since 1982.
House Band: The CBS Orchestra
The CBS Orchestra is the house band, led by Paul Shaffer, that plays for David Letterman’s CBS late-night talk show, Late Show with David Letterman. Minus its horn section, it was previously known as The World’s Most Dangerous Band (WMDB) from 1982 to 1993, during the group’s tenure as the house band for NBC’s Late Night with David Letterman.