Paul Shaffer

Musical director, Performer, Composer
The least likely hipster since Sammy Davis, Jr. was drafted into the Rat Pack, Paul Shaffer made not only a lifetime but an industry of spinning his shortcomings into bold career moves. The only son of a Thunder Bay ... Read more »
Born: 11/27/1949 in Fort William, Ontario, CA

Filmography

Actor (74)

How I Met Your Mother 2013 (Tv Show)

Actor

Saturday Night Live 1976 - 1980, 1997 - 1998, 2000 - 2002, 2005 - 2008, 2012 (Tv Show)

Special Appearance

Running Wilde 2010 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Late Show With David Letterman 1976 - 1980, 1997 - 1998, 2000 - 2002, 2005 - 2009 (Tv Show)

Guest

Billy Crystal: The Mark Twain Prize 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Actor

Cosby 1978 - 1980, 1997 - 1998, 2000 - 2002, 2005 - 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

Law & Order: Criminal Intent 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

Love Monkey 2005 - 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

Primetime Glick 1978 - 1980, 2000 - 2002, 2005 - 2008 (Tv Show)

Actor

Hope & Faith 2005 (Tv Show)

Actor

The 55th Annual Primetime Emmy Awards 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

Unseen Untold: The Blues Brothers 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Actor

The 45th Annual Grammy Awards 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Actor

Ed 2002 (Tv Show)

Actor

The Concert For New York City 2001 - 2002 (TV Show)

Actor

Cover Wars 2000 - 2001 (TV Show)

Actor

Disney's Hercules 1998 - 2000 (TV Show)

Voice

Sonny Bono: The E! True Hollywood Story 1999 - 2000 (TV Show)

Actor

Farm Aid '98 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Actor

Blues Brothers 2000 1998 (Movie)

Marco (Actor)

The Goodwill Games Opening Celebration 1997 - 1998 (TV Show)

Actor

Grammy Countdown 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Hercules 1997 (Movie)

of Hermes (Voice)

The 1997 ESPY Awards 1996 - 1997 (TV Show)

Actor

Happy New Year America -- 1994 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Actor

A New York Night -- Live! 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

A Spinal Tap Reunion 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

Late Night With David Letterman 1981 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The Bob Dylan 30th Anniversary Celebration 1992 - 1993 (TV Show)

Actor

The 1991 Billboard Music Awards 1991 - 1992 (TV Show)

Actor

1990 Billboard Music Awards Show 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Seriously... Phil Collins 1990 - 1991 (TV Show)

Actor

Look Who's Talking Too 1990 (Movie)

Taxi Businessman (Actor)

Night of 100 Stars III 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Rate the '80s 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The 2nd International Rock Awards 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

The Best of Cinemax Sessions 1989 - 1990 (TV Show)

Actor

Ashford and Simpson: Going Home 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Jacksonville Jazz IX 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Actor

Comic Relief II 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award Show 1987 - 1988 (TV Show)

Actor

Light Years 1988 (Movie)

of Optilow (Voice)

Scrooged 1988 (Movie)

Street Musician (Actor)

Don Johnson's Music Video Feature Heartbeat 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Paul Shaffer: Viva Shaf Vegas 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

The Beach Boys -- 25 Years Together 1986 - 1987 (TV Show)

Actor

Fats Domino & Friends 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Late Night Film Festival 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

Martin Short Concert For the North Americas 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

NBC's 60th Anniversary Celebration 1985 - 1986 (TV Show)

Actor

This Is Spinal Tap 1984 (Movie)

Artie Fufkin (Actor)

Steve Martin's Best Show Ever 1981 - 1982 (TV Show)

Actor

Gilda Live 1980 (Movie)

(Actor)

A Year at the Top 1976 - 1977 (TV Show)

Actor

Hereafter 1975 - 1976 (TV Show)

Actor
Music (37)

2014 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony 2013 - 2014 (TV Show)

Music Producer

Think Like a Man Too 2014 (Movie)

("It's Raining Men") (Song)

Magic Mike 2012 (Movie)

"It's Raining Men" (Song)

Tyler Perry's Why Did I Get Married Too? 2010 (Movie)

("It's Raining Men") (Song)

Rock & Roll Hall of Fame 2008 2007 - 2008 (TV Show)

Music Producer

The Comebacks 2007 (Movie)

("It's Raining Men") (Song)

The Knights of Prosperity 2007 (Tv Show)

Composer

Strangers with Candy 2006 (Movie)

("She's a Fig Neutron") (Song)

Strangers with Candy 2006 (Movie)

Original Song (Original Score)

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony 2005 2004 - 2005 (TV Show)

Music

2003 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony 2002 - 2003 (TV Show)

Music Producer

Duets 2000 (Movie)

("It's Raining Men") (Song)

Scary Movie 2000 (Movie)

("It's Raining Men") (Song)

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: Class of '99 1998 - 1999 (TV Show)

Performer

Blues Brothers 2000 1998 (Movie)

("Funky Nassau") (Song Performer)

Blues Brothers 2000 1998 (Movie)

(Music Producer)

Blues Brothers 2000 1998 (Movie)

(Music)

The Martin Short Show 1994 - 1995 (TV Show)

Theme Music

Beethoven's 2nd 1993 (Movie)

(Song Performer)

Beethoven's 2nd 1993 (Movie)

song producer("Roll Over Beethoven") (Song)

Beethoven 1992 (Movie)

(Song Performer)

Beethoven 1992 (Movie)

song producer("Roll Over Beethoven") (Song)

The Lemon Sisters 1990 (Movie)

