In celebration of David Letterman being awarded the very prestigious Mark Twain Prize for American Humor, comedians Fred Armisen and Bill Hader created in a faux tribute documentary entitled “David Letterman: Beginnings“. The two men played the roles of Ralph Masterson and Sam Cooper, two former classmates of Letterman, who stayed in Indiana long after Letterman left for fame and fortune. While the two men were “happy for Dave”, they were more than happy to share the real origins of Letterman’s most famous jokes.
I remember one day we were playing softball and Jeff Anderson comes in with his dog, and he taught the dog how to open a can of pop with his paw. And I said ‘that’s a stupid pet Rick’ and Dave said right away… I’m gonna steal that one day. …So in town we had this iron pencil factory. They made these pencils, they were heavy duty industrial pencils. They’re very heavy and my dad worked there…and he’d come home drunk and well he tried to throw these pencils at us…kids in the family would duck would have to duck and the pencils …break the windows and it was scary. I confided and Dave about it and he said oh the pencils break the windows, that’s funny.