David Letterman did not pussyfoot around in making clear his feelings about the Occupy Wall Street protestors. “I love these people causin’ trouble,” he said on Monday night’s Late Show. “Increasingly, this is the way we get change in this country.”

Letterman was interviewing Keith Olbermann when the subject of the protestors came up. Olbermann’s comments could be predicted, in the sense that they are similar to the sentiments he’s consistently expressed on his Current TV show. But Letterman’s remarks were refreshingly adamant and forthright; he remains one of the few late-night variety-show hosts (Craig Ferguson is the other) who isn’t timid about letting you know where he stands on various issues. Check it out:

“Some of the great cultural, social movements of the last 60, 70 years have begun as protests,” Letterman said. He invoked the Vietnam War protests, saying that they hastened the end of that war and were effective: “The same with civil rights and women’s rights [demonstrations].”

Letterman said he’d go downtown to see the protests, “but I know I would be beaten. They don’t like the idea that famous people with dough are sucking up to them.”

To the criticism that the OWS movement doesn’t have a unified list of demands, Letterman joked that the Tea Party had a similar lack of focus originally: “‘We want our country back.’ That’s it?”

Letterman also lambasted Rush Limbaugh for referring to the protestors as “human debris.” “How can you be human [and do that]?” Letterman asked disgustedly.

Speaking of politics on TV: Tonight, Jay Leno is scheduled to interview President Obama; let’s see if Occupy Wall Street (or, closer to Leno’s Burbank studio, Occupy Los Angeles) comes up in conversation. Hope so; would like to hear Leno on the subject as well.

UPDATE: Leno did ask the President about Occupy Wall Street, while remaining neutral on the subject himself. My colleague James Hibberd reported all the salient quotes from Obama in his post last night; here’s the President on the economy and OWS:

Twitter: @kentucker

The Tonight Show (TV Show)
  • TV Show