David Letterman and Comedians

david lettermanI’m sure there are a lot of you that really like comedians. I know I’ve had plenty of “discussions” with my mom about this but I have to say, I’m not a fan in any way of stand up comedy. There’s nothing funny to me about “planned” comedy. Give me the old Carol Burnett shows where the comedy wasn’t planned but genuine. To me, someone who is trying so hard to be funny, isn’t.

Have you ever seen for example, Joan Rivers or Jay Leno on another program or being interviewed? All they do is crack jokes. Nothing they are talking about is funny in any way but they are always out for that laugh. No matter is seems at times, at other people’s expense. It’s like they are always on a stage or always on call. I like a laugh as much as the next guy but to me, someone only looking for that, isn’t funny. Life sometimes is serious and to me, these people look stupid when they act like this.

I’m sure most of you have heard about the big brough-ha-ha about David Letterman’s joke about Sarah Palin’s daughter Willow. If not, here’s a link for the general gist of it. I’m a big fan of The View and as much as I like Joy Behar, we differ in most things. She’s another one who sometimes is only looking for a quick laugh to make herself look better. But I’ve watched this show since day 1 and feel I know her and she’s not always like that. They were talking about this on Monday and I was pretty surprised. Whoopi Goldberg was the only one who thought comedy is okay no matter what and she thought David Letterman was justified saying what he did about a 14 year old girl. I thought for sure Joy Behar would agree with that but she felt that someone’s child is off limits. Comedy aside, leave kids out of it.

I know that a comedians worst fear is this. Just what happened to Letterman. Just a joke gone bad. I do think he’s sorry he said it but the fact is, he didn’t have his facts straight and he screwed up. I do think he’s probably a nice guy and would no way talk about a 14 year old having a baby with a baseball player but shouldn’t he have checked first before making this kind of “joke?” Isn’t he accountable for making this gaff? I wrote this post about “Just Kidding” and I’m wondering if it’s okay to say, I was “just kidding” when the joke bombs.

How do you feel about this? Do you think all’s fair in comedy? Do you think a comedian can say whatever they feel like saying and then just be able to say “oops, sorry?”

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16 Responses to David Letterman and Comedians

  1. javajunkee says:

    I think there have been comedians who have made legitimate errors in judgement and are authentically sorry. I guess I would hope if I were in that career I would be more careful and know that Karma will come around and bite one in the ass.

    • Joy says:

      Oh, I agree with you. I think he was legitimately sorry he made that joke. The thing that creeps me out though is the daughter he was referring to is still only 18. I don’t know if I feel that’s right.

  2. SKL says:

    Maybe I’ll give him the benefit of the doubt that he was talking about an 18-year-old instead of a 14-year-old. But he still disgusts me.

    First of all, what is funny about saying such a thing about anyone’s daughter? I don’t care who it is, it is beyond crass. There is nobody on this earth that would find that funny if it was his/her own daughter being spoken of like that – regardless of her age. So if you’re Sarah Palin, you are supposed to just suck it up. Apparently it’s unbecoming a politician to have such sensitivity?

    Secondly, what about the other “joke” about Palin’s “slutty” hairstyle?

    I have never found Letterman to be entertaining to begin with, but besides that, I fail to see what is funny about smearing people in a personal way. I think I have a pretty good sense of humor, but this is not humorous. It’s mean. If people laugh at it, it’s more because they are surprised at the man’s “guts” (crassness) than because it tickles their funny bones.

    So to me, the only way I would accept this man’s apology is if he comes out tomorrow and says something equally rotten about Michelle Obama and her daughters. Because only then would I believe he is actually stupid / insane enough to believe this is “funny.”

    Oh, and I understand that he has illegitimate children himself, and he doesn’t find it particularly humorous when people bring that up. Hmm.

    I would love to know what % of Americans think a man who is getting paid that kind of money to say such things ought to be fired. But the media just loves to hate Palin and would never take action against anyone furthering that cause.

  3. It’s not fair at all. He shuldn’t have dragged Sarah Palin’s daughter into his ‘jokes’. He should have just stuck to making fun of Palin, NOT dissing her daughters too.

  4. Laura says:

    I like comedians, but I’m selective. I get *very* uncomfortable listening/watching comedians like (gonna date myself here, I know) Eddie Murphy, where every other word out of his mouth started with “F”. But there are those who are genuinely funny… Jeff Foxworthy comes to mind. Jeff Dunham, and his Achmed the Dead Terrorist character just make me cry with laughter. I think the thing with Foxworthy is that he’s commenting, in a clean way, about real, down-to-earth people. And he’s coming from a place of truth, not of venom, like Letterman did.

    I’ve never liked Letterman, not even when he was huge, back in my high school days. I occasionally enjoyed his Top Ten list, but more often than not, I would find myself thinking, “how is this supposed to be funny? it’s just stupid.” So when the whole Palin brouhaha blew up, I wasn’t surprised for one second, I don’t think it was a mistake, and I don’t believe for a second that he was referring to one daughter rather than another. He reads this stuff before going on… he has a staff of writers who prepare this stuff for him, hours or even days, in advance. At the very least, he should have read that “joke” and said, “Nope, sorry, that one isn’t going up.” He KNEW what he was doing, he KNEW that it would be hurtful, he KNEW it would be controversial, and he said it anyway. Because he knew it would generate lots and lots of attention for himself…. right on the heels of the phenomenal success of Jay Leno’s transfer of power to Conan O’Brian.

