With real life news reading funnier than made-up comedy bits, the Late Night kings are loving every minute of it.
"Late Show" with David Letterman
"Americans Misty May and Kerri Walsh won the Gold Medal in women's beach volleyball. However, sad news today. They tested positive for performance-enhancing bikini wax." (Aug. 25)
"A Hungarian discus thrower lost his gold medal because he refused to provide a urine sample after the event. Coincidently, that's how I got fired at NBC." (Aug. 25)
Excerpt from Letterman's conversation with comedian Denis Leary:
Letterman: "The event that I've, that really has gotten my ..."
Leary: "Oh, the synchronized diving."
Letterman: "Synchronized diving."
Leary: "Now, here's the good thing about it. Have you seen the crash, when they bump into each other? (Turns to crowd.) Have you seen it? When they bump into each other it's better than NASCAR. It's a freefall all the way down. ..."
Leary: "I don't understand where it came from. I have a lot of respect for the divers because I would never get up that high and jump from a platform into a big, huge pool. I'd probably miss, OK. So I have respect for the guys doing that. But who was the idiot who looks up and goes, 'Ahhh, so what. Put two guys up there and come down the same exact way, mirror images of each other. That's like four guys boxing. You know what I mean? It makes no sense. We're just bored. You know? We've got ADD. 'Nah, we're bored now, do something else." (Aug. 24)
"John Kerry and George Bush also have Olympic fever. They got into the spirit. They have their own event: synchronized lying." (Aug. 24)
"The Top 10 Signs You're Not Going To Win A Gold Medal In Olympic Softball", as read by the U.S. softball team via satellite from Athens.
10. "Your religion forbids you from hitting anything with a bat."
9. "You could hit .400 and still not be hitting your weight."
8. "Only three players show up for your final game because Oprah's on."
7. "Because of your travel agent, the earliest you can get to Greece is November."
6. "Your starting lineup includes six players from the Montreal Expos."
5. "Every time there's a popup the outfielder yells, 'Run for your lives!' "
4. "Your starting shortstop -- the frozen head of Ted Williams."
3. "Won't go to third base because you're 'just not that kind of girl.'"
2. "Your pitcher leaves in the fifth inning to 'beat traffic.' "
1. "You got nine players, one uniform." (Aug. 24)
"Here's what I can't get enough of in the Olympics: it's the synchronized diving. It turned out the U.S. gymnast won the gold medal because of a mathematical error. It's the same way I got this show." (Aug. 23)
"Top 10 Reasons I, Marion Jones, Love The Olympics," as read via satellite from Athens by Jones:
10. "The pillows in the Athens hotel rooms smell like gyro meat."
9. "Once I found a comb someone had lost in the long jump pit."
8. "I had a chance to meet Danish badminton champ, Camilla Martin."
7. "Put a gold medal in a change machine and you get like 20 bucks in quarters."
6. "If you get nervous performing in front of big crowds, you won't have that problem here."
5. "Ten percent discount on selected Olympus cameras."
4. "Ralph Nader keeps begging me to be his running mate."
3. "Free javelins!"
2. "I can use the Olympic torch to light cigars."
1. "I'll likely get to go to the White House and meet what's-his-face." (Aug. 23)
"Tough Crowd" with Colin Quinn
Page 3's top shelf team (OK, it's one dude out on the west coast, but he's still top shelf) compiled the best sports comedy riffs from the past week.
"What's up with the umm ... oh, the Olympics, the basketball team? First the American team lost to Puerto Rico, then lost to the white boys from Lithuania. That has got to hurt. They don't even like to lose to us in the school yard and then they get lit up by the people with the whitest skin, Lithuania. Iverson can't come back to the neighborhoods. He'll walk in and everybody will be like, 'Yo, man, you want to play us? We're not white.'" (Aug. 23)
"Then they have all those crazy boxers from all those countries that left Russia and made up fake crazy names for themselves like Azerbayjan (sic), Tajikistan. Did you see those Ghengis Khan-looking bastards light up everybody? These guys train by like punching the milk out of goats." (Aug. 23)
"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"
"Lewis Black during his "Back in Black" segment: "With the Olympics on every other channel I've had no choice but to contract a serious case of Olympic fever. I even caught some of the synchronized diving today, which I synchronized with a long nap. This year we're getting a great look at the Olympic spirit of competition, 21st century style. for instance, when you think of the great martial art of judo, you think of Iran. Unfortunately, Iranian judo gold medal favorite Arash Miresmaeili dropped out of the competition because his first-round opponent was Ehud Vaks of Israel, a nation Iran refuses to recognize.
