Iconic Images

Special Pricing - The Letterman Bumpers


In 1982 as NBC'S LATE NIGHT WITH DAVID LETTERMAN sought a distinctive look to brand and identify the show that would forever change the perception of what constituted a "talk show", I was part of a team that created the Emmy nominated "no-logo" concept that  integrated the show title into a series of slice of life New York moments.

These iconic "bumpers" aired before and after commercials and punctuated segments and guests on this groundbreaking show with an irony and wit that was an extension of Dave's own unique brand of humor.

Art director Bob Pook and graphics coordinator Edd Hall and I set off into the night over the years to find as many possible ways to integrate the Late Night with David Letterman show title into New York life. Dave had approval of all images before they made the airwaves.

The famous 'Late Night tail logo' was a simple idea that I drew on a piece of paper with the idea of a 'Letterman' jacket for the Letterman show. A bunch of MLB logos were on a table in the art department one night and I drew Late Night in the style of the Orioles and the Dodgers. We made a prototype coat for a bumper with the logo cut out of felt and stuck onto a prop coat.

Once Dave saw this bumper, he had jackets made with this logo and gave them to the entire staff and crew for Christmas. Over the years, the tail logo was used within the show in many ways.

I shot hundreds of scenes all over New York over 10 years for Letterman. The original work is all pre-digital and predates Photoshop with in-camera props as well as hand collage graphics on original chromogenic prints. Everything was shot on 35mm and 220 film cameras.

These unique artworks have been stored in my archives and never displayed nor viewed in printed form by the public until now- many for more than 30 years.

I loved making theses images and hope you enjoy having a look again, even if it's for the first time.

Marc Karzen


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