One of the many things David Letterman taught us was the value of adding characters to the show by using the odd and funny people around you. In these days of ensemble teams and our industry’s inability to budget for more cast members, this is the easiest and least expensive route to growing your show. Characters add dimension and color to your program and can instantly add more humor and edge, too. Look at what Letterman did in the early years to set himself apart from the other nightly talk show hosts and be memorable. He made stars out of the the guy who owned the souvenir store next door to him, the stage manager who had an innocence and natural sense of humor about him, even his mother. You can do that, too, to grow your show at zero expense to the company, Find the genuinely real and funny people in your life (your family, your social circle, neighbors) and create reasons to have them on the program. Some for a specific reason each time (they own a character trait) or to comment on and add to the conversation about whatever topic you’re doing in that break. John and Tammy, KSON, San Diego excel at this. Here are two real life characters that come and go in the show: Neighbor Gary and No Nothing About Country Ken. Find those in your world just like this and overnight, become an even better show.