    Honestly, I really think he was working by the old adage, “It’s better to apologize than to ask permission.” Because he knows, as all of us do, that when a celeb or politician apologizes, they never *really* have to apologize. They can say something like, “Well, I’m SORRY that you didn’t understand what I meant by that.” That’s not an apology… that’s an insult on top of an insult.

    I have to ask this question… if it had been some conservative person – Rush, Sean Hannity, or someone less popular/famous, even – saying the exact same thing about Obama’s daughter, would he/she still have a career? Or would the public outcry be so vehement that there would be a firing and a public hanging?

  5. starlaschat says:

    Well when something like this happens maybe it will be a lesson for all. Especially the comedians and writers check your facts and yes I think kids should plain be off limits. I’m glad he apologized. And sometimes comedy can be mean spirited. I think people should probably be more careful. Mean spirtedness is hurtful. There’s so many things a person could joke about why tear down other people?

  6. trishatruly says:


    Personally I don’t give a rat’s ass what Letterman or Leno or Maher has to say or think. They are there for the laughs and that means the lowest common denominator.

    So if Palin or Byden or Obama can’t take the heat, they need to look at the source. What did they expect? Being in the public eye means being big enough and strong enough to turn a blind eye when stupid/ignorant people say stupid and/or ignorant things. Take it in context.

    Let it go, people.


    • mssc54 says:

      In your humble opinion? Really? So you think that just because a person (a mother or father) are in politics they should just accept and ignore the fact that people will make sexual comments about their children?!

      Take it in context you say? What context? The context of a grown man taking a fourteen year old girl “under the bleachers” and raping her? What context is that in your world?

      Yeh, in your humble opinion, just let it go. Right.

  7. pammywammy says:

    I dont watch comedians.I dont like others when they start to put people down,even if its meant as a joke.I have been involved with men,who joked at others expense.But I got the underline message of sarcasm.Thats never right.
    I do enjoy a good laugh,but never at anyones expense.I loved the show “I LOVE LUCY”.Now thats comedy.

  8. Sue says:

    I don’t mind comedians. I thought Letterman’s joke was way out of line though. You just don’t need to talk about kids that way. Anyone’s kids. Would he have liked someone saying that about his own kid? Sometimes they say dumb things and then when no one laughs they have to appologize, but like Laura said, they don’t “really” appologize.

  9. Doraz says:

    I do not watch Letterman. He is a bit weird for me. He has a strange way of looking at things. He does have a small child. I think that if someone made a nasty remark about his child, in a joking way…he might react ??????

    Comedy is about timing. He was off.
    Comedy is about taking everyday stuff and turning it into funny stuff.
    Comedy is a GREAT thing, when it is done right.
    He did not do it right…this time.
    I guess he has been, or else he would not have so many fans.


  10. mssc54 says:

    First Letterman made a joke about a grown man having sex with a fourteen year old girl. Or if you believe his first apology he was talking about Palin’s eighteen year old daughter.

    Second, Letterman apologizes because those who were offended did not understand his joke.

    Third, Letterman then comes out and says that “someone” told him that Palin’s eighteen year old daughter was at the ballpark NOT the fourteen year old daughter. Who do you think it was that saw Palin and her daughter at the ball park and thought the fourteen year old was eighteen years old? Liar, liar pants on fire.

    Fourth, Letterman did not apologize until there an advatisere cancled their advertising (the show lost money) and there were protesters outside demanding that he be fired. I think any logical thinking person may draw from that fact that he only decided to apologize when it started costing the show money and people were so outraged that they demanded his firing.

    So that tells me that Letterman is, in fact, NOT sorry. He only SAID he was sorry when it came down to the almighty dollar!

    If Letterman thinks those sort of jokes are so funny why not try this one on.

    Letterman has a young son. Let him make jokes about him having sex with grown men. Then I’ll believe that he believes that it’s comedy.

    Disgusting man if you ask me.

  11. nikki says:

    I have no idea what everyone is talking about! I went to the link but I found no where to hear the actual joke?
    I like some comedians, Dane Cook, Chelsey Handler, Lisa Lampenelli, Dave Chapelle. They are funny. I do not care for the late night guys who try to be funny! I want to hear the “joke” though. Maybe I’ll just have to goggle it.

  12. nikki says:

    Ohhh never mind! Yea that was wrong! Whether he’s really sorry or not no one but him really knows! I sure hope he think before he opens his mouth…and always keep kids out of it!

  13. Gary says:

    I do like stand up comedians but the comment Letterman made about Palin’s daughter was just not funny. There was no reason for that at all.

  14. No, I think that there are curtain things that shouldn’t be hit on. Comedy is just like anything else. It can work out great if it is done with quoth.

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