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What happened at the Pacers-Pistons game on Friday is no laughing matter, but that didn't stop the late-night comedians from pulling punches that would make even Ron Artest, Stephen Jackson and Jermaine O'Neal proud.
"Jimmy Kimmel Live" (Nov. 22)
"I hope none of you were beaten up by NBA players over the weekend. We've all seen the footage from Friday's brawl in the city of Detroit by now. They've played it about a thousand times this weekend. I've watched it about 2,000 times. We played some of it Friday night, but we didn't have all the angles. I've been analyzing this thing like the film of the JFK assassination, I really have. (Shows a number of clips of the Pacers-Pistons brawl.) ...
"Obviously it got crazy, too crazy, actually. Police almost had to spray Ron Artest with mace and arena security guards were this close to breaking out the T-shirt cannons, which is ... that's when you know it's serious. ...
"NBA commissioner David Stern announced the season-long suspension of Ron Artest. Artest is the guy, by the way, who two weeks ago asked his coach for a month off so he could promote his rap album. I guess he got his wish. Stern also suspended five other Pacers players on Saturday. The team had to play short, they had to play short-handed and unfortunately it was also team photo day. So this is what the fans got (shows photo of one player, a coach and the Pacers mascot posing). That's all they had left. ..."
Kimmel: "Fortunately, noted statesman and NBA great Charles Barkley was on hand today to summarize and make sense of this whole ugly fiasco (shows clip of interview from CNN)."
Barkley: "Anytime a fan touches you, you have the right to beat the hell out of him."
Kimmel: "He's kinda considered like the Henry Kissinger of basketball. ..."
"And that wasn't the only bit of ugliness this weekend. Big fight during a college football game, Clemson-South Carolina. And look at this (shows clips from brawl). We're really about four months away from this being Iraq. I mean, really, seriously. Is this football or Fallujah we got going on here?"
"The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno (Nov. 22)
"U.S forces have taken Fallujah, but experts say it's going to be hard to keep Iraq's insurgents from going after people in other cities. We can't even keep the Indiana Pacers from going after people in other cities. How many watched that NBA reality show the other night, 'Who Wants To Be Attacked By A Millionaire?' ...
"Did you see Ron Artest go into the stands after that guy? At first, when I saw an NBA player attacking a fan, I thought, 'Uh oh, Kobe must be dating again.' ...
"This is probably the first sporting event in history where the nose bleed seats were right in the front. ...
"Like today, the Pacers unveiled their new slogan, 'If you can't beat 'em, beat 'em!' ...
"David Stern is not taking this lightly. Did you see his press conference? I understand he handed out nine suspensions and four Vibe Awards." ...
"The co-founder of Nike has stepped down after 36 years in charge. He's being replaced by a 12-year-old Malaysian boy named Pago.
"Late Show" with David Letterman (Nov. 22)
"Settle down, don't make me come into the stands. ... I had a rough weekend, just a horrible weekend. I just found out that mom was the person who threw the beer at Ron Artest. ...
"There was screaming, there was shoving, there was rioting. I'm telling you, it was just like being at Arafat's funeral.
"Ron Artest has now been suspended for the rest of the season, and the good news is now he's been named host of next year's Vibe Awards. ...
"Nine players were suspended for the big melee for a total of 140 games that they'll have to sit out, and finally it's a glimmer of hope for the Knicks."
"The Tonight Show" with Jay Leno
"Jessica Simpson has signed to star in a new movie called 'Room Service.' No word yet who's playing Kobe Bryant." (Nov. 19)
"ABC has now apologized for airing the sexually suggestive promo at the beginning of 'Monday Night Football.' This is the second time it has had to apologize. The first time was two weeks ago when they showed the Miami Dolphins game." (Nov. 18)
"The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"
"Of course, at the top of the show, I have to apologize for what happened on Monday night's show. There were a lot of complaints. I appeared, uh, in a towel, half-naked and was ... carried off by Dave Chappelle ... and thought it was a little cross-promotion. ... Most of your e-mails actually were fine with the premise of the bit but were upset with my man-boobs. All I can say to you is, it's genetic. Just think of them as goiters with nipples. ... (Blows a kiss.) Sleep well." (Nov. 18)
"Jimmy Kimmel Live"
Kimmel: "The religious channel, Trinity Broadcasting Network, just did a best-of edition of their hit show, 'Praise the Lord.' It's been on for many years and every once in a while celebrities come on there. I love to see celebrities on this show. Mr. T's been on the show, Chuck Norris and the latest, football great Deion Sanders. Here's Neon Deion talking 'bout the Lord. (Shows clip of Sanders on the show.)
Sanders: 'Let's be honest up in he-ah, up in he-ah. How can you lie in bed with multiple women and still not be satisfied? That is ignorant. I'm talking to somebody out there today ...'
Kimmel: (Laughing.) No you aren't. ... You're talking to yourself because none of the rest of us can get multiple women into bed. This is not on the top 10 sin list, by the way. Here's a little more preaching from Prime Time. ... (runs clip)"
Sanders: 'We have no cover, no one out there to tell us 'no.' You know why? Because everyone is employed by us. My attorney is employed by me. My family is on my payroll. Who's gonna tell me, 'no'? Who's gonna tell me to stop? Who's gonna tell me I'm making a fool of myself? Nobody.'
Kimmel: (Slowly raising his hand.) If you want, I could, but it's not my place." (Nov. 18)