Poor Inky. All the best, buddy!!

David Letterman’s cue card guy, Tony Mendez, fired after assault: report

David Letterman’s long-time cue card person was fired last week after an argument with the host and an altercation with a staff writer, The New York Post reports.

Tony Mendez, who is often seen on camera holding Letterman’s jokes on old-fashioned cue cards, told the Post it all started when he was interrupted by writer Bill Scheft while trying to talk to Letterman in his dressing room. Mendez snapped at Scheft, which prompted Letterman to make a comment about Mendez’s “sour disposition.”

Mendez then shouted back “You’re the one who has the sour disposition, motherf—–.”

Mendez says he was still stewing over the argument the next day and thought Scheft was trying to create a wedge between him and Letterman. When he got back to work, Mendez immediately grabbed Scheft’s shirt and threw him up against the wall.

“He was very surprised,” Mendez said. “He didn’t say a word. He was cowering, his eyes were real big, he probably peed a little bit on his pants.”

Sources tell the Post Mendez will continue to get his salary as well as benefits until Letterman retires.

“Dave has never let me down,” Mendez said. “He is the best, the most generous boss I have ever had. Dave would never do anything to harm me.”


This is so great! So, so great!!!

Foo Fighters Plot Weeklong ‘Letterman’ Residency

Foo Fighters will spend a week in New York next week as the musical guests of Late Show With David Letterman, playing covers of songs inspired by their forthcoming record Sonic Highways each night. Additionally, Dave Grohl will sit for an interview with the talk-show host on October 13th, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Grohl’s documentary series, also titled Sonic Highways, which premieres on HBO on October 17th. The film chronicles the making of the album – which the band recorded in eight different U.S. cities, including Los Angeles, Seattle, New York, Nashville and Austin, among others, since each has its own unique musical history – as well as the musical history of each locale. A three-and-a-half-minute preview for the series showed interviews with artists like Dolly Parton, Slash, Clive Davis, Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen, LL Cool J, Macklemore and more, as well as non-musicians like President Barack Obama and Rolling Stone’s David Fricke.

“This isn’t just the making of our most ambitious album,” Grohl said in the preview. “This is a love letter to the history of American music.”

Initially, Grohl had hoped to record the Sonic Highways album in various international cities, but he realized that would be “financially impossible,” as he told Rolling Stone. “We’re an American band,” he said. “We wouldn’t be the band we are if it wasn’t for the cities here and their music.”

The Butch Vig–produced record Sonic Highways will come out on November 11th with eight new songs. “This album is instantly recognizable as a Foo Fighters record, but there’s something deeper and more musical to it,” Grohl said in a statement when the album was announced. “I think that these cities and these people influenced us to stretch out and explore new territory, without losing our ‘sound.'”


I will miss him so much, he is – and has always been – spectacular!!

David Letterman to Retire From CBS in 2015

In a move that will complete the generational transition in latenight, David Letterman is preparing to retire from CBS next year.

Letterman, who will turn 67 on April 12, disclosed his decision during Thursday afternoon’s taping of “The Late Show.”

“The man who owns this network, Leslie Moonves, he and I have had a relationship for years and years and years, and we have had this conversation in the past, and we agreed that we would work together on this circumstance and the timing of this circumstance. And I phoned him just before the program, and I said ‘Leslie, it’s been great, you’ve been great, and the network has been great, but I’m retiring,’” Letterman said, according to a transcript issued by his PR rep.

“I just want to reiterate my thanks for the support from the network, all of the people who have worked here, all of the people in the theater, all the people on the staff, everybody at home, thank you very much. What this means now, is that Paul and I can be married.

“We don’t have the timetable for this precisely down – I think it will be at least a year or so, but sometime in the not too distant future, 2015 for the love of God, in fact, Paul and I will be wrapping things up.”

Afterward, Letterman received a standing ovation from the audience at the Ed Sullivan Theater.

Sources said there was no creative license in Letterman’s statement. CBS Corp. chief Moonves got the official word from Letterman on his decision to retire shortly before Thursday’s taping.

“When Dave decided on a one-year extension for his most recent contract, we knew this day was getting closer, but that doesn’t make the moment any less poignant for us,” Moonves said in a statement.

“For 21 years, David Letterman has graced our network’s air in late night with wit, gravitas and brilliance unique in the history of our medium. During that time, Dave has given television audiences thousands of hours of comedic entertainment, the sharpest interviews in late night, and brilliant moments of candor and perspective around national events. He’s also managed to keep many celebrities, politicians and executives on their toes – including me.

