On this day in pop culture history: ‘Late Night with David Letterman’ premiered

02.01.16 2 years ago

34 years ago today, a new talk show favorite was born when Late Night with David Letterman debuted.

Letterman hosted Late Night on NBC until 1993, when the network chose Jay Leno over Letterman to take Johnny Carson”s place as host of The Tonight Show. Letterman then moved to CBS and launched Late Show with David Letterman.

On both Late Night“s first show in 1982 and Late Show“s first episode in 1993, Bill Murray was the first guest. He was a frequent guest on both, with 44 appearances between the two shows. In the final episode of Late Show with David Letterman last May, Murray presented item No. 1 on the show”s star-studded final Top 10 list.

Other notable February 1 happenings in pop culture history:

• 1896: Giacomo Puccini opera La bohème had its world premiere in Turin, Italy. 100 years later, the massive popularity-bound musical Rent premiered in New York – Jonathan Larson based Rent musical on La bohème and included direct references to the opera in songs like “Light My Candle” and “La Vie Bohème.”

• 1954: CBS soap opera The Secret Storm premiered. It aired for 5,195 episodes over the course of 20 years.

• 1964: The Beatles scored their first No. 1 hit when “I Want to Hold Your Hand” reached the top of the Billboard Hot 100 in its third chart week.

• 1976: In spite of the very public divorce of its stars, The Sonny & Cher Comedy Hour got a second life with the premiere of The Sonny & Cher Show.

• 1977: Suspiria premiered in Italy. It hit U.S. theaters the following summer. Check out HitFix”s Ultimate Horror Poll to see where the film ranked in the Top 100 selected by horror experts.

• 1985: Glenn Frey – founding member of the Eagles who died last month – guest starred on Miami Vice. The episode was called “Smuggler”s Blues,” taking its title and inspiration for its plot from Frey”s hit song of the same name.

• 1999: Neil Gaiman novel Stardust was released, following a the 1998 release of the illustrated story book version of the tale of a young man named Tristran and a fallen star named Yvaine. A film based on the book starring Claire Danes and Charlie Cox hit theaters in 2007.

• 2004: At Super Bowl XXXVIII, Janet Jackson and Justin Timberlake performed their infamous halftime show that ended in a “wardrobe malfunction” with Timberlake pulling off part of Jackson”s costume, revealing her right breast. That must-rewind moment led to a massive jump in TiVo subscriptions and has even been credited with inspiring  the creation of YouTube.

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