Emmy Flashback: David Letterman '84
By ROBERT PACE
September 06, 2012
David Letterman has become the face of late-night in the modern era and has hosted his own show for over 30 years now. However, before becoming commonplace in television history, he had to win over audiences, a feat that was realized when he was nominated for an Emmy in 1984.
Although he had received Daytime Emmy awards for his short-lived morning comedy show, Letterman had not received any Primetime Emmy nominations or awards since being granted his own late-night show in 1982.
At the '84 Emmys, that all changed when Late Night with David Letterman was nominated for four awards, three of which were in the same category, Outstanding Writing in a Variety or Music Program.
The show went on to win the Outstanding Writing award for Show #312, and Letterman had a humorous response prepared for the media when he was teased in the pressroom about what had differentiated that show from the others.
"[Show] #291, we had some trouble with the color, so that automatically was discounted and...there was a poison gas leak in the studio for two of those, so it's just a simple matter of elimination," he jokes in the featured flashback.
The clever comedian, who is known to be self-effacing when it comes to his accomplishments and milestones, puts all jokes aside and displays appreciation for the award when talking about it.
"I'm very excited about tonight and I think, just from the way that everybody has got that blank, glazed look on their faces, we're all very excited," the then-37-year-old comedian says. "I must say, we were very flattered and, in my case, I was very surprised."
That year was the beginning of a 25-year span that included 10 Emmys and over 50 Emmy nominations for Letterman and his late-night team.