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?"
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