Paul Shaffer Biography (1949-)

Full name, Paul Alan Shaffer; born November 28, 1949, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada (some sources cite Fort William [now Thunder Bay], Ontario, Canada); immigrated to the United States, 1974; son of Bernard (an attorney) and ShirleyShaffer; married Cathy Vasapoli (a booking agent), 1990; children: Victoria Lily, William Wood Lee. Addresses: Office: c/o The Late Show with DavidLetterman, CBS-TV, 530 West 57th St., New York, NY 10019.; Agent: Cunningham/Escott/Dipene and Associates, 10635 Santa Monica Blvd., Suite 140, Los Angeles, CA 90025 (voice work).

Nationality
Canadian
Gender
Male
Occupation
Musician, composer, bandleader, actor, voice performer, producer
Birth Details
November 28, 1949
Ontario, Canada

Famous Works

  • CREDITS
  • Television Appearances
  • Series
  • With various bands, including the Blues Brothers, the Honeydrippers, andHoward Shore and His All Nurse Band, Saturday Night Live (also known as NBC's "Saturday Night," Saturday Night, Saturday Night Live '80, SNL, and SNL 25), NBC, 1975-78, 1981, 1984, 1987
  • Paul Durban, A Year at the Top, CBS, 1977
  • Leader of the World's Most Dangerous Band and musician, Late Night with David Letterman, NBC, 1982-93
  • Leader of CBS Orchestra (also known as Party Boys of Rock 'n' Roll), musician, and occasional host, The Late Show with David Letterman (also known as The Late Show and Late Show Backstage), CBS, 1993-
  • Dr. Hans Zarkov, Flash Gordon, syndicated, beginning 1996
  • Voice of Hermes, Hercules (animated; also known as Disney's "Hercules"), ABC and syndicated, 1998-99
  • Voice of Hermes, House of Mouse (animated), ABC, 2001-2003
  • Specials
  • Steve Martin's Best Show Ever, NBC, 1981
  • Himself, The Last Polka, Showtime and HBO, 1985
  • Himself, Tears Are Not Enough (documentary), CBC, 1985
  • Late Night Film Festival, NBC, 1985
  • "Martin Short Concert for the North Americas," Showtime Comedy Spotlight, Showtime, 1985
  • David Letterman's Second Annual Holiday Film Festival, NBC, 1986
  • "Fats Domino and Friends: Immortal Keyboards of Rock and Roll," Cinemax Sessions, Cinemax, 1986
  • NBC's 60th Anniversary Celebration, NBC, 1986
  • The Beach Boys: 25 Years Together, ABC, 1987
  • Comic Relief II, HBO, 1987
  • David Letterman's Old-Fashioned Christmas, NBC, 1987
  • Don Johnson's Music Video Feature Heartbeat, HBO, 1987
  • The Late Night with David Letterman Fifth Anniversary Show, NBC, 1987
  • "Viva Shaf Vegas" (also known as "Paul Shaffer: Viva Shaf Vegas"), Cinemax Comedy Experiment, Cinemax, 1987
  • Ashford and Simpson: Going Home, The Disney Channel, 1988
  • The Late Night with David Letterman Sixth Anniversary Show, NBC, 1988
  • (Uncredited) Audience member, Saturday Night Live: 15th Anniversary, NBC, 1989
  • Host, Rate the '80s, syndicated, 1989
  • Jacksonville Jazz IX, PBS, 1989
  • The Late Night with David Letterman Seventh Anniversary Show, NBC,1989
  • Host, The Best of Cinemax Sessions, Cinemax, 1990
  • The Late Night with David Letterman Eighth Anniversary Special, NBC, 1990
  • Night of 100 Stars III (also known as Night of One Hundred Stars), NBC, 1990
  • Artie Fufkin, A Spinal Tap Reunion: The 25th Anniversary London Sell-Out (also known as The Return of Spinal Tap), NBC, 1992
  • Late Night with David Letterman: 10th Anniversary, NBC, 1992
  • (As Paul "Shiv" Shaffer; in archive footage) Band member, The Best ofthe Blues Brothers, The Disney Channel, 1993
