Michael Jordan appears on "Late Night with David Letterman" in 1989
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Honoring David Letterman's final show with the best sports moments during his career as a late-night television host.

By Erick Fernandez
May 20, 2015

Wednesday marks the end of an era in late-night television as David Letterman hosts his final episode on the Late Show.

Letterman entertained millions of Americans as a talk show host for 33 years. He first served as the host of NBC's Late Night with David Letterman for more than a decade before moving to CBS and starring in the Late Show with David Letterman, where he's been since 1993.

Throughout his career as a late-night talk show host, he has interviewed hundreds of actors, musicians, celebrities and, of course, notable sports figures.

To honor David Letterman's final show, Extra Mustard has compiled memorable interviews with players as well as hilarious sports-inspired comedic bits.

10. Peyton Manning (1997)

Peyton Manning made his Late Show debut in December 8, 1997, the week of that year's Heisman Trophy presentation. Manning ended his guest appearance by throwing a football inside a building window with Letterman.

The then-quarterback for Tennessee ended up coming in second in the 1997 Heisman Trophy voting.

Since his Late Show debut in 1997, Manning has appeared on the show three more times, including in 2014, when he threw footballs through New York City taxi windows.

9. Steve Nash (2009)

The then-Suns point guard conducted some hilarious interviews with fans and players before Game 3 of the 2009 NBA Finals between the Magic and the Lakers.

The entire scene is perfectly set-up by Letterman's jokes about Nash never making a Finals appearance.

Now that Nash is retired, he might want to consider an acting career. 

8. Marv Albert (2015)

The Hall of Fame broadcaster became a regular on Letterman's late-night shows for many years. In his appearances, he would deliver the "Albert Achievement Awards," which featured sports highlights and bloopers.


Last January, in his 126th and final time on his show, Albert compiled one last "Albert Achievement Awards" with some of the best sports bloopers over the years.

7. Joe Niekro (1987)

In what might be the most famous incident of a pitcher being caught doctoring a baseball, Joe Niekro was ejected from an August 1987 game.

The knuckleballer was asked to empty out his pockets, and an emery board came flying out. Niekro was suspended 10 games for possessing that emery board as well as sandpaper. That did not stop Niekro from making an appearance on Late Night with David Letterman just a short time after.

Coming dressed as a handyman equipped with different tools, Niekro seemingly mocked the entire situation.

6. Derek Jeter's first Late Show appearance (1996)

The Yankees shortstop went on the Late Show for the first time in November of 1996, less than a month after New York won that season's World Series. 

In the interview, Jeter briefly spoke about his minor league experiences as well as Jeffrey Maier's catch in the '96 ALCS.


Letterman concluded the interview saying that people "couldn't ask him to do better" than how he played in 1996. Jeter won four more championships after that.

5. Magic Johnson & Larry Bird (2012)

In an extended 2012 segment on the Late Show, Larry Bird and Magic Johnson spoke about their life-long friendship and their head-to-head matchups in college and the NBA.

The interview is a good look into how two of the biggest names in the NBA during the '80s were able to remain friends despite the intense Lakers-Celtics matchups during the decade.

4. Mike Tyson (1986)

A 19-year-old Tyson made his appearance on Late Night in May 1986. The then-soft-spoken Tyson essentially whispered through the first half of the interview.


He became the youngest heavyweight champion about six months after the interview.

3. Michael Jordan (1986)

Michael Jordan appeared on Late Night on May 19, 1986, just six days after Mike Tyson was on the show.

Jordan came into the interview as an unapologetically confident 23-year-old looking to promote his Air Jordan sneakers.

The Bulls guard made another appearance with Letterman a few years later. As The Guardian's Bryan Graham notes, that visit was three days before "The Shot" over Craig Ehlo.

2. Terry Forster (1985)

David Letterman called Braves' relief pitcher Terry Forster a "fat tub of goo" in 1985. Later that year, Forster came on Late Night to joke about the nickname. Although the reliever admitted he wasn't too happy with the nickname at first, Forster was able to laugh it off and came on to the show eating a sandwich.

After the commercial break, Forster made some tacos while drinking beer. It was an all-around memorable segment with a fairly unknown lefthanded relief pitcher.

1. David Letterman bats for the New York Yankees (1997)

In 1997, Letterman had a bit where he randomly left the airing of his show to serve as a pinch-hitter for the Yankees. 

The clip has everything, including the host changing into his Yankees uniform and stepping up to the plate when the team needed a timely hit.

The whole scene is set up with the music from The Natural playing during his at-bat. Letterman appears to make solid contact, but he just ends up hitting a lazy pop-up to shortstop to end the game. 


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