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20 David Letterman Quotes That Are Both Funny and Wise

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Born on April 12, 1947, Letterman had his big break in 1975 when he appeared on The Tonight Show with Johnny Carson, who later became his mentor.

Since he had just what it takes to be a great host, the young comedian finally got his own daytime show – The David Letterman Show, which lasted for only three months.

However, the show was so very well-received by the public that it convinced NBC-TV to give Letterman a late-night show that best suited his irreverent sense of humor and mocking style.

The Late Night with David Letterman premiered in 1982 on NBC and was an instant success. After 10 years, Letterman moved his show to the competing network CBS, and the title changed to The Late Show.

Letterman decided to retire in 2014, but in 2018 he returned to as host of My Next Guest Needs No Introduction, a monthly one-hour talk show that you can watch on Netflix.

[Here is a representative selection of his observations. Enjoy.]

o Anything worth doing is worth overdoing.

o Why we are here: To tremble at the terrible beauty of the stars, to shed a tear at the perfection of Beethoven’s symphonies, and to crack a cold one now and then.

o There is no off position on the genius switch.

o Next in importance to having a good aim is to recognize when to pull the trigger.

o Way too much coffee. But if it weren’t for the coffee, I’d have no identifiable personality whatsoever.

o If what you’ve done is stupid, but it works, then it really isn’t all that stupid.

o My greatest fear in life is being dull. You can be great, you can be awful, but just don’t bother being dull.

o Just make sure if you fail, you did what you wanted to do.

o I have found that the only thing that does bring you happiness is doing something good for somebody who is incapable of doing it for themselves.

o  Love: You can’t start it like a car, you can’t stop it with a gun.

o You think an explosion has taken place and you’re looking at the shards and you say, ‘Well, can we put this back together?’ And by God, maybe you can put it back together. And maybe it won’t be the same, but maybe it will be different, and maybe it can even be better in a different way.

o After my bypass surgery I knew I had to change my lifestyle, and then it occurred to me — I don’t have a lifestyle.

o Pretending to be courageous is just as good as the real thing.

o The worst tempered people I have ever met were those who knew that they were gone.

o Life is experience is the best teacher.

o Nothing, believe me, nothing is more satisfying to me personally than getting a great idea and then beatin’ it to death.o I don’t mind being accused of being a bad comedian and I don’t even mind being accused of being a bad talk-show host, but I never want to be accused of being an arrogant, pompous showbiz asshole.

o I’m an environmentalist. Most of my jokes are recycled.

o I really respect people who can walk out onstage alone and with no other tool but their own minds and can make you laugh and maybe even think a little.

o Ladies and gentlemen, after what I’ve been through, I am happy just to be wearing clothes that open in the front.

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Thank you Flavia Medrut!

She is a freelance writer, researcher and part-time psychologist. She believes music, long walks and a good sense of humor are imperative in keeping one’s sanity.

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