A Wiseguy Explains His Smarting Words
George Carlin said comedians have a duty to find out where the line is drawn -- and cross it. Denis Leary stepped over it last month when he mocked parents for jumping on the "autism express," and he's still explaining the remarks, which he says were taken out of context.
"I've been accused of being many things -- shocking, controversial -- but never stupid," Leary told us at the Kennedy Center tribute to Carlin on Monday night.
In his new book, "Why We Suck: A Feel-Good Guide to Staying Fat, Loud, Lazy and Stupid," the comedian criticizes "inattentive mothers and competitive dads" for using autism as an excuse for their "junior morons." Autism activists were outraged -- Jenny McCarthy called him "obviously stupid" -- and Leary issued a quick public apology to families living with the disease.
So ... what the heck did he mean? Leary told us he has close friends raising an autistic child and wanted to expose parents who use false diagnoses to justify kids who are "stupid or lazy or both" and the grown-ups who label themselves to explain failures. The flap doesn't seem to have hurt his popularity -- the "Rescue Me" star was surrounded by fans all night.
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