Olive Garden reportedly pulls ads from Letterman due to Palin joke

Don't expect to see this dish on the David Letterman show anytime soon. The Olive Garden has reportedly yanked all of its advertising from the late night show because of a joke Letterman told last week at the expense of one of Sarah Palin's daughters.

UPDATED: Olive Garden is disputing the report that they've pulled their ads. Click here for details.

When you're here, you're family -- but not if you're David Letterman.

Olive Garden, the popular U.S. Italian restaurant chain, apparently doesn't think Letterman is funny. At least when it comes to his joke last week about one of Sarah Palin's daughters.

No more ads

They think he's so unfunny, in fact, that they've pulled their advertisements from his show for the rest of the year. Politico is reporting that the ads have been cancelled due to the "inappropriate comments" made by Letterman at the expense of Palin.

“There will be no more Olive Garden ads scheduled for ‘The Late Show’ with David Letterman in this year's broadcast schedule," reads an email by an Olive Garden spokeswoman obtained by the political website.

“We apologize that Mr. Letterman’s mistake, which was not consistent with our standards and values, left you with a bad impression of Olive Garden,” the email reads.

A spokeswoman for the Olive Garden told The Vote that a formal statement from the restaurant chain was being created and would be released soon.


Of course at issue is the almost universally panned joke that Letterman told last week alleging that Yankees slugger Alex Rodriguez “knocked up” Palin’s daughter Willow while she attended a Yankees game.

Letterman claimed the target was Palin’s 18-year-old daughter, Bristol. And because she was of the legal age, the joke was appropriate. However, Bristol didn’t attend a Yankees game. It was the 14-year-old who accompanied her Mom to the game.

Despite attempts to clarify what he meant last week, he never apologized. And the criticism grew louder and louder.

Formal apology

Three nights ago, Letterman tried to put the controversy to bed by formally apologizing.

I would like to apologize, especially to the two daughters involved, Bristol and Willow, and also to the governor and her family and everybody else who was outraged by the joke. I’m sorry about it, and I’ll try to do better in the future.”


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