Canada's Dick Assman of David Letterman TV fame dies at 82

Fri Aug 19, 2016 2:42pm EDT
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TORONTO (Reuters) - Dick Assman, a Canadian man with an unusual name who rose to fame in 1995 after being featured on the U.S. television program "Late Show with David Letterman," died on Monday, according to an online funeral home obituary. He was 82.

Richard "Dick" Arthur Assman, who worked as a manager, mechanic and attendant at gas stations in Regina, Saskatchewan, died peacefully, according to the obituary.

Letterman had said on his show that Assman came to his attention due to a newspaper ad that read he had moved from one gas station to another.

"I don't think I've ever met a guy named 'Assman,'" Letterman said on the episode in which the man was first featured. "Is 'Assman' a Canadian name?"

Assman, who appeared to be a good sport about the matter, had a small recurring role on the show, speaking on the phone with Letterman, then eventually appearing in person.

His involvement with the show sparked off an "Assmania" craze, with his name emblazoned on T-shirts, pens and bumper stickers, and he also received a marriage proposal, according to the Canadian Press, which interviewed Assman in 2015.

The German name is properly pronounced "OSS-man," according to the Canadian Press.

A publicist for Letterman, who retired last year, declined to comment, saying the former host is away.

(Reporting by Ethan Lou in Toronto; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)