David Letterman Jokes About Jihadist Threat in First Show Back (Video)
David Letterman apparently isn't afraid of a jihadist threat to cut out his tongue.
In his first show back since begin targeted by an online jihadist, the Late Show host made light of the situation.
"We have a great audience night in and night out but tonight you mean a lot to me," he says in a clip released by CBS ahead of Monday night's show. "You people are more, honestly, than an audience to me tonight, really. ... You're more like a human shield."
Letterman also noted that he came out onto the stage late because he was talking to a CBS executive about whether his life insurance policy covered him "for jihad."
"I wish I had a nickel for every time a guy has threatened to cut [my tongue out]," Letterman quips.
He then presents a list of people "who hate me," including al-Qaida; Sarah Palin; Donald Trump; Jay Leno; the Late Show staff, crew and home audience; Canadians; NBC; CBS; his neighbors; Tony Danza; frogs; and squirrels.
The New York Post reports that security was increased at Late Show's home at the Ed Sullivan Theater for Letterman's return.
The host was threatened last week by a frequent online commenter who called on Muslims to kill Letterman after being upset that the on-air personality made a slashing motion across his neck while discussing the death of senior al-Qaida member Ilyas Kashmiri.
The poster, who goes by the name Umar al-Basrawi, reportedly wrote: "Is there not amongst you a Sayyid Nosair al-Masri (may Allah release him) to cut the tongue of this lowly Jew and shut it forever. Just as Sayyid (may Allah release him) did with the Jew Kahane.”
Letterman is not of Jewish descent.
Sayyid Nosair al-Masri was acquitted of the murder of Rabbi Meir Kahane, the founder of the Jewish Defense League, in 1991. He was convicted of assault and possession of an illegal firearm.
This was not the first time the late-night host has been threatened. In 2009, police uncovered a plot to kidnap Letterman's then 5-year-old son Harry and hold him for a ransom of $5 million.