Stupid Pet Tricks
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Created by Merrill Markoe for David Letterman's short-lived NBC morning show, The David Letterman Show, the concept was carried over to Letterman's Late Night, and debuted on that series in 1982. The show originally solicited pets to appear using this simple ad in the New York Times classifieds:
HAVE YOU TAUGHT YOUR PET TO DO SOMETHING ODD?
Late Night with David Letterman on
NBC will feature pets who have been
trained to do unusual things. Pets
must be amateur & owners must be
willing to appear w/ them at auditions
& on the show.
The inaugural segment featured a dog named "Muggsy" who would sneeze on command, and another dog that would answer the phone.
Based on the instant success of "Stupid Pet Tricks", Letterman devised a similar off-shoot: "Stupid Human Tricks", which was identical in nature to the Pet Tricks, except that people were now doing the wacky stunts.
The rights to both "Stupid Pet Tricks" and "Stupid Human Tricks" were retained by Worldwide Pants, Inc., and were not lost when Letterman moved to the Late Show on CBS in 1993. As a result, they are still performed to this day on the Late Show.
- About Stupid Pet Tricks: "Remember, this is not a competition, it is only an exhibition — please, no wagering."
- About Stupid Human Tricks: "Remember, this is not an exhibition, it is a competition — wagering is encouraged."
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