Alan Kalter, who served as announcer on CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman for two decades, has died at the age of 78, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He passed away Monday in a Connecticut hospital, his wife Peggy confirms.
Kalter succeeded Letterman’s original announcer Bill Wendell, who departed The Late Show in 1995. On screen, Kalter frequently played a heightened version of himself, appearing in a myriad of segments, often as a sexual deviant. He also hosted show-within-a-show Alan Kalter’s Celebrity Interview. He remained a fixture on The Late Show through Letterman’s retirement in 2015.
Letterman paid tribute to Kalter in a statement: “When our announcer of 15 years Bill Wendell retired, producer Robert Morton came to my office with an audio tape containing auditions for several announcers. Alan’s was the first and only voice we listened to. We knew he would be our choice. Whatever else, we always 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. A very sad day, but many great memories.”
“RIP Alan Kalter,” former Late Show scribe Bill Scheft wrote on Twitter. “A lovely man, and as my old boss might say, a ‘perfect stooge.'”
In addition to The Late Show, Kalter served as announcer on a number of game shows including To Tell the Truth and The $25,000 Pyramid, along with USA Network’s USA Saturday Nightmares and Commander USA’s Groovie Movies in the 1980s, as well as WrestleMania XXVII in 2011. He also appeared in two episodes of the early-aughts NBC dramedy Ed — which was co-produced by Letterman’s Worldwide Pants Incorporated — as Principal Roger Gable. His last televised appearance came in 2017, when Letterman was awarded the Mark Twain Prize for American Humor during a Kennedy Center PBS special.