Now that's a rivalry. They can't even get along well enough to beat the crap out of each other. Now some might think this is a clear violation of Olympic sportsmanship and it would be condemned. But Iranian President Mohammed Khatami actually praised his country's judo master, saying his refusal to fight would be, quote 'Recorded in the history of Iranian glories.' It's the same kind of glory Iran showed when they avoided war with Iraq by putting on glasses. 'You wouldn't hit a country with glasses on would you?'" (Aug. 19)
"Of course our leaders would never use the Olympics to grind a political ax, would they?"
(Shows clip of a campaign commercial for President George W. Bush: "I'm George Bush and I approved this message." Announcer amid clips of past Olympics and athletes in competition: "In 1972 there were 40 democracies in the world. Today, 120. Freedom is spreading throughout the world like a sunrise.")
Black: "Of course, when sunrise comes, people don't usually shoot back at it. ... What's your point?"
(Commercial announcer: "And this Olympics there will be two more free nations and two fewer terrorist regimes. With strength and resolve and courage, democracy will triumph over terror, and hope will defeat hatred.")
Black: "Unfortunately, hope just tested positive for steroids." (Aug. 19)
"Now some people aren't taking advantage of the Olympics and they are most people. Only 3.1 million of 5.3 million available seats have been sold, leaving many events poorly attended. Organizers are surprised, they blame high prices and fears over terrorism. Really, you're surprised people didn't throw down 500 Euros and risk their lives to attend the women's badminton prelims? 'Cuz if I'm gonna get blown up, I don't want my last words on Earth to be 'Well swatted'! ... Jon ..." (Aug. 19)
"The Late Late Show" with Craig Kilborn"
"You know, I believe we're watching too much of the Olympics at my house, Casa de Kilby up in the hills, ... because Monday night after a little orgy -- hey, it's my last week -- so after an orgy, I think we're watching too much Olympics, I got a 6.6, a 7.1 and an 8.3." (Aug. 25)
"Well, well, well, the Iraqi soccer team over at the Olympics lost to Paraguay. And the Iraqi coach doesn't realize things are different now because he said, 'OK, when do they shoot us?'" (Aug. 24)
"Well the IRS says that Pete Rose must pay $1 million in back taxes by April. That's fast. Gee, I wonder how he'll try to make money that fast." (Aug. 23)
"Let's see, the Olympic basketball team lost to Lithuania (on Sunday). Today they beat the team from Angola. ... They just beat Angola, the U.S. basketball team. So I just want to say to the superstars from Jakarta, 'Bring it on.' (Aug. 23)
"And more Olympics news. A gold medal-winning Russian female shot-putter has failed a drug test. She failed a drug test, this Russian shot-putter. And she told the judges, 'Kiss my testicle.'" (Aug. 23)
"Hey, I wonder if President Bush has been watching the Olympics. What do you guys think? Let's find out. Here we go. ..." (Shows clip -- Reporter: "Have you been watching them?" Bush: "Oh, yeah, they're exciting." Reporter: "Does a particular moment stand out?" Bush: "Umm, a particular moment I liked, uhhh ... let's see ... hmmm ... Iraqi soccer.") (Aug. 23)
"Double iron cross news: The best story of the 2004 Athens Games has taken an awful turn as USA's Paul Hamm found out his gold medal is meaningless because of a judge's error that he actually should have won silver instead of gold. To refresh your memory, Yang Tae-young of South Korea finished third, second place of course was the governor of New Jersey. ... A real man would honorably give up his gold, but then again a real man wouldn't spend his life in tights on a pommel horse. Just telling it like it is. ... Some speculate Hamm may have won because of the ballot of an Iranian judge. (Show's ballot that reads, 'Paul Hamm, USA; 10; PLEASE DON'T INVADE MY COUNTRY')." (Aug. 23)
"Last night I was watching the Olympics on my new high-definition television and it was amazing. You could even read the little numbers on all the empty seats." (Aug. 20)
"I don't know if you heard about this, Ukrainian female Olympic runner Zhanna Block posed nude for this month's Playboy, and this is interesting, she won a gold medal running from Hef. Thank you, thank you, very much. ..." (Aug. 20)
