David Letterman has made a fantastic living ruthlessly roasting people over their foibles. Their issues. Their own personal “affairs”.
And now the chickens are coming home to roost for him, aren’t they?
Now I am a fan of Dave. Or was. And I don’t want to be smarmy or display schadenfreude. I started watching him in 1985 when he was on from 12:30 – 1:30 and used to do bits like “Network Time Killers” which were literally designed to simply kill network time (cause the writers were on strike). The man has often been, imho, really funny.
Yet now the “hurt to his own family” caused by him sleeping with his staffers is the punch line of all punch lines and all his fellow comedians are… taking it easy on him?
I mean Leno dined on Bill Clinton’s affair for Clinton’s entire presidency… and he still does it. And Conan and all the rest of the comedigensia… they are practically giving Dave a free pass right now.
If this were a Congressman, forget about it. Remember when Dave made all those sex jokes about Palin’s teenage daughter? Borderline out of bounds — maybe entirely out of bounds. I mean look, I’m no Palin fan but the sense of arrogance and entitlement shown by Dave to do sex jokes about other people’s kids while thinking he’s above the law, will never be discovered, is “of rank” to do material while simultaneously “behaving like” the people he is ridiculing is shocking.
If Dave were the CBS Network President who’d been schtupping staffers he’d be gone.
But Dave’s above the law, isn’t he? I mean he’s media savvy so he knows the mea culpa route works, he pokes a wee bit of non-scalding fun at himself as if to play, the “since I give it out, I gotta show I can take it, too” card, but does he ravage himself? Does he go for the jugular?
Do the other comedians show any teeth?
John Edwards, Bill Cosby, all those Congressmen in Florida, and countless others have literally been the butt of Dave’s jokes, his bread and butter, for years. Really, think about how many side-splitters Dave has made about all the extra-marital affairs.
Now think about being on the receiving end of those jokes and think about all the people who Dave has has made squirm, cry, weep, hurt, writhe and so on.
At least now we know why his fellow comedians don’t roast Dave the way they do other folks in the limelight. It’s cause they know he’s a real person with real feelings who is in real pain as a result of his own real shortcomings — and the women in this guy’s life are hurting bad as a result right now.
Great time to show a heart, huh comedy folks? (NOTE: A few folks did do some lukewarm Dave stuff but no one has really taken off the gloves on-air.)
For example, here’s Dave on Elliot Spitzer. Just on Elliot:
“Spitzer’s going be out of office, he’s going to be looking for a job, and I’m thinking, ‘Whoa, isn’t that what got him in trouble in the first place?'” –David Letterman
“It’s sad, Spitzer said there’s so much left undone — Amber, Ashley, Rhonda.” –David Letterman
“What the Spitzers are saying now is they need some time alone. Eliot and his wife need some time alone now. And I thought this was very nice, Senator Larry Craig from Idaho, when he heard this, he offered his vacation restroom on the lake.” –David Letterman
“Don’t kid yourself, ladies and gentlemen, this is serious. We’re having a lot fun here now, but it’s really serious. Eliot Spitzer could go to jail, he could go to prison, think about that. The former governor of New York could go to prison. And, well, that’ll be sex he won’t have to pay for.” –David Letterman
Here’s Dave on Palin’s teen daughter:
“There was one awkward moment during the seventh inning stretch. Her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.”
There are so many jokes Dave has made about other people having “illicit sex” that if someone were to post all of them, it would require a really thick, thick book to reprint all his little funnies.
Now maybe I am getting old but the humor of Dave from this point forward seems kinda as if it is going to live under a shadow of such immense hypocrisy that it’s not worth it to tune in for the “all is forgotten” laughs. As a teacher, as a parent, as a person living in a world of shrinking values, giving another pass to Dave simply because he knows how to crack a good joke, gets paid a lot of cash, or whatever really feels like just simple enabling.
He thought he was above the rules, he acted as if he was above the rules, his spineless peers give him a free pass on the whole matter and to let him just roll on as if life is normal proves that Dave knew best all along — he really is above the rules.
It’s good to be the King, right?
We all have our shortcomings and no one wants them held up to a microscope. But when you making a living doing it to other people, you gotta expect the tables being turned is fair play.