Bin Laden a prime target of TV’s late-night humorists

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NEW YORK | Osama bin Laden’s death not only dominated the news Monday but also fueled a wealth of comic relief, punch lines and unapologetic crowing from TV’s late-night hosts.

“You seem like you’re in a good mood,” said CBS’ David Letterman, greeting his “Late Show” audience with a grin. “You folks enjoy the Osama bin Laden season finale?”

On NBC, “Tonight Show” host Jay Leno was all smiles, too, as he declared, “It looks like President Obama has a new campaign slogan: ‘Yes, I Did.’ “

“Great news,” said Conan O'Brien on his TBS show. “The world’s most wanted man, Osama bin Laden, is dead. Which means now the official No. 1 threat to America is the KFC Double Down.”

“It was the first Twitter death rumor ever that turned out to be true,” cracked Jimmy Kimmel on ABC.

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Bin Laden is dead!” said “Late Night” host Jimmy Fallon on NBC — “just like the Republicans’ chances in 2012.”

And on CBS’ “Late Late Show,” host Craig Ferguson gave extra oomph to his trademark pronouncement, “It’s a great day for America, everybody!”

“I’m as giddy as a schoolgirl who just shot bin Laden in the eye,” said Stephen Colbert on “The Colbert Report,” adding, “I hope I am never again this happy over someone’s death.”

Mr. Colbert’s fellow Comedy Central host, Jon Stewart, was no less effusive on “The Daily Show.”

“I suppose,” he allowed, “I should be expressing some ambivalence about the targeted killing of another human being. And yet — uhhhh, no!”

Instead, Mr. Stewart said, he wanted details. Like, what was the look on bin Laden’s face when he realized “the helicopters overhead were not giving traffic and weather updates?”

Mr. Letterman’s Top 10, “fresh from the State Department,” purported to list bin Laden’s final words, which might have been, “I’m not sure I want to live in a world where ‘Fast Five’ is the No. 1 movie,” or maybe, “I need a house full of Navy SEALs like I need a hole in the head.”

The jokes — and there were many — were focused on a handful of basic themes. Like the courageous Navy SEALs who took bin Laden out.

According to Mr. O'Brien, “When he heard about it, former President George W. Bush was furious and said, ‘Wait a minute — I could have used seals?!’ “

“How about those Navy SEALs?” marveled Mr. Letterman. “They jump out of a helicopter and they break into the compound, and they fire a warning shot into his head.”

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