The Frog Blog

J.R. Sparlin discusses things

Friday, May 20, 2016

A Tribute to David Letterman

My husband Derek and me, just after we attended a taping of
The Late Show with David Letterman last February

It has been one year today since the last airing of The Late Show with David Letterman. I wrote this letter to Dave shortly before his retirement. I doubt he had time to read it, but I am including it here to commemorate a great show and a big part of my life.

Dear Dave,

I started watching your show in 1983 with my dad. I was nine years old. (Apparently my mother did not know about this.) We had lots of fun watching the show together and wrote Top Ten lists and Viewer Mail letters, which we never mailed. Our favorite was:

            Dear Dave,

It was my ambition to write for you when I grew up. And I am a writer, although not a well-known one.

I think that because I have watched the show all my life, it has had a profound effect on my personality and sense of humor, and therefore on my writing. There are of course many influences in a person’s life. But if I am sarcastic and funny, with a finely honed sense of the absurd, it is, in part, because of you. I love how you take all the weird little things people do and make them funny. One of my favorite pieces from the show is “How Many Mice Can Fit in a Dunkin Doughnuts?”

In more recent years, my husband and I have visited New York a number of times, and have always made it a point to walk or ride past the theater. It has always been a big part, for me, of the magic that is New York City. We were able to go inside and attend two tapings of the show, which were amazing and magical, and I will never forget it.

And so I have watched the show through the triumphs and tragedies of my life. Just about a year ago, six hours after having major surgery, my nurses were startled to find me sitting up in bed, eating roast beef, watching Dave.

Thank you for the happiness, diversion, and sheer malicious glee you have given me and my family. I am very, very sad the show is ending, but I wish you great happiness in your retirement. I’m not sure what I’m going to do with myself now at 10:30 every night. Perhaps I will actually get to bed earlier.

Not likely.

Jennifer Sparlin
Wichita, KS  

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