Curmudgeonly comic Harvey Pekar rose to fame for his brilliantly acerbic comic book “American Splendor”. The 2003 biopic American Splendor airs on IFC at 11:35 a.m. ET today. It stars Paul Giamatti as the surly Cleveland artist and Hope Davis as his soon-to-be wife Joyce and follows the artist’s rise from a file clerk in a Veterans’ Hospital to writing comics alongside his friend R. Crumb.
When his comic series also named American Splendor were first published he hit the talk show circuit to promote sales. One stop was on the David Letterman show and in that brief appearance, a legend was born. In fact Pekar’s Letterman appearances brought him almost as much notoriety as his writing. Their relationship was hilarious, cringe worthy, awkward and at times incendiary.
Here are some of the highlights of Harvey Pekar appearances on David Letterman.
Here is Harvey Pekar’s first appearance on Letterman in support of the release of his comic American Splendor:
David Letterman takes Harvey on a tour of the studios and interrupts a Live at 5 taping:
Here is another visit in 1987:
In 1988 Harvey Pekar stopped by The Late Show with David Letterman again. During this appearance he annoyed David Letterman so much that he was banned from the show for life:
Despite being banned for life, he made a final appearance was on the show in 1993:
American Splendor airs on IFC at 11:35 a.m. ET