David Letterman will announce his retirement from “The Late Show” after 20 years on tonight’s taped episode.
Perhaps Letterman’s greatest late-night show legacy is his nightly Top 10 lists. In honour of his departure come 2015, we’ve rounded up the Top 10 Letterman Top 10 lists.
To compile the ranked list, we took into consideration top-viewed lists from YouTube and talked-about lists across the Internet. We also looked at prior anniversary lists from Letterman himself.
We also turned to CBS’ archives of top 10 lists dating back to 2001. Not all of our selections have video.
Without further ado, these are the lists that had us laughing the hardest:
10. Top Ten Reasons I’m glad to be named Justin Bieber
Air date: November 3, 2010
A man from Jacksonville, Florida named Justin Bieber came on the show to present.
9. Top Ten Things I Have Learned Working For “The Late Show”
Air date: August 28, 2003
10. “Most of audience — prison inmates”
(Line Producer, Kathy Mavrikakis)
9. “That moron couldn’t remember his name if it wasn’t on cue cards”
(Cue Cards, Tony Mendez)
8. “I have utterly and completely wasted my life”
(Associate Producer, Nancy Agostini)
7. “Jennifer Lopez is a hellcat in bed”
(Film Coordinator, Rick Scheckman)
6. “The hours may be long, but the money sucks”
(Make Up Artist, Michele O’Callaghan)
5. “We really are a family, and Dave is the crazy uncle everyone is hoping will be put in a home”
(Writer, Gerard Mulligan)
4. “You don’t need good looks or talent to get your own show”
(Stage Manager, Biff Henderson)
3. “When Regis calls, Dave’s in a meeting”
(Executive Assistant to David Letterman, Laurie Diamond)
2. “All kidding aside, Dave really is an arse****”
(Executive Producer, Jude Brennan)
1. “It’s much easier if I just tell people I work for Leno”
(Musical Director, Paul Shaffer)
8. Ricky Gervais shares the Top Ten Stupid Things Americans Say To Brits
Air date: November 3, 2008
“Do you know the Queen?”
7. Robert De Niro and Al Pacino’s Top Ten Reasons I Like Being An Actor
Air date: September 2008
6. Top Ten Ways The Show Has Changed Since 1993.
Air date: August 28, 2009
10. Now do the bulk of my drinking after the show
9. People used to pretend to like me. Now they pretend to tolerate me
8. Global warming has raised theatre temperature to 38 degrees
7. I lost 280 pounds with Deal-a-Meal
6. Crazy lady we used to piss off: Madonna. Now crazy lady we piss off: Sarah Palin
5. Audience is here to see if I drop dead on stage
4. Dwindling amount of hate mail; burgeoning amount of hate email
3. Every ten minutes someone is dropping a flashlight
2. Used to talk with sexiest women in the world. Now I interview Artie Lange
1. Emmy Awards replaced with Fire Dave rallies
5. Top Ten President Obama Excuses
Air date: October 4, 2012
10. “I haven’t slept an hour since 2008”
9. “Romney’s hair is mesmerising”
8. “Didn’t want to wake Jim Lehrer”
7. “Haven’t been the same since I quit smoking”
6. “Honestly, I thought the debate was next week”
5. “I live with my mother-in-law, what do you want from me?”
4. “Kept blanking on what percentage of the country Mitt’s written off”
3. “Skipped rehearsal, just like Letterman”
2. “Why don’t you ask Bin Laden how I did?”
1. “It’s Bush’s fault”
4. Top Ten Things Never Before Said on “The Sopranos” as presented by the cast.
Air date: n/a
“You don’t have the money? That’s cool.”
3. Barack Obama delivers his Top Ten Campaign Promises
Air date: January 2008
2. Top Ten List of Top 10 Favourite California Names
Air date: May 7, 1996
To present this, Letterman had the actual California residents read off their name and show their licenses to prove it. This is great because as the names get worse and worse, Letterman’s crew continues to cut to a woman in the audience clearly bothered by the vulgarities.
1. Top 10 George Bush Moments
Air date: n/a
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