Funnyman David Letterman shocked his audience Monday with a sexist joke that bombed.
The “Late Night” host was warming up the audience by fielding questions as is his custom when a college staffer asked him what advice he would give to this year’s college graduates, the New York Daily News reported.
“Treat a lady like a wh–e, and a wh–e like a lady,” responded the host, who in 2009 admitted to several affairs with female staffers.
A version of the joke is attributed to 1930s screenwriter Wilson Mizner.
A Daily News source told the paper the joke fell flat.
“I turned to my wife and was, like, ‘What?’ ” the source told the News. “It was really the first joke of the evening, and it seemed like an odd choice.”
Fans the News spoke to outside of the Ed Sullivan Theater where the “Late Show” is taped also seemed stunned.
“Younger people watch his show. We already live in a culture that objectifies women, it’s not right to make a joke like that,” said Pennsylvania teacher Joe Logan, 41.
Jerry Stockton of Virginia called the quip “disrespectful to women, and women should never be disrespected.”
“My daughter is going to college in September and I worry how guys will treat her,” he told the paper.
Perhaps his audience and fans shouldn’t have been so shocked. This isn’t Letterman’s first run-in with a sexist joke.
In 2009 Letterman made two sexually charged jokes about Sarah Palin and her daughter Willow who was 14 at the time during Palin’s trip to New York City.
“One awkward moment for Sarah Palin at the Yankee game,” he said at the time, “during the seventh inning, her daughter was knocked up by Alex Rodriguez.”
During the same monologue Letterman said the former Alaska governor had the style of a “slutty flight attendant.”
Stay classy, Dave.
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