Dateline: August 11, 1997

Dave & CBS May Get Stern on "SNL"

Are David Letterman and Howard Stern plotting to take on "Saturday Night Live"? Insiders say the two funnymen have been talking with CBS President Leslie Moonves about coming up with a Stern-hosted program that would go head-to-head with NBC's durable comedy show.

Letterman and Stern have had a sometimes uneasy friendship over the years. But right now they're apparently on the same wavelength. Sources say Letterman believes it's time for Stern to turn his low-tech talk show on cable's E! channel into network television.

There's little doubt that Stern would be up for the kind of audience and money that CBS could deliver.

But can the shock jock rock the ratings of the 22-year-old "Saturday Night Live"? Others, Roseanne, among them have taken on "SNL" and failed. CBS programmers may also wonder if the Midwest's flyover people have the stomach for Sterner stuff. "Private Parts," the raunch-meister's movie debut, earned most of its $40 million in New York and L.A.

Letterman's production company, Worldwide Pants, has also gotten kicked in the seat when venturing outside talk territory. "Everybody Loves Raymond" is a hit, but Letterman's outfit failed twice at keeping "Bonnie Hunt" on the air. The "Late Late Show with Tom Snyder," "The High Life," "The Building" and "The John StewartShow" were also brought to you by Worldwide Pants.

A Stern-Letterman vehicle could be just the sort of "big, risky, gutsy move" CBS needs, according to a source familiar with the discussions. How serious those talks are remains to be seen. "It's news to me," said CBS spokeswoman, Terry Corigliano

Story Courtesy Of The NY Daily News


FYI- On Howard's show this morning, Mon. 8-11, he claimed this story was false.

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