David Letterman’s Top 10 Political Top 10s

On Thursday, David Letterman announced that he was retiring from the "Late Show" after 22 years hosting. In light of that, here's a look back at a few of the best political Top Ten lists featured on his show.


In this photo provided by CBS, David Letterman, host of the “Late Show with David Letterman,” waves to the audience in New York on Thursday, April 3, 2014, after announcing that he will retire sometime in 2015. (AP Photo/CBS, Jeffrey R. Staab)

 

10. Rick Perry

"Top Ten Rick Perry Excuses"

10. “Actually there were three reasons I messed up last night. One was the nerves, two was the headache and three was, and three, uh, uh. Oops.”
9. “I don’t know what you’re talking about. I think things went well.”
8. “Hey, I was up late last night watching 'Dancing With the Stars.'”
7. “I thought the debate was tonight.”
6. “Hey, listen. You try concentrating with Mitt Romney smiling at you. That is one handsome dude.”
5. “Uh, El Nino?”
4. “I had a five-hour energy drink six hours before the debate.”
3. “I really hoped to get on my favorite talk show, but instead I ended up here.”
2. “Hey, I wanted to help take the heat off my buddy Herman Cain.”

1. “I just learned Justin Bieber is my father.”

9. Paul Ryan

"Top Ten Little-Known Facts About Paul Ryan"

10. He's only the 23rd white guy to become Republican Vice-Presidential nominee
9. Was runner-up on season 3 of "The Bachelorette"
8. Always shampoos once, conditions twice
7. Got his start in Congress as John Boehner's tanning boy
6. Claims to be "a lady in the street, but a freak in the sheets"
5. Like the rest of America, wonders what Romney is hiding in his tax returns
4. Has a good feeling about this Jennifer Aniston marriage working out
3. Eats nothing but plants, berries, and small turtles
2. Even before working at Oscar Mayer, had reputation for "driving the Weinermobile"
1. Born in Kenya

8. Anthony Weiner

"Top Ten Other Anthony Weiner Pseudonyms"

10. Carlos Dangler
9.Peter Tweeter
8. Eliot Spitzer
7. Perv Griffin
6. James Wand
5. Dwight Thighsenhower
4. Throb Reiner
3. Donald Hump
2. The Notorious Not-So-B.I.G.
1. Mahmoud Ahmadinejunk

7.  Newt Gingrich

"Signs Newt Gingrich Is Losing It"

10. New campaign slogan: "What up, Gingsta?"
9. Since losing Iowa, he's married and divorced eight different women.
8. Has EMTs standing by at all times.
7. Quit campaign to buy a zoo with Matt Damon -- still in theaters, people.
6. When he hears the word "caucus," drops his pants and says, "I'll show you a caucus!"
5. In every speech, he attacks Walter Mondale.
4. His New Year's resolution? Be doughiest man he can be.
3. Makes cameo appearance in Casey Anthony's new video blog.
2. Losing it? When did he ever have it?
1. Claims he was born in Kenya.

6. Mitt Romney

"Top Ten Things Mitt Romney Would Like to Say to the American People"

10. "Isn't it time for a president who looks like a 1970s game show host?"
9. "What's up, gangstas? It's the M-I-Double Tizzle."
8.  "I have no proof, but I have a feeling Canada is planning something."
7. "Actually, I'm only here to meet Tom Cruise."
6. "Live from New York, it's Saturday night!"
5. "My new cologne is now available at Macy's. It's Mittstified."
4. "I just used all my campaign money to buy a zoo with Matt Damon."
3. "I can do a lot, but even I can't fix the Indianapolis Colts."
2. "Newt Gingrich? Really?"
1. "It's a hair piece."

5. Rob Ford

Source: Late Show
Source: Late Show

Like most comedians, Dave Letterman loves Rob Ford. He loves Rob Ford so much he has devoted five top ten lists to him.

In November 2013, he did “Top Ten Uncanny Resemblances To Toronto Mayor Rob Ford."

10.Rush Limbaugh
9. Brian Dennehy
8.The girl who became a giant blueberry in "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."
7. Richie Incognito
6. From McDonalds, The Grimace
5. Former New York Yankees Bench Coach, Don Zimmer
4. Jack o'Lantern
3. Dilbert
2. From "Splash," Louie Anderson
1. Turtle

A few days later, “Top Ten Thoughts Going Through Rob Ford’s Mind at This Moment”

10. "Is he talking to me?"
9. "Oops"
8. "Yes and I'd like some now"
7. "What would a crack-smoking Winston Churchsill say?"
6. "No questions about Newfoundland?"
5. "I don't remember you should be talking to my crack dealer."
4. I'm not an addict, I'm just stupid."
3. "Crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack, crack"
2. "What answer gets me to Dairy Queen fastest?"
1. "Help me, Canadian Jesus"

And a few days after that, “Top Ten Words Used To Describe Toronto Mayor Rob Ford.”

10. Crack-nadian
9. Torontoker
8. Molson-of-a-b****
7. The Round Mound of Unwound
6. Winning!
5. Neckless
4. Shame-resistant
3. Sweating enthusiast
2. Chin-fo-tainment
1. Large-and-no-longer-in-charge

He returned to Rob Ford in late January.

Here's “Top Ten Things Rob Ford Might Be Saying In This Video”

10. "Welcome to my office"
9. "This is one of those drunken stupors I referred to"
8. Which way is the counter"
7. "This is my final cry for help"
6. "I've been hanging out in the blimp hangar with Shimul
5. "Damn right I want that super-sized"
4. "I'm more wasted than the Wolf of Wall Street"
3. "Where's Bieber with my weed?"
2. "How am I not in prison?"
1. "Where's your crack smoking section?"

