In Depth

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

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

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 199310. Now do the bulk of my drinking after the show9. People used to pretend to like me. Now they pretend to tolerate me8. Global warming has raised theatre temperature to 38 degrees7. I lost 280 pounds with Deal-a-Meal6. Crazy lady we used to piss off: Madonna. Now crazy lady we piss off: Sarah Palin5. Audience is here to see if I drop dead on stage4. Dwindling amount of hate mail; burgeoning amount of hate e-mail3. Every ten minutes someone is dropping a flashlight2. Used to talk with sexiest women in the world. Now I interview Artie Lange1. Emmy Awards replaced with Fire Dave rallies

Top ten summer jobs in hell10. Intestine adjuster9. Professional bowler chaperone8. Pit bull tickler7. Rex Reed's living chair6. Cleveland Indians ticket scalper5. Personal scratcher to Mr Ed Asner4. Understudy to big Kool-Aid pitcher3. Hornet groomer2. Staff psychologist, Islamic Jihad1. Human axle, Raymond Burr's town car

 Top ten unsafe toys10. Junior Electrician Outlet Patrol9. Hasbro's Slippery Steps8. Black & Decker's7. Roof Ranger Paratrooper Outfit6. Ramco's Pocket Hive5. Traffic Tag4. Will it Burn? from Parker Brothers3. Chimney Explorer2. My First Ferret Farm1. The Hold Your Breath Game by Milton Bradley

 Top ten off-season sports on ESPN10. Uninflated Basketball9. Fat Guy Hacky-sack8. No-Hands Auto Racing7. Shirts-and-Skins Speed-Typing6. Amish Rake Fights5. Miniature Horseshoes4. Dropping Cows from Planes3. Padded Suit Lumber Swat2. Oprah Tipping1. 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 you9. You never know when I'll come out drunk and slug a cameraman8. You can sit there naked. We really don't care7. If our viewership falls off, little Snuggles the fabric softener bear dies6. If you don't, Paul will have to go back to the Ice Capades5. To keep GE executives knee-deep in hookers and gin4. One of the killers we profile may be living next door to you3. 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 Norville1. Because, well, I'm no good at this kind of thing – but damn it – Ilove you!

 Top ten signs you're too old to be living at home10. You can never figure out which dentures are yours9. Your parents keep leaving classified ads for rental apartments taped to your hamster's cage8. You sneak in late from a Neil Diamond concert7. You and your parents' social security checks come on same day of the month6. You've convinced yourself that when Dad dies, Mom will marry you5. You're 42 and you have a curfew4. You come home after a late night at the office and find that Mom haslaid out your Star Wars pyjamas3. At least once a week you get into a shoving match with Dad over thelast beer2. Mailman openly mocks you by saying: "Give these letters to Mommy, youdeadbeat."1. Mom complains when you bring home hookers

Subway punks' top ten etiquette tips10. When passing a sharpened screwdriver to a friend, remember: it's handle first9. Don't be selfish; share your music with everyone in the car8. Always say: "Could I have five dollars, please?"7. Allow your elders and ladies to jump turnstile ahead of you6. Lookouts work as hard as anybody, a 15 per cent gratuity is customary5. Don't embarrass a victim by pointing out a fake Rolex4. When two wolf packs meet in a car, the group moving from front to rear has the right of way3. Victims who don't press charges deserve a nice thank-you note2. Learning a few phrases in a foreign language can save you minutes of fruitless shoving and slapping1. Don't be greedy; leave some valuables for the next gang of toughs

Top ten least-loved Christmas stories10. Amahl and the Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling9. The Sweatiest Angel8. Santa's Three-Day Eggnog Bender7. Christmas Eve at the All-Male Cinema6. A Holiday Visit from Salmonella5. Ironman Mike Tyson Hurts Santa Real Bad4. My Christmas Sauna with Burl Ives3. Jack Frost Loses the Feeling in His Extremities2. I Saw Daddy Kissing Santa Claus1. The Teddy Bear Who Came to Life and Mauled a Retail Clerk

Top ten things that will get you kicked out of Disney World10. Driving down Main Street USA with Bambi's mother strapped to your fender9. Dumping medical waste into Sleeping Beauty's moat8. Boarding the monorail and announcing you're Bernie Goetz7. Taunting guy in Pluto costume for not being able to get better job6. Declaring loudly: "I do believe in Tinkerbell!" in mens room5. Going after Chip and Dale with a weed-wacker4. Saying: "I taste mouse," after biting into snack bar sandwich3. Taking a leak in the Enchanted Forest2. Parading around in "Home of the Matterhorn" underwear1. 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 desk9. Vacuum out Wendell and write down his mileage8. One final "turn your head and cough" visit to NBC nurse7. Steal my weight in office supplies6. Let my plastic surgeon step out and take a bow - this has been hisshow as much as mine5. One last hot-oil rubdown from the knowing hands of Mr John Chancellor4. Return artificial leg to props department3. Get one more cheap laugh by saying the word "Buttafuoco"2. Send change of address forms to that woman who breaks into my house1. Untie Willard

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