Alan Kalter, voice of “Late Show with David Letterman” and resident of Stamford, deceased at 78


STAMFORD – Alan Kalter was known nationwide as David Letterman’s eccentric, red-haired announcer and comedic counterpart on “The Late Show” for two decades.

But, at Stamford, Kalter’s legacy was defined less by his professional success than by his charitable spirit, said Sandy Goldstein, the former chairman of the Stamford town center special services district and a close personal friend of Kalter. .

Kalter died at the age of 78 at Stamford Hospital on Monday with his wife, Peggy, and their two daughters by his side, according to Rabbi Joshua Hammerman of Temple Beth El, the local synagogue Kalter attended.

While most remember Kalter for his resonant voice and penchant for comedy, Goldstein said what he cared most about Kalter was his dedication to his surrounding community.

Goldstein said Kalter was always quick to lend his fame to a good cause, whether that was working as a master of ceremonies at many of the city’s events or galas, or volunteering his time at a domestic violence center or other local non-profit organizations.

“What he gave to the community as a celebrity says a lot about the generous person he was,” she said.

Kalter was the master of ceremonies for the city’s annual Thanksgiving parade from 2003 until the most recent parade in 2019. The parade has been canceled in each of the past two years due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

David Kooris, the current chairman of the DSSD, said Kalter’s “improvised humor” and star status helped uplift the town’s parade.

“He was a charming and witty master of ceremonies who added star talent to our festivities, helping to evolve the parade over these decades into a regional tourist draw,” said Kooris. “Stamford Downtown is saddened by his loss, but we are forever grateful for his talent and generous commitment to our community. “

Kalter was born in Brooklyn, NY, March 21, 1943. Nicknamed “Big Red” for his hair, he provided the opening introductions for the “Late Show with David Letterman” on CBS from September 1995 until the last episode of Letterman on May 20, 2015, after taking over after Bill Wendell retired.

As Letterman walked and ran on stage, Kalter introduced him with sarcastic flair as “the king of non-social media,” “rainforest night mammal” and other nicknames.

“Either way, we’ve always had the best announcer on television,” Letterman said in a statement. “Wonderful voice and eagerness to play a wacky character of himself. Did I mention he could sing? Yes he could. He did it all with enthusiasm. A very sad day, but a lot of fond memories.”

Prior to Letterman, Kalter was the voice of Michelin Man and USA Network and the announcer of “Commander USA’s Groovie Movies” on USA Network. He has also been the announcer of New York-based game shows including “To Tell the Truth”. and “The $ 10,000 Pyramid”.

Kalter taught high school English on Long Island in the late 1960s before moving on to radio.

As well as being active in the community of Stamford, Kalter was also a devout Jew.

Hammerman said he remembered the day he arrived at Temple Beth El in Stamford almost 35 years ago.

He said Kalter, who was synagogue president at the time, invited him and his wife to spend their first Friday night Sabbath with his family.

“This already tells you how deeply ingrained Jewish values ​​were in him and his family,” Hammerman said. “He was a deeply spiritual man and devoted to human causes and to the Jewish people. It was a real mensch.

A private funeral will be held at Stamford Synagogue on Wednesday starting at noon. The funeral will be broadcast live.

The Associated Press contributed to this story


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