Letterman began his career as a radio talk show host on WNTS (AM) and on Indianapolis television station WLWI (which changed its call sign to WTHR in 1976) as an anchor and weatherman.
He received some attention for his unpredictable on-air behavior, which included congratulating a tropical storm for being upgraded to a hurricane and predicting hail stones "the size of canned hams." He would also occasionally report the weather and the day's very high and low temps for fictitious cities ("Eight inches of snow in Bingree and surrounding areas") while on another occasion saying that a state border had been erased when a satellite map accidentally omitted the state border between Indiana and Ohio, attributing it to dirty political dealings.
Later that year, Letterman was a cast member on Mary Tyler Moore's variety show, Mary.
His dry, sarcastic humor caught the attention of scouts for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, and Letterman was soon a regular guest on the show.
("The higher-ups have removed the border between Indiana and Ohio making it one giant state. I don't know what to do about it.") He also starred in a local kiddie show, made wisecracks as host of a late night TV show called "Freeze-Dried Movies" (he once acted out a scene from Godzilla using plastic dinosaurs), and hosted a talk show that aired early on Saturday mornings called Clover Power, Jimmie Walker saw him on stage; with an endorsement from George Miller, Letterman joined a group of comedians whom Walker hired to write jokes for his stand-up act, a group that at various times would also include Jay Leno, Paul Mooney, Robert Schimmel, Richard Jeni, Louie Anderson, Elayne Boosler, Byron Allen, Jack Handey, and Steve Oedekerk.
(that was never picked up), and co-starred in the Barry Levinson-produced comedy special Peeping Times that aired in January 1978.
The fear of losing his father was constantly with Letterman as he grew up.The David Letterman Show (host, 1980) Late Night with David Letterman (host, 1982–93) Late Show with David Letterman (host, 1993–2015) My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman (host, 2018 – ) David Michael Letterman (born April 12, 1947) is an American television host, comedian, writer, and producer.He hosted a late night television talk show for 33 years, beginning with the February 1, 1982, debut of Late Night with David Letterman on NBC, and ending with the May 20, 2015, broadcast of Late Show with David Letterman on CBS.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.