Don Rickles is in trouble for comments he made last week at a comedy club. Rickles was quoted as joking about famed terrorist Osama bin Laden. "That bin Laden is a hockey puck. He eats cheese like a Puerto Rican," Mr. Rickles joshed.
The condemnation was immediate. Several audience members booed. One man stood up and walked out, yelling at the stage that Mr. Rickles had "crossed the line" The comedian reacted by making a goofy face and asking the man, "What, is your short bus about to leave?"
Former head of Focus on the Family, James Dobson, called Mr. Rickles's comments, "deplorable." Senator Scott Brown asserted that they were "classless." A representative from the ACLU said, "This is why there should be limits on free speech."
The Council for Concerned Puerto Ricans put out a press release reading in part, "Puerto Ricans eat cheese in the same fashion as any other group of Americans." Mike Green, a hockey player for the Washington Capitals, asked that Mr. Rickles "respect the line separating hockey and politics." Actor, director, and producer Mel Gibson said Mr. Rickles's comments were "typical of a Jew."
Don Rickles has been defiant in the wave of criticism pouring down on him. He has refused to apologize. "If I say sorry to every schmuck I've offended, I'd have to apologize more than a Chinese traffic cop." Chinese Communist Party General Secretary Hu Jintao responded, "A 'Chinese people drive poorly' joke? How original! What is this, 1953?"
Congress has been mulling over whether or not to issue an apology to the true victim of this incident, Osama bin Laden. Some have asked privately whether an official apology would be enough or has the damage already been done.
Mr. bin Laden did not immediately return an email for comment.