Peter Lassally (born in 1933 in Hamburg, Germany) is a former Carson Productions executive who served as the executive producer of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, Late Night with David Letterman, and the Late Show with David Letterman. As of 2009, he is the executive producer of The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.
Lassally was born into a Jewish family in Hamburg, Germany. They fled to the Netherlands in 1938 before the outbreak of World War II, where he was a grade-school classmate of Anne Frank. In 1943, Lassally and his mother and sister were interned at the Westerbork Nazi concentration camp and then Theresienstadt in Czechoslovakia. In 1947, the family immigrated to New York City. Lassally graduated from Newtown High School. In 1951, he became a page at the NBC network studio.
Career in television
Lassally worked on radio shows including Monitor, "Nightline" and "The Nation's Future." In the 1950s, he became producer for Arthur Godfrey's television show. In the 1960s, Lassally took over as an executive producer of The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson. After Carson retired in 1992, Lassally became the executive producer of Late Night with David Letterman. In 2004, Lassally was asked by the CBS network and Worldwide Pants, Letterman's production company, to produce for Craig Ferguson's talk show.
As a longtime producer and confidant of successful talk show personalities, Lassally has been referred to as "the host whisperer."
- Carter, Bill (1996). The Late Shift: Letterman, Leno, and the Network Battle for the Night. Hyperion Books. ISBN 0-7868-8907-1.
- "Meet Peter Lassally, Late Night 'Host Whisperer'". Weekend Edition Saturday. NPR. 2012-08-25. Retrieved 2012-08-25.
- Jacques Steinberg "The Host Whisperer ", New York Times, July 17, 2005, p1-3