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RBA
03-21-2007, 08:49 PM
Letterman regular 'Bud' Melman dies By LARRY McSHANE, Associated Press Writer
25 minutes ago



The balding, bespectacled nebbish who gained cult status as the oddball Larry "Bud" Melman on David Letterman's late night television shows has died after a long illness. The Brooklyn-born Calvert DeForest, who was 85, died Monday at a hospital on Long Island, the Letterman show announced Wednesday. He made dozens of appearances on Letterman's shows from 1982 through 2002, handling a variety of twisted duties: dueting with Sonny Bono on "I Got You, Babe," doing a Mary Tyler Moore impression during a visit to Minneapolis, handing out hot towels to arrivals at the Port Authority Bus Terminal.

"Everyone always wondered if Calvert was an actor playing a character, but in reality he was just himself a genuine, modest and nice man," Letterman said in a statement. "To our staff and to our viewers, he was a beloved and valued part of our show, and we will miss him."

The gnomish DeForest was working as a file clerk at a drug rehabilitation center when show producers, who had seen him in a New York University student's film, came calling. His was the first face to greet viewers when Letterman's NBC show debuted on Feb. 1, 1982, offering a parody of the prologue to the Boris Karloff film "Frankenstein."

"It was the greatest thing that had happened in my life," he once said of his first Letterman appearance.

DeForest, given the nom de tube of Melman, became a program regular. The collaboration continued when the talk show host launched "Late Show with David Letterman" on CBS in 1994.

Cue cards were often DeForest's television kryptonite, and his character inevitably appeared in an ill-fitting black suit behind thick black-rimmed glasses.

The Melman character opened Letterman's first CBS show, too but used his real name because of a dispute with NBC over "intellectual property." DeForest, positioned inside the network's familiar eye logo, announced, "This is CBS!"

DeForest often draw laughs by his bizarre juxtaposition as a "Late Show" correspondent at events such as the 1994 Winter Olympics in Norway or the anniversary Woodstock concert that year.

His last appearance on "Late Show" came in 2002, celebrating his 81st birthday.

DeForest also appeared in an assortment of other television shows and films, including "Nothing Lasts Forever" with Bill Murray and Dan Aykroyd.

As per his request, there will be no funeral service for DeForest, who left no survivors. Donations can be made in his name to the Actors' Fund of America.

redsfanmia
03-21-2007, 08:51 PM
RIP Larry "Bud" Melman

MrCinatit
03-21-2007, 09:01 PM
He was one of those guys who helped the show become what it was - an offbeat, enjoyable program. Larry Bud was one of the truly memorable characters.

May he rest in peace.

Blimpie
03-21-2007, 09:20 PM
I used to love his "man on the street" interviews way back when...He would get mixed up and have the microphone in front of his mouth when his captive would be speaking. Of course, that same microphone would end up in front of the other person about the time Larry Bud would be asking his next question....good stuff.

KronoRed
03-21-2007, 10:11 PM
Rip

Chip R
03-22-2007, 10:25 AM
Awww, what sad news. I remember he'd be interviewing people at the Port Authority and he'd aske them a question and mobe the microphone to the person he was interviewing before he was through with the question.

RichRed
03-22-2007, 10:35 AM
I remember a few years ago, Dave did a tribute to Larry Bud on his show because he had just "died." It ended with Deforest coming out on stage and saying something like, "I'm not dead, you ba****d!", then walking off.

It was darkly hilarious.

I'll miss that guy - RIP.

Eric in IL
03-22-2007, 10:51 AM
Really sad news. Some of my best memories of Letterman's NBC years were with Mr. DeForest.

I remember a recurring segment called "Ask Larry Bud" where he would come out dressed up in a sailor outfit. He would always start the segment with the same quote: "Please no questions about the way I'm dressed. I dress the way I do because I look good- d**n good." I can remember one of the "questions" from the studio audience about if he knew what the longest ping-pong rally ever recorded was. With impeccable timing, he paused and said: "Who gives a rats a**!" So many funny moments that will not be forgotten.

Red Leader
03-22-2007, 10:51 AM
I wonder if this is why Letterman missed his show and had Adam Sandler guest host on Tuesday. Letterman NEVER misses a show. He joked last night about comparing scars with Regis last night, so maybe it was instead, medical related.

Reds Fanatic
03-22-2007, 12:21 PM
I wonder if this is why Letterman missed his show and had Adam Sandler guest host on Tuesday. Letterman NEVER misses a show. He joked last night about comparing scars with Regis last night, so maybe it was instead, medical related.
I heard Letterman missed Tuesday because he had the stomach flu.

IowaRed
03-22-2007, 12:26 PM
If you haven't seen the video of him handing out hot towels at the Port Authority or trying to get change wearing a bear suit, it's worth searching for on youtube

Red Leader
03-22-2007, 12:26 PM
I heard Letterman missed Tuesday because he had the stomach flu.

That's what Adam Sandler said, but it was part of Sandler's monlogue, so I wasn't sure if he was telling the truth, or just making a joke.

minus5
03-22-2007, 12:30 PM
That's what Adam Sandler said, but it was part of Sandler's monlogue, so I wasn't sure if he was telling the truth, or just making a joke.

I had read in the paper yesterday that Letterman had missed the show due to stomach flu. Sandler was supposed to be his guest, Letterman showed up but had to go back home because he was so sick and Sandler offered to fill in for Dave.