October 6, 2009

on david letterman and my idols.....

I’ve had a major crush on David Letterman since discovering his show in 1983. I was in junior high, having problems sleeping, and had a small black & white tv in my bedroom. I happened up his show one of those sleepless nights and was…...blown away. Who was this strange looking guy with the even stranger sense of humor? He had guests like Larry Bud Melman, Harvey Pekar, and Hunter S. Thompson. He had “stupid pet tricks” and Chris Elliot. He had surreal interviews with Andy Kaufman & Crispin Glover.

I was fascinated with the show and Letterman himself. He always came off as odd, reclusive, a bit tortured. He didn’t date Hollywood starlets. He was friends with people like Warren Zevon. He seemed like an outsider making jokes about the in crowd. Of course I related.

So now, “the scandal” has me remembering that my “idols” are all just human and flawed. I can enjoy their art. I love Roman Polanski’s “The Tenant” and “Rosemary’s Baby”, but I wouldn’t want to have him over for tea. Warren Zevon made some of my favorite albums, but by his own account he was not a good person, or easy to deal with. I watched a documentary about Hunter S. Thompson recently, and while I love his books, I wouldn’t have enjoy hanging out with the actual person.

None of these guys have been exemplary husbands by any stretch of the word. They seem to be hit or miss as parents. Not easy people in any way. I think I have grown up enough to know that I can enjoy the art of these flawed humans while removing them from “idol” status.

My “idols” are now people who treat their family & friends with kindness. Folks who maintain respect for marriages. Giving, generous people. Coworkers who are honest. Drivers who are polite. People who struggle with all that is “being human”, while causing as little damage as possible. If someone can do that and be hilarious & creative, then that's an idol.

here's a blog post of all my favorite old letterman show running gags.

here's a pic of the candy mojito stole from me. old lady scented!


Primordial Dork said...

It's true. I remember how we used to dig Merrill Markoe, still do! But being her probably was no picnic. I can't imagine being around Cubby Selby when he was a stupid junkie. It's best to sort the best from the worst and enjoy the best they have to offer from a distance.

That goes for anyone really. You've mastered good advice, Madame Hearn.

glittergirl said...

i have been wanting to blog about merrill markoe for weeks now, before any "scandal" even started. she's super sharp.

Mojito Libre said...

As an honest (ex) co-worker, I have to come clean. I stole your pack of "Old Lady Perfume" candy.

duchessdoright said...

I am exceedingly impressed with the sentiments expressed in this blog post.

Mojito Libre said...

ha ha ha. Nice addendum :-)