Letterman: Fighting the Fatwa with the Funny

Becoming the target of a jihad only played into David Letterman’s careerlong self-deprecating humor Monday.

It was a shot in the arm for writers just back from vacation. The jihad from a small potatoes anarchist online had attracted some attention from authorities for its encouragement of curring out the tongue of the host, especially after he joked about the death of Osma bin Laden earlier this summer.

On Monday, the first day back, the incident dominated Letterman’s monologue and provided the theme for his Top !0. And there was no stopping his riffing about it.

He told the audience they were “more than an audience.” Indeed, he said, “you’re more like a human shield.”

He said he was late getting to stage because he was checking the CBS insurance policy – “to see if I was covered for jihad.”

He read over the edict but said drolly, ““I wish I had a nickel for every time a guy has threatened to cut my tongue out.”

He even returned to mock bin Laden. “he’d been locked in his house with six wives for three years. So when the SEALS walked in he said, ‘Just shoot me.’”

And there was a little mixup for bin Laden in the afterlife. “He was met by 72 vegans.”

“The Top 10 Thoughts That Went Through my Mind after Hearing About the Threat” follows

10. Someone wants to silence me? Get in line.

9. Nothing says summer fun like a death threat.

8. Why is the staff in such a good mood?

7. Save me, Oprah.

6. Should I wear my Kevlar hairpiece?

5. And here I thought nobody watched the show?

4. How can someone be so angry at a time when Kim Kardashian is so happy?

3. Some people get Emmy nominations; some people get death threats.

2. This seems like Leno’s handiwork.

1. Oh my God! They cancelled ‘The George Lopez Show’!

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