Jon Stewart started out Tuesday night's Daily Show by sheepishly (indirectly) acknowledging that, because the show was taped in the afternoon, he hadn't watched President Obama's State of the Union address, the big story of the day. He tried to get around this by noting that Obama had released a three-second Vine video preview on Monday, which Stewart said is just as effective as the pointless SOTU: "The state of the union is bleaugh! May God continue to bless blaugh!"
Stewart was so impressed with his SOTU-by-Vine idea, he proposed it for the Republicans' "awkward response speech," as well as the Tea Party response and the after-speech punditry. His mash-up of awkward moments from the SOTU responses by Gov. Bobby Jindal (R-La.), Gov. Mitch Daniels (R-Ind.), and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) is pretty funny, but this year's official GOP response from Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (Wash.) was probably the best of the Obama presidency — a disadvantage of taping before the actual event.
I don't know what the Daily Show's excuse is for suggesting that Obama plans to unilaterally raise the minimum wage, though. Noting the futility of expecting anything to pass through Congress, Stewart said that he is sympathetic to Obama's desire to govern through executive action — "the most auto-erotic form of governance." But the one executive order Stewart focused on, raising the minimum wage to $10.10 for a tiny fraction of the workforce — people hired under new government contracts — he willfully got pretty wrong.
Before we pick nits, though, the interlude about how this SOTU marks the beginning of the "f--k-it stage of his presidency," is probably pretty accurate. And Stewart's "f@ck it list" of Obama's executive orders is pretty good:
Here's where things got a little strange, though. Stewart, saying he's a little uncomfortable with Obama's "executive order thing," turned the show over to Samantha Bee for a segment about the pluses and minuses of raising the minimum wage nationwide — something the Daily Show has explored before, and something Obama can't (and doesn't propose to) change unilaterally. Bee did a fine job making financial commentator Peter Schiff look silly and cold-hearted, but the segment seemed a little warmed-over and unmoored from current events:
Before interviewing comedian Louis C.K., Stewart brought out comedian Lewis Black for his recurring "Black in Black" look at the news. The news, in this case, was the upcoming Winter Olympics in the balmy Russian resort town of Sochi. Black wasn't impressed with the venue, the security situation, the U.S. Olympic uniforms, or the statement from Sochi's mayor that there are no gay men in town. There are a lot of bleeped-out words. Watch:
For Louis C.K. fans, here's Stewart's interview with the comedian, on to promote the release of his 15-year-old film, Tomorrow Night:
As a non-Daily Show bonus, here's Louis C.K.'s romp with Jerry Seinfeld in Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee. Cheers: