1:45pm PT by Hilary Lewis
Robert Durst: Five Memorable Late-Night Jokes (Video)
Robert Durst's weekend arrest for the murder of Susan Berman and his bathroom-audio confession at the end of the final episode of HBO's The Jinx were all over the news this week, but the events inspired surprisingly few jokes on late-night talk shows. Still, Larry Wilmore, Seth Meyers and Conan O'Brien all went there. Wilmore used Durst as an example of "Rich People Getting Away With Stuff as Usual." Meyers made several jokes about the accused murderer and eccentric millionaire, including playing audio of some bathroom-audio confessions of his own and delivering a few insults in his latest "Ya Burnt" segment. Meanwhile, O'Brien illustrated Durst's creepiness with a recurring gag during his latest video blog.
But long before last weekend's arrest pushed Durst back into the spotlight, he was the target of satire from The Daily Show and Saturday Night Live, both of which mocked the surprising 2003 acquittal of Durst for murdering his neighbor Morris Black, whose body he admitted to dismembering.
Take a look back at five memorable late-night bits about Robert Durst.
The Daily Show, November 2003:
The day after Durst was acquitted of murdering his Texas neighbor Morris Black, despite admitting he cut up the body, Jon Stewart examined how the various New York City newspapers covered the surprising verdict. The New York Times went with the following headline: "New York City Real Estate Heir Is Acquitted of Murder in Texas. Durst, Who Cut Up Body, Argued Self-Defense"
"That's as close as The New York Times will ever come to literally making a joke on the front page," Stewart says. "That's like The New York Times going, 'Can you f—ing believe this?'"
The New York Daily News went with what Stewart calls a "slightly more subtle approach," a cover headline that screams "Where's the Head?"
The New York Post: "Run for Your Lives"
"So the guy who cut up his neighbor is free," Stewart sums up before sarcastically cheering, "Go justice system!"
Saturday Night Live, Nov. 13, 2003:
Fred Armisen played Durst in an appearance on SNL's recurring "Tony Bennett Show" sketch, featuring host Alec Baldwin as the singer turned talk-show host. Unfortunately, the clip doesn't appear to be online, but The Jinx aired a bit of the sketch at the beginning of its fifth episode and there's more about it available courtesy of a transcript online.
"You chopped up your neighbor, tell us about that," Baldwin as Bennett prompts. "Well, he raged at me, and as I was defending myself I fell and, uh, accidentally chopped him up," Armisen as Durst says as his eyes dart around during the last part of his story.
"Man, that's outta sight!" Baldwin's Bennett responds, using Durst's story as an intro into discussing a dispute he had with Richie Sambora one summer when the Bon Jovi guitarist had a bird that "wouldn't stop squawking." Baldwin's Bennett peppers in a couple more questions about Durst's missing wife ("I had absolutely nothing to do with that," Armisen says as Durst) and the eccentric millionaire's cross-dressing (something else he "accidentally" does, Armisen's Durst says) but seems more preoccupied with his own issues. Later, Durst, Bennett and a businessman whom Bennett met and invited on his show,croon "Give Me the Simple Life."
The Nightly Show With Larry Wilmore, March 16, 2015:
Larry Wilmore's The Nightly Show included Durst in its segment about "Rich People Getting Away With Stuff as Usual." After introducing Durst's tale as "an incredible story of wealth and murder most foul," a murder-mystery-like intro that was accompanied by thunder and lightning, Wilmore summarized the recent news about Durst and played a news report about the bathroom audio The Jinx aired at the end of its final episode — something Wilmore says clearly sounds like a confession.
"Unless he's talking about a great set at the Laugh Factory, I'm pretty sure he's confessing," he says of Durst's "killed them all" comment. "I mean, what's his excuse? 'It's not murder, it's HBO'?"
Late Night With Seth Meyers, March 16 and 19, 2015:
Seth Meyers made a number of Durst jokes this week, including one about the Associated Press' memorable "Robert Durst is not Fred Durst" correction, but among the highlights was a segment in which he played some audio from his trip to the bathroom after a show the week before, filled with a few surprising confessions and his latest "Ya Burnt" list, which included Durst.
Meyers introduced his own bathroom confessions by giving the audience a recap of Durst's confession and saying, "People say weird stuff to themselves all the time when they're alone. Doesn't mean it's true." He begins by wondering why a monologue joke about cars being horny for gas didn't work. Then he delves into some increasingly disturbing revelations: "Welp. It's Tuesday. My night to dress up like a lady and look sexy in front of the M&M store. Blow kisses at sailors. Boy, do I love stealing cars. Everybody looks at me, this white-bread motherf—er, and nobody suspects I stole 1,500 cars in the last month. Seth Meyers, the Toyota Cressida bandit. Sure, I did a little porno before SNL, and during SNL, and after SNL — and later tonight if I can get this camera to work."
In "Ya Burnt," Meyers tells Durst, "You a creep."
"Could you look more like a killer?" Meyers adds. "When you go to the barber, do you just say, 'Give me 'the Murderer'? I don't know what's deader, your victims or your glassy stare. Also, if you're going to say you killed three people maybe don't agree to do a documentary. Sea World didn't agree to do Blackfish."
Conan, March 19, 2015:
Conan O'Brien's latest video blog featured some creepy appearances from a Robert Durst cutout, after his crew fixed some color problems on his computer that made O'Brien look like Violet Beauregarde. Andy Richter explains that he's still obsessed with the show, and both he and O'Brien agree Durst is creepy. Richter thinks even though he was arrested, "I bet he could escape and then he could be anywhere." They argue about that a bit as a cutout of Durst's face starts to emerge from the bottom of the screen. They scream as a "Durst Alert" message flashes at the bottom. Later, they bring in the cutout from the side and do the same bit.