"I don't know if you've been following the Olympics. The U.S. men's basketball team (has been) struggling. You know it's over there in Athens. You know what the Greek word for U.S. men's basketball team is? Clippers." (Aug. 17)
"Olympics are under way in Athens and Team USA barely escaped a huge upset to Greece after losing to Puerto Rico on Sunday. In fact this morning coach Larry Brown knew something was wrong with his squad when at breakfast none of the players even touched their weed." (Aug. 17)
"You guys been watching the Olympics? Apparently tons of empty seats and here's how bad it was. At yesterday's gymnastics there were only 10 people in the stands and these were the terrorists." (Aug. 16)
"From writer Mike Gibbons in a mock audition for Kilborn's job: "How about the Opening Olympic ceremonies? I couldn't believe I actually saw the French marching forward." (Aug. 16)
"Jimmy Kimmel Live"
"Historic event at the Olympics today: Israel wins its first gold medal ever and of course they won it for windsurfing. You think I'm kidding, but they really did win it for windsurfing. I guess that means that old Jewish windsurfing stereotype is going to pop up again. It's not Israel's first medal. In the 1992 Olympics they won silver in circumcising." (Aug. 25)
"Yesterday the men's soccer team from Iraq lost in the semifinals to Paraguay. I'm not sure if we're supposed to be rooting for them or not. I don't know if they're our pals now. I know they don't think they are. Either way they lost, so their dream of winning gold is over. But the bright side is they get to keep their hands, which is nice." (Aug. 25)
"Did you see any of the women's beach volleyball last night? The United States team won gold. And if you saw the women who won it, my goodness gracious, I never realized how much I enjoy the sport of beach volleyball. Look at this, we have a picture. (Shows photo of postmatch celebration with the teammates hugging each other while sprawled on the sand.) This is Misty May and Kerri Walsh. I vote for ladies beach volleyball to replace hockey on television. I vote for it to replace me on television. That is gonna sell a great deal of Wheaties, though." (Aug. 25)
"For those of you at home who would normally be watching 'The Tonight Show' with Jay Leno right now, it has not been pre-empted because of the Olympics. It has been canceled and it will never be on again. So I guess they're gonna fill will the Olympics for like the next week or so and then when the Games are over, infomercials in that spot. ... So a fond farewell to our friends over there." (Aug. 24)
"Have you been watching the Olympics? There was some ugliness last night at the gymnastics event and up until then a lot of the ugliness has been limited to the female weightlifting competition. There was a different type of ugliness. Controversy at the men's all-around competition last week. A judge made a mistake that gave our guy, Paul Hamm, the gold medal that should've gone to a guy from South Korea. And that carried over to last night.
A Russian gymnast got a lower score than the crowd thought he deserved and so they whistled angrily for 10 minutes at Hamm. Let me explain something to you people over there: Whistling does not bother us. We whistle while we work over here. When we hear whistling we think of Old Spice and 'The Andy Griffith Show.' ... We like it. And second, you are aware this is gymnastics, right? You're furious about gymnastics. That's like being angry at Gloria Estefan. You should be embarrassed to even have an opinion on Gloria Estefan and it's the same thing with gymnastics." (Aug. 24)
"They actually had an earthquake in Athens this morning, 4.5 on the Richter scale. Not a huge one, but the crowd got mad and they changed it to 4.8." (Aug. 24)
"Another big Olympic weekend. Do you think it's ironic that these athletes, these highly conditioned athletes who work out 10 hours a day every day of their lives do it so the rest of us can lay on our couches all weekend watching ... while we eat large bags of lime-flavored tortilla chips? I was in Las Vegas this weekend and I actually didn't get to see much of the Olympics. But I did get to see the Dream Team in action. U.S. men's basketball lost again on Saturday. It's their second loss of the Olympics. This time to Lithuania. We outnumber Lithuanians 82 to one in our country ... we do, I'm not kidding.
