Last month, the final episode of “Late Night with David Letterman” aired on CBS. Below is a sampling of host David Letterman’s history of Catholic bashing excerpted from Catholic League press releases.
“WHAT COUNTS AS OFFENSIVE?” 4/22/2015
David Letterman warmed up his audience by making a joke about women. He said, “Treat a lady like a whore, and a whore like a lady.” The audience didn’t think this was funny, so he dropped it.
Letterman tells obscene jokes about priests on a regular basis, and even though the audience does not always approve, he never stops.
“CHRISTIAN BASHING MARKS EASTER SEASON” 4/7/2015
On Good Friday, David Letterman joked about the pope’s physical, saying his weight gain may be a function of “a little too many Communion wafers.”
On Holy Thursday, Letterman made ten jokes about the pope’s physical; all the comments were attributed to the attending physician. The joke listed as #1 was: “I know you don’t use it, but I still have to take a look at it.”
“LETTERMAN’S ABNORMAL OBSESSION” 1/6/2015
A clip was shown of Michael Sam, the failed homosexual football player, crying when he was selected in the draft to play in the NFL. Sam is then shown kissing his boyfriend. When the screen goes blank and “Please Stand By” is posted, an image of the pope and some crosses appear.
We have been tracking Letterman since 2008. Since that time we have recorded 28 monologues where he ridicules Catholicism, 16 of which involve homosexuality. This isn’t normal.
“RELIGIOUS JOKES DURING RAMADAN” 7/28/2014
Not unexpectedly, Ramadan was not an occasion for jokes about Islam. Over the last month, 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 Tosh.
LETTERMAN SHOULD AVOID SEXUAL JOKES 7/17/2014
Letterman began by saying Pope Francis is thinking about lifting the celibacy requirement. “That’s right, the pope is saying that priests can be in a marriage with a woman and have sex.” [Women are shown cheering.]
The pope is also shown speaking to bishops and cardinals, his words dubbed over. “When two people love each other very much, they become more than just good friends. Eventually they might even get married and have a baby. The mommy and daddy make the baby together, but it grows inside the mommy.”
Letterman: “So if a priest sees someone out there in the crowd that he likes, he might send over some Communion wine.” [Letterman is shown pointing and winking at someone.] Off camera, band leader Paul Shaffer replies, “That little lady over there.” To which Letterman replies, “Priests having sex, can you believe that?”
“LETTERMAN LIBELS POPE AND PRIESTS” 7/24/2013
Letterman mentioned Pope Francis’ appearance at World Youth Day in Brazil by saying, “And I’m telling you if there’s anything the kids can’t get enough of, it’s a 76-year-old virgin. Come on! World Youth Day. Or as the Vatican calls it, salute to altar boys.”
“LETTERMAN, THE POPE, AND HIS SHRINK” 2/14/2013
After twice saying the pope has “a chronic neck problem,” Letterman let loose with, “He’s got a chronic neck problem and apparently the chronic neck problem is for looking the other way so many times.” He then said the Vatican “is already holding auditions to see who might be the next pope and we have one of those auditions that’s going on.” Footage was then shown of acrobats taking off their shirts and then performing for the pope; he looks on while rock music is played.
Letterman said that besides looking for someone who is a biblical scholar and at least 60 years old, the Vatican is looking for “a guy who is good at transferring creepy priests.”
“SEXUAL DEVIANT DAVID LETTERMAN INDICTS PRIESTS” 6/15/2011
Letterman said he was “stunned” and “fascinated” by Anthony Weiner’s predicament. He then said the following: “Honest to God, is this the kind of behavior you’d expect from a congressman! No. In simple terms, no. It is not the kind of behavior you’d expect from a congressman. It is the kind of behavior you’d expect from a priest.”
“LETTERMAN’S SEXPLOITS MAKE HIM A HERO” 10/2/2009
It certainly didn’t hurt Letterman’s career when he laughed at the Catholic Church for what happened in 2002. That summer a man and a woman had sex in St. Patrick’s Cathedral around 4:00 p.m. on a Holy Day of Obligation for Catholics. They did so in plain view of men, women and children and had their performance described on the radio as part of some sick contest. Most people were aghast, the radio hosts who rigged the caper were fired, and apologies were issued by the radio station. Letterman, however, found it so hysterical that he used the story to tell jokes about it for three nights.