Donald Sterling's Racist Rant Dominates Late-Night Shows

Jimmy Fallon, Jimmy Kimmel, David Letterman and Seth Meyers were among those focused on the controversial Clippers owner in their opening monologues, with Letterman making him the subject of the Top 10 list.
Associated Press

The late-night talk shows had a universal theme Monday night: the Donald Sterling racism scandal.

David Letterman made the Los Angeles Clippers owner the topic of his Top 10 list, with "Top 10 People Donald Sterling Looks Like."

Included in the compilation were "the guy who licks his fingers after pulling cash off a wad," "the guy who hits on a bride at her wedding," Mickey Rourke and, at No. 1, "the soon-to-be former owner of the Los Angeles Clippers."

The Late Show host quipped: "It must be terribly embarrassing for this guy to be identified as the owner of the Clippers," adding: "Earlier today he was rushed to the Paula Deen rehab facility in Georgia."

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Jimmy Fallon jumped straight into the controversy at the start of his monologue. "Here’s what people are talking about. Of course, it’s Clippers owner Donald Sterling. This guy is in trouble.

"Even Mel Gibson was like, 'Just stop talking.' And get this. Some people are actually defending Sterling, saying he has a very good record of hiring minorities. For instance, he always has at least one white guy on the team," Fallon said.

"In their defense, Sterling and the Clippers released a statement saying they weren't sure if the tape was even real. Though it's still not a good sign if you hear your voice on a racist rant and go, 'That might be me? That sounds like something I might've said.'

"And this is pretty awkward. Donald Sterling was actually scheduled to receive a lifetime achievement award from the NAACP, but the organization has now called off the ceremony," the Tonight Show host went on to reveal. "Yeah, it turns out black people don't want to be photographed with him either. It seems like everyone's weighing in. Even President [Barack] Obama is calling Donald Sterling's racist remarks 'incredibly offensive.' And you know it's bad when even [Vladimir] Putin was like, 'I hate to say it, but I am with Obama on this one.' "

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Jimmy Kimmel joked about the L.A. fans' reaction to the incident. "Does anyone want to buy a pair of Clippers season tickets?" he asked the audience. "I'll give you a great deal on them.

"Sterling was apparently upset because she [his girlfriend V. Stiviano] posted a picture of herself on Instagram posing with Magic Johnson. And he was upset not because Magic is a former Laker -- he was upset because she was quote 'publicly associating with black people.' And Magic is a black people."

He went on to also refer to Gibson: "The male voice belongs to Donald Sterling. Although if I was him, I’d say it was Mel Gibson.

"Sterling insists that he is not a racist -- he says some of his best credit cards are black."

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Arsenio Hall, meanwhile, took a selfie with a life-size cutout of the Clippers owner.

"If Donald Sterling was upset that his girlfriend was being Instagrammed with black people, imagine how upset he would be if there were pictures of him on Instagram with black people," he said before posing for the shot, which he described as "Ebony and Bigotry."

The Arsenio Hall Show host later joked, “Now I know why it’s so hard to get good chicken wings at a Clippers game."

Conan O'Brien took a different angle on the racism backlash. "After the audio was released, the NAACP decided not to honor Donald Sterling with a 'Lifetime Achievement' award. Instead they’re giving him the 'Reason We Still Need an NAACP' award.

"It’s being reported that the girlfriend of Donald Sterling may have 100 more hours of his racist audio. Or, as Rush Limbaugh calls that, 'A month's worth of talk radio,' " he joked.

"Today, in an interview, Donald Trump called Donald Sterling's remarks disgusting and his girlfriend 'a terrible human being.' Trump then said, 'That’s why I’ve asked them both join the next season of Celebrity Apprentice.'

"The L.A. Clippers staged a protest of their owner’s racist remarks by wearing their uniforms inside out," O'Brien went on to say. "Meanwhile, the L.A. Lakers have been wearing their uniforms inside out so no one would know they play for the Lakers," he quipped, referring the rival team's terrible record this season.

Later on NBC, Seth Meyers announced big news for Pope Francis: "It looks like he is giving up his season tickets for the Clippers, and no one is happier than the people who sat behind him, as it's hard to see with that huge hat."

The Late Night host went to have a special segment of "Couple of Things." "First thing, 'Yikes!' It is 2014, that is the year we live in and also how racist you are on a scale of one to 10.

"If you dislike black people so much, it seems you got into the wrong line of work. If you had wanted to stay away from black people, you could have bought a hockey team or Steely Dan."

After announcing that he would be leaving the Late Late Show in December, Craig Ferguson hit on the hot topic of the day. "You know it is bad when you get caught on tape with your mistress and it is what you said that is bad.

"Every NBA fan in L.A. knows there is a dark cloud hanging over the Staples Center, but enough about the Lakers," he said, before throwing in a jab about the Washington Redskins. "But at least they get to play on Thanksgiving."