This is the team the Grateful Dead used to sponsor as a goof. And now I guess, I don't know, the pot haze wore off and now they're beating Tim Duncan and Allen Iverson and LeBron James. Somehow though we're still going to the medal round even though we lost two games -- they only eliminate like two teams -- so today our guys they won, they beat the impoverished nation of Angola. ... Not the team, the whole country. They beat 'em pretty good but Angola is a country where people make less than $2 a day. Nike gave these guys free shoes and they ate them. And some of our players are confused. They were trying to go home, they think they won Angola medal. They're like 'We won Angola.' ... They were wrong. ... We'll probably still wind up winning but it's silly how it's been and their next opponent is not a piece of cake. It's a tough one actually. Next they play this team, Shaqistan. You can see they're big but their free-throw shooting is atrocious." (Aug. 23)
"President Bush has been loving the Olympics so far. So much so that he can hardly start talking about it. (Shows clip with Bush responding to a reporters question, saying "Umm, a particular moment I liked, uhhh ... let's see ... hmmm ... Iraqi soccer. ... I liked seeing the Afghan woman carrying the flag coming in. ... I loved, you know, our gymnasts. I've been watching the swimming. I've seen a lot, yeah. Listen, thank you all. Enjoy yourself.') I've gotta go 'SpongeBob' is on. Why is every press conference like an episode of 'Newlyweds' every single time?" (Aug. 23)
"Congratulations to the U.S. women's softball team. They beat Australia today to win the gold medal. They outscored their opponents 51-1 during this thing and today was their 79th consecutive victory. And also today a teenager named Heather O'Reilly sent our women's soccer team to the finals with an overtime goal against No. 1-ranked Germany. That was an upset. And to add to that, the U.S. women's basketball team has won 39 consecutive games. They're winning the Olympics by an average of 31 points a game, which leads me to believe that our men are getting weaker while our women are getting stronger here in this country. In fact, they will eventually overtake and overpower us and Oprah will rule with an iron fist. ... I was just talking about this over Cosmos with David Gest last night and he agrees." (Aug. 23)
"I enjoy the Olympics for the most part but there are some events that ... have you seen the speed walking competition? It's ridiculous. Well, it's walking, which is basically running slow. People are actually winning gold medals for running slow. Look at this (shows clip of race walking) ... It looks like a 'Monty Python' sketch. The guy just walked in front of the camera during the race. That's all you need to know right? If you can stroll in front of a race, it's not a race. You noticed there weren't any black people running that? Do you know why? Because it's ridiculous. Same reason black people don't wear fanny packs. It's something called dignity." (Aug. 23)
"It's very clear that you've got the Olympic fever. The Olympics are actually going better for us here in the United States. Carly Patterson won the all-around women's gymnastics tonight, she won the gold medal. Nobody's done that since Mary Lou Retton. Michael Phelps won his fourth gold medal for swimming. Four gold medals ... he had three, he won four and it's hard to swim with all that gold around your neck. It's really why Mr. T missed the 100-meter butterfly in 1988. And our basketball team won, too and that's good news. The U.S. basketball team beat Australia today. And Australia, it's not just a country, it's an entire continent that they beat ... a continent of white people with half the population of California but still a continent and a win is a win." (Aug. 19)
"It's weird though because we have the Internet now and really, four years ago people had it but not as much and now pretty much everyone has it and we're seeing games and events that you already know the results of. At first I was totally confused, but here's the rule of thumb: All you have to remember is Athens Standard Time is 10 hours ahead of Pacific Daylight Time and an hour ahead of Greenwich Mean Time, so daytime events are delayed 10 to 16 hours for prime time on the East Coast and 13 to 19 hours for West Coast prime time viewing. It's easy to remember. Furthermore, by the way, if you're watching this show on the West Coast I am not here right now. I am at home standing in front of the refrigerator eating bowl after bowl of Frosted Flakes. ... I ate three gigantic bowls of Frosted Flakes at 2 o'clock in the morning. One of the many reasons why I am not representing the country in the Olympics. ..." (Aug. 19)
"More drug scandals. In the last two days, seven Olympic weightlifters have been disqualified from competitions for testing negative for the masking agent that makes sure you don't test positive for steroids. But I would like to meet the guy who had to go in and tell the seven 'roided out Incredible Hulks they have to go home now. Really you just slip the note under the door and run, right? (Aug. 19)
