"A billion dollars will be spent on potato chips for Super Bowl Sunday, and that's just at Governor Christie's house." That's just one of the many, many jokes David Letterman has made at New Jersey Governor Chris Christie's expense, so you'd think that Christie's appearance on The Late Show With David Letterman last night would have been a bit awkward. Or maybe a LOT awkward.
Instead, the outspoken governor showed that he's a remarkably good sport about being the target of Letterman's seemingly endless fat jokes. According to Christie, he doesn't really mind the barbs -- under one condition: they have to be funny. If the joke is funny, he laughs like anyone else.
Not only does Christie's utter lack of offense deflate Letterman's schoolyard insults, it kind of brings a fresh, SANE perspective to politically incorrect humor.
Christie arrived on set at the Late Show and assured Letterman that "I love you, Dave. A love that I have a difficult time really explaining. A deep and abiding love." As Letterman settled in to ask how Christie felt about the fact that "I make jokes about you ... not just one or two, not just intermittent, but ..." Christie got some laughs of his own as he pulled a doughnut out of his pocket and took a bite. He explained,
I didn't know this was gonna be this long.
He went on to say that he's not particularly irritated by Letterman's fat jokes, he simply evaluates whether or not they have any merit humor-wise:
From my perspective, if the joke is funny, I laugh. Even if it's about me. If it's not funny, I don't laugh. But I've never felt like it was, you know, anything that really bugged me all that much.
He did add that he finds about 40 percent of Letterman's jokes about him funny. (In other words, your joke quality isn't always that impressive, Dave.)
Here's the clip:
I've always kind of liked Chris Christie, and I think he rocked this interview. I think we're awfully quick to label people as bullies these days, and vilify an entertainer's words as inappropriate. Christie reminds us that we don't always need to get up in arms to censor someone. When even the target of a joke finds humor in the subject, the rest of us should probably calm down a little.
Besides, Christie coming on the show makes him look like the far bigger man, and no, I'm not talking about his size. I don't think he's endorsing mean comments by saying the jokes don't bother him, I think he's showing how tacky Letterman has been for dishing out the cheap gags -- especially since they're not even all that funny 60 percent of the time. In other words, if you're going to do a snarky joke, make it a GOOD one.
What did you think of Christie's Letterman appearance? Do you think Letterman's jokes about Christie's weight are hurtful?
Image via CBS