Long before he first hosted “Late Night with David Letterman,” Michael was a fan of David Letterman’s wicked humor that was often based on his total lack of respect for authority, pomposity, and those who make life miserable for the little guy. When it was announced Letterman would have a nightly show on NBC beginning on February 1, 1982, Michael made his way from Flint to New York to see if he could get a stand-by ticket to sit in the audience during Letterman’s first week on the air. He succeeded. Letterman’s guest that night? Filmmaker Francis Ford Coppola. Michael couldn’t believe his luck. At that time it would be another seven years before his first film, Roger & Me, would be released. 

In this episode Michael talks about what he learned about satire from David Letterman while sitting and watching him from Flint. And how Letterman impacted Michael (without knowing it) and the film and TV work he would eventually do. This episode of Rumble is a personal peek behind how Michael grew to reach his own audience thanks in part to the inspiration Dave offered him.


Watch the Late Night with David Letterman episodes & clips featured in this episode of Rumble:

February 8, 1982 full episode featuring Francis Ford Coppola

April 18, 1986 episode clip when Dave takes a fruit basket to GE, his new bosses.

December 27, 1989 episode clip of Michael’s first interview with Dave, after the release of Roger & Me.


Music in today’s episode:

I Was in the House When The House Burned Down — Warren Zevon


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