“There is only one David Letterman. His greatness will always be remembered here, and he will certainly sit among the pantheon of this business. On a personal note, it’s been a privilege to get to know Dave and to enjoy a terrific relationship. It’s going to be tough to say goodbye. Fortunately, we won’t have to do that for another year or so. Until then, we look forward to celebrating Dave’s remarkable show and incredible talents,” Moonves said.

Last year, Letterman re-upped his contract with the Eye network in a two-year deal that was expected to be his last. But sources close to the situation advised that Letterman may stick around a little bit longer past the August expiration of his current contract.

As of next year, Letterman will have hosted “Late Show” on CBS for 22 years. He logged 11 years as host of NBC’s “Late Night” before famously being passed over at NBC for Johnny Carson’s throne on “The Tonight Show” — over Carson’s objection. Letterman has logged more than 6,000 episodes during his long career.

Word of Letterman’s plan spread quickly via Twitter on Thursday afternoon after musician Mike Mills, who appears on Thursday’s show, noted Letterman’s big news following the taping.

Letterman’s departure will cap a busy period of host shuffling in latenight following Jay Leno’s retirement from “The Tonight Show,” which made way for Jimmy Fallon to take the helm.

Staying on through 2015 will allow Letterman to comfortably outlast his longtime rival, although Leno had the ratings advantage during most of his 22-year run on NBC. Sources close to the situation were also adamant that the decision was Letterman’s, with no nudge from CBS despite the fact that he is now going up against much younger competitors on NBC and ABC.

With Letterman stepping down, the latenight TV landscape will be dominated by hosts (Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, Seth Meyers, Craig Ferguson, Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Conan O’Brien) who came of age professionally in the post-Johnny Carson era. Arsenio Hall, who returned to latenight this past fall with a syndicated series, is the lone exception.

In fact, Letterman is the bigger influence on his contemporary crop of rivals. ABC’s Kimmel has made no secret of idolizing his 11:35 p.m. competitor.

Hall was equally effusive: “I have had the unique pleasure of watching him as a fan and competing against him as a fellow host. He has set a standard for comedy in late night that I strive to achieve every single day,” he said.

Confirmation of Letterman’s retirement raises the question about his successor. Craig Ferguson has hosted “The Late Late Show” following Letterman since 2005, but it’s not immediately clear if CBS sees him as 11:35 p.m. successor potential. CBS reps would not comment on succession questions Thursday, emphasizing that today’s news was “all about Dave.”

Since his start on CBS in 1993, Letterman has owned both “The Late Show” and “The Late Late Show,” which was first hosted by Tom Snyder and then Craig Kilborn prior to Ferguson. He has the contractual right to control the show that follows his at 12:30 p.m., and it is believed that Letterman and his Worldwide Pants production banner will continue to have a measure of control over CBS’ latenight lineup even after his retirement.

Owning his show has given Letterman an unusual degree of control over his destiny at CBS — a welcome change after his unhappy exit from NBC. “The Late Show” has also made him very rich. At one point he was said to have commanded an annual paycheck of about $30 million, though his salary has been downsized some in his last few contracts.


This is spectacular news!!!

David Letterman Extends Contract Through 2015

NEW YORK (AP) — David Letterman, already the longest-tenured talk show host on late-night television, has agreed to extend his contract with CBS to remain on the “Late Show” into 2015.

The deal means Letterman will compete directly for at least a year with the two Jimmys — Kimmel, on ABC’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” and Fallon, who’s taking over at NBC’s “Tonight” show this winter.

Letterman joked on Friday that he had a lengthy discussion with CBS Corp. President Leslie Moonves “and we both agreed that I needed a little more time to fully run the show into the ground.”

Letterman, 66, has been on the air for 31 years since beginning at NBC in the time slot following Johnny Carson in 1982. His contract was set to expire next summer.

It’s unclear how long into 2015 the new contract extends. Neither CBS nor Letterman made any mention in Friday’s announcement of this being a final contract at the “Late Show.”

In the increasingly competitive late-night world, where Letterman also competes with new Emmy Award winner Stephen Colbert on Comedy Central, Letterman averaged 2.89 million viewers for the TV season that ended last month. That’s down 3 percent from the previous year.

Jay Leno and the “Tonight” show averaged 3.55 million viewers, the Nielsen ratings company said. NBC is getting ready to take Leno off “Tonight” for a second time, with his exit scheduled for Feb. 6. Fallon, who’s moving the show back to New York, starts after the Winter Olympics on Feb. 24.

Kimmel’s show on ABC has averaged 2.42 million viewers since it began competing directly with Letterman and Leno in January.

Letterman moved to the top of the ratings when Leno was briefly replaced by Conan O’Brien. But Leno took over again when he returned to late night.

Letterman has remained healthy following quintuple bypass surgery that temporarily took him off the air 13 years ago.


