American Splendor is about a guy like me, a semi-successful semi-loser writer from Cleveland After identifying way too much with Sideways I sent a note to my friend Grant that went something like this. “I’ve spent my whole life trying to be Elvis Presley and who do I turn out to be? Paul Giamotti. It’s just not fair.” God knows I would have settled for Patrick Swayze.
Splendor is about Cleveland’s legendary file clerk/comic book writer Harvey Pekar, who made many appearances on Late Night with David Letterman, as a cranky nutty piece of pop culture candy, until he was banned from the show for life when he got tired of being Dave’s plaything and called him a shill for GE in one of the rawest moments in television history. It makes Dave’s reaction to almost being kicked in the head by Crispen Glover, in another infamous Late Night episode, look positively giddy in comparison.
I just watched Splendor again, and I almost burst out into tears when he announces that his cancer is gone and that little girl hugs him. Man I’m going soft.