  • "The Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Celebration," In the Spotlight, PBS, 1993
  • Friends of Gilda, CBC, 1993
  • "A New York Night--Live!," HBO Comedy Hour, HBO, 1993
  • Host from New York, Happy New Year America--1994, CBS, 1994
  • The Late Night with David Letterman Video Special, CBS, 1994
  • The Show Formerly Known as The Martin Short Show, NBC, 1995
  • (With the Blues Brothers) Halftime performer, Super Bowl XXX, 1996
  • Host, Grammy Countdown, CBS, 1997
  • Farm Aid '98, HBO (some sources cite Country Music Television), 1998
  • The Goodwill Games Opening Celebration, TBS, 1998
  • The Late Show with David Letterman Fifth Anniversary Special, CBS,1998
  • Himself, Straight Shooter: The Story of the Mamas and the Papas, Bravo, 1999
  • (With the Paul Shaffer Band) The Concert of the Century for VH1 Save the Music, VH1, 1999
  • Saturday Night Live: 25th Anniversary (also known as Saturday Night Live: 25th Anniversary Primetime Special), NBC, 1999
  • America: A Tribute to Heroes, multiple networks, 2001
  • The Concert for New York City, VH1, 2001
  • Host, "The New York Friars Club Roast of Chevy Chase," Comedy CentralPresents, Comedy Central, 2002
  • Gilda Radner's Greatest Moments, ABC, 2002
  • "Warren Zevon: Keep Me in Your Heart," VH1's Inside Out (documentary; also known as VH1's (Inside)/Out, VH1 Inside Out Warren Zevon:Keep Me in Your Heart, and Warren Zevon: Inside Out), VH1, 2003
  • Himself, Unseen + Untold: The Blues Brothers, Spike TV, 2004
  • Himself, Saturday Night Live: The First 5 Years (documentary), NBC, 2005
  • Awards Presentations
  • The Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Show, CBS, 1987
  • Host, The 1990 Billboard Music Awards, Fox, 1990
  • Presenter, The Second International Rock Awards, ABC, 1990
  • Host, The 1991 Billboard Music Awards, Fox, 1991
  • The 1997 ESPY Awards, ABC, 1997
  • The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Class of '99, VH1, 1999
  • Musical presenter, The 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards, Fox, 2003
  • Presenter, The 45th Annual Grammy Awards, CBS, 2003
  • The 34th Annual Songwriters Hall of Fame Awards, Bravo, 2003
  • 2003 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony, VH1, 2003
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony 2004, VH1, 2004
  • Episodic
  • Guest, The Tonight Show Starring Johnny Carson, NBC, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990
  • Himself, "Fifteen Minutes of Fame" (also known as "10 Minutes of Fame"),Cosby, CBS, 1998
  • Himself, Sonny Bono: The E! True Hollywood Story, E! EntertainmentTelevision, 1999
  • Guest, The Late Late Show with Craig Kilborn, CBS, 2000
  • Host, Cover Wars, VH1, 2001
  • Guest, Primetime Glick, Comedy Central, 2001, 2002, 2003
  • Irv Nadler, "The Shot," Ed (also known as Stuckeyville), NBC, 2002
  • Himself, "Hope Couture," Hope & Faith, ABC, 2005
  • Pilots
  • Lionel, Hereafter (pilot for the series A Year at the Top),NBC, 1975
  • Television Work
  • Series
  • Music supervisor, music director, and musician, Late Night with DavidLetterman, NBC, 1982-93
  • Music supervisor and director, The Late Show with David Letterman(also known as The Late Show and Late Show Backstage), CBS, 1993-
  • Television Executive Producer
  • Specials
  • "Viva Shaf Vegas" (also known as "Paul Shaffer: Viva Shaf Vegas"), Cinemax Comedy Experiment, Cinemax, 1987
  • Television Music Producer
  • Awards Presentations
