gray-large.pngTonight, will be Dave Letterman’s last night hosting the Late Show. That’s quite a run. With YouTube we are now able to watch some of his more interesting shows. One of these was his interview of Andy Kaufman and wrestler Jerry Lawler. What ensued on that show is extremely bewildering.

Overall, Andy Kaufman who is perhaps best known for his role on Taxi which ran from 1978 to 1983 [See Here] as (foreign man) Latka or perhaps as Tony Cliftion [See Here].

[Hmm, was that the material framework for the 1986 show Perfect Strangers [See Here].

At any rate, later on the rather slight in build Kaufman became a professional wrestler of women. That’s both odd and amusing … I guess.

Well, after awhile Kaufman decided he wanted to challenge a man wrestler and he chose Jerry Lawler. Lawler was unforgiving in the ring. But what is really interesting is their rematch on the David Letterman show. [See HERE.]

Whether the whole thing was a stunt or not is very hard to tell. One thing that isn’t hard to tell is that Dave wasn’t in on the joke. Dave’s response after Lawler slapped Andy and then upon return from commercial break Andy returned to more than damn Lawler with cuss-words and then throw the contents of Dave’s cup of coffee at him before running off is classic:

I think ah … I think you can use some of those words on tv. But, … but what you can’t do is throw coffee. I’ve said it over and over again. 

Dave then wrapped up the segment. He shook Lawler’s hand and it was over. Brilliant!

Now, obviously mediators must call-off a mediation when there are reports let alone acts of violence. But, what I wonder is if the use of humor strategically applied can be properly used by mediators to cut through emotional tension?

If so, how is this best done in such a way that doesn’t offend either party? Is self-deprecatory humor appropriate? Do mediators have the emotional fortitude to engage in that or perhaps even more direct humor to difuse tense situations? I would love to hear others mediators thoughts. Cheers!gray-small.png