Firefighters | Jon Stewart

Denis Leary Drops The (Other) F-Bomb On The Daily Show


UPDATE: Pasquale flatly denies saying this.

A trip by Denis Leary to The Daily Show yesterday to plug his firefighter series Rescue Me didn't turn out so hot. At one point, host Jon Stewart and the actor discussed a set visit made to Leary's show by Derek Jeter, who somewhat goofily said, "I really admire what you guys do—I don't know how you do what you do," almost as if Jeter couldn't separate what they did as actors and what real firefighters do.

Leary then quoted co-star Steven Pasquale as saying, "'What are you talking about? We're fags!' He goes, 'We pretend to be brave guys. What are you talkin' about?' So I thought that really summed it up, you know?"

Stewart, a friend of Leary's, did an immediate face-palm kind of laugh, muttered "nicely done," then attempted to end the segment. Leary didn't seem to want to go anywhere, which led to Stewart joking that Leary's show and its follow-up are a great block of TV, "Like Queer Eye and then the fashion show."

Did The Daily Show consider bleeping the slur? Why didn't Stewart call repeat offender Leary on his use of the word? And will Steven Pasquale (who played gay memorably on Six Feet Under) have anything to say about Leary's version of the story?

Video after the jump...

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  1. Im pretty sure Dennis has done this before, I remember something about it

    Posted by: carl canthony | Jul 6, 2010 10:51:36 AM

  2. What a douchebag...

    Posted by: Lee | Jul 6, 2010 11:02:20 AM

  3. In that moment, the audience hushed while waiting to see if Stewart would co-sign Leary's homophobia. Leary asked Stewart if the interview was over, a few awkward seconds and nuthin'... Thanks, Jon.

    I once had a client in a negotiation ask if the other side was going to continue to "jew them down" on price. Should I have laughed it up along with them, Jon? I didn't.

    What a disappointment from someone that I thought 'got it'

    Posted by: stephen | Jul 6, 2010 11:29:08 AM

  4. Denis Leary wrote a book called "Why We Suck" in which one of the chapters was titled 'Matt Dillon Is A Giant Fag'.

    Posted by: peterparker | Jul 6, 2010 11:33:50 AM

  5. PS: note that other things Leary said...assumingly "curse words"...were bleeped.

    Posted by: Michael @ | Jul 6, 2010 11:35:53 AM

  6. Oh, give it a rest, Stephen. Jon Stewart has consistently proven himself to be a friend of the GLBT community.

    Posted by: peterparker | Jul 6, 2010 11:36:17 AM

  7. Wow. You're getting your panties in a twist over *that*? Seriously?

    Posted by: Rich | Jul 6, 2010 11:45:04 AM

  8. Denis was falsely quoting Steve Pasquale in this interview. Steve has had disagreements in the past with Leary on using this word on Rescue Me. And having seen Steve being a big defender of LGBT people in the past, it's sick that Leary would try to tack this word onto Steve.

    Posted by: JamieMcG | Jul 6, 2010 11:47:15 AM

  9. Dennis Leary gives me the creeps...he looks like he'd smell like a ashtray....and Im surprised He and david Spade haven't played Brothers in they resemble each other.

    Posted by: Disgusted American | Jul 6, 2010 11:48:41 AM

  10. Maybe Stewart didn't "call" Leary on it because he was caught by surprise? Maybe there wasn't time? Or maybe it's simply a matter of Stewart is the host of a comedy show and not some after-school special? Who knows? And who cares, really?

    Posted by: Musicboy | Jul 6, 2010 11:51:11 AM

  11. I was actually at the taping with my partner, and wasn't at all offended by the comment. I'm a big fan of Rescue Me, and think it's shown an honestly about gay issues that other shows aren't willing to tackle. AND, it shows that honestly to an audience that might not typically see the issues in their lives.

    Maybe he didn't use my favorite word, but both he and Stewart are definitely on our side for the long haul.

    Posted by: Charley | Jul 6, 2010 12:08:49 PM

  12. Denis Leary quotes someone else saying fag. And here I was hoping this would be a big fucking deal.

    Posted by: Dusty | Jul 6, 2010 12:13:05 PM

  13. But, but haterosexuals who play gay characters are progressive and brave. Give me a break! A haterosexual is a haterosexual. Haterosexuals have to thousands of years oppressed gay people. Past behavior predicts future behavior.

    You can always be brave when you have a gang behind you. How many times have we heard of a single gay person getting beat up by a gang of haterosexuals or being attacked by a haterosexual with weapons while unarmed? Only in haterosexuals heads are they brave.

    Posted by: Bill | Jul 6, 2010 12:22:08 PM

  14. I don't get so bent out of shape by the use of that slur--but I do get tired of the implication that gay men are not "real" men.

    But I guess that is the entertaining irony of Rescue Me. The characters are heroes all day as firefighers--but complete disasters in their personal lives, especially when it comes to the areas that truly are measures of a real man--honesty, integrity, accountability, maturity, responsibility--being a good husband and father.

    No amount of fag jokes will change that reality.

    Posted by: Mark | Jul 6, 2010 12:29:32 PM

  15. @ BILL

    You constantly spam gay blogs (using different names) with cheap bigoted slurs about "haterosexuals". Why? Have all your experiences with straight people really been entirely negative?

    Posted by: Musicboy | Jul 6, 2010 12:31:39 PM

  16. wasn't just "faggot"...followed up with "faggots" aren't real men. It was extremely distasteful in an awkward, "some white guy said n igger casually and meant it," kind of way.