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum: 16th Annual Induction Ceremony, VH1, 2001
  • 2003 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony, VH1, 2003
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony 2004, VH1, 2004
  • Television Music Director
  • Specials
  • David Letterman's Second Annual Holiday Film Festival, NBC, 1986
  • "Fats Domino and Friends: Immortal Keyboards of Rock and Roll," Cinemax Sessions, Cinemax, 1986
  • The Late Night with David Letterman Fifth Anniversary Show, NBC, 1987
  • The Late Night with David Letterman Sixth Anniversary Show, NBC, 1988
  • The Late Night with David Letterman Seventh Anniversary Show, NBC,1989
  • The Late Night with David Letterman Eighth Anniversary Special, NBC, 1990
  • Late Night with David Letterman: 10th Anniversary, NBC, 1992
  • Friends of Gilda, CBC, 1993
  • "A New York Night--Live!," HBO Comedy Hour, HBO, 1993
  • The Late Night with David Letterman Video Special, CBS, 1994
  • The Late Show with David Letterman Video Special 2, CBS, 1996
  • The Late Show with David Letterman Video Special 3, CBS, 1997
  • The Late Show with David Letterman Fifth Anniversary Special, CBS,1998
  • The Concert of the Century for VH1 Save the Music, VH1, 1999
  • The Concert for New York City, VH1, 2001
  • Awards Presentations
  • Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum: 17th Annual Induction Ceremony, VH1, 2002
  • Film Appearances
  • Organist, Mr. Mike's Mondo Video, 1979
  • Don Kirshner, Gilda Live, Warner Bros., 1980
  • Artie Fufkin, This Is Spinal Tap, Embassy, 1984
  • Filmmaker's assistant, Heartbeat, 1987
  • Street musician, Scrooged, Paramount, 1988
  • Voice of Optilow, Light Years (animated; also known as Gandahar), Miramax, 1988
  • Taxi businessperson, Look Who's Talking Too, TriStar, 1990
  • Voice of Hermes, Hercules (animated), Buena Vista, 1997
  • Marco, Blues Brothers 2000, Universal, 1998
  • Himself, Man on the Moon (also known as Der Mondmann), Universal, 1999
  • Himself, Bitter Jester, Anchor Bay Entertainment, 2004
  • Film Work
  • Keyboard musician, Godspell (musical), 1973
  • Music supervisor, Mr. Mike's Mondo Video, 1979
  • Music supervisor, music director, music arranger, and vocalist, The Lemon Sisters, Miramax, 1990
  • Music producer, Blues Brothers 2000, Universal, 1998
  • Performer, producer, and arranger of songs that have appeared in films, television productions, and videos.
  • Stage Appearances
  • Don Kirshner, Gilda: Live from New York, Winter Garden Theatre, New York City, 1979
  • Phil Spector, Leader of the Pack, Bottom Line Theatre, New York City, 1984
  • Night of 100 Stars (also known as Night of One Hundred Stars), 1990
  • Stage Work
  • Musicals
  • Music director, Godspell (musical), Royal Alexandra Theatre, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, beginning c. 1972
  • Pianist, The Magic Show, Cort Theatre, New York City, beginning c.1974
  • Music conductor, Godspell, Broadhurst Theatre, New York City, 1976, Plymouth Theatre, New York City, 1976-77, Ambassador Theatre, New York City, 1977
  • Radio Appearances
  • Series
  • Host, Live from the Hard Rock Cafe, NBC, 1985-86
  • Radio Work
  • Series
  • Musician for The National Lampoon Radio Hour.
  • RECORDINGS
  • Albums with Others
  • Godspell (soundtrack recording), Arista, 1974
  • Barry Manilow, This One's for You, Arista, 1976
  • (With National Lampoon) Good-Bye Pop, Epic, 1976
