About Bumpers - Marc Karzen Photographs

CBS News Los Angeles segment about The Letterman Bumpers


Television shows use images, animations or graphics before and after commercials as a way of identifying to the channel surfing viewer what they are watching and create a cushion between the show and commercials. These images are called bumpers.

Over 11 years from 1982-1992, I photographed a series of slice of life New York moments that punctuated segments and guests on Late Night with David Letterman.

This work is all pre-digital, predates Photoshop and everything was shot on film cameras.

Graphics art director Bob Pook, graphics producer Edd Hall and I set off into the night over the years to find as many possible ways to integrate the Late Night with David Letterman name into New York life.

The Bumpers challenged viewers to find where and how the show title was integrated into an image as they were only on screen for 3 seconds at a time.  

Sometimes we brought props that we put in camera. But for most images, our team of designers, Bill Shortridge, Arlen Schumer and Bob Pook prepared the prints with rub-on type, glued on polaroids, air brush and markers onto the mounted chromogenic master C-prints.

Finally, Dave had approval of all images before they made the airwaves.

Enjoy having a look again, even if it's for the first time.

Marc Karzen

Contact: mk@karzen.com

©Marc Karzen - Late Night is a trademark and copyright of NBCUniversal Media, LLC. All Rights Reserved - David Letterman by permission and copyright Worldwide Slacks, Inc. All Rights Reserved - NOT FOR REPRODUCTION IN ANY FORM WITHOUT PERMISSION

World of Photography - TV segment 1987

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