TV Article

Dave's Not Here

''Late Show'' returns, with guest hosts for still-ill Dave. Whoopi, Elvis Costello, and Will Ferrell will warm Dave's seat

As scheduled, the ''Late Show with David Letterman'' goes live again Monday night after a week of reruns and three nights of guest emcees subbing for the shingles-afflicted host. Unfortunately, Letterman himself, who'd hoped to be back on the air by Monday, is still recuperating and will be off for at least another week. Filling in for him will be another set of guest hosts: Whoopi Goldberg (Monday), Vince Vaughn (Tuesday), Elvis Costello (Wednesday), Vaughn's ''Old School'' costar Will Ferrell (Thursday), and a host yet to be named on Friday.

Letterman's absence marks only his second extended sick leave in 21 years, after his heart surgery in 2000. ''Dave's condition continues to improve and his overall health is excellent, but a complete recovery will require some additional time,'' his physician, Dr. Louis J. Arrone, said in a statement. ''Dave's principal treatment at this point is rest.''

More unhappy news for Letterman and his fans came with the death on Wednesday of George Miller, whose 56 appearances on Letterman's stage made him Dave's most frequently-booked comic. Miller, 61, died at Los Angeles' UCLA Medical Center after a long battle with leukemia, the Associated Press reports. Miller and Letterman had been struggling comics together in Los Angeles in the 1970s. ''George was my oldest friend, and one of the funniest people I ever knew,'' Letterman said in a statement. ''We are all very sad that he is gone.''

Originally posted Mar 10, 2003