Tuesday is Election Day around the United States, and The Daily Show's Jon Stewart isn't very impressed. On Monday night's show, he didn't bring up the governor's race in his home state of New Jersey, where Chris Christie (R) is expected to cruise to re-election. But he did cast a jaundiced eye at the other two big races in the news.
New York has been ruled by a "soda-hating leprechaun" for the past 12 years, Stewart said, uncharitably, of billionaire Michael Bloomberg. And now New Yorkers will finally decide who finally gets to fill his "tiny, tiny shoes." (Stewart softened the blow somewhat by acknowledging that he and Bloomberg are equally small.)
There's no real suspense in the race, though, Stewart noted: Democrat Bill de Blasio is up at least 40 points in the polls over Republican Joe Lhota. So that's the joke they run on. Correspondent John Oliver, reporting from an already-in-full-swing de Blasio victory party, insisted that the Democrat could do anything and still win. "Anything" in this case, Oliver joked, is releasing a TV ad proclaiming that de Blasio is already mayor and a campaign poster featuring a poll-boosting "dick pic." Take that, Anthony "Carlos Danger" Weiner.
If de Blasio's victory is mostly funny, the Virginia gubernatorial race is so comically bad that it had correspondent Al Madrigal vomiting in his mouth. To learn about the race between Democrat Terry McAuliffe and Republican Ken Cuccinelli, Madrigal interviewed noted political handicapper Larry Sabato at the University of Virginia, who called the candidates "among the worst I've ever seen."
At first, Madrigal was skeptical that Cuccinelli, the Tea Party social conservative, and the "sleazy" McAuliffe are anything new in politics. But after talking to Sabato some more, Madrigal came to view the race as a choice between a heart attack and cancer.
To capture the "involuntary look of disgust" that will apparently cross each voter's face in the voting booth, Madgrigal whipped up two batches of horrible, vaguely poisonous-sounding drinks to stage a taste test. He proved that voters don't like nasty-tasting drinks. Or worms and dog feces. Madrigal gave the final word to a young child, who spoke this wisdom: "I can't believe how so many people eat dog poop."
The U.S. doesn't have a lock on unpalatable politicians, of course, and Stewart had a few minutes' worth of fun following up on Toronto's allegedly crack-smoking mayor, Rob Ford. Ford is insisting on staying in office, even though his own police force says it has video evidence of him smoking crack and making racist and homophobic statements.
Stewart started out the show with his takedown of Ford, but if the Virginia gubernatorial race is really as awful as The Daily Show makes it out to be, this bit might make residents of the commonwealth feel a bit better about their options. Watch:
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- An open letter to #brands about Gamergate
- Did the media get Ferguson wrong?
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- The most sensible GOP alternative to ObamaCare comes from a Senate candidate who is almost sure to lose
- 'Having it all' has officially jumped the shark
- Gamergate has backfired spectacularly on its nincompoop perpetrators
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
Subscribe to the Week