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‘The David Letterman Show’ debuts on NBC in 1980 The feeling of foreboding was exacerbated by the 1980 cancellation of his NBC morning show, “The David Letterman Show,” within months of its debut.His girlfriend at the time and for years to come, Merrill Markoe, was a brilliantly inventive comedy writer and instrumental in shaping the show.Late-night funnyman David Letterman was hardly a barrel of laughs off the air.A new biography of the now-retired talk show host portrays Letterman as more self-loathing than self-critical — and an often miserable man who inflicted his pain on his staff.Every night after the show, an agonized Letterman would lock himself in his office with Markoe.“The last 10 months have included a nightly discussion about what a failure we are,” she once noted.Stephen Colbert has to deal with ghosts on 'Late Show' Letterman’s anger wasn’t all directed inward, and he became upset with pretty much everyone on the show.
Their relationship eroded to the point where they were barely speaking.
According to a veteran producer, “everything changed after that.” A veteran staffer who served under Letterman through both his late-night shows observed that getting close to the boss was perilous: “There comes a moment when he turns on you.” David Letterman donating ‘Late Show’ props to Ball State The tale of Tim Long, one of several head writers hired during the show’s run, was typical.
Unable to deal with the host’s constant rejections and dark moods, Long took to chewing Coke cans — and swallowing pieces of tin.
David Letterman debuts bearded retirement look in St.
Barts In those days, the acid-tongued Letterman would hang out, trading barbs with the writers.