HACKETT: So did you get too much attention or too little?
LETTERMAN: I got too little. I clearly got too little. But comedians by and large are not fun people to hang around with. They’re dejected and depressed and sullen and nasty and back-biting and jealous, and I’m right in there, I’m included. You don’t want to spend any time with me, either. But they all have that one desire in common—to draw laughter out of people. You want to show that girl in high school who wouldn’t give you the time of day, “Look what I can do in front of 200 people. I can get them to laugh! You wouldn’t go out with me back then, and I was getting Ds in Shop, but…” And I think that’s probably the motivation.
HACKETT: But does that ever really work? Doesn’t it turn out that the girl you couldn’t date is still absorbed with her own world and she doesn’t even know…
LETTERMAN: Oh, absolutely. You’re setting yourself up for—”What? You say you’re on television? Why no, we hadn’t heard.” Sure, absolutely. You can’t win.