When talk show host David Letterman disappeared from the airwaves in 2000 due to emergency heart surgery, Late Show with David Letterman began a series of reruns for several weeks. The show must go on, however, and in February 2000 the show's crew gathered some of Dave's favorite guests and showbiz friends to gather on the stage of the Ed Sullivan Theater to talk about their favorite moments in the interview chair. The concept was called Late Show Backstage and it ran in Late Show's 11:35pm timeslot on CBS from February 7, 2000 to February 18, 2000.

The show had no studio audience, no CBS orchestra, and no announcer. The program opened cold and the night's guest interviewer would introduce him/herself and the guest for the evening. The two would talk about their favorite memories of Dave and then would show a clip from a past appearance. Celebrity interviewers included Charles Grodin, Regis Philbin, Paul Schaffer, David Brenner, Tom Snyder, and Tom Arnold. Guests on the show included Jerry Seinfeld, Steve Martin, Julia Roberts, Robin Williams, Mike Myers, Norm MacDonald, Don Rickles, Roseanne, Bonnie Hunt, Kathie Lee Gifford, Bill Cosby, Alec Baldwin, Billy Crystal, Ray Romano, and Drew Barrymore. Each night also featured a favorite past top ten list clip.

Regular editions of Late Show returned on February 21, 2000 with the return of Dave, although in the days to come guest hosts took over hosting duties (a first for any Letterman show, including his days on The David Letterman Show and Late Night with David Letterman). Guest hosts included Bill Cosby, Regis Philbin, Kathie Lee Gifford, Nathan Lane, Janeane Garofalo, Dana Carvey, and David Brenner.

Late Show Backstage was a most respectful affair and everyone who was a part of the broadcast was clearly a friend and fan of David Letterman. Episodes of the show have never been rerun and probably never will.

Memories of the show

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