David Letterman announced an extortion plot on his show that was based on affairs that he was having with members of his staff, and the audience ate it up. Will his wife of about six months find it as funny?
When your own marital infidelity becomes the source of comedy material for a monologue, the steadily sinking level of the moral base sinks just a little bit more. At the very least show a little respect for your wife and for the women involved whose names will inevitably be exposed. Judging by some of the other outrageous stories that come out of the entertainment business, that is probably a little to much to ask for.
Here's a summary of how it went down:
(T.V. Barn.com) ..."Instead, Letterman (whether by accident or design) wound up playing the story for laughs, and even drew applause with his admission that he'd had affairs with employees. Here are the highlights...
After a monologue that included more than one Roman Polanski joke -- which I found odd given my knowledge of what was coming -- act two began with Dave, who was clearly enjoying his audience, saying "I'm glad you folks are here tonight and in such a good mood ..... Do you feel like a story?"(Crowd: Yeahh!!)
So he starts talking about finding the package in the back of his car at 6 a.m. and the note, which read, "I know that you do some terrible, terrible things." Laughter. "A guy is going to write a screenplay about me ... unless I give him some money. ... That's a little hinky!" More laughter.
You can tell Letterman is trying to ratchet up the gravity. He uses the word "terrifying" to describe his response to this extortion letter. Later on he says, "This whole thing has been quite scary." But for every one of those statements there's one like this: "If you know anything about me, I am just a towering mass of Lutheran midwestern guilt." Of course, the crowd laughs. It sounds funny.
The first tipoff to the audience should have been Dave's statement, "This guy knows creepy stuff about me" --not "this guy thinks he knows creepy stuff about me."
And then finally, after telling the audience that the suspect, now ID's as Robert Halderman, had been arrested, applause, finally Dave reveals the allegation in the screenplay: that "I have had sex with women who worked for me on the show." And....?
"My response to that is, yes, I have," said Letterman. At this admission, the audience laughs and then rolls into applause..."