The First Letterman Appearance (1984)
In the early Eighties, Howard Stern was a local New York radio host obsessed with becoming a national name. So it was a major deal for him when fellow new, edgy NBC broadcaster David Letterman invited him onto his show, Late Night. "[It] meant everything to me," Stern said later. Their chemistry was clear from the start, with Stern pushing the envelope – blasting his NBC employers, the "comatose" studio audience, and touching Letterman when he was told not to – as Letterman played the straight man. Stern is already hyper-confident, telling Letterman, "I'm not like the guys on FM who tell you the weather every 10 minutes. ... It's been described as honest radio. We talk to people on the phone. We're ourselves. We let anything happen. We call people who write us hate mail." Thirty-four years later, that mission statement remains the same.