So tonight marks the end of David Letterman’s fascinating tenure as a late night talk show host. I used to watch Mr. Letterman religiously in the late 80’s and into the early 90’s but somewhere along the line I stopped.
While I’ve caught snippets of his stuff here and there, I was shocked when I revisited a full episode only a few months ago and found the man who was so sharp witted and on top of his game look so very, very…bored. (You can read the entire posting, which references his then just announced retirement, here).
Salon.com has been running a series of retrospectives on David Letterman highlights, and today’s offering is one that really stuck in my mind since watching it air live many years before. From 1987, the second appearance of the late American Splendor comic book creator/writer Harvey Pekar on Letterman’s show. It is one of the very few times I can recall Mr. Letterman really having enough with a guest:
You can read the entire amusing article below:
Given my interest in anything comic book related, I was delighted back then to see a comic book writer appear on such a prestigious show (back then, comic book creators didn’t have the cache they have now).
I vaguely recalled seeing Mr. Pekar’s first appearance on Letterman’s show and, when it was announced he was coming back for a second time, I couldn’t help but wonder why. To put it kindly, Mr. Pekar was quite the character and wasn’t afraid to blurt out whatever was on his mind. He would later say this was in part an “act” but I don’t know. I suppose it was his shocking honesty that intrigued Mr. Letterman enough to have him over that second time.
As you can see from the clip, that second time proved pretty uncomfortable. Still, you have to give it to Mr. Pekar, he made that appearance a most memorable one.
In the mood for more “disastrous” David Letterman guests? Check out the link below:
Unfortunately, many of the clips in the list have been removed from youtube but with some looking around, I’m sure you can find ’em.
It’s astonishing how many of them I saw the day they aired. I really did spend an awful long time watching Letterman back in the day!