Comedian Greg Fitzsimmons has a treasure trove of disciplinary letters sent to him from teachers, school officials, rejection letters, newspaper reviews and more -- and he'll be putting them to use again in retelling his life story as a memoir, Dear Mrs. Fitzsimmons. Simon & Schuster bought the book idea at auction, negotiated with The Steinberg Agency and United Talent Agency. Publication date: 2010.
Fitzsimmons said he realized when he was going through his aunt's basement in the Bronx last summer that his mother had saved every bad report and disciplinary notice from his school years, all the way through college. “A normal parent would hide or destroy any evidence so clearly demonstrating their child’s failures,” he said. “But my mom preserves each one in its original envelope like a trophy case to remind me someday of who I really am, lest I forget.”
And now, of course, he'll get to cash in on those archival trophies, such as one note his parents received from his pre-school teacher: “Greg has been in the Center constantly but I cannot interest him in any activity. He only wants to sit and color. He sings along with the group although he wasn’t familiar with the ABC song. He is not familiar with a lot of things – he didn’t know what a Ferris Wheel was, how to wiggle, what a heel or elbow was, what a train engine or caboose is.” Fitzsimmons’s reply: “How the f*** did my mother drop me off at pre-school not knowing how to wiggle?”
Although most people probably know Fitzsimmons either through his stand-up or his radio appearances with Howard Stern and his own weekly radio show on Sirius XM's "Howard 101" channel, the comedian also has extensive previous credits as a writer. He has won four Daytime Emmy Awards writing and producing for The Ellen DeGeneres Show, wrote for HBO's Lucky Louie, Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher, and more. He's currently developing a sitcom with Twentieth Century Fox Television and writes and stars in Dog Vs. Cat for Adult Swim.