Wednesday, January 07, 2015

Shot at Late Night 

--> The only rejection letter I ever got in my whole life was from David Letterman. I'm not bragging, especially since the "in crowd" knows that a rejection letter is actually an invitation to submit to them again. Something I would like to have known back in June of 1995 when I got my rejection from the show. The head writer then, Rob Burnett, returned a phone call I made to him - an excited voice-mail I left him got a response! I did as he'd requested, thanks to the laptop and printer loaned to me by my hero, friend and former Creative Director, and also creator of School House Rock! George Newall. (We both worked for Grey Advertising and thank heavens our employment periods there overlapped.)
The following is what I mailed to Rob Burnett - the head writer for "Late Night with David Letterman" show.

May 5, 1995

Rob Burnett
Worldwide Pants Inc.
1697 Broadway
New York, NY  10023

Hellooooo Rob!

Allow me to misrepresent myself - Shear Genius here, donating my astoundingly creative tendencies to you and your fine little show for lifetime service non-gratis (uh, that means free, Rob).  Well, a hug here and there wouldn’t hurt.

I guess we don’t really know each other so let me tell you a few quick things about myself. (Well, “quick” depends on how fast you can read there, Robby.) I was born to a proud family of Michigan immigrants (they immigrated from Northern Michigan when no one was looking).  I grew up amongst the rigors of rampant teen angst, Chevy Envy and Lighthouse Keg’ers.  Determined to escape the insanity of it all, I enrolled in Michigan State University to study Advertising (for about five years, apparently).  I done graduated and, in a desperate attempt to out-fox my loan officer, I forged onward to The Promised Land - Manhattan, where the streets are lined with subway grates, Bagel carts and ConEd crews!  Hey, you can’t buy a stench like this anywhere in the world!  I’m proud to say I make my home in a town that smells like pee and bagels!   Now, on a more professional note: 

Turn Ons: (mine) Guys that call me back, Guys that call me back and make me laugh, Guys that call me back, make me laugh and offer me jobs.

Turn Offs: (me, still....) Weak coffee, weak handshakes, weak talk show hosts (subliminal: Jay Leno)

Well, I think I know a good place to stop when I see one. (My, how I’ve grown.)
 Remember when you called me that one time last week?  It made my day.
 I hope to hear from you again.  And not just when you need money, either.  You can call here anytime, you know that.

Will Work for Canned Hams,

Karen Parmelee
245 W. 75th 3D
NYC  10023

The party of the first part notifies the party of the second part that the following pages contain
The Material.

HEY!  This Could Be Funny!!
by Golly Itcould

The Halls of Gump -
This is where we go for our analogies on or about life.  When we’re feeling troubled and confused, we find comfort in Forrest Gumps’ Store of Analogies.  While it hardly needs repeating, as I think we all know how life is like a box of chocolates, what else  is life like?  What other metaphors can we reduce this thing called life  to, so that we may better grasp and appreciate its wondrous awe and effervescent cachet?  Is life like a New York Apartment?  You know there’s gonna be roaches, you just hope they don’t gross ya’ out while you’re entertaining In-Laws!  Is life like Dirty Dancing?  Patrick Swayze’s just better at it than you! Or is life more like a Red-Hot Chili Peppers song?  You’ll never ever understand one word of it, no matter how slow ya play it!  Oh, the wide-eyed wondering could go on and on.

That Man Will Do ANYTHING on TV
This is a piece I call “That Man Will Do Anything on TV.”  Credit where credit is due - Adam Sandler inspired me, cuz I’ve noticed that man will do anything on TV.  Let’s see if collective “Dave” can find any moral, physical or legal boundary Adam’s not willing to cross.  Since outrageous is as outrageous does, Adam’s penchant for one-upping himself will work wonders in our favor.  Would he eat a chocolate covered roach?  Would he try to remove his underpants without taking off his Levi’s after receiving only :30 seconds of verbal instruction from any human that can do this?  Would he drink McDonald’s coffee right out of the tap?  Would he cover his body in whip cream, walk into a Starbucks and ask a customer if they’d like cream with that?  Would he offer to trim the nose-hairs of passers-by?  Truly, I could go on.  And this is my point.

Make Me Laugh!
Alright Dave - what goes around comes around!  Here’s a chance for your viewers to finally give you what you got comin’ to ya - a few laughs, on them.  I say we get some cameras out on the street and see what people think it takes to make the Master laugh and put a serious smile on the nation’s most notorious puss.  We’d catch people willing to act out a favorite TV or movie scene (a portly fellow imitating Scarlett O’Hara?) or sing a long lost jingle, tell a simple joke or, be willing pull a toupee off a random victim, we could encourage “Dave Impersonationism!”  Who knows what we’d get and clearly, that’s half the fun.  (I suggest the assigned field crew wear combat gear, afterall, it is NY.) Winner gets a canned ham and an Apple bus tour of Manhattan. 

Hey!! This could be funny!!
page 2

Mailmen are People Too
Dave has a standing love affair with NYC’s cab drivers, which is all well and good.  I `spose.  But let’s not overlook another opportunity to exploit our other public servants, our mailmen, our “letter men.” I’m telling ya, these guys know everything, you just gotta ask them first.   They know where the coolest people live, and we get a chance to see just how much you can know about a person by delivering their mail.  I mean, does Madonna get Victoria Secret catalog?  Does John-John?!  OK, so we might have to skirt a few legal issues, but the important thing is we’ve introduced a slew of characters to harass for our own simple minded amusement, and if that’s not the stuff great TV’s made of, well, then I just don’t know what is!!

The Name’s Regis
First, we find the perfect, private Bahaman Resort island and send a crew of buff, young ironmen and this girl, age is not so important, but I feel strongly that her name be Karen as this will be integral and essential to the success of the “bit.”  Then I, uh, I mean she, checks into the resort, booking all the rooms under one name so as to ensure privacy.  Next, once they’ve put themselves through the hellish and selfless act of investigating the resort, the terrain and each other, (we should allow 3 to 4 weeks for thorough investigation) we send in the Water Sport Training crew (jet ski, water ski, brew ski, all yer basic ski sports-) and a personal pool boy named Juan who delivers fruit juice and Evian facial spritz every hour on the hour.  Finally, having amassed a debt that rivals four years at an Ivy League or a months’ rent on CPW, we turn the cameras on as the Island Steward smugly inquires “Shall I put this on your bill?”  We whip pan to our bronzed, toned, and zoned participant, Karen, who coolly replies- “Yeah, the name’s Regis.”


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