We know that every time there is a Christian holiday, jokes about Christianity proliferate. Ramadan recently ended, so it was a good time to see how TV hosts treated Islam over the last four weeks, vis-a-vis Catholicism.
Not unexpectedly, Ramadan was not an occasion for jokes about Islam. Over the summer, four jokes were told about Islam: Bill Maher, Jon Stewart, Jimmy Fallon, and “Saturday Night Live” each made one, but only one of them—Maher’s—was offensive.
By contrast, even though there were no Christian holidays during this period, there were 33 jokes made about Catholicism, 13 of which were offensive. Those who made the most offensive jokes were Bill Maher, David Letterman, and Daniel Tosh. Those who cracked jokes that were uniformly inoffensive were Seth Meyers, Jimmy Fallon, Conan O’Brien, Stephen Colbert, and “Saturday Night Live.”
If Meyers, Fallon, Conan, Colbert, and “Saturday Night Live” can joke about Catholicism in a light-hearted manner, surely the likes of Maher and Letterman can do the same. That they refuse to do so speaks volumes about their character.