David Letterman

					David Letterman


        David Letterman grew up in a small town in eastern Indiana. He
was born to Joseph and Dorothy Letterman. After reading the novel,
"David
Letterman: On Stage and Off" by Rosemarie Lennon, I have learned about
all his
struggles and joys. Because of this book, I feel sorry towards one of
the
funniest people on Earth, David Letterman. I also admire him for his
good acts
and abilities.
        To realize why I feel what I feel toward Letterman, you have to
look at
some of the main points in his life. First of all, Dave was exactly an
A
student. He struggled all of his life through grade school to college.
He also
wasn't very popular. He stated, " I remember standing around. . . with
the
other losers, watching all the athletes play sports. All we could do
is make
fun and ridicule them." He was never good at anything until high
school. "All
I ever knew how to do was to make people laugh. In high school I was
the class
clown, making fun of everything and everyone." This personality trait
was what
gave him his thousands of faithful fans, watching his show every night
to see
Dave rip to shreds anyone who dare challenge him. Another thing that
was
important to him was his mother and father. His father, Joseph
Letterman, and
Dave went fishing quite often when he was young. Dave looked up to his
father
tremendously. When Joseph had his first heart attack when he was
thirty-six,
Dave and his father started to drift away. Later, Dave's Dad died when
he was
fifty-three. One of David's top regrets was never spending a lot of
time with
his dad. As for his mother, she is the classical conservative mother
of the
fifties. She was always very hard on Dave when he got into mischief in
school--
which was quite often. She is still a part of Dave's life, and can be
seen
quite often on his show, doing a comedy sketch, or telling audience
members what
the temperature was in Lillihammer during the Winter Olympics.
        The Reason I feel sorry for Letterman is because of his
tragedies of his
past. His Dad's passing was hard enough, but he had other trials to
deal with.
Like his mother. She was never really proud of David, constantly
reminding him
he was going to fail, and not encouraging him to take his natural
ability to
make people laugh to their limits. She hated the idea of him going to
California to work in a comedy club there, but Dave was stubborn. In
1975 he
quit his job at a local T.V. station doing the weather, and moved to
the big
city of Los Angeles. He worked at a place called The Comedy Store
along side
his current nemesis, Jay Leno. There he learned how hard it was to be
a
comedian. He started to become a perfectionist. When something wasn't
right, he
got very mad and was very unhappy. This unhappiness is what caused
Dave and his
wife since 1969, Michelle Cook, to get a divorce. "I misbehaved.
There's no
way of getting around that. The responsibility for the end of our
marriage is
squarely on my shoulders. I have a measure of ongoing guilt about
that. . . I
was very immature and acted badly, and I am sorry for that." Things
started to
turn around on November 24, 1978, when Johnny Carson, Dave's boyhood
idol, had
selected Dave to fill-in for him every once in a while. This was it.
The big
times. But this also set Dave up for one of his biggest rejections
yet. Dave
made fifty guest-host jobs and twenty-two guest appearances from 1978
to 1980.
He was a regular on Johnny's show and became to be one of Johnny's
closest
friends. In 1980, NBC gave Letterman his own show after Carson's. For
eleven
and a half years, Dave's show was a success, and Letterman was
considered as
Carson's heir to the late night throne. The job was given to Jay Leno
instead,
when Carson retired. Dave took this as a major insult. He left NBC--
breaking
his contract-- and moved to CBS where Jay and Dave would compete for
the same
time slot. "This new show was terribly exciting for me." Dave did his
show
just like his one on NBC and on August 30, 1993, The Late Show with
David
Letterman beat Jay Leno's Tonight Show for two years after that.
        I also admire David Letterman. After all his ordeals, he still
hasn't
lost the ability to do what he started out to do: to make people to
laugh. I
have been a fan of Letterman since he was guest hosting Carson's show,
and I
know a lot about him. He still puts on a show every night, even though
it has
taken a major decline in ratings since the Oscars. He is a kind man as
well,
giving thousands of dollars to various charities. He has a talent for
making
people laugh, making even the stupidest jokes funny. I view my self
like him.
I am not the smartest in my family, nor will I ever be, but I know I am
the
funniest. Maybe that's trough years of religiously watching Letterman
at night.
I am also a perfectionist. I get very angry with myself if I do
something that
goes terribly wrong. David Letterman has inspired me in life, teaching
me to do
things most people wouldn't.
        David William Letterman is a tremendously funny and kind man.
He has
gone through some of life's tragic and some of it's magic, but always
seems to
come out on top. Who knew that a skinny kid from Indiana who grew up
with a few
friends and no gumption, would be one of the most successful people of
his time.
And, to quote Letterman, "Would you like to buy a monkey?"