Letterman Musical Director Ranked 56 on SNL Cast List by Rolling Stone
Before Paul Shaffer was David Letterman’s musical director and sidekick, he was a cast member on Saturday Night Live from 1975-1980. This past Sunday Shaffer joined a slew of other former cast members for Saturday Night Live’s 40th Anniversary Special.
“Seeing a conglomeration of 40 years’ worth of casts and writers was a unique experience to say the least. ‘Twas an honor to be a part of it,” Shaffer said.
Shaffer appeared on the special providing accompaniment to Bill Murray who returned to his role as lounge singer Nick Ocean. Together the duo performed the “love theme” from Jaws. See a video of the performance here.
In the Feb. 26, 2015 issue of Rolling Stone, the magazine ranked all 141 SNL cast members, with Shaffer coming in at no. 56 on the list. View the write-up online here. The magazine is available now and features John Belushi on the cover.
As his tenure on the Late Show with David Letterman approaches its end on May 20, Shaffer will continue to host Paul Shaffer’s Day in Rock and Paul Shaffer’s 60-Second Rewind on radio stations across the country. Paul Shaffer’s Day in Rock draws on Shaffer’s vast musical knowledge and ability to comment on the history of rock from his unique perspective. The daily 60-second vignette is a perfect benchmark feature that can be programmed throughout the day and offers sponsorship opportunities for radio stations that are looking to add informative programming to their lineup.
In Paul Shaffer’s 60-Second Rewind, Shaffer reveals fun pop-up facts about your favorite hit songs, movies, and TV shows from the sixties, seventies and eighties. From The Beach Boys to Barney Miller to Beverly Hills Cop, Paul Shaffer takes a comedic look at the pop culture landscape spanning three decades.
Paul Shaffer has been David Letterman’s musical director and sidekick for 32 years. Shaffer spent five years with the original “Saturday Night Live,” during which he played keyboards, composed special musical material, served as musical director for The Blues Brothers, and was a featured performer (which included his unforgettable Don Kirshner impression). Shaffer composed the LATE SHOW theme song and co-wrote the timeless classic “It’s Raining Men,” and has recorded with such diverse artists as Diana Ross, Yoko Ono and Robert Plant’s Honeydrippers, in addition to his own albums, “Coast to Coast” (1989) and “The World’s Most Dangerous Party” (1993.) He has appeared in numerous feature films, including portraying prototypical promo man Artie Fufkin in the seminal mockumentary “This Is Spinal Tap.” His first book, We’ll Be Here For The Rest of Our Lives – A Swingin’ Showbiz Saga, was released in 2009.
Grammy-winner Shaffer has served as musical producer for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame induction ceremony since its inception in 1986, and led the band for the “We Are the World” finale of “Live Aid.” Shaffer hosted CBS’s 1994 New Year’s Eve special from New York’s Times Square and was musical director of the closing concert at the 1996 Olympic Games. He appeared with the Blues Brothers at the 1996 Super Bowl halftime show and was musical director of the 1999 “Concert of the Century” at the White House, featuring Eric Clapton, B. B. King, Gloria Estefan, and ‘N Sync. He was the musical director of Paul McCartney’s “Concert for New York” and appeared with Faith Hill on the “America: A Tribute to Heroes” telethon, both of which honored and raised money for victims of 9/11.
Paul Shaffer holds two honorary doctorate degrees, was inducted into the National Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame, and was recently awarded a star on Canada’s Walk of Fame. He is currently the National Spokesperson for Epilepsy Canada. He lives in the New York area with his wife and two children.
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