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Wednesday Marks David Letterman's 30th Anniversary as Late-Night Host

Ray Tamarra/FilmMagic(NEW YORK) -- Wednesday marks a major milestone in David Letterman's career.  He will reach his 30th anniversary as a late-night host.

Letterman began his run on Feb. 1, 1982, when he launched Late Night with David Letterman on NBC.  On that program, he introduced popular segments such as "Stupid Pet Tricks" and his "Top Ten" lists.

After Johnny Carson announced in 1991 that he would retire the following year, Letterman was passed over for The Tonight Show job in favor of Jay Leno.  The decision eventually resulted in Letterman leaving NBC for CBS, on which he started the Late Show in 1993.

The Indianapolis native began his entertainment career in the 1970s when he moved to Los Angeles and became a stand-up comic, comedy writer and bit actor.  Letterman actually began his career as a late-night host in the late 1970s when he filled in for Carson on The Tonight Show.  NBC gave Letterman his own daytime talk show in June 1980, but it was canceled four months later due to poor ratings.  The network kept Letterman under contract and gave him a shot at late night two years later.

The New York Times reported last month that Letterman was closing in on a deal to extend his stint on the CBS Late Show until 2014.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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