This was David Letterman’s first talk show as host; and, as a Letterman fan, I fell in love with the former Indianapolis, Indiana local-television meteorologist during the very first year of a new decade – before Bon-Jovi made their first TV appearance on ABC Kids’ American Bandstand, there was The David Letterman Show (The Morning Show with David Letterman).
NBC’s groundbreaking Monday-through-Friday information/talk show premiered in 1980 and became a failure in the weekday-morning talk show arena… to me, Letterman interviewed a diverse variety of actors, political pundits, musicians, authors, lifestyle experts and more in the years pre-Late Night with David Letterman, pre-Late Show with David Letterman. The NBC News Update segment of The Morning Show with David Letterman was anchored by the late Edwin Newman, who covered the day’s top stories in the news.
The David Letterman Show was short-lived. It ran from June 23 to October 24, 1980. Originally, the series had a broadcast time of 90 minutes, then switched to 60 minutes on August 4. It ran in this format until October 24th.
The show had its fans, and its style would heavily influence later Letterman shows. Sadly for people who wanted to laugh in the morning, Letterman’s offering just couldn’t find a big enough audience.
Unfortunately a home video release of the show has not occurred. Approximately 83 episodes (of the 90 produced) are held in the archives of Letterman’s production company, Worldwide Pants; a brief clip from the finale was shown on Letterman’s 15th anniversary show in 1997. Some episodes are available for on-site viewing at the Paley Center in New York and on YouTube.