The past 12 hours haven’t been great for nerds who used to stay home on Friday nights in high school watching late night TV and listening to records from the 80s. First, J. Geils, of the J. Geils Band was found dead in his home at the age of 71. Now, David Letterman’s adorable mother, Dorothy Mengering, passed away. She died at her home in Indiana yesterday. She was 95.
“Dave’s Mom” was easily one of the best parts about Late Night with David Letterman and Late Show with David Letterman. Dave’s Mom first appeared on Late Night in 1986, but she really stole everyone’s hearts eight years later when Dave got her to cover the 1994 Winter Olympics in Lillehammer. Dorothy might share the same name as one of the Golden Girls, but she really was a combination of all four. She was sweet, a little sassy, unintentionally sarcastic, and didn’t seem to give a shit. Like when she trolled Nancy Kerrigan during an interview by repeatedly asking her if she wanted a hot cocoa. Dorothy went on to cover two more Winter Olympic games for Late Show.
Dave also used to bring her on to talk about cooking or feature her via satellite from her home in Indiana. Like above, when Dave put a camera in her home to play a game called Guess The Pie for their Thanksgiving episode. She showed up a couple times a year on holidays. She later wrote a cook book called Home Cookin’ with Dave’s Mom.
In 2015, Dorothy suffered a stroke, but according to David Letterman, she was fine afterwards. She was married twice and leaves behind three kids and five grandkids. There’s tons of clips of Dorothy being extremely charming, but here’s one of Dorothy rehearsing a Thanksgiving Late Show segment with Richard Simmons.
Rest in peace, Dorothy.