Bill Murray appeared on the first installment of CBS' Late Show With David Letterman, during which he spraypainted Letterman's desk. Letterman had been host of NBC's Late Night With David Letterman from 1982-93, leaving for CBS after NBC passed him over for The Tonight Show gig, giving it to Jay Leno instead.
Aug. 30, 1993
Paul Newman surprised Letterman from the audience by standing up and asking, "Where the hell are the singing cats?" on the first taping of Late Show.
Aug. 31, 1993
Robin Williams appeared on the second Late Show and was a frequent guest thereafter. After Williams committed suicide in 2014, Letterman paid tribute to the actor — and his friend — on the show, saying: “I had no idea that the man was in pain, that the man was suffering."
Sept. 3, 1993
The host was all smiles on set during his first week of doing Late Late Show.
Sept. 8, 1993
When then-Vice President Al Gore appeared on the show, he took a hammer to an ashtray to make a statement about government waste. According to federal regulations that Gore read on the air, government-purchased ashtrays were required to break when dropped. "This is a designer ashtray because the taxpayers have paid lots of people to specify everything about this, including the testing procedure," Gore said.
Oct. 25, 1993
Sean Connery entered the stage via jet pack, evoking the image from Thunderball in which James Bond (Connery) escapes using a jet pack.
April 12, 1995
For his birthday, Letterman got a surprise "gift" when DrewBarrymore jumped onto his desk and performed a dance that ended with the actress flashing the visibly stunned host.
May 17, 1995
Another memorable entrance from another acting legend occurred when Peter O'Toole rode into the studio riding a camel
Dec. 20, 1995
Shock jock HowardStern appeared in full drag.
May 13, 1994
The talk show legend made his first and only talk show appearance since stepping down as host of The Tonight Show. Carson got a standing ovation by Letterman and the studio audience when he made his surprise appearance.
July 2, 1996
G.I. Jane star DemiMoore showed off her ability to do one-armed pushups.
Aug. 20, 1996
Flamboyant NBA star DennisRodman gave Letterman a new look.
Jan. 27, 1999
Sophia Loren showed off her cooking skills when she baked a tiramisu with Letterman.
April 12, 1999
Cher fed cake to Letterman for his birthday.
May 12, 2000
Frequent guest RichardSimmons made a flying entrance — and promptly got sprayed with a fire extinguisher by the host.
Sept. 17, 2001
Letterman comforted then-CBS Evening News anchor and managing editor DanRather during a break after Rather was overcome by emotion while discussing the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks. This marked the first broadcast of LateShow following the tragedy.
Sept. 23, 2002
Letterman showed off the show's sixth Emmy trophy.
Nov. 11, 2002
Fireworks from the famous Grucci fireworks company lit up the Ed Sullivan Theater building and LateShow marquee for Veterans Day.
Nov. 4, 2003
The new father showed off a photo of son HarryJoseph, who was born at 11:58 p.m. the night before. Two years later, the toddler was the subject of an alleged kidnapping plot.
Nov. 11, 2003
In 1994, Madonna made her infamous visit to Late Show. Letterman introduced her by saying, "Our first guest tonight is one of the biggest stars in the world, and in the past 10 years she has sold over 80 million albums, starred in countless films and slept with some of the biggest names in the entertainment industry." During her interview, the singer cursed, gave Letterman a pair of her underwear (and asked him to smell them), inquired whether he was wearing a "rug" and whether he'd ever smoked "Indo" and told him "money's made you soft." Her later appearances, including this one, weren't as controversial.
Nov. 17, 2003
One of Letterman's signature segments is the "Stupid Pet Tricks" bit. In this edition, MarkObarka, from Kansas City, Mo., hypnotized his 10-year-old Macaw, named Rusty.
May 14, 2004
Letterman rode a horse down Broadway onto 53rd Street for a 4 a.m. show taping.
Dec. 20, 2004
Letterman joined Bill Murray and his "rented" family and dog for a Christmas card photo.
May 16, 2005
Another long-running feature involves the nightly "Top Ten" lists, sometimes presented by guests. For this installment, 10 Star Wars characters presented the "Top Ten Things Never Before Said by a Star Wars Character" to promote the release of Star Wars: Episode III — Revenge of the Sith. Among those that made the list? Imperial Guard: "The only people more powerful than I are Emperor Palpatine and Oprah." Chewbacca: "We got spaceships and lightsabers, but nobody can find a damn razor."
