R.I.P. Alan Kalter, David Letterman’s Longtime Announcer Dead at 78

Kalter manned the Late Show's announcer podium for 20 years

Alan Kalter death
Alan Kalter, photo by `

    Alan Kalter, the longtime announcer of Late Show with David Letterman, has died at the age of 78.

    According to The Hollywood Reporter, Kalter passed away Monday (October 4th) at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut. A cause of death was not immediately made available.

    Kalter served as the Late Show announcer for 20 years between 1995 and 2015. In addition to announcing each night’s guests during the show’s opening, Kalter frequently appeared in sketches — much to the delight of Letterman. One reoccurring bit saw Kalter concurrently host his own talk show, Alan Kalter’s Celebrity Interview, off to the side of the stage. Kalter was also the keeper of the “Late Show Secret Word,” as well as a renowned singer known for his memorable and impromptu performances of “You Ain’t See Nothing Yet” and “Don’t Cha.”

    In a statement paying tribute to Kalter, Letterman recounted: “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,” Letterman added. “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.”

    A native of Brooklyn, Kalter got his start announcing game shows like To Tell the Truth, $128,000 Question, and The $25,000 Pyramid — which is where he met Letterman for the first time. He was offered the announcer job at Late Show in 1995 and remained at the podium until Letterman’s retirement in 2015.

    Kalter also served as the voice of the Michelin Man, and the announcer of the 2003 Grammy Awards.