We had a close association a long time ago but, for quite a while now, I've distanced myself from you and I feel I should write and tell you why. It's only fair - you brought me a lot of joy in those early years but I've watched you struggle and flail around for a long time now without saying a word right to you. Sure, I've discussed it with others but I feel it's time I wrote something directly to you.
I remember how good it all was back in the beginning. You were a wild and crazy guy back then and the laughs came thick and fast. You weren't necessarily always calling yourself Steve either. You were Navin R Johnson or Rigby Reardon or Dr Michael Hfuhufuhurr but we always knew it was you. Those were the good times, man, and we all enjoyed them. I particularly liked your stint as Orin Scrivello (DDS), a sadistically Elvis-like dentist who gets his just desserts by being fed to a giant talking plant (your average everyday role) and a special mention has to go out to Ruprecht, the depraved, eyepatch-wearing monkey boy.
But then something went wrong. A sort of malaise set in. You seemed to reach a point where you'd become disinterested in the whole comedy thing or, when you were interested in them they were of a lazy feelgood variety. You were playing the harried father or the put-upon husband and, very quickly, we stopped laughing.
You started to try and show a more serious side from time to time as if to say, "Hey, you know what, the time for fun is over. We're done with that now."OK, fair enough but then you tried to go back to being the comedy clown to win our laughs again and it just wasn't working for us.
And here we come to the crux of the matter. If you're going to expect us to laugh along with you again, why do you insist on taking our friend Peter's sublime comic creation and repeatedly smearing it in your own excrement? That may sound a little harsh, Steve, and I know you haven't done that literally (no one would want to see that) but that's what it feels like. You've taken Inspector Clouseau and you've daubed him in your own fecal matter. Not just once but twice. Do you hate us that much now, Steve? Do you have that much contempt for us that you're happy to keep befouling someone else's comedy works and pocketing the cash for it?
We had some laughs once so I can't hate you completely. I'll always remember the good times. But you and me are done now. I won't be going to see The Pink Panther 2 or whichever other abomination you choose to trot out next. For you see, you, sir, are now pretty much just an arse.
Yours without any more real affection at all,