Great score for Dave!!

Led Zeppelin to Make ‘Late Show’ Visit

The surviving members of Led Zeppelin are staying up late next week. Jimmy Page, Robert Plant and John Paul Jones are set to visit the “Late Show with David Letterman” on Monday (Dec. 3) for a rare joint interview.

That’s interview, not performance. But the visit instantly sets off speculation that the trio will miraculously announce some sort of future engagement.

The legendary band and Letterman will have plenty to talk about: both will have just been honored at the 35th Annual Kennedy Center Honors in Washington, D.C. That event won’t be broadcast on CBS until the day after Christmas.

In October, Zeppelin released the concert film “Celebration Day,” which documented the band’s heralded reunion concert in 2007 at London’s O2 Arena. A CD and DVD/Blu-ray set hit stores on Nov. 19.

At a press conference on Oct. 9 the trio spent much of the time deflecting or ignoring questions about another Zep reunion. An exasperated Plant even lashed out a few times at lug-headed journalists.

“Shmuck,” he said to one reporter. In response to another question, he said, “To do actually anything at all together is such an incredible weight. Because sometimes we were fucking awful, and sometimes were stunning…”

The “Late Show” appearance will be fun to watch, especially if the never-shy Plant lays into Letterman when he’s (inevitably) asked about future reunions.


Congrats to them all…especially Dave!!

Led Zeppelin, Buddy Guy, David Letterman to Receive Kennedy Center Awards

The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced the seven recipients of the 2012 Kennedy Center Honors. Buddy Guy, Led Zeppelin, David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman and ballerina Natalia Makarova will be honored by the Kennedy Center. Though Led Zeppelin will receive honors as a band, John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant will each receive Kennedy Center Honors.

“Buddy Guy is a titan of the blues and has been a tremendous influence on virtually everyone who has picked up an electric guitar in the last half century,” said Kennedy Center Chairman David M. Rubenstein in a press release. “David Letterman is one of the most influential personalities in the history of television, entertaining an entire generation of late-night viewers with his unconventional wit and charm . . . and Led Zeppelin’s John Paul Jones, Jimmy Page and Robert Plant transformed the sound of rock & roll with their lyricism and innovative song structures, infusing blues into the sound of rock & roll and laying the foundation for countless rock bands.”

The Kennedy Center Honors will be presented on December 1st, with the Honors Gala on December 2nd. The gala will air December 26th on CBS.


Fantastic news!!

Conan to appear on ‘Letterman’

Conan O’Brien will visit “The Late Show With David Letterman” next week for the first time in 13 years – but whatever will they find to talk about?

Maybe Jay Leno. Neither of them are huge fans.

Letterman departed for CBS after losing the “Tonight Show“ gig to Jay Leno in 1992, and O’Brien replaced him as the host of NBC’s “Late Night.” O’Brien took over “The Tonight Show” in 2009, only to lose it to Leno the next year and head off to TBS.

O’Brien last appeared on Letterman’s show on Jan. 13, 1999. The “Conan” host will appear on the “Late Show” next Thursday.

The timing may bode well for “Super Fun Night,” a CBS pilot starring Rebel Wilson that O’Brien is executive producing. CBS will make a decision on whether to order the pilot to series before its upfront presentation to advertisers Wednesday – the day before O’Brien’s appearance.


Woo hoo!!! More Dave is always great news!!!

Dave, Craig set to stay in late night through 2014

NEW YORK (AP) — Relax, all you fans of David Letterman and Craig Ferguson. They’ll be hosting awhile longer.

CBS announced Tuesday that both late-night stars will be sticking with their respective hours — “Late Show” and “The Late Late Show” — through 2014.

The new deal means Letterman would become the longest-running, late-night talk-show host in TV history, surpassing Johnny Carson’s record of 30 years at the “Tonight” show. Letterman, who turns 65 next week, began on NBC in 1982 with “Late Night” before switching to CBS in 1993.

The Scottish-born Ferguson, 49, had been a musician, writer and sitcom star when he took over “The Late Late Show” in 2005.


I love, admire and respect them both!!

David Letterman to surpass Johnny Carson with new ‘Late Show’ deal

David Letterman is in talks to remain host of the Late Show through 2014. “As would be expected at this time, we’re having conversations with both Dave and Craig [Ferguson] about future years. There are no further details to announce at this time,” said CBS in a statement.

But according to the New York Times, CBS has received the green light to retain key members of Letterman’s staff and that the host, who’s been at CBS since 1993, is looking to extend his deal for another two years. His current contract is due to expire this August.

