Speed Reads

Late Night Tackles President Trump

The Daily Show created a fake dictator awards show to see where Trump and his military parade stack up

President Trump has ordered the Pentagon to draw up plans for a big military parade through Washington, and like a lot of people, Trevor Noah isn't impressed. "America doesn't need a big parade to convince the world that it has a military," he said on Wednesday's Daily Show. "Trust me, the world knows America has a military — it's in their countries right now." Still, while "Trump is really excited about getting to play with the Army like they're his G.I. Joes, luckily, most people are adults," even some you might not expect, he added. "You know it's bad when even Fox News thinks this is a waste of money."

But it isn't just the wasted money — aside from France, military parades are typically associated with authoritarian regimes like China, North Korea, and Russia. "Now look, a military parade on its own doesn't mean that Trump is gonna be a dictator," Noah said. "But it's when you look at everything else that your Spidey sense starts to tingle." He ran through Trump's politicization of the FBI, giving top White House jobs to his own kids — "sure, those are his smartest kids, but who's their competition?" — and his frequently stated admiration for strongmen like Saddam Hussein, Vladimir Putin, and Rodrigo Duterte, among others.

"In the world of authoritarians, many people are now asking, 'Where does Trump fit in?'" Noah asked. "I mean, I know he aspires to them, but does he measure up?" The Daily Show mocked up a recap of the Oppressey Awards, to honor "achievements in the autocratic arts," with Noah hosting, and Trump didn't come away totally empty-handed. Noah ended on a dark note: "I guess Trump isn't quite there yet, but good news: There's always next year."

The Late Show also went toward the gallows humor in its envisioning of Trump's big military extravaganza. ("Poking sticks"?) You can watch that below. Peter Weber