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David Letterman Essay, Research Paper

David Letterman

Anyone that has met, seen, heard of, or listened to David Letterman can

immediately tell he has a likable and humorous personality. Anyone studying him can

see that his ?clowning,? as he called it, is more than simple clowning in its accepted

sense. In inventing weird disasters and making up places that did not exist, which he did

quite often as a weather man for channel 13, he was indulging himself in another facet of

his complicated humor. It was ?nonsense?-nothing more, nothing less. And the nonsense

that David found most compatible with his sense of humor was fragile, soap-bubble thin,

and as transparent as butterfly wings. This easygoing, laid back sense of humor has

brought him were he is today.

On the other hand, anyone that has met Garrett Scharton has more than likely

been stung by his sarcastic, witty remarks. His sense of humor, derived from his ever-

changing childhood, has taught him to always ?be on his toes.? Garrett?s hardships in his

early years have opened his eyes to see the lighter side of everything to keep his sanity.

This sometimes gets in his way of experiencing new things. The lingering insecurities in

the back of his mind, which are shadowed by his unsurpassed wit, put a wall in front of

anyone trying to get close.

David Letterman and Garrett Scharton?s sense of humor are comparable in two

ways. David?s peachy, childish remarks surprise even the most intelligent of observers.

He cracks jokes, plays pranks, and ?clowns around,? to have fun. He makes people laugh

to hear them have a good time. While Garrett, stings with words to keep people at a

distance. David jokes around to have fun, while Garrett does it for protection.

All throughout his life David performed sub-par academically compared to his

older and younger sisters. His ?C? average convinced him to lower his goal for going to

Indiana State, and settle for Ball State. His less than professional training as a radio talk

show host gave him a chance to find his own, special angle to look at news, politics, and

daily life. He now gives a lot of credit for his successful career to Ball State. In 1985, to

show his appreciation to Ball State, he funded a scholarship that is eligible for ?C?

students only. He also has given $24,285 to the telecommunications department for new

state of the art equipment.

There were three children-two girls and one boy. David was the middle sibling,

bracketed between two girls, Janice and Gretchen. The sisters did well in school,

especially Gretchen; David did not perform academically as well as they did. But it was

obvious that he was intelligent.

When David Letterman was about eight years old he was just beginning to set

himself apart from his peer group of other eight-year-olds. He looked no different than

any of the other kids in the Broad Ripple section of Indianapolis, Indiana, but in his

psyche he was developing into what would become a jokester and buffoon in his college

years and a world-famous talk-show host in his maturity

The children attended public school 55, which was well within walking distance.

There David made friends with several of the boys, but did not become any kind of

playground leader or classroom star. If anything he was the exact opposite of a star.

When I think about why anyone should read about David Letterman the first

reason that comes to mind is perseverance. In all things this is most self evident in his

hardships contrasted to his successes. David had less than desirable grades, a less than

desirable education, a less than desirable marriage and a less than desirable situation. He

settled for a less than desirable college, and worked for a less than desirable news station.

But he stuck with it, and look where he is now. Sitting on top of the world, smoking

cigars through the space between his teeth laughing and having a good time every night

at 12:30 am.

I think the best thing that David Letterman ever accomplished was graduating

from Ball State. He got exposure to performing under pressure, strict bosses, deadlines,

and most importantly airtime. David got exposed to things that he would never have

been exposed to if he went to Indiana State. The bad time slots and poor radio equipment

forced him to rely on his humor and wit to keep things running smoothly. If he had not

gone to Ball State we might not know the same David Letterman we do today.

I think the worst thing David Letterman ever ?accomplished? was getting married

at the young age of nineteen. This forced him to put his radio and television career aside

while tried to support a family. And in the end, it caused more harm than good. His wife,

to make ends meet had to give up her love of music to support his ?childish? fantasy of

becoming a television star. This is after he gave up his for a short while to support her

music career. After it was all over, I think, they should have weighted so that neither one

of their careers would be jeopardized for one another.


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