Speed Reads

The Daily Showdown

Jon Stewart gets lazy, roasts Joe Biden (plus Shakespeare and Michael Che)

Vice President Joe Biden is the Democrats' answer to Republican complaints that the left is too politically correct. Jon Stewart started out Thursday night's Daily Show by approvingly noting Biden's passionate defense of women in domestic violence situations. But "it is important to remember," he added: "As Joe Biden giveth, Joe Biden taketh away." Just this week, Biden used both the phrases "the Orient" to refer to Asia and "Shylocks" to refer to greedy bankers — a Shakespearean reference that prompted Stewart to shake his fists at the Bard in anger.

"It's like Biden hasn't been out of the house since 1962," Stewart said, before suggesting other outdated stereotypes for the vice president to trot out. To discuss how Biden's gaffes might help presumptive 2016 presidential rival Hillary Clinton, Stewart brought out "senior casual racism correspondent" Michael Che. But the bit is just a set-up for The Daily Show's farewell to Che, the newest correspondent and latest émigré (to Saturday Night Live, where he will co-anchor "Weekend Update"). It's actually less of a moving tribute and more of a ritualized, very elaborate hazing. And really, doesn't that make for much better TV? --Peter Weber