Before They Were Stars: David Letterman Auditions for “Airplane!”

David Letterman auditioned for the role of Ted Striker in Airplane!? Surely, you can’t be serious! I am serious and don’t call me Shirley! While it’s common for talk show hosts to surprise their guests by showing clips of their early roles, the exact opposite happened on this 1982 episode of Late Night with David Letterman. Jim Abrahams and David & Jerry Zucker were the guests and they decided to bring along footage of Letterman’s screen test to play Ted Striker in Airplane!, a role which, of course, he did not get.

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