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McCain cancels Letterman. Letterman rips McCain

By Jimmy Orr / September 25, 2008

Jake Turcotte

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It's one thing to irritate your opponent.  It's another to irritate a newsperson.  But when you irritate the guy who's made a living out of making people laugh for more than 26 years, any criticism may pack more of a punch.

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Don't misunderestimate David Letterman.  Letterman's been on the air since 1982.  While his show has always been a ratings success, numerous wannabees crashed and burned, badly.  Magic Johnson's "The Magic Hour" and "The Chevy Chase show" are just two examples of heinous late night Hindenburgs.  It's a tough gig.

So when John McCain cancelled on Letterman - at the last minute - you could hardly expect that the comic would take it easy on him.  He didn't.

Monologue

First, he replaced McCain with what some of the Republican's campaign might consider the anti-Christ - Keith Olbermann.  That was after, however, his opening monologue which was, for McCain supporters, brutal.

"Maybe you've heard the big news," Letterman began.  "John McCain, Senator John McCain, Republican candidate for President, was supposed to be on the program tonight. Were you aware of that? But he had to cancel the show because he's suspending his campaign because the economy is exploding. You know who John McCain is... he's the running mate of Sarah Palin.

"So John McCain calls up and says I'm not going to be there kids, because everything is going to hell," he continued. "But the funny thing is that no one told his vice presidential candidate, Sarah Palin, and honest to God, right now she's still circling the theater in a white minivan. She's gonna pick him up later..."

Palin

Discussing the possible postponement of Friday's debate, Letterman speculated that Barack Obama would have to debate Regis Philbin and had much fun at running mate Sarah Palin's expense.

"She was at the General Assembly and someone said to her, "Oh, look over there. That's the President of Georgia," And she said, "Wow, Jimmy Carter." And then she said, "Boy, I hope I get to meet Queen Latifah."

Economy

Letterman got plenty of laughs from the usual targets - celebrities and current affairs.  When discussing the shaky economy, Letterman said he wasn't concerned.

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