As we expected last week, the Anthony Weiner “sexting” scandal was Topic A on late-night TV Monday night, as the shows that were dark last week for a quick vacation returned to the air.
The onslaught was merciless. In retrospect, some might say the embattled congressman should have chosen a day other than the one when most of the late-night comedians would be returning to work to make his public admission that he e-mailed lewd photos of himself. On the other hand, the Monday-night monologues would have been chock full o’ Weiner jokes anyway, so what’s the difference?
Unlike last week — when the late-night ranks had thinned down to Jon Stewart, Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and Craig Ferguson — everyone was back Monday today and raring to take on this Weiner story.
“With all this new media, is that considered junk e-mail?” asked Jay Leno on NBC’s “Tonight Show.” “Or is it e-mail of your junk? There are so many terms!”
“It shows you how the political race has changed,” Leno continued. “Remember it wasn’t that long ago when candidates would ask ‘Where’s the beef?’ You can’t ask that now!”
Meanwhile, over on CBS, David Letterman didn’t lead off his “Late Show” monologue with the Weiner story as Leno did, and we wondered if Dave had any second thoughts because he was once involved in his own sex scandal. Nevertheless, he eventually got around to Weiner with this joke: “He apparently is in some kind of trouble,” Letterman said. “I don’t know if laws were broken or not, but he was sending around pictures of him in his underpants and I thought, Well, now, wait a minute, what is the big deal? Don’t men and women in Congress get to mail their packages for free?!”
On “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central, Jon Stewart acknowledged that he and Weiner are friends, or at least friendly. Referring to one of the underwear photos and another purporting to show the congressman naked from the waist up, Stewart commented on their friendship in the show’s opening segment: “You know what is perhaps the most upsetting thing about having a friend get caught up in a scandal of this nature? It’s finding out (a) he’s packin’ jumbo heat! and (b) that he’s ripped! I can’t believe this guy and I are the same [bleepin'] age!” (For the record, Weiner’s 46 and Stewart’s 48, but close enough.)
As we noted in a story last week, this story is irresistible to late-night comics and their writers. And this roundup could go on and on, since everyone addressed it Monday night. We’ll leave you with Jimmy Fallon, who had this to say on NBC’s “Late Night”: “At a press conference this afternoon, Congressman Anthony Weiner admitted that he tweeted out that photo of his crotch,” Fallon said, leading off his monologue. “During the press conference, Congressman Weiner was choked up and got a lump in this throat – not as big as the lump in his underwear, but still, very emotional!”