If a deal is reached, Letterman would surpass the late-night run of his idol, Johnny Carson, who hosted The Tonight Show for 30 years. Letterman began his show on NBC, following Carson’s Tonight Show, back in 1982.

Representatives for Letterman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


For me, it isn’t Christmas without them!!

Odd holiday traditions for David Letterman

NEW YORK (AP) — Think holiday traditions and mistletoe, eggnog and caroling come to mind. David Letterman’s Christmas includes target practice at a giant meatball, the Lone Ranger and singer Darlene Love.

Each has become part of CBS “Late Show” lore through the years, their appearances anticipated by fans like wrapped presents under a tree. The meatball, the Lone Ranger and Love all return Friday.

Comic Jay Thomas will be back to try to knock a meatball off the top of a Christmas tree with a football and recount his Lone Ranger anecdote again. Love will sing “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” as fake snow flutters to the stage.

“The best traditions are the ones you can’t plan,” said Rob Burnett, executive producer of “Late Show.”

“These happened very organically on our show and it is very silly and very goofy. It makes sense with the sensibility of the ‘Late Show’ to be part of our tradition.”

Letterman’s on-set Christmas tree is frequently decorated with oddities, such as the meatball on top instead of a star, Angel or bow.

It all started one night back in 1998 when New York Jets quarterback Vinny Testaverde was a guest. He and Letterman picked up footballs and began tossing them at the tree, aiming for the meatball. Watching their failures impatiently from the wings was Thomas, former quarterback at tiny Central Piedmont Community College in Charlotte, N.C.

Thomas had discussed trying the target practice with Letterman before the show, but no one told that to stage manager Biff Henderson. He blocked Thomas from going out on stage.

“I fake to the right and Biff goes to catch me and I run around him like a scramble,” said Thomas, who picked up a football and threw with laserlike accuracy at the meatball, accomplishing in one throw what the NFL quarterback couldn’t in several.

Testaverde has been forgotten, but Thomas is invited back each year to see if he can repeat his feat.

Around the same time — Thomas isn’t sure exactly when — Letterman heard about a story Thomas told of his time as a radio DJ in the South when he and a friend had to give a ride to Clayton Moore, star of television’s “Lone Ranger.” We won’t be spoilers; Letterman has called it the “best story I’ve ever heard.”

The story, too, is repeated each year. Thomas said he and Letterman have never discussed why it has become a tradition. It just has.

“It is the craziest thing I have ever been a part of,” he said.

Thomas practices before each appearance, taking a football into Central Park and aiming at a particular tree branch.

Two years ago Letterman knocked off the meatball with his own throw before Thomas even came out on stage, leaving the comic — whose acting career has cooled — to moan in fake distress: “This is all I have!”

Last year Thomas needed a cortisone shot to make the show after he had injured his shoulder throwing a golf ball. “They’re shooting me up like a racehorse to make $760 and hit a friggin’ meatball,” he said.

He’s heard from plenty of people who look forward to his annual appearance, including a well-known Hollywood movie director. The power player, who Thomas wouldn’t name, confessed that he’s bipolar and often plays a recording of the holiday show when he’s glum. Thomas is glad to cheer the director up. He’d like it even more if he could get an audition for one of the man’s movies.

The Darlene Love tradition has deeper roots. Letterman bandleader Paul Shafferlearned early on when he tried to play “Monster Mash” on Halloween that his boss isn’t much into holiday music. But Love’s “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home),” originally recorded for the landmark 1963 holiday album “A Christmas Gift for You,” is “the one place where his and my holiday tastes coincide,” Shaffer said. “He loves the song.”

Shaffer was performing with Love in Ellie Greenwich’s musical “Leader of the Pack” in winter 1984 and Letterman came to see them. Shaffer isn’t sure which man had the idea of inviting her on the show — then televised on NBC — but everyone was pleased with the results.

The first time, Shaffer accompanied Love with a quartet. As the years went on musicians were added to approximate original producer Phil Spector’s “Wall of Sound,” and upwards of 20 musicians and singers have been onstage with Love.

Each year’s twist involves how red-suited saxophone player Bruce Kapler will appear for his solo: One year he burst through a chimney. The widow of famed sax session player Steve Douglas, who played on the original “Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)” recording, sold Shaffer the horn used on that session, and Kapler borrows it each year for Love’s appearance.

Letterman’s staff has a real emotional connection to the song, enhanced with the passage of time, Burnett said.

“Every year there’s a moment in the song, where she is hitting it full blast and the confetti comes down, just about every staff member — even the toughest stagehand — you can see just choking it back,” he said.

All of it — the football, the meatball, the anecdote and the song — make for an odd mix. But Letterman can be an odd man.

“If Dave didn’t enjoy it, it wouldn’t be on TV,” Burnett said.