Remembering Calvert DeForest

Calvert_l We hate to kick off the morning talking about sad things, but it turns out the mysterious e-mail we received Tuesday about the death of Late Night/Show with David Letterman regular Calvert DeForest was, tragically, telling us the truth. Better known as Larry "Bud" Melman until NBC spoiled the fun, DeForest — who passed away March 19 at a Long Island hospital — became an integral part of Dave’s oddball cast of characters from the very first moment of the very first show. His deadpan, garbled line readings and imperviousness to humiliation (even when wearing a bear suit) endeared him to audiences, and whether covering the Olympics, "impersonating" Johnny Carson, or just wandering out to say ridiculous things in his ridiculous voice ("So long, suckers!"), he was never — not once — anything short of brilliant. Despite not appearing on the show since 2002, he will be missed. He has been missed.

Here’s hoping Dave is gearing up for an hour-long tribute to DeForest. Let’s help him decide which clips to use, PopWatchers. I know from the response to my anniversary post that you’ve all got memories to share…


Comments (17 total) Add your comment
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  • Sven

    Whitney, last night’s show taped at an earlier date. There won’t be any new Dave until next week sometime. Or so say the AP stories…

  • Sven

    Whitney, last night’s show was taped at an earlier date. There won’t be any new Dave until next week sometime. Or so say the AP stories…

  • Tommy G.

    Watching Larry Bud used to make me smile, even at 12:30 in the morning after a really long day. He will be missed.

  • Lauren

    This is just so sad! The bit that most sticks out in my mind is his Roy Orbison impression – the resemblance was uncanny :).

  • BC

    “Have a hot towel!”
    We loved Larry “Bud.” RIP

  • cRAIG

    awesome. that’s all i can say. i remember leaving high school/college parties to watch the Friday night Late Nights, and just hoping to see Larry “Bud” or Chris Elliott do something wonderful and ridiculous. R.I.P. Calvert DeForest…

  • stacydarc

    I met him one time. I told him my ex-boyfriend’s mother looked just like him (and she did). He said “Oh, the poor dear” and laughed one of those classic, roaring laughs of his. He was just about my height and every bit as adorable as he looked when handing out hot towels at the Port Authority. I’ll miss him.

  • Vicki

    I remember loving those commercials he was in with David Spade for 1-800-COLLECT around 1994. Me and my friends back in junior high thought they were the funniest things ever and would constantly quote them.

  • Paige

    Awww, Calvin.
    I can’t think of anything specific, but it was just his nature of awkwardness matched with Dave’s humor that always made it work.
    I hope they do it up right too.

  • Lesley

    Does anyone else remember when he re-enacted Martin VanBuren’s poisoning? “These cherries taste funny!”

  • fluff


  • jenjen

    Didn’t he make some commercials for Budweiser with Spuds McKenzie? I thought his name was really Bud Melman

  • dma69


  • Mark Harris

    No matter who Calvert was interviewing with a stick mic, he never made the connection that you had to have the mic pointed at the mouth to hear someone speak. All the classic “Late Night” bits had tons of interviews with men and women on the street with Calvert holding the mic at waist level. That just made it even funnier.
    I hope that NBC steps up and provides “The Late Show” with all the classic bits from Calvert. It really wouldn’t be a complete tribute without those early bits.
    Everyone take a moment to look up at the sky and yell “So long, suckers !” in honor of the GREAT Calvert Deforest.

  • lily

    What may have been the funniest thing I ever saw in my life was Larry “Bud” Melman greeting the arrivals as they got off the bus. Larry would offer these totally bewildered people a hot towel and always have the microphone in the wrong place so nobody knew what was going on. My husband and I laughed until we were literally sick and I thought Letterman would have to leave the set. A classic.

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