David Letterman Reveals His Favorite Job Before Show Business

Those who grew up seeing David Letterman on late-night TV can safely say he’s still very much missed almost four years after leaving. While some people never understood his brand of comedy, one thing you can’t deny is he kept things real when hosting Late Night on NBC, and later the Late Show on CBS.

One thing he sometimes discussed during desk segments was his own humble background working basic labor jobs before moving into television. Fortunately, he never demeaned those jobs since they all had a purpose. When he appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show recently, he revealed one of those favorite jobs as a teen. It opens the doors to reminding us what shaped Letterman during his most formative age.

David Letterman’s interrogation

When Letterman appeared on Ellen’s show on March 23, she put him in the hot seat of “Burning Questions” to interrogate about his current or past rebellious side. Letterman did this to help raise money for Habitat for Humanity.

There was no shock to Letterman’s appearance considering he seems set on wearing that giant white beard into his dotage. Even if he looks like Santa Claus now, Letterman’s sharp wit and acerbic personality are all still intact. Much to his fans’ delight, it’s almost like he never left. Of course, with his recent Netflix talk show, it gives us hints he’s not completely done with showbiz.

So just how rebellious was Letterman in his formative years? He paired up one answer with a story about his first favorite job.

David Letterman worked in a grocery store

Letterman’s teen years had him working in a local grocery store just outside Indianapolis, where he was raised. Known as Atlas Super Market, Letterman recalled to Ellen how he and his friends worked there for four years stacking canned goods. He also mentions the owner was like a second father.

Outside of Letterman eventually making a huge fortune as a late-night host, it seems he placed Atlas Super Market in a special part of his memory. During the time Letterman worked there (the mid-1960s), such jobs were considered entry-level for those in high school. You can definitely see how working in a grocery store set Letterman up for observations about ordinary life and in dealing with people.

David Letterman’s rebellious side

To uphold a story about his rebellious side, Letterman noted he and his buddies would steal beer from the store and drink it on the weekends.

Maybe this sounds fairly benign compared to the rebellious things Letterman did in his showbiz years. Even so, his years working at the grocery store were obviously important in his development. You may even remember him during his past late-night monologues mentioning his work at this store.

David Letterman stays humble

Based on Letterman’s recent interviews, he still stays humble about his own abilities. It turns out he was a much better interviewer than he ever realized. You might remember his seriously compelling interviews on Late Show after 9/11 occurred with those involved. Sure, Letterman has had plenty of awkward interviews as well, despite always poking fun at the conventions of late-night interviewing. With his Netflix talk show, though, he’s back to doing mostly serious discussions.

Now that the younger generation knows where Letterman came from and his favorite job, hopefully, they’ll realize the simplest jobs can set you up for applying those skills to bigger careers later.