As John McCain tried every stunt in the book this week and Barack Obama struggled to be heard above the din of financial, media, and political hysteria, two voices rang clear: those of comedians David Letterman and Chris Rock. After McCain skipped out on Letterman's show on Wednesday night and said he would be "flying to Washington" using his "suspended campaign" as an excuse, the host showed a clip of McCain getting makeup put on in the CBS newsroom for an interview with Katie Couric that same night. He excoriated McCain for two nights for the move, saying he should have had Sarah Palin campaigning for him while he was in Washington. "This doesn't smell right. This is not the way a tested hero behaves," Letterman cracked. "Somebody's putting something in his Metamucil." "Are we suspending the campaign because of an economic crisis?" he asked. "Or because the poll numbers are sliding?"
The night before, Letterman had invited Chris Rock on to promote his new DVD. Rock came on after Bill Clinton had spent a few minutes talking about politics and Hillary. "Is it me or he didn't want to say the name Barack Obama?" Rock asked, to great applause. This caused such a stir that Clinton himself scolded Rock during a later appearance on the Daily Show. But the comedian was already on a tear. Last night, he held a funny, quick-witted session with Larry King. We've assembled his best lines after the jump:
• "If this was a boxing match, McCain would be holding on to Obama."
• "McCain jokes are easy jokes. 'I don't want a president with a bucket list!' You basically take the dust off your Reagan jokes and tell them again."
• "You got a guy that's worth $150 million with twelve houses against a guy worth a million dollars with one house. The guy with one house really worries about losing his house — because then he's homeless! … John McCain could lose half his houses and sleep well!"
• "[Bill Clinton's] wife was running for president. If you give me a choice of pissing off a whole race of people or my wife, I'm sorry, I gotta piss off a whole race of people. Sorry blackies! Go eat some chicken! … Right Larry? You've been married twelve times, right?"
• [On the choice of Sarah Palin] "I thought Al Davis made the choice, or something. That's how bad it was."
• "Jason Leigh has done more interviews promoting My Name Is Earl than [Sarah Palin] had to run for vice-president of the United States."
• "[Sarah Palin is] kind of like Kim Kardashian on Dancing With the Stars. All that ass and you can't shake it!"
• "Bin Laden did more movies last year than Sam Jackson. I think he's in Lakeview Terrace."
• "America is broke right now, and nobody understands broke better than black people."