Fascinating how other comedians and late night talk show hosts have closed ranks around David Letterman. Jay Leno and Jimmy Fallon ventured mild jokes on Friday but Conan O'Brien steered completely clear of Dave's dilemma and so did a remarkably restrained Jimmy Kimmel.
Monday night was The Daily Show's Jon Stewart's first chance to zing Letterman. Did he? Not so much. Not at all, actually. Chicago not getting the Olympics was his opening target.
The guy who went the farthest was the guy who couldn't go there at all, Craig Ferguson. Ferguson's Late Late Show is produced by Letterman's Worldwide pants. As he explained on his show, "Dave is my boss."
Monday night (Tuesday morning?) found Ferguson all sheepish and awkward as he struggled to goof on the whole deal. All he had to do was step in front of the camera to get huge laughs. Check it out:
"Imagine your boss caught with his...no, that's a bad example." Priceless.
Ferguson said he has plenty of skeletons in his own closet. "I made the smart move, I wrote them all down in a book," he said, plugging his brand new autobiography, American On Purpose. He later told his audience that his relationships with his staffers was strictly professional. "Isn't that right, Gunther?" he said. Cut to a guy dressed in a kinky S&M suit cowering in a corner. Funny.
"So long, it's been great," said Ferguson.
He had to do something, and did, in his typically broad and silly fashion. Case closed, moving on.
All of the late night hosts revere Letterman and none want to come within a mile of this affair.