  • Jeff Healy Band, Feel This, Arista, 1977
  • (With the Blues Brothers) Briefcase Full of Blues, Atlantic, 1978
  • Joan Armitrading, Me Myself, A&M, 1980
  • Nina Hagen, Nunsexmonkrock, Columbia, 1980
  • Diana Ross, Silk Electric, RCA, 1981
  • (With the Blues Brothers) Made in America, Atlantic, 1982
  • Yoko Ono, It's Alright, Polydor, 1982
  • (With the Honey Drippers) The Honey Drippers, Es Paranza, 1984
  • (With Billy Crystal and Christopher Guest) Mahvelous!, A&M, 1985
  • (With Crystal) You Look Mahvelous!, A&M, 1985
  • The Karate Kid II (original soundtrack recording), 1986
  • (With Dion, Ben E. King, Bobby Womack, and Wilson Pickett) Coast to Coast, Capital/EMI, c. 1988
  • The Blues Masters, Monsoon, 1992
  • Blues Traveler, Save His Soul, A&M, 1993
  • (With the Party Boys of Rock 'n' Roll) The World's Most Dangerous Party, SBK Records, 1993
  • (With others) Earl Scruggs and Friends, MCA Nashville, 2001
  • Singles
  • (With Northern Lights) "Tears Are Not Enough" (track on the album We Are the World), Polygram, 1985
  • Videos
  • (With the Blues Brothers) The Best of John Belushi, 1985
  • (With the Blues Brothers) The Best of Dan Aykroyd, 1986
  • Composer, The Best of Chevy Chase, 1987
  • The Stories behind the Making of "The Blues Brothers," 1998
  • Music Videos
  • Don Johnson, "Heartbeat," 1986
  • Video Games
  • (As Paul Schaefer) Voice of Hermes, Hercules, 1997
  • WRITINGS
  • Television Composer
  • Series
  • Theme music, "Like a Rising Star," A Year at the Top, CBS, 1977
  • Special music material, Square Pegs, CBS, 1982-83
  • Late Night with David Letterman, NBC, 1982-93
  • The Late Show with David Letterman (also known as The Late Show and Late Show Backstage), CBS, 1993-
  • Main title theme song, The Martin Short Show, NBC, 1994
  • Specials
  • Theme song, "Viva Shaf Vegas" (also known as "Paul Shaffer: Viva Shaf Vegas"), Cinemax Comedy Experiment, Cinemax, 1987
  • Theme song, "Late for Dinner," Cinemax Comedy Experiment, Cinemax,1988
  • Song "Bermuda," The Late Night with David Letterman Eighth AnniversarySpecial, NBC, 1990
  • The Show Formerly Known as The Martin Short Show, NBC, 1995
  • Teleplays
  • Specials
  • "Viva Shaf Vegas" (also known as "Paul Shaffer: Viva Shaf Vegas"), Cinemax Comedy Experiment, Cinemax, 1987
  • (With others) Saturday Night Live: 25th Anniversary (also known asSaturday Night Live: 25th Anniversary Primetime Special), NBC, 1999
  • Film Music
  • Mr. Mike's Mondo Video, 1979
  • Gilda Live, Warner Bros., 1980
  • (With others) Postcards from the Edge, Columbia, 1990
  • Screenplays
  • (With Gilda Radner) Gilda Live, Warner Bros., 1980
  • Stage Music
  • (With Gilda Radner) Gilda: Live from New York, Winter Garden Theatre, New York City, 1979
  • Songs
  • (With Gilda Radner) "Gimme Mick," 1979
  • (With Gilda Radner) "Honey (Touch Me with My Clothes On)," 1979
  • (With Paul Jabara) "It's Raining Men," 1981
  • (With Billy Crystal) "You Look Mahvelous," 1985
  • Shaffer's music and songs have appeared in films, television productions,and videos.

Further Reference

OTHER SOURCES

    Books
    • Contemporary Musicians, Volume 13, Gale, 1994
    Periodicals
    • Billboard, February 21, 1998, p. 46
    • Down Beat, October, 1989, p. 16
    • Entertainment Weekly, February 28, 2003, pp. 48-50
    • New Yorker, January 16, 1989, p. 36
    • People Weekly, September 13, 1994
    • TV Guide, March 15, 2003, p. 6

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