Robert "Joe" Halderman, a veteran producer for the CBS crime show "48 Hours," was released on $200,000 bail Friday after he pleaded not guilty to charges of trying to blackmail Letterman for $2 million. If convicted, Halderman could face between five to 15 years in a state prison.
Meanwhile, 62-year-old Letterman, who attempted to explain the plot and sex scandal to his audience last week, became the punchline of late night jokes himself.
On NBC's "Saturday Night Live," the anchor of the show's "Weekend Update" segment joked that the man who was arrested for blackmailing Letterman was doing a "stupid human trick."
Giving an example of the personal details of Letterman's life the alleged extortionist was threatening to disclose, anchor Seth Meyers added: "After sex, he would always say, 'Stay tuned for Craig Ferguson.'"
Former competitor Jay Leno opened his own prime-time show on NBC Friday with the line: "If you came here tonight for sex with a talk show host, you've got the wrong studio."
On NBC's "Late Night," Jimmy Fallon quipped, "There's a new book out called 'Why Women Have Sex' that says there are 237 reasons why women have sex. And folks, Letterman knows the Top 10."
Letterman's guest on Friday, actor/producer Larry David of HBO's "Curb Your Enthusiasm," also took a jab at the host.
Joking that he has probably broken the record for the least amount of sex for someone with their own TV show, David asked Letterman if he could speak to that.
"Oh, I don't know," Letterman replied, sheepishly.
Acknowledging the unspecified sexual relationships with female staff members to a silent audience, Letterman said, "My response to that [allegation] is, 'Yes I have.' Would it be embarrassing if it were made public? Perhaps it would. Especially for the women."
The scandal hasn't yet dented the late night host's popularity. Ratings of "The Late Show" jumped 38 percent on Thursday compared to the same night a week ago as allegations about an extortion plot and Letterman addressing the case during his show surfaced earlier in the day. Several major advertisers have already announced they are sticking with the show, saying they are more interested in the improved ratings than Letterman's personal life.
Letterman took the top spot in late night ratings after rival Leno retired from his hosting gig at "The Tonight Show" and Conan O'Brien took over.
CBS producer Halderman, 51, appeared before a Manhattan court Friday after he was arrested Thursday outside CBS' Manhattan offices and arraigned on charges of attempted grand larceny.
According to the New York District Attorney, Halderman waited outside Letterman's Manhattan home at 6 a.m. Sept. 9 to deliver a letter and other documents to him as he was leaving for work.
The district attorney's office said in a press release that Halderman wrote he needed to "make a large chunk of money" by selling Letterman a so-called "screenplay treatment."