Off-color remarks put host in penalty box for a week

Craig Kilborn, host of the nightly Comedy Central satire “The Daily Show,” was suspended for a week without pay for disparaging comments he made about the show’s co-creator and head writer Lizz Winstead in the just-released January issue of Esquire.

In the article, the host opened up about his tempestuous relationship with Winstead behind the scenes of the show.

Kilborn — formerly an ESPN anchorman — was quoted as saying, “There are a lot of bitches on the staff, and, hey, they’re emotional people. You can print that! You know how women are — they overreact.”

He added that Winstead finds him attractive and would perform certain sexual acts for him if he asked.

Winstead was not available Tuesday for response.

In Kilborn’s absence this week, correspondents are alternating as fill-in hosts. The program then takes a scheduled two-week production hiatus, pushing the host’s return date to Jan. 5.

Comedy Central released a statement Tuesday that said, in part, “As a result of inappropriate comments made by Craig Kilborn . . . (he) has been suspended immediately without pay for one week.” Spokesman Tony Fox declined further comment.

Kilborn released a statement apologizing for his “regrettable remarks” in the magazine. “And although my comments were made in jest and not intended for publication, I realize I have made a terrible mistake for which I am truly sorry.”

This is the second time “Daily Show” has been attached to a suspension. Last spring, comments made by then-ESPN “SportsCenter” anchor Keith Olbermann to Kilborn on the program led to ESPN suspending Olbermann for two weeks. Olbermann had taken satirical shots at Bristol, Conn., the town where ESPN is headquartered. He now hosts a nightly show for MSNBC.

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