While doing research for my second book, I was reviewing a few VHS tapes that I had collected over the years.
In the past, I religiously watched Late Night with David Letterman every night. I thought his comedic timing was perfect. He was fast and witty. He was what I modeled my comedy persona after.
Every time I saw him perform something that I considered comic genius, I would add it to a compilation library I was building.
I remember he had a guest on the show named Marshall Sylver, who claimed to be the worlds fastest hypnotist. His claim to fame was that he could hypnotize someone in one second. So with credentials like that, David's producers decided to have him on his show.
In my opinion, David must have quickly realized that the guy was a con artist, and could not live up to his claim. Marshall was completely full of himself and seemed to be an arrogant jerk. But David's job was to entertain his viewers, so he needed to make Marshall's failure into entertaining television, and David didn't fail to deliver.
I would assume that Marshall was pissed because he came off looking like a total jerk, and he threatened a lawsuit against David or NBC, because they had him back on the show a few weeks later to avoid such a lawsuit.
And again, Marshall came off looking like a total jerk.
I saved the two clips of those classic appearences to my VHS compilation collection, never in a million years thinking I was going to one day meet Marshall.
A mutual friend introduced us, and I went to Marshall's house a few times to play tennis with him and a few mutual friends. A few times Marshall asked me for a number of complimentary tickets to my show. He would open his house up to seminar attendees to attend an advanced class> They would pay a lot of money for his advanced class. And Marshall would take them out to a show. It always surprised me that since Marshall was charging them thousands of dollars to attend the advance class, he would at least offer to purchase the tickets to my show from my producer. But no, Marshall always wanted free handouts. Soon after attending one of my shows, he opened his own show at Planet Hollywood, which quickly closed after 4 or 5 performances. Read his boasting about making $200-400 million dollars from the show here: https://lasvegassun.com/blogs/kats-report/2013/jan/23/whats-behind-marshall-sylvers-400-million-plan-ph-/ The show opened and closed so fast, I never had a chance to see his live show.
I learned from my brief interaction with Marshall that he now holds seminars around the world, teaching people to become successful millionaires. If you google him, you can see a list of seminar attendees who filed law suits against Marshall for not fulfilling his promises, I do not know if the suits ever made it to court or if they were settled out of court. In my opinion, Marshall is like a poor mans Tony Robbins. (a very poor man).
When I saw Marshall on the David Letterman show many years ago, I thought he was a narcissistic, egomaniac, opinionated, full of himself ass hole. After spending some time with the man, I am amazed how right I was, so many years ago.
Our brief friendship ended because he did not like my political views during the last presidential election. He thought I was not giving him valid enough reasons why I was not a Trump supporter, so he decided to verbally berate me and unfriend me on Facebook. Anyone who think they can change someones political views on Facebook is clearly clueless.
The point of my post is that I miss having David Letterman on TV. No matter how funny and quick witted a guest thought they were, David was always funnier and faster. And in Marshall's case, David didn't need to say very much, because Marshall made himself look like an ass hole. But that was Marshall just being Marshall.
Interesting links on the topic: