David Letterman Net Worth 2022: Who Kidnapped His Son In 2005?

American comedian and former host of the late-night talk show David Letterman. Letterman used to be able to easily make $50 million a year in licensing and syndication fees, but recently, that sum has somewhat decreased.

Early Life

On April 12, 1947, David Micheal Letterman was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. His sisters range in age from older to younger. Harry Letterman, a florist, and Dorothy Letterman, a church secretary, were his parents. His father suffered a heart attack and passed away at age 57. Letterman attended Broad Ripple High School and was a stock boy at a nearby supermarket. He received his degree in television and radio from Ball State University in 1969.

Early Career

Letterman was a newscaster and announcer for Ball State’s student-run radio station, WBST. He was let off for making jokes and disparaging remarks about classical music. He started working as a weatherman for an Indianapolis TV station after graduating. On air, he was renowned for his erratic conduct and lighthearted banter, which occasionally included giving the weather for made-up cities. His family and friends urged him to relocate to Los Angeles in 1975 so that he might pursue a career as a comedy writer there.

He started doing stand-up there at The Comedy Store. Through stand-up, he built a lot of connections and by 1978, he was writing and making short guest appearances for a variety of tiny acts, TV shows, and game shows.

He underwent a screen test for the lead role in the 1980 film Airplane!, but Robert Hays ultimately won the part. Eventually, talent scouts for The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson got interested in his blend of sarcasm and dry humor, and he soon became Carson’s favorite comedian and a frequent guest on the program. Letterman has consistently cited Carson as having had the most impact on his career.

Late Night Career

On June 23, 1980, Dave had his own morning comedy program on NBC. Despite receiving positive reviews, it received poor ratings and was canceled after only four months. NBC attempted to move him to a different time slot, though. In February 1982, Late Night with David Letterman made its debut. Bill Murray was the first person invited. Monday through Thursday, the show aired at 12:30 A.M. EST, immediately after The Tonight Show.

College students and young adults developed a cult following for Dave’s irreverent, brash, cynical, self-deprecating comedy, and eccentric bits. Many of Dave’s followers found his candor refreshing, and he quickly developed a reputation as a witty and direct interviewer. The program also became well-known for its absurd comedy, such as “Stupid Pet Tricks” and Top 10 List segments.

David Letterman

Fans passionately anticipated that Letterman would take over The Tonight Show when Johnny Carson retired in 1992. But in an unexpected move, NBC hired Jay Leno. In order to compete against Jay Leno for the same 11:30 p.m. time slot, Letterman departed NBC to host his own program, The Late Show with David Letterman, on CBS. At the venerable Ed Sullivan Theater, the show made its debut on August 30th, 1993. Letterman accepted a three-year, $14 million per year contract with CBS, more than doubling his prior pay at NBC.

In preparation for a larger, more traditional, and more conservative audience, Letterman somewhat toned down his outrageous and fiercely original brand of humor. He extended the introductory monologue and added Paul Shaffer and his band as a sidekick. By gently rebranding many of his standout moments from his last program, he was able to maintain them (i.e., The Top Ten List became The Late Show Top Ten). Also, read about John Grisham

Over the years that they both hosted, Letterman and Leno were infamous rivals who alternated between controlling the top slot. In his first 20 years in late-night, Letterman received 67 Emmy Award nominations and 12 wins for his programs, which were extremely well-liked and well-regarded by critics.

Letterman announced his retirement in April 2014, and on May 20, 2015, a lavish and celebrity-studded farewell edition of Letterman aired. There were 13.76 million people that watched it. Stephen Colbert was named Letterman’s successor. In total, 6,080 episodes of Late Night and Late Show were presented by Letterman. He outlasted his buddy and mentor Carson to become the longest-running late-night talk show host in the annals of American television.

Post-Late Show

During his retirement, Letterman has mainly kept a low profile, devoting his time and resources to a number of causes and organizations that are dear to his heart. Millions of dollars have been contributed to charitable organizations like the American Cancer Society, Doctors Without Borders, and Ball State University by his private foundation, the Letterman Foundation for Courtesy and Grooming.

He still owns Worldwide Pants Incorporated, a company he established in 1991. His show was created by the firm, which has since produced a number of other shows. My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman, a long-form interview program, was launched by Letterman in 2018 on Netflix. His first visitor was Barack Obama. On May 31, 2019, the second season’s debut took place. Also, read about Erica Mena

Personal Life

Dave underwent a quintuple bypass operation in January 2000 after physicians found a significant blockage in one of his arteries during a routine examination. He used guest hosts for the show while he was recovering.

In 1968, Dave married Michelle Cook, a girl he met in college. Soon after moving to Los Angeles in October 1977, they got divorced. Between 1978 through 1988, he was married to Late Night producer Merrill Markoe. His comedic approach is claimed to have been greatly influenced by her.

In February 1986, Letterman began dating Regina Lasko; Lasko gave birth to their son in 2003. The family resides in North Salem, New York, and the pair were married in 2009.

Police discovered a conspiracy to kidnap his son in 2005 and demand a $5 million ransom. Letterman’s former home painter was accused of participating in the plot. 2009 saw an attempt at blackmail on Letterman when someone threatened to expose his liaisons with some of his female staff members. When Letterman learned of these affairs, he publicly apologized to his wife and crew during a segment of his show on October 5, 2009.

Letterman has acknowledged that he has battled anxiety and alcohol addiction, and he no longer drinks.

David Letterman Net Worth

David Letterman Net Worth is estimated to be around $400 Million in 2022. Dave has used his stash to establish himself as a sort of real estate tycoon. He also owns a 2,700-acre ranch close to Chateau, Montana, a home on Martha’s Vineyard, and a residence in St. Barth’s.

His 108-acre estate in Westchester County, New York, was purchased for $5 million in 1994 and for the remaining $5 million in 2007. He shares ownership of the Indy Racing League team Rahal Letterman Racing.

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