Former Minnesota Vikings and current Oakland Raiders punter Chris Kluwe stopped by Conan this past Thursday to hype up his new book: Beautifully Unique Sparkleponies. The always outspoken and often hilarious Kluwe used some profanity when asked about his famous letter regarding marriage equality, but what has people talking now is not the swearing but his joke about Aaron Hernandez.
Hernandez, of course, is the former New England Patriots tight end who has been in the news all week due to his arrest in a first-degree murder case. Hernandez is facing life without parole and the Patriots franchise has already announced a plan to allow fans to trade-in their Hernandez jerseys.
Host Conan O’Brien asked Kluwe about the NFL’s response to his highly public gay-rights activism. Kluwe said the NFL basically leaves him alone and doesn’t scrutinize his actions too closely, but then he added, “As long as you’re not out shooting people.”
Both O’Brien and the studio audience laughed at the Hernandez cheap-shot, and Kluwe grinned, clearly happy with his joke.
Of course, the whole “too soon” question with regards to humor is very complicated and contentious; certain events are clearly inappropriate to poke fun of immediately after they occur, yet those events tend to magically become “acceptable” an unspecified amount of time later.
Was Kluwe’s joke acceptable? Did it cross a line? Let your opinion be heard in the comments below.