David Letterman retires: the top ten of his Top Ten lists

Apr 4, 2014

Veteran US talk show host announced he will retire in 2015. Here are some of his best Top Ten lists

Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

DAVID LETTERMAN, one of the most popular and successful hosts in US television history, has said he will retire as the host of The Late Show in 2015.

The 66-year-old broadcaster has presented a late night talk show for 32 years. The first 21 were as host of Late Night with David Letterman on CBS and, since 1993, he has presented the Late Show with David Letterman on NBC.

One of the most popular segments of the show was Letterman’s nightly "Top Ten" list, which parodied news items, delivered a stream of in-jokes and, often, made fun of the host himself.

Below are ten of the fans' favourite Top Tens from down the years.

Top ten ways the show has changed since 1993
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 e-mail
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

Top ten summer jobs in hell
10. Intestine adjuster
9. Professional bowler chaperone
8. Pit bull tickler
7. Rex Reed's living chair
6. Cleveland Indians ticket scalper
5. Personal scratcher to Mr Ed Asner
4. Understudy to big Kool-Aid pitcher
3. Hornet groomer
2. Staff psychologist, Islamic Jihad
1. Human axle, Raymond Burr's town car

Top ten unsafe toys
10. Junior Electrician Outlet Patrol
9. Hasbro's Slippery Steps
8. Black & Decker's
7. Roof Ranger Paratrooper Outfit
6. Ramco's Pocket Hive
5. Traffic Tag
4. Will it Burn? from Parker Brothers
3. Chimney Explorer
2. My First Ferret Farm
1. The Hold Your Breath Game by Milton Bradley

Top ten off-season sports on ESPN
10. Uninflated Basketball
9. Fat Guy Hacky-sack
8. No-Hands Auto Racing
7. Shirts-and-Skins Speed-Typing
6. Amish Rake Fights
5. Miniature Horseshoes
4. Dropping Cows from Planes
3. Padded Suit Lumber Swat
2. Oprah Tipping
1. Dog Hockey

Top ten reasons to keep watching the show
(broadcast to celebrate its eighth anniversary)

10. When you're not watching the show, we make fun of you
9. You never know when I'll come out drunk and slug a cameraman
8. You can sit there naked. We really don't care
7. If our viewership falls off, little Snuggles the fabric softener bear dies
6. If you don't, Paul will have to go back to the Ice Capades
5. To keep GE executives knee-deep in hookers and gin
4. One of the killers we profile may be living next door to you
3. The wall is down, Noriega is out, don't stop us now!
2. So you can say you were watching the night I was replaced by Deborah Norville
1. Because, well, I'm no good at this kind of thing – but damn it – I
love you!

Top ten signs you're too old to be living at home
10. You can never figure out which dentures are yours
9. Your parents keep leaving classified ads for rental apartments taped to your hamster's cage
8. You sneak in late from a Neil Diamond concert
7. You and your parents' social security checks come on same day of the month
6. You've convinced yourself that when Dad dies, Mom will marry you
5. You're 42 and you have a curfew
4. You come home after a late night at the office and find that Mom has
laid out your Star Wars pyjamas
3. At least once a week you get into a shoving match with Dad over the
last beer
2. Mailman openly mocks you by saying: "Give these letters to Mommy, you
1. Mom complains when you bring home hookers

Subway punks' top ten etiquette tips
10. When passing a sharpened screwdriver to a friend, remember: it's handle first
9. Don't be selfish; share your music with everyone in the car
8. Always say: "Could I have five dollars, please?"
7. Allow your elders and ladies to jump turnstile ahead of you
6. Lookouts work as hard as anybody, a 15 per cent gratuity is customary
5. Don't embarrass a victim by pointing out a fake Rolex
4. When two wolf packs meet in a car, the group moving from front to rear has the right of way
3. Victims who don't press charges deserve a nice thank-you note
2. Learning a few phrases in a foreign language can save you minutes of fruitless shoving and slapping
1. Don't be greedy; leave some valuables for the next gang of toughs

Top ten least-loved Christmas stories
10. Amahl and the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling
9. The Sweatiest Angel
8. Santa's Three-Day Eggnog Bender
7. Christmas Eve at the All-Male Cinema
6. A Holiday Visit from Salmonella
5. Ironman Mike Tyson Hurts Santa Real Bad
4. My Christmas Sauna with Burl Ives
3. Jack Frost Loses the Feeling in His Extremities
2. I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus
1. The Teddy Bear Who Came to Life and Mauled a Retail Clerk

Top ten things that will get you kicked out of Disney World
10. Driving down Main Street USA with Bambi's mother strapped to your fender
9. Dumping medical waste into Sleeping Beauty's moat
8. Boarding the monorail and announcing you're Bernie Goetz
7. Taunting guy in Pluto costume for not being able to get better job
6. Declaring loudly: "I do believe in Tinkerbell!" in mens room
5. Going after Chip and Dale with a weed-wacker
4. Saying: "I taste mouse," after biting into snack bar sandwich
3. Taking a leak in the Enchanted Forest
2. Parading around in "Home of the Matterhorn" underwear
1. Bringing your own mouse suit

Top ten things I have to do before I leave NBC
(recorded in 1993 when Letterman left NBC and moved to rival network CBS)
10. Drop off hairpiece at security desk
9. Vacuum out Wendell and write down his mileage
8. One final "turn your head and cough" visit to NBC nurse
7. Steal my weight in office supplies
6. Let my plastic surgeon step out and take a bow - this has been his
show as much as mine
5. One last hot-oil rubdown from the knowing hands of Mr John Chancellor
4. Return artificial leg to props department
3. Get one more cheap laugh by saying the word "Buttafuoco"
2. Send change of address forms to that woman who breaks into my house
1. Untie Willard

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Anybody proofread before posting? Didn't you screw up the networks?

Proofread/fact-check in 2nd paragraph needed!
1) He went from NBC to CBS, not the other way around.
2) Sentence should be the "first 9 years", not 21.