Jay Leno crafted a little burn about Detroit during his monologue Monday evening on “The Tonight Show.”
The comedy show host appears to be reading the city’s headlines, referencing the recent sex scandal with former Police Chief Ralph Godbee after an officer made allegations of an affair.
“Well the police chief of Detroit was suspended after a female officer said she had sex with him in exchange for a promotion,” Leno said. “And of course people are stunned. Detroit has a police department? Where are they?”
Leno is a little behind the times, because Godbee resigned Monday morning. But his dig at Detroit’s high crime problem matches residents’ worries, police officers’ protests over cuts and a murder rate nearly 10 percent above where it was last year.
Leno’s slam might remind some thin-skinned Detroiters of Stephen Colbert. On his Comedy Central show “The Colbert Report,” he’s made a few jokes aimed at Detroit, including “Someone could attempt the unthinkable and walk through downtown Detroit.” It caused some minor, and perhaps mock outrage from local residents who started a campaign to get Colbert to visit the city.
Detroiters may not like being the comedic boon of late-night TV, but over at Deadline Detroit, Nicole Rupersburg insists we need to learn how to take a joke:
Despite the push towards an overarching positive narrative, there ARE a lot of things about Detroit that deserve to be made fun of. And maybe if we stopped getting so defensive over every little thing and realize yeah, you know what? There are still a lot of things that are really shitty here – that is NOT an admission of failure, people; it is simply a recognition of reality.
Colbert’s sentiments aren’t too far off, either. Last weekend, police rallied outside a Detroit Tigers game, handing out flyers telling visitors to “enter Detroit at your own risk,” citing the city’s danger and cuts to the police department.