Those that work in the justice system tend to take it far too seriously. Especially when the court room is in session, jokes are never welcome and even accidental humor is often scowled upon except, of course, if it just so happens to befall the judge. 

David Letterman is an American comedian and talk show host of late show with David Letterman broadcast since 1982. One of the features of his show has been a top 10 list. Attorneys-lawyers and the justice system have not escaped the attention of his comedy writers. No sacred judicial cows, and thank God for it!

► In June of 1998, he suggested that among the TOP 10 SIGNS YOU'VE HIRED A BAD LAWYER are: 

  • The lawyer keeps citing the legal case of Godzilla vs. Mothra.
  • Just before your trial starts, he whispers "the judge is the one with the little hammer, right?"
  • He thinks he'll win your case, "because there's a first time for everything."

► Another top 10 list was the LEAST CONVINCING CRIMINAL ALIBIS:

  • "I misinterpreted that National Rifle Association slogan about guns not killing people."


  • "It wasn't armed robbery - it was very enthusiastic panhandling."
  • "I don't even know how to operate a knife."
  • "I was playing Simon says and the guy who was 'it' said 'Simon says grab that purse and run for it.'"
  • "Hey! Where am I? How did I get in this courtroom?!"

► The United States Supreme Court is a frequent target of Letterman's top 10. For example, in October 1993, this was his #1 suggested TOP 10 WAYS TO ANNOY A SUPREME COURT JUSTICE:

  • Say things like, "Hey it's one o'clock in the afternoon. Why the hell are you still in your robe?!"

► In March of 2004, his show presented the TOP 10 SIGNS YOUR SUPREME COURT JUSTICE IS ON THE TAKE and included:

  • His written opinions always have several mentions of the thirst quenched in case of Mountain Dew.
  • Regularly convenes court at the dog track.
  • Asks, "Does either attorney plan on inviting me on any hunting trips?"


  • Courts last opinion was written on the back of Club Med brochure.
  • Last couple of cases each day are decided by the cleaning crew.

► In October 1999, his audience was treated to TOP 10 SIGNS YOUR JUDGE IS ON DRUGS:

  • In middle of trial points to defendant and says, "Dude, you are so guilty."
  • Shrieks that spiders are crawling all over the gavel.
  • When an undercover policeman testifies, judge yells "Narc!"
  • When bailiff says "Order in the court," judge shouts "I'll have Doritos, lots of Doritos!"
  • Always citing the landmark case of Cheech v. Chong.Supreme Court with Letterman

► Of course, law and justice covers a wide area and thus, Dr. Kervorkian, the convicted euthanasia doctor was roasted in TOP 10 DR. KEVORKIAN PICKUP LINES:

  • "Can I buy you a last drink?"
  • "Spend the night with me and you'll sleep like you never slept before."
  • "Hi there, what's your poison?"

► In January 1999, the David Letterman show top 10 roasted the very elderly (and now deceased) Supreme Court justice William Rehnquist in TOP 10 WILLIAM REHNQUIST PICKUP LINES:

  • "You won't believe how long I can sustain a motion."
  • "Want to see my judicial branch?"
  • "I've just written a brilliantly argued majority opinion and I don't think I should be alone tonight."

► Finally, perhaps to demonstrate the ex juris reach of the show, in July 2004, his television audience was treated to the TOP 10 THINGS OVERHEARD AT SUDAN HUSSEIN'S COURT APPEARANCE:

  • "Rather than murderous dictator, I'd prefer genocidal maniac."
  • "If you wanted a lawyer, Mr. Hussein, maybe you should've thought about that before you had them all killed."
  • "You think prison scares me? I lived in a damned spider-hole."