Top 10 Rejected James Bond Gadgets, Top 10 Ways NBC News Can Save Money, Top 10 President Obama Excuses and Top 10 Ways the World Would Be Different if Everyone was Named Phil are some of David Letterman's Top 10 lists. Letterman's first ever Top 10 list was Top 10 Words That Almost Rhyme with "Peas," which debuted on "Late Night with David Letterman" in 1985.
David Letterman's Top 10 lists were part of a regular feature on his shows, which started with the NBC program "Late Night with David Letterman" and concluded with the CBS program "Late Show with David Letterman." Staff writers Jim Downey, Randy Cohen and Robert Morton came up with the idea for the segment by drawing inspiration from lists in local New York papers and magazines. Letterman's Top 10 lists were alternately topical, irreverent and intentionally absurd, and they often centered on current events in politics and popular culture.
The presentation of the list began with a video montage of numbers appearing in and around various locales. Letterman then ran down the list in reverse countdown order as the band accompanied him with drum rolls. At other times, one or more celebrity guests would visit the show to present the list. Jerry Seinfeld, Chris Rock, Barbara Walters and Bill Murray were among the celebrities who read Letterman's final Top 10 list during his May 2015 finale.