Last night, Iain and I caught a few minutes of Conan O'Brien's new show. His guest during the segment we saw was Charlie Day (an actor I don't know) from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia (a show I've never seen). They were talking about the show, and how Day and the other writers get Danny DeVito (who's also on the show) to do all sorts of wild things, when O'Brien asked Day: "Has he ever said no to anything?"
I knew right at that moment a rape joke was coming. I would have bet every last thing I own on it.
And wow. It was some fucking rape joke. (Start video at 5:16.)
[Transcript of relevant portion starting at 5:16 below.]
Now, the thing about these shows is that the guests don't walk out on stage and have a totally unscripted conversation with the hosts. The guests go through pre-interviews, where they establish with the host what the topics of conversation will be. The pre-interview ensures that the on-camera interview will go as smoothly as possible, and it also allows the host and/or his production team to vet the on-air material.
Conan O'Brien considered this appropriate subject matter for his show. Conan O'Brien thinks rape is funny. I can't put it any more plainly than that.
Contact TBS and politely ask them why they think sexual violence is a laughing matter.
O'Brien: Let me ask you very quickly—Danny DeVito's on the show, and he intrigues me; he's a very funny performer; he's very funny on the show, but it almost seems to me, as just an outsider, that you guys are writing ridiculous premises for Danny DeVito to almost see what you can get away with, what you can get him to do. [audience laughter][Rape is Hilarious: Parts One, Two, Three, Four, Five, Six, Seven, Eight, Nine, Ten, Eleven, Twelve, Thirteen, Fourteen, Fifteen, Sixteen, Seventeen, Eighteen, Nineteen, Twenty, Twenty-One, Twenty-Two, Twenty-Three, Twenty-Four, Twenty-Five, Twenty-Six, Twenty-Seven, Twenty-Eight, Twenty-Nine, Thirty, Thirty-One, Thirty-Two, Thirty-Three, Thirty-Four, Thirty-Five, Thirty-Six, Thirty-Seven, Thirty-Eight, Thirty-Nine, Forty, Forty-One, Forty Two, Forty-Three, Forty-Four, Forty-Five, Forty-Six, Forty-Seven, Forty-Eight, Forty-Nine, Fifty, Fifty-One, Fifty-Two, Fifty-Three, Fifty-Four, Fifty-Five.]
Day: Yeah, yeah.
O'Brien: Is that—am I right about that?
Day: That's totally, exactly right. And he'll do pretty much anything. And we've got him—
O'Brien: Has he ever said no to anything? Has he ever said, "I will not do…"
Day: Well…you know what? Yes. We freaked him out one time pretty good—we played an April Fool's joke on him...?
Day: And we took—we were writing a script, and we're like, all right, in the first scene, Danny's character will get arrested and go to jail—
Day: —and immediately get raped. [audience laughter; Day grins; O'Brien nods appreciatively] And, you know, we wrote very descriptive [laughs; audience laughter]—of, of what Danny was going to be doing. And, uh, you know, he gets raped by the black gang, and then he goes to the wh—and the next time you see him, he goes to the white gang members and he's like, "Hey, you guys gotta help me. These guys are raping me," and they're like, "All right, well, you gotta do this for us," and it cuts to him getting raped by them! [audience laughter' Day grins; O'Brien chuckles] And then later in the episode, ahh, later in the episode, he goes to the guards, and he's like, "Please, everyone here is raping me!" [audience laughter; Day laughs] and then, and then it cuts to all the guards are raping him! [audience laughs uproariously; Day grins; audience applauds; O'Brien is grinning and pretending to look uncomfortable] Which is good stuff!
O'Brien: Now this, this was, uh—obviously you had no intention of airing this episode.
O'Brien: What did he do? He saw the script and—?
Day: He called his lawyer! [O'Brien bursts into laughter; Day laughs; audience laughs] He called his lawyer, and he was like, "Listen, I love these guys, I'll do anything, but I think this is too far."
Day: And in the last line of the script, we wrote, "April Fool's!" So.
O'Brien: Oh, good, okay.
Day: He figured it out eventually.
O'Brien: He had to read—he didn't read the whole thing.
Day: No! By the third scene, he was on the phone with the lawyer. [Day grins; O'Brien laughs; audience laughter.]