(Music Supervisor)

The Lemon Sisters 1990 (Movie)

(Music Arranger)

Late For Dinner 1988 - 1989 (TV Show)

Theme Music

Scrooged 1988 (Movie)

("We Three Kings of Orient Are") (Song Performer)

The Karate Kid Part II 1986 (Movie)

song arranger("Rock Around the Clock") (Song)

Easy Money 1983 (Movie)

("It's Raining Men") (Song)

Square Pegs 1982 - 1983 (TV Show)

Music

Mr. Mike's Mondo Video 1979 (Movie)

(Music Supervisor)

The Best of the Blues Brothers (TV Show)

Song Performer
Producer (2)

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2007 2006 - 2007 (TV Show)

Producer

Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Ceremony 2004 2003 - 2004 (TV Show)

Producer
Writer (1)

Gilda Live 1980 (Movie)

(Screenplay)

Biography

The least likely hipster since Sammy Davis, Jr. was drafted into the Rat Pack, Paul Shaffer made not only a lifetime but an industry of spinning his shortcomings into bold career moves. The only son of a Thunder Bay attorney with a passion for jazz, Shaffer was trucked by his parents on vacations to Las Vegas, where he developed an early taste for dazzle and ring-a-ding-ding. A rock-n-roll worshipping teenager, Shaffer joined a boy band called the Fugitives, playing keyboards at sock hops and hockey games. Long distance radio broadcasts from the United States and chance encounters with kindred souls led Shaffer to try his hand as a freelance musician. Despite never being able to read music well, Shaffer lucked into a job as a musical director for the Toronto production of "Godspell," whose success and connections brought him to New York City in 1974. Hired for the "Saturday Night Live" (NBC, 1975- ) band its first season, Shaffer forged a solid reputation for himself as an innovative musician with an incomparable personal style - traits that he parlayed into a long-term gig as the band leader for talk show host David Letterman on both of the late night comedian's programs. The recipient of multiple awards and international honors, and a celebrated composer and comic actor, Paul Shaffer carved a niche for himself in American pop culture by realizing the impossible dream of getting paid to love music.

Relationships

William Wood Lee Shaffer

Son
Born January 21, 1999 mother, Cathy Vasapoli

Bernard Shaffer

Father

Shirley Shaffer

Mother

Victoria Shaffer

Daughter
Born c. 1993 mother, Cathy Vasapoli

Cathy Vasapoli

Wife
Married c. 1990

EDUCATION

University of Toronto

1971

Milestones

2009

Published his memoir, We'll Be Here for the Rest of Our Lives: A Swingin' Showbiz Saga

2001

Hosted the VH1 game show "Cover Wars" along with co-host, DJ/model Sky Nellor

1998

Performed in "Blues Brothers 2000" with Dan Aykroyd and John Goodman

1997

Seen as part of the "Blues Brothers Bash" during the Super Bowl XXXI half-time show

1997

Heard as the voice of Hermes in Disney's animated feature "Hercules"

1996

Was the musical director for the concert finale at the closing ceremonies of the Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta

1993

Moved with Letterman to CBS becoming music director for "The Late Show with David Letterman"; leader of CBS Orchestra

1993

Released second solo album, The World's Most Dangerous Party

1990

Had cameo as harried passenger in John Travolta's cab in "Look Who's Talking Too"

1990

Contributed music to the feature "Postcards from the Edge"

1989

Released the solo album, the Grammy nominated, Coast to Coast

1988

Appeared with Miles Davis as part of a street musicians scene in "Scrooged," starring Bill Murray

1987

Executive produced and played himself in the Cinemax special, "Viva Shaf Vegas" (also wrote theme)

1984

Played Artie Fufkin, the promo man, in Rob Reiner's parody of a rock documentary, "This Is Spinal Tap"

1982

Served as music director for "Late Night with David Letterman" (NBC); leader of The World's Most Dangerous Band

1980

Received screenwriting credit for the feature "Gilda Live"; also performed

1979

Collaborated with Gilda Radner on songs for her Broadway show, "Gilda: Live from New York"; also played keyboards

1979

Was the musical director for Dan Aykroyd and John Belushi, performing as the Blues Brothers, for their US tour and on the albums, Briefcase Full of Blues (1978) and Made in America (1980)

1977

Took time off from "SNL" to star in the short-lived comedy series "A Year at the Top" (CBS)

1976

Worked on the Broadway production of "Godspell"

1975

Was the original band member of NBC's "Saturday Night Live"; played keyboards, composed special music material and acted in skits

1964

Performed with the rock band The Fabulous Fugitives in home town of Thunder Bay

Studied classical piano from age 6

Was the musical director for the first 10 induction ceremonies for the Rock-and-Roll Hall of Fame

Landed job as musical director of Toronto production of "Godspell"; met its composer-lyricist Steven Schwartz who invited him to play piano on Broadway for "The Magic Show" (1974)

Bonus Trivia

.

Received an honorary doctorate of fine arts from Lakehead University in Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada in 1988.

.

About the song selection the CBS Orchestra played to introduce Al Gore: "It was hilarious, actually. During rehearsals, one of the Secret Service agents pulled me aside and said in a low voice, 'Um, what are you going to play to welcome the vice president?' Before I could answer, he said, 'How about Arrested Development's "Tennessee"?' It was perfect since Al Gore is from there... And the lesson to be learned here, of course, is that one should never underestimate the Secret Service. Because one day they could have your job." - Shaffer quoted in Us Weekly, April 1995

.

In 2002, a street which surrounds the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium in his hometown was renamed "Paul Shaffer Drive".

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