    Am I offended? Not really...he's nobody to me, and I'd like to keep it that way.

    Posted by: TANK | Jul 6, 2010 12:37:08 PM

  17. Part of Denis Leary's "appeal" is saying offensive things. This is one reason I've never liked him, but he certainly isn't treating gay people any worse than he does anyone else. I don't even mind that Stewart lets it go-- and I bet this did play much less offensively in person. What I do object to-- and what I would ask others to bring to the attention of The Daily Show-- is the fact that "shit" is bleeped out but "fags" is allowed to stay. They think that anti-gay epithets are more acceptable than crude words for bodily functions. I'm not an advocate for any sort of censorship, but I think the standards used here are based on (probably unexamined) homophobia. Please join me in asking the producers of The Daily Show to look again at their choices of what to censor and what to let pass.
    (212) 767-8600

    Posted by: Landon Bryce | Jul 6, 2010 12:39:51 PM

  18. At the end of the show where credits start to roll and lights go down about 50%, I swear I could see John saying to Dennis "Fag?" "Fag!" "Really? Fag?" I'm not sure where my newfound skill of lip reading comes from and I'll have to check the Tivo to see if I'm imagining this. Did anyone else notice that little bit if video?

    I know John Stewart is a friend to the gay community and I don't think Dennis is openly hostile to us, he is from Boston after all (sweeping generalization acknowledged). I think Miller prides himself on speaking his mind unedited and that can sometimes get you into trouble, like my Mom who still thinks someone's race is an important part of their description. Is Dennis a 71 year old Irish Catholic woman?

    Posted by: christopher | Jul 6, 2010 12:41:25 PM

  19. You know, it doesn't make you any less gay or any more manly or "hip" to act as if it doesn't matter if people use offensive gay slurs. If you're looking to impress bigots by how cool and not gay you are you are only succeeding in that they are impressed that there are fags that have as little respect for themselves as they have for you. Do you think racist had a higher opinion of black people who dismissed racial slurs and blackface. Hell no. They just used them as these idiots will use you, to make the point that their racism and bigotry wasn't racist.

    It doesn't make you look strong and cool. It just makes you look like their bitch.

    Posted by: Harry | Jul 6, 2010 12:41:30 PM

  20. @ Harry:

    BRAVO!!! One of the best deconstructs of why there's no excuse for such things...and why some gays try to insist there is...I've EVER read!

    AGAIN, to the Self-Loathers: the show DID bleep other things he said!

    Posted by: Michael @ | Jul 6, 2010 12:47:40 PM

  21. Harry, you are so off-base. Let me be clear; not only doesn't it matter to me that some idiots use offensive gay slurs, but it also doesn't matter to me that judgmental gays like you are constantly ready to berate and/or psychoanalyze anyone who doesn't embrace perpetual victimhood.

    Life is far too short to worry about what anyone thinks of you. Be who you are. If you want to demand an apology from Denis Leary, fine. Good luck with it. I prefer to just roll my eyes and move on. To each his own, okay?

    Posted by: Musicboy | Jul 6, 2010 12:50:36 PM

  22. 1) It was a QUOTE. Get over it people.

    2) The word 'fag' is not, never was, and never will be, the "f-bomb". You all know what the real f-word is. If the word 'fag' offends you this easily in this context, time to grow a backbone and a life as well while you're at it.

    3) I've met him - Denis is a good guy who doesn't hate gay people. Part of his crassness and saying offensive things has always been part of his act, and it's ONLY an act. Read his book "why we suck" and you'll see that he hates on everyone in his commentary, but no one should be taking it seriously. If people did then he's have EVERY special interest group whining about him, which is not the case. Plus he's a damn good actor.

    Posted by: Greenthumb55 | Jul 6, 2010 12:54:56 PM

  23. Jon Stewart has been an unwavering ally to the gay community and has on numerous occasions used time on his show to promote equality, denounce our opponents, and comment on gay rights issues -- always, always, always, arguing on our behalf.

    Clearly, Dennis caught him a bit off guard, which for all but old friends of Jon, is nearly impossible to do.

    Posted by: sparks | Jul 6, 2010 12:57:43 PM

  24. Here's a statement from Steve Pasquale on last night's Daily Show:

    "I am an actor, and I live and work in New York City. I can honestly say that half the people I know, love and respect are gay. I simply didn't say it. I'm not capable of saying it, anymore than describing my black friends as the "N" word. I can't take any responsibility for it. None. I'm afraid Denis got his wires a little crossed in remembering that story."

    -Steven Pasquale, Rescue Me

    Posted by: JamieMcG | Jul 6, 2010 1:13:58 PM

  25. SO, if Pasquale GETS it, why don't you

    GREENTHUMBS: Your most imbecilic excuse was that it "was a quote." And, in any case, it DOESN'T matter IF Leary isn't a homophobe any more than it mattered if Michael Richards was a racist when he went off on the "niggers" during his standup act a couple of years ago. We're do equality in RESPECT as well as laws as any other group.

    SPARKS: The segment goes another two minutes...plenty of time for Stewart to regroup and at least say something like "'Fags?' Not cool, man!" AND/OR have it bleeped later. His history is to be taken into consideration but it's no more atones for his failing to treat someone using "fags" as he would "niggers" or, most certainly, "kikes" anymore than Obama's WORDS about us atone for the fact that even as you read this he's shitcanning more gays in the military.

    Do you seriously think blacks or Jews would be making such excuses if the discussion had involved either of those words?

    Posted by: Michael @ | Jul 6, 2010 1:40:25 PM

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