101 Best Written TV Series

Aired: NBC, 1982-1993

The sort of irony that David Letterman popularized on his show involved, for starters, calling attention to the fact that he was doing a talk show. If Carson at 11:30 was so polished you couldn't see the gears moving, Letterman an hour later wanted to start by calling attention to the gears, then work his way toward integrating them into the world of his show. All of this conceptual nonchalance required writing to make it look unscripted. Letterman played with the cameras, turned assorted oddball guests into minor celebrities, called his mother at home and spoke to his producer in the control room (repeatedly mispronouncing his name). Two of the most popular segments that Letterman and his writers came up with had "Stupid" in the title. Letterman and his collaborator Merrill Markoe had been here before, but in morning TV, having created the short-lived David Letterman Show.

Credited Writers

Jon Beckerman
Andy Breckman
Rob Burnett
Donick Cary
Randy Cohen
Kevin Curran
Jill Davis
Tony DeSena
James Downey
Chris Elliott
Spike Fereston
Sandy Frank
Joe Furey
Tom Gammill
Eddie Gorodestsky
Fred Graver
Ted Greenberg
Boyd Hale
Rich Hall
Dave Hanson
Larry Jacobson
Ken Keeler
David Letterman
Merrill Markoe
Jeff Martin
George Meyer
Richard Morris
Gerard Mulligan
Steve O'Donnell
Maria Pope
Max Pross
Brian Reich
Adam Resnick
Dave Rygalski
Bill Scheft
Nell Scovell
Paul Simms
Karl Tiedemann
Joe Toplyn
Matt Wickline
Steve Winer
David Yazbek
Steve Young