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How did Alan Kalter die? David Letterman's announcer's death shocks 'Big Red' fans

'I just heard the news about Alan Kalter and I am crestfallen,' a fan wrote on Twitter
TV annoucer Alan Kalter dies at 78 (IMDb)
TV annoucer Alan Kalter dies at 78 (IMDb)

For fans of 'The Late Show With David Letterman', there's perhaps just one person more iconic than the host himself - announcer Alan Kalter. Known for his comedic bits, Kalter spent two decades announcing the iconic show, before parting ways as Letterman too stepped down. On October 4, Kalter, unfortunately, died at a hospital. his wife confirmed at the age of 78. The massive blow was felt across social media, with people tweeting tributes to 'Big Red', as he was famously known.

Kalter's passing comes at a tough time for TV, which has seen numerous notable names pass away in 2021. June saw a double blow, with 'Grapevine TV' panelist Ayesha Faines died suddenly, as did the man behind the 2016 Bill Clinton expose - Christopher Sign. November will also mark one year since the passing of iconic 'Jeopardy' host Alex Trebek, with the search for his successor dominating most of 2021.


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Coming back to Kalter, 'Big Red' was a key part of Letterman's show from the time he joined in 1995. Apart from cheekily introducing the host and his guests, fans of the show will remember Kalter for his 'Alan Kalter’s Celebrity Interview' sketches. It's an iconic feature that nearly didn't happen, as he recalled in a 2019 interview. But thanks to his children, 'Big Red' was born and the rest is history.

How did Alan Kalter die?

The news of Kalter's death was broken by his wife Peggy to The Hollywood Reporter. She didn't go into great detail, so we have little idea about what exactly happened. THR reported that Kalter died at Stamford Hospital in Connecticut on October 4. Beyond that, we have no news. Rabbi Joshua Hammerman of Temple Beth El in Stamford told Variety that Kalter passed away with his wife and children by his side. Prior to his death, there were no reports of Kalter being hospitalized or having health issues, so we cannot confirm how he died until his family chose to reveal more.

The family has requested that people make donations in his memory to Temple Beth El/Rabbi’s Mitzvah Fund, SilverSource in Stamford, or the charity of their choice in lieu of flowers or food baskets. A private funeral is scheduled for October 6, at Temple Beth El. There will be a live stream for the public to watch, starting at noon on the temple's website

News of Kalter's death has quickly made its way through social media, leading to a massive outpouring of tributes for the iconic announcer. Beyond 'The Late Show', Kalter also made appearances on 'To Tell the Truth', 'The $25,000 Pyramid', and 'The Money Maze'. He also did numerous voice-overs for commercials and was the voice of Michelin Man for a long time. But perhaps there's no better memory of Kalter than on 'The Late Show', as many on social media remembered.

'Rest easy Big Red' says Twitter

Writer and producer Carter Bays tweeted, "Alan Kalter RIP. Between him and Tony Mendez it's a heartbreaking time. To us Late Show writers Alan was so much more than just the "From New York..." guy. He was our muse. We loved writing for him. Such a cheerful presence on the show. And around the office. Rest easy Big Red." One person said, "Alan Kalter was part of one of the funniest things I've ever watched live. Rest, Alan."



"I loved Alan Kalter. He was a wonderful example of the difference between Letterman-style humor and everybody else. And this particular bit was all-time funny," one person remembered. Another tweeted, "Damn, I loved Alan Kalter! He always threw himself into these bizarre, random and hilarious skits. RIP."



"RIP Alan Kalter, one of the best," one person tweeted. Another said, "I just heard the news about Alan Kalter and I am crestfallen. He was a lovely, funny and talented man who was willing to do anything to get the laugh. RIP dear friend."



In a statement, Letterman too paid tribute to his long-time announcer. "Whatever else, we always had the best announcer in television. Wonderful voice and eagerness to play a goofy character of himself. Did I mention he could sing? Yes he could. He enthusiastically did it all. A very sad day, but many great memories," he told Variety.