Dorothy Mengering, David Letterman’s mother, passed away Tuesday night at the age of 95. Mengering was often featured on her son’s late night television shows on both CBS and NBC.
In a Weatherboy segment on NBC, Letterman asks for temperature readings in his home state of Indiana. With a slow computer, Letterman jokes that Weatherboy is too slow. “What’s a matter with you? I could have picked up the phone and called mom.” Weatherboy promptly got Dorothy on the phone for David, who asks, “Mom, what’s the temperature there in Indianapolis?” She replies with 66. “Guess what’s happened with me?! I’m here…with Weatherboy”, David says moments before hanging up. “This is why I left Indianapolis.” After the call got laughs from the audience, David jokes about Dorothy and Weatherboy. “Now my mom is frightened. She thinks there’s some kind of kidnapping going on….where do we send the ransom , Dav-id?”
Known primarily as “Dave’s Mom”, Dorothy’s first appearance was in February 1986 on “Late Night with Dave Letterman” She also served as the “Late Show” correspondent at three Winter Olympics in 1994, 1998, and 2002 and also interviewed ice skater and “Dancing With the Stars” contestant Nancy Kerrigan.
“The positive response to my appearances on David’s show has nothing to do with my amateur abilities as a broadcaster. People enjoy seeing a mother and son together,” Mengering wrote in her 1996 cookbook, “Home Cookin’ with Dave’s Mom.”
Born July 18, 1921 in Linton, Indiana. as Dorothy Hofert, she married Harry Letterman, David’s father, in 1942. She married her second husband Hans Mengering in 1983, 10 years after Harry Letterman’s death. Hans Mengering died in March, 2013.
Dorothy is survived by her son, David Letterman, who turns 70 on Wednesday, and two daughters, Jan and Gretchen.