On paper, that is.
He's toiled for years in the late night TV trenches, arguably the most competitive niche in Hollywood, giving us classic bits like his signature "Top Ten" lists as well as countless memorable sketches.
What about the other, darker side of Letterman's public and private persona? He publicly called Sarah Palin a "slutty flight attendant," made a crude sexual joke about her teen-age daughter and riffed about Congresswoman Michele Bachmann's derriere.
Those are just the jokes, folks.
What about the revelation that Letterman used his CBS show's offices to have sex with female staffers? Or that his show featured a grand total of one female comic in all of 2011 and created a "sexually charged" atmosphere?"
The Kennedy Center apparently looked past plenty in giving its highest honor to the gap-toothed comic.