Dustin Hoffman turned a joke into an awkward moment on late night TV in America on Thursday night (05Jun08) when he repeated an ill-advised Chris Rock joke.
The Tootsie star was telling a gag about a travelling flea on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno when he made an aside about presidential wannabe John MCCain's age.
But the line was met with groans and boos from members of the studio audience - because it related to slavery.
Hoffman said, "What did Chris Rock say? He said that MCCain is so old he once owned Sidney Poitier."
Leno attempted to hide a smile and he awkwardly urged Hoffman to get back to his joke, quipping, "Let's see if we can win back the crowd."
But Hoffman wasn't finished - his travelling flea ended up spending a week in Nice, France in "Brigitte Bardot's muff" and the actor suggested the French star was having sex with movie legend Omar Sharif.
As the audience groaned at the punchline, comedian Leno said,"As you know I was going to leave (the show) next year; I'm leaving right now. Good night everybody. This is the last show."