And “Top Ten Pieces of Advice Rob Ford Gave to Justin Bieber”

10. In public, comport yourself with dignity."
9. Admit your mistakes
8. Find a friend with common interests
7. Always turn the other cheek
6. If you fall down, get right back up
5. Trust your artistic instincts
4. Check your weight regularly
3. Keep your head up
2. Always think before you speak
1. Respect people's personal space

4. Dan Quayle

Former vice president Dan Quayle was another favorite of Letterman's starring in many a top ten list.

"Dan Quayle's Top Ten Pickup Lines"

10. Didn't we almost flunk out of school together?
9. How about a drink with a historical footnote?
8. I sure would have gone to Vietnam if the Cong looked like you
7. Can my father buy you a drink?
6. You could close your eyes and pretend I'm Jack Kemp
5. I think I saw Elvis last week at the Stuckey's on the interstate
4. Look! I've got a bunch of balloons with my name on them!
3. A girl like you could help a guy forget the irreparable damage he's done to the Republican Party
2. I'll be Vice President after we beat Dukakis and Lloyd Bridges
1. Why, yes, I am Pat Sajak

"Top 10 Reasons Dan Quayle Would Make a Great President"

10. Would not seem like brainy egghead when visiting nation's injured professional wrestlers.
9. Boyish good looks would cause Mrs. Gorbachev to fall in love, reveal state secrets.
8. His willingness to don inspiring Eagle Man costume on national holidays.
7. Secret Service agents wouldn't have to take their jobs so seriously.
6. Hilarious hijinks when mischievous staffer tells him to go stand in corner of Oval Office.
5. State of the Union Address would be three minutes tops.
4. Might really enjoy the part where after signing a bill into law, he gets to pass out a lot of souvenir pens.
3. Would satisfy little-known constitutional requirement that Chief Executive be "dumb as a tree."
2. We'd get to watch him grow up on TV.
1. Impossible to pick himself as Vice President.

3. Vladimir Putin

 "Top Ten Captions For Vladimir Putin Photos"

10. Two Blowholes, One Blowhard
9. KGBeefcake
8. Ruski Business
7. Cosmonaughty
6. Dr. Turnyourheadankov
5. Studnik
4. Siberian Hunky
3. Crimea River
2. Dostoyesplease
1. Horse's a** on a horse's a**

2. Hillary Clinton

In August 2007, the presidential candidate went on Letterman to deliver the "Top Ten Hillary Clinton Campaign Promises"

10. Bring stability and long term security to “The View.”
9. Each year on my birthday, every American gets a cupcake.
8. You’ll have the option of rolling dice against the IRS for double-or-nothing on your taxes.
7. Having trouble getting a flight and Air Force One is available -– it’s yours.
6. My vice president will never shoot anybody in the face.
5. Turn Gitmo into a Dairy Queen as soon as possible.
4. For over a century there have been only two Dakotas –- I plan to double that.
3. We will finally have a president who doesn’t mind pulling over and asking for directions. Am I right, ladies?
2. I will appoint a committee to find out what the heck is happening on “Lost.”
1. One more pantsuit joke and Letterman disappears.

Closer to the presidential election , she went on Letterman again and shared the "Top Ten Reasons Hillary Clinton Loves America"

10. We have more Dakotas than every other country combined.
9.Canadian bacon:  soggy and chewy; American bacon:  crisp and delicious!
8. Thanks to the Internet, I can order new pantsuits 24/7 – there’s your pantsuit joke, Dave.  Are you happy now?
7. 232 years and not one cookie shortage.
6. TiVo
5. Did I mention the soup?  Mmm, soup.
4. Did you know former President Teddy Roosevelt was an American?
3. Where else can you get a car painted for $29.95?
2. Is this the part where I say, “Live from New York, it’s Saturday Night!”?
1. Apparently anyone can get a talk show.

1. Barack Obama

The Democratic presidential candidate delivered a Top Ten in January 2008.

"Top Ten Barack Obama Campaign Promises"

10. "To keep the budget balanced, I'll rent the Situation Room to Sweet Sixteens"
9. "I will double your tax money at the craps table"
8. "I'll appoint Mitt Romney Secretary of Looking Good"
7. "If you bring the gator to the White House, I'll wrassle it"
6. "I'll put Regis on the nickel"
5. "I'll rename the tenth month of the year Baracktober"
4. "I won't let Apple release the new and improved iPod the day after you bought the previous model" (So much has changed since 2008...)
3. "I'll find money in the budget to buy Letterman a decent hairpiece"
2. "Pronounce the word nuclear, nuclear"
1. "Three words, Vice President Oprah"

Extra Credit

Letterman's long relationship with Arizona Sen. John McCain turned extra amusing when McCain canceled on the late night host last minute after deciding to suspend his campaign because of the financial crisis in the fall of 2008. To make things worse, McCain did an interview with Katie Couric the same day he canceled on Letterman. It wasn't a good idea, as Letterman proceeded to spend the entire time reserved for his McCain interview for a long roast of the presidential candidate, saying “somebody must have put something in his Metamucil." He recruited Keith Olbermann -- McCain's replacement -- to join the grumblefest.

When he returned to the show a month later, he told Letterman, "I screwed up. What can I say?"

Jaime Fuller reports on national politics for "The Fix" and Post Politics. She worked previously as an associate editor at the American Prospect, a political magazine based in Washington, D.C.
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