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Remembering Calvert DeForest

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Calvert_l We hate to kick off the morning talking about sad things, but it turns out the mysterious e-mail we received Tuesday about the death of Late Night/Show with David Letterman regular Calvert DeForest was, tragically, telling us the truth. Better known as Larry “Bud” Melman until NBC spoiled the fun, DeForest — who passed away March 19 at a Long Island hospital — became an integral part of Dave’s oddball cast of characters from the very first moment of the very first show. His deadpan, garbled line readings and imperviousness to humiliation (even when wearing a bear suit) endeared him to audiences, and whether covering the Olympics, “impersonating” Johnny Carson, or just wandering out to say ridiculous things in his ridiculous voice (“So long, suckers!”), he was never — not once — anything short of brilliant. Despite not appearing on the show since 2002, he will be missed. He has been missed.

Here’s hoping Dave is gearing up for an hour-long tribute to DeForest. Let’s help him decide which clips to use, PopWatchers. I know from the response to my anniversary post that you’ve all got memories to share…