"I never thought I'd say it but an exciting night in men's gymnastics last night. Did you watch the men's gymnastics last night? This guy, he's an American hero now, Paul Hamm made an amazing comeback to win the overall gold. I don't like saying his name because even though it's spelled H-A-M-M, which is ham, it's pronounced hahm, and that sort of thing bothers me. Especially since there's a Mia Hamm already who spells it exactly the same way. It's unacceptable. If they got married she would be Mia Ham-Hahm." (Aug. 19)
"Back to the Olympics for a second. The Iraqi soccer team is mad at President Bush for using their images in his new campaign ad. He's got them running around a field. I guess he sorta takes credit for them being there, and they don't like it. Aren't these the same guys who eight months ago would get their private parts hooked up to Uday's Lamborghini if they didn't win?" (Aug. 19)
"Have you been watching the Olympic Games? Well, it's not going that well for the good ol' U.S. of A. Today both of our gold medal favorites in tennis, Venus Williams and Andy Roddick (were) eliminated by foreigners, which makes it ... And our basketball team got slaughtered by Puerto Rico on Sunday, then they barely beat Greece. Greece, not a great basketball team over in Greece, but we barely beat them yesterday. And our baseball team, which didn't even qualify for the Olympics. These are sorts we invented; these are sports ... I like to think I invented these sports. We should at least qualify for them, right? Who cares if we win in tae kwan do or the rhythmic canoe tumbling or whatever they do. We can't lose basketball and baseball. It's bad enough that skinny Japanese kid always wins our hot dog eating contest. It's shameful, it really is. We should not lose any sports with the word ball in them." (Aug. 18)
"I guess we're still leading in the total medals, though. Paul Hamm just won the all-around men's gymnastics. Have you seen this guy, Paul Hamm? He's ripped. I mean, the male gymnasts they have to be super strong so they can beat up on the people who make fun of them for being male gymnasts. I like a male gymnast named after a sandwich. Paul Hamm, following in the great tradition of Olympic diving champ Johnny Baloney ... many, many medals." (Aug. 18)
"The women's shot put competition was today in Olympics and you'd think watching people throw a heavy ball not that far would be boring, and it is ... it's really boring. But listen to the noises these girls make. (Shows clip featuring various screams by the competitors.) It's kinda scary isn't it? A bunch of women who look like Jim Belushi making sounds like a wounded animal. ... But the scoring in that event is 50 percent distance and 50 percent bathing suit competition." (Aug. 18)
"The crowd tonight has been injected with steroids, so everybody is very excited here and I don't blame ya because the United States basketball team has won a game. ... Three days after a humiliating loss to Puerto Rico we bounced back to thump basketball powerhouse Greece. We only beat 'em by six points, 77-71. I guess we had to pull it out at the end, too. I don't know what's going on. We should not be barely beating Greece in basketball. They can't even grow afros over there. It's just ridiculous. We should beat Greece by a hundred points, right? They smoke while they're playing.
We should do to Greece what the Chinese do to us in pingpong. It shouldn't even be close. I told you we should've sent the Clippers over there. I said it a million times. Allen Iverson led the U.S. squad with a broken hand. High scorer for Greece was Gyro Fedapita, who put in 11 points I think. Next up on the road to the gold, the U.S. vs. Vatican City with the Fighting Pontiffs favored by five. There's one thing for sure, I tell you what, whether we win the gold medal in basketball or not, our team will still have the most gold around their neck and in their teeth." (Aug. 17)
"Have you been watching the Olympics, the Olympic Games as they call them. ... I did, too. I watched it a lot. Opening ceremonies, hey, were incredible. What I love most about he Olympics is it's a great opportunity for Americans in particular to realize just how ridiculous people from other countries look. ... I say whatever you wear in the opening ceremonies you have to compete in that. If you want to wear a big straw hat and orange blazer, that's fine but that's what you're wrestling in. ... The opening ceremonies are also a great time to learn about countries that you didn't even know existed.
Did you know that Miata is a country? I think they beat us in basketball over the weekend. That was the embarrassing thing. Puerto Rico crushed the men's basketball team, the U.S. team. They didn't just beat us, I mean they really hammered us. And i was thinking of this; I was watching the game, if i was in charge I would have made them a state immediately. I would've done it at halftime of the game. They go in up 20 points, they come out wearing the red, white and blue of the good old United States." (Aug. 16)