Fans of Late Show with David Letterman could immediately recognize the voice of longtime announcer Alan Kalter, who introduced the host beginning in 1995.
Those loyal viewers were left stunned this week when Kalter’s wife confirmed that he died at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut at the age of 78. The cause of his death appears to be natural.
“I laugh, I smile, every day”
Scores of colleagues joined fans in expressing their condolences on social media.
“RIP Alan Kalter,” tweeted former Late Show writer Bill Sheft. “A lovely man, and as my old boss might say, a ‘perfect stooge…'”
The announcer’s Late Show tenure ended with Letterman’s final show in 2015, but he has clearly maintained a place in the hearts of those who appreciated his nightly contribution to the late-night talk show.
During an interview marking the show’s finale, Kalter said: “I’ve had such a great 20 years. It’s been a blessing every single day. Every one of us goes through a terrible time once in a while, before 3 p.m. or before 4 p.m. But no matter what my day is like, from 4:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. [when the Late Show taped], I laugh, I smile, every day.”
Letterman was open about the importance of Kalter to the overall success of his show.
“He enthusiastically did it all”
“If you’re going to have a talk show, you’ve got to have a strong announcer, and he filled that way beyond what is required,” the host asserted.
Kalter replaced Bill Wendell, who retired from the show, and Letterman said the choice was an easy one.
“Alan’s was the first and only voice we listened to,” he said. “We knew he had to be our choice. Whatever else, we had the best announcer in television. Wonderful voice and eagerness to play a goofy character of himself. Did I mention he could sing? Yes, he could. He enthusiastically did it all.”
While he acknowledged that it was a “very sad day,” Letterman said his longtime announcer left “many great memories.”
Other former Late Show figures, along with television personalities and viewers across the board, took to social media to share their memories, making it clear that Kalter was a rare figure who appeared to be universally beloved.