Watch David Letterman Try to Win Over TV Viewers in Bangor, Maine, in 1987
David Letterman was, in my humble opinion, the best late night talk show host behind Johnny Carson. His wit, sarcasm, and ability to find a funny angle on just about anything happening in the world or his own studio, make him a legend of late night.
After 35 years of hosting three different talk shows that were all pretty similar, Letterman retired from The Late Show and began to pursue other interests such as his acclaimed Netflix series, My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, and his popular YouTube channel, where you'll find old clips from his shows and even new videos with him every so often.
In 1987, Letterman got word that according to the ratings for his show, Bangor, Maine, "had the lowest delivery of all local markets." In other words, no one in Bangor was watching.
In an effort to win over Bangor TV viewers, Letterman had a continuous segment each night about Bangor, Maine. On night one, he read some statistics about Bangor with a shout-out to WLBZ Channel 2, then highlighted products made in Bangor with a model there to class the items up like on a game show.
Then Larry "Bud" Mellman, played by the late Calvert DeForest, came out and read some names of people listed in the Bangor phone book in an effort to hopefully get some Bangor viewers. Paul Schaffer even came up with a song, like he always seems to do, including the lyric "Bangor...hey I don't even know her."
The segment went on for seven shows, with Letterman reading from the phone book with a special guest appearance on night six by actor Robert Vaughn reading names. You may remember him from the Joe Bornstein commercials.
Here are all seven segments of reading from the Bangor phone book. If you're saying to yourself, "Dave isn't pronouncing Bangor right," he addresses that.
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