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