That Time Tom Savini Set Letterman’s Hand on Fire, Brought Texas Chainsaw 2 FX on the Late Show


tom-savini-lettermanOn episode 74 of The Bloodcast, I told of a story about how I was "inspired" by Tom Savini's appearance on the Late Show With David Letterman which led me to try my own "fire effect" in high school. Good times. That Savini appearance I spoke of happened in '87, but it wasn't the first time the maestro of gore stopped by Letterman's show. Savini was welcomed on in 1986, the year Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 hit theaters and the year his Scream Greats Vol. 1 hit VHS.

Savini proved to be a fun guest, trotting out his gruesome creations from TCM 2 for a live studio audience – not to mention a late-night television viewers! – to gawk at ("This is just sickening, isn't it!" Letterman says). It's also amusing to see Savini play humble when Letterman asks how much Scream Greats costs to own. "I don't know," Savini soft-spokenly replies. Letterman suggest "3 or 4 bucks" – turns out it was $50. In the 10 minutes of air time he had, he managed to outfit Letterman with a troll-like mask and scorch a piece of the set's carpet, thanks to a fireball effect. Ah, the '80s. A little less control then.

The following year, Savini returned, this time bringing "Grandpa" from TCM 2. He also set Letterman's hand on fire and rigged the host's head with a bloody squib and "blew the back of his head off." You can watch both appearances below!


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