Chris Rock gave David Letterman a whole lot of shit on Thursday night's Late Show for passing him up in favor of Stephen Colbert as his replacement after he retires.
"I sat around, cleaning your cars for all these years, shining your shoes, buffering up your chifforobe, and I didn't get one offer for this job!" Rock declared. Letterman then responded by reminding Rock that he didn't get cast in his new film Top Five either, despite the fact that it apparently features 9,000,000 other popular comedians.
Sure, his jabs were just part of two comedians kidding around for the sake of some entertaining television fodder—or were they? Rock is the kind of comedian who likes to makes jokes that force things out of the corner of our back mind where they are comfortably napping on a warm blanket and thrust them into the public eye. Letterman laughed along, but looked a little awkward. There was a little hint of "OMG I don't want to get into this bullshit please let's move on" seeping through his back and forth during the segment.
Mediaite has a pretty awesome "behind the looking glass" take on this whole exchange, pointing out an interview with Jerry Seinfeld in Esquire where he discusses the idea of either one of them jumping in to fill Letterman's role (Seinfeld said they both would have turned it down). Then there's this nugget of celebrity minutiae :
Perhaps not coincidentally, Seinfeld and Rock were the two comedians competing with Louis CK for the Letterman gig on the three-episode Late Show arc from season three of Louie. In that fictional reality, Letterman ends up re-signing his contract for another 10 years and none of the men get the job.
So, a goofy joke or a deliberate jab at Letterman shutting Rock out of a hosting gig? I don't know. I can't really devote too much time to this right now because I have to go update my blog on how NASA faked the moon landing to keep the Lizard People from invading our planet during this millennium. I get lax on that sometimes and worry people will start unfollowing me.