Nov. 29, 2005
Letterman showed off a painting of himself with OprahWinfrey and RegisPhilbin that had been painted on Late Show by artist KerriGibbs. The artwork was to a commemoration of Winfrey's much-hyped first Late Show appearance just days later (see next slide). Here, Philbin is commenting on the size of his portrait, just under Letterman's index finger.
Dec. 1, 2005
Letterman and Oprah Winfrey had reportedly been feuding for 16 years when she came on his show in a much-hyped 2005 appearance. "Could you tell me please what has transpired?" Winfrey asked. "I have never for a moment had a feud with you." She then presented him with a gift — a framed photograph of herself and Uma Thurman, a reference to his heavily criticized "Oprah, Uma. Uma, Oprah" introduction/joke as the Oscars host in 1995. "I want you to know, it’s really over, whatever you thought was happening," Winfrey said. After seeing the photo, Letterman quipped: "Are you sure it's over?" He later thanked her, adding that "it means a great deal to me and I'm just very happy you're here."
Feb. 6, 2006
After helping lead the Pittsburgh Steelers to its first Super Bowl victory in 26 years, quarterback Ben Roethlisberger got his beard shaved by Letterman.
April 10, 2006
Letterman pitched balls to New York Yankees star JohnnyDamon and die-hard Yankees fan BillyCrystal on 53rd Street outside the Ed Sullivan Theater.
May 2, 2006
Tom Cruise sampled a dish prepared by chef Jamie Oliver and Letterman.
June 29, 2006
Fritz Grobe and Stephen Voltz perform edthe "Diet Coke and Mentos Experiment" on 53rd Street outside the Ed Sullivan Theater. The duo used 122 two-liter bottles of Diet Coke and 646 Mentos to create the fountains of soda that emitted from the bottles.
Nov. 29, 2006
Richard Simmons reacted to an explosion under his vegetable steamer during a demonstration. This marked Simmons 'first appearance on the show in six years.
Feb. 11, 2008
After weeks of saying he was giving up acting to pursue a hip-hop career, Joaquin Phoenix came onto Late Show in sunglasses and a scraggly beard, appeared confused and surly and displayed an apparent disinterest in the interview, prompting Letterman to ask at one point: "Joaquin, I'm sorry you couldn't be here tonight." A year later, he returned to Late Show and apologized for what had turned out to be an elaborate stunt. In 2014, Phoenix appeared the show once again, where he said that he was engaged — which also proved untrue.
April 22, 2009
Frequent guest RegisPhilbin returned to the show dressed as Shrek.
Aug. 20, 2009
Renee Zellweger broke open a guacamole-laden piñata with some help from the host.
Sept. 20, 2010
Former President BillClinton talked about daughter Chelsea's wedding to Marc Mezvinsky during this appearance.
Dec. 17, 2010
Dustin Hoffman gave Robert De Niro a peck during their visit to Late Show to promote The Little Fockers. While this was Hoffman's seventh visit to the show, it was De Niro's first appearance.
Feb. 24, 2011
Another installment of "Stupid Pet Tricks."
July 18, 2011
U2's the Edge and Bono stopped by to promote their Broadway show Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark, watching on as the web-slinging superhero dropped in for a visit.
Jan. 31, 2012
Regis Philbin and BillMurray joined Letterman in kicking kicking field goals on New York's 53rd Street during a taping of the show.
May 17, 2012
Conan O'Brien sat down to talk about losing The Tonight Show to Jay Leno, Letterman's longtime rival, during which O'Brien quipped; "You know [Leno is] watching right now. He's getting a live feed in a satellite truck right now, watching every second," before launching a high-squeal Leno impression. Letterman later admitted that he was "delighted by everything that happened" in the public fiasco, "except for you losing your job." Finding the silver lining, O'Brien replied: "The only consolation I took during that period was that you were happy."
April 2, 2014
Lady Gaga invited surprise guest BillMurray, Letterman and the entire Late Show audience over to the Roseland Ballroom for a special performance.
April 22, 2014
Letterman welcomed his successor, Stephen Colbert, to Late Show just a few weeks after Letterman revealed his retirement in a surprise announcement during a taping of the show. Colbert is set to take over Sept. 8, four months after Letterman signs off.
Dec. 19, 2014
It wouldn't be the holidays without an appearance by DarleneLove on Letterman's show. Love has appeared on Late Night or LateShow every December since 1986 with the exception of 2007, when the show wasn't taping due to the Writers Guild of America strike.