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David Letterman The Man The Myth

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					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?"