When you cancel at the last minute on your late-night talk-show appearance -- because you found out the show had paired you with someone to whom you are morally opposed -- then assume the show's comic headliner is going to savage you on-air.
You can always accuse the comic of living in the intellectual fog of the '50s and not be far off. "Jimmy Kimmel Live" booked the cast of A&E's "Duck Dynasty" Tuesday night -- the same night that former Smiths frontman Morrissey was booked to perform.
Morrissey is widely known to be an animal-rights campaigner -- the kind of guy who insists that Los Angeles's Staples Center should be a meat-free zone the night of his performance. That appears to be news to Kimmel's bookers.
"Duck Dynasty" follows the antics of a Louisiana family that has made its fortune selling stuff that people use to hunt ducks -- duck calls, decoys, etc. "Duck Dynasty" is an extremely popular cable TV docu-soap.
Late Monday, Morrissey -- upon learning of the other guests -- issued a statement saying that he would love to perform on the ABC late-night show . . . if Kimmel dumped the "Duck Dynasty" gang.
If not, he said, he'd have to step away, what with the "Duck Dynasty" clan being "people who, in effect, amount to animal serial-killers."
Makes perfect sense, Morrissey being the guy who co-wrote the Smiths hit "Meat Is Murder" -- which also may be useful information for Kimmel's bookers.
On Tuesday night, Kimmel was sincerely unapologetic for the snafu, telling his audience that a young band from Denver called Churchill had nicely stepped in for Morrissey. He said that he "respects" Morrissey's position -- as convincingly as Seth MacFarlane would say he respects TV critics.
"There's a very good reason why I didn't dump 'Duck Dynasty,' " Kimmel explained to his audience at the top of Tuesday's episode. "It's because they have guns, and Morrissey doesn't." If Morrissey is really serious about this animal-activism thing, he shouldn't make TV appearances of any kind, Kimmel extrapolated. When Morrissey appeared on David Letterman's show recently, for instance, "there had to be an Outback Steakhouse ad in the mix," Kimmel said. Morrissey, Kimmel concluded, "keeps finding ways to depress us." Even then, Kimmel wasn't through batting around Morrissey for his devotion to animals.
The "Duck Dynasty" guys "feel bad" about what happened and want Morrissey to know that they also make "calls" for people who are opposed to shooting of animals, Kimmel said -- by way of introducing a gag ad the show made, for a Duck Dynasty Carrot Call. In the ad, the "Duck Dynasty" hunters are seen blowing into their carrot-callers, causing unsuspecting young carrots to jump out of the soil and into their mouths. "I love yuppie food!" the ad ends.
"I was disappointed with last night's Jimmy Kimmel show wherein our smiling host managed to ridicule depression (70% of Americans suffer from depression according to the National Institute of Mental Health)," Morrissey said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.
"He then found time to ridicule healthy eating (the obesity epidemic in the U.S. costs $147 billion per year in medical expenditure), and he also ridiculed the notion that animals should be entitled to the possession of their own lives," wrote Morrissey, developing his Kimmel's-a-nincompoop leitmotif.
"Furthermore, he found time to jokingly promote gun-ownership -- hugely amusing for the parents at Sandy Hook, no doubt. He also promoted his special guests Duck Dynasty -- who kill beings for fun.
"None of the above issues are, of course, as important as Jimmy Kimmel himself, who has finally revealed his show to have an overwhelming loss of meaning. Tune in and relive the intellectual fog of the 1950s," Morrissey concluded.