Local News

Durham man has been with Letterman from the start

Posted May 20, 2015

— James Jackson “Biff” Henderson Jr. has the dream job he never dreamed of.

As David Letterman’s stage manager, Henderson has been with the comedian since 1980.

“Coming from Durham, I never expected to be in TV and to be on Broadway,” he said. “The opportunity to dance on Broadway. And I’ve done that. Go figure, right?”

Henderson, a Hillside High School graduate, is well known for his roles in front of camera on Letterman’s show, from the viewer mail segments to playing a number of characters, including Dick Tracy, a clown and a Vegas showgirl. He has also roasted Kermit the Frog and has recklessly driven “Biff Henderson’s Golf Cart of Death.”

One of the moments Henderson remembers most is his first time in front of the camera on Letterman's show.

“When the announcer said ‘David Letterman,’ he pushed me out and I walked right down to the monologue, saw the cue cards and started reading the jokes,” he said. “I just did it.”

Currently living in New York, Henderson is considering returning to North Carolina after Wednesday’s final episode.

“That's the one thing you can do. You can always go back home, that might be what I do,” he said. “Maybe I’ll come down there and anchor a show with WRAL.”

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  • Charles Boyer May 21, 2015
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    I for one wouldn't mind seeing Mr. Henderson hosting a show on WRAL.