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Watch: David Letterman Responds To Threats On His Life With Jokes

Filed by KOSU News in Art & Life.
August 23, 2011

Reports surfaced last week that David Letterman had been the subject of an online threat to cut out his tongue and break his neck over comments he had made on his show. The threat that was reported specifically said that someone should “cut the tongue of this lowly Jew and shut it forever.”

Letterman tends to take everything going on in his life and put it on his show, and the threat was no exception. It formed the backbone of much of the opening of the show. In his monologue, Letterman thanked his audience, saying, “You people are more than an audience tonight. You’re more like a human shield.” He went on to say he’d spoken to someone from CBS to see whether he was “covered for jihad” under the network’s life insurance policy, and then shrugged off the threat itself, saying, “I wish I had a nickel for every time a guy has threatened to cut [my tongue out] — I think the first time was during the Academy Awards.”

Predictably, Letterman also used it as an opportunity to go after his favorite target: “And so now, State Department authorities are looking into this … but everybody knows it’s Leno.”

Leno came up again when Letterman listed “people who hate me,” also including Sarah Palin, NBC and CBS, the Late Show staff, and the Late Show home audience.

Lest you think he left it there, he didn’t. Letterman then presented the evening’s Top Ten list: “Top Ten Thoughts That Entered My Mind When I Heard About The Threat.” Among them were “Save me, Oprah,” and “Should I wear my Kevlar hairpiece?” [Copyright 2011 National Public Radio]

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