A big hand for Harvey Pekar, the American Splendor comic writer who annoyed Letterman so much during his August 1988 appearance that he got himself banned for life. (Somehow, he’s returned twice since.) At one point during the show, Letterman interrupted Pekar’s rant against General Electric — the corporate parent of NBC, which then owned Late Night — and said to bandleader Paul Shaffer, “I’m just praying for a terrorist.”
Pekar would later tell the Los Angeles Times: “On some of the shows, I was doing a deliberate self-parody, and now there’s a lot of people that think I’m some sort of maniac, you know? I think that’s unfortunate — I’d rather be liked than thought of as a crazy man, but with Letterman, I’ve been in a situation where you either lay down and let him insult you or you do something about it. Most people keep their mouth shut and let him dump on them. I don’t wanna do that.”
You go, Harvey Pekar.