Dick Assman

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Dick Assman
Richard Arthur Assman

(1934-02-14)February 14, 1934
DiedAugust 15, 2016(2016-08-15) (aged 82)
OccupationGas station employee
Known forAppearances on the Late Show with David Letterman

Richard Arthur "Dick" Assman (February 14, 1934 – August 15, 2016) was a Canadian gas station employee whose name propelled him to celebrity status across North America for four months in 1995.


In 1995, Assman moved from working at one Petro-Canada station to another. The latter station's owner took out an advertisement in the local newspaper that was sent anonymously to David Letterman, who was amused by Assman's name.[1] Assman was introduced on July 24, 1995, on the Late Show with David Letterman, where he was a nightly feature for about a month. During this time, he was known as "Assman the Gasman".[2]

Live field units in Canada interviewed him for the show. Over the weeks, Joe Namath declared himself an "Ass-maniac", while Assman received a musical tribute from Tony Orlando[3] on Letterman:

Northgate Petro-Canada
Oh, they're relocating
Their new office at Victoria Square
They're celebrating
Oh vaya con dios, Dick Assman
Vaya con dios, my love

As his fame grew,[4][5][6] Vancouver polling company Angus Reid Public Opinion reported that 49 percent of surveyed Canadians in September 1995 had heard of his name.[7] Assman received a number of contracts for commercial appearances, was asked to run for public office, and received many marriage proposals.[citation needed] He received a request to judge a bikini contest in August 1995 for the Janetville Jamboree and Truck Pull in Janetville, Ontario.[2] "Assmania" came to a close in August when Assman visited the Ed Sullivan Theater and was presented with a bouquet of roses by Letterman.[8]

In October 1995, James Blanchard, the U.S. ambassador to Canada, paid a visit to Assman at his gas station, citing his status as "an international celebrity".[9]

Assman or Assmann is a German-language surname derived from the name Erasmus.[citation needed] Dick Assman himself, who took all this ribbing good-naturedly, pronounced his name "oss-man".[1]

Personal life[edit]

Assman was born in Neudorf, Saskatchewan, to Adolf and Elizabeth Assman.[10] He died on August 15, 2016.[11]

Another Saskatchewan resident surnamed Assman, Dave Assman of Melville, Saskatchewan, earned notoriety in 2019 when he attempted to get a vanity licence plate with his surname on it; when Saskatchewan Government Insurance rejected his request, he had a tailgate-sized replica of an "ASSMAN" licence plate painted on the back of his truck. News reports did not indicate how closely (if at all) Dick and Dave Assman were related, but did note both pronounced their names the same way and were of German descent.[12][13]


  1. ^ a b "Dick Assman still chuckles over his David Letterman fame". cbc.ca. May 15, 2015. Archived from the original on August 15, 2016. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  2. ^ a b "What a cheek: The Assman is coming to Ontario". Toronto Star. 4 August 1995. p. A14. Archived from the original on 4 September 2014. Retrieved 3 September 2014.
  3. ^ Late Show w/David Letterman - Dick Assman Part 1 on YouTube
  4. ^ (9 August 1995). Assmania goes on tour, Waterloo Region Record
  5. ^ (4 August 1995). What a cheek: The Assman is coming to Ontario[permanent dead link], Toronto Star
  6. ^ (28 July 1995). Letterman's Regina pal takes the Late Night ribbing in his stride, Waterloo Region Record
  7. ^ Luscombe, Belinda. "NEXT: I.P. DALY ON NIGHTLINE", Time, published October 2, 1995, accessed February 8, 2007.
  8. ^ (21 August 1995). What's in a name? Ask Letterman guest, Free Lance Star (Associated Press)
  9. ^ (5 October 1995). Ambassador visits Assman[permanent dead link], Waterloo Region Record
  10. ^ "Obituary of Richard Assman". speersfuneralchapel.com. August 15, 2016. Archived from the original on August 20, 2016. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  11. ^ Hudes, Sammy (August 19, 2016). "Dick Assman of Letterman fame dies at 82". thestar.com. Archived from the original on August 19, 2016. Retrieved August 19, 2016.
  12. ^ "A Saskatchewanian Named Assman Has Once Again Been Denied an 'ASSMAN' Licence Plate" Archived 2019-02-15 at the Wayback Machine (8 February 2019). The StarPhoenix. Retrieved 7 November 2019.
  13. ^ MacPherson, Alex (14 February 2019). "Assman Strikes Back: Denied Licence Plate, Saskatchewan Man Emblazons 'Offensive' Last Name on Tailgate." Archived 2022-05-07 at the Wayback Machine National Post. Retrieved 7 November 2019.

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