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The Daily Showdown
December 26, 2018

"Our country is experiencing the most divisive time in recent history — but the holidays are upon us," Desi Lydic said on The Daily Show's year-end special. "I want to find out what families are doing to stay connected this season." Her attempts to reconcile politically and culturally fractured families by talking to people in midtown Manhattan ended with advice about self-medicating and avoiding racist relatives entirely, so she turned to Dr. David Campt, racial dialogue expert and founder of the White Ally Toolkit, a roving workshop "where woke white liberals learn to effectively communicate with the not-so-woke," Lydic explained. "David's basically the White People Whisperer."

Lydic helpfully played the fool to show everyone what not to do, then tried out Campt's techniques for connecting with and hopefully converting racist relatives on a family in New Jersey. "The Cofranciso family had a history of dinners gone bad, so they were more than willing to let any random strangers with cameras come in to their home if it meant their holidays could be more pleasant," she said. You can watch her uphill struggle with the Confranciscos, and maybe learn a few real world tips, below. Peter Weber

December 20, 2018

"It's time once again for us to take a step back from covering the news of the day and look back at everything that made 2018 the year we all want to forget," Trevor Noah said on Wednesday's Daily Show. "And we'll start with the one guy who won't let us forget him: President Donald J. Trump." This year, he said, "we spent so much time on Trump's evilness that we didn't really get to enjoy one of his most important characteristics, and that is: the dude is super weird. No, seriously guys, the president is a weird dude. We just never talk about it because it all happens under the evil."

"So for a minute, we're not going to pay attention to the bad things he does," Noah said. "We're just going to enjoy how weird the president is. So let's take a moment to look back on 2018, the Year in Trump Being Weird." After Noah ran through some of Trump's verbal quirks, his bizarre habit of just laying stuff down, and that toilet paper incident, Desi Lydic and Jaboukie Young-White reminded everyone of some other weird stories that you might have forgotten happened this year (plus some that obviously didn't), and Dulcé Sloan offered her theory on the rash of white people calling the cops on black people doing nothing wrong.

As a bonus, The Daily Show compared some questions asked of Miss Universe contestants and some posed to President Trump by Fox News, and the contrast doesn't show Fox in a particularly flattering light. Watch below. Peter Weber

December 18, 2018

As 2018 winds to a close, "it feels like the whole country is still nursing a hangover from the 2016 presidential election — Trump is still obsessed with Hillary, Mueller is still investigating Trump, and Democrats are about to launch a slew of new investigations into his campaign," Trevor Noah said on Tuesday's Daily Show. "But now, over two years later, we're still about how deep the Russian rabbit hole goes," including the Kremlin's trolls targeting of one particular group. "It turns out, the Russians spent a lot of effort specifically trying to convince black Americans not to vote," Noah said — or to vote for Green Party candidate Jill Stein, same difference.

"Real black American" Dulcé Sloan came out to give her mixed reaction to the news. "Trevor, I feel disgusted, I feel manipulated, and I feel special," she said. "Russia could have gone after anyone — Latinos, Asians, millennials — but they said, We're going after the ones who count: black people. Can you believe that? I mean, some white people actually do think black lives matter." She had some suggestions for Washington. Watch below. Peter Weber

December 4, 2018

"The midterm elections were a big win for the Democrats, but Republicans didn't make it easy for them," Roy Wood Jr. said on Tuesday's Daily Show, a voiceless Trevor Noah at his side. "They gerrymandered districts, they created new voting restrictions, they even printed ballots on nude photos of Mitch McConnell — and if the choice is vote or die, in that case I choose die. But even after Republicans were removed from power, they were saying, 'All right, fine, we'll leave — but we're taking the power with us.'"

Wood pointed to the "blatantly corrupt" lame-duck power grabs in Wisconsin and Michigan, where GOP legislatures and outgoing GOP governors are pushing through laws to weaken their incoming Democratic successors. "This would be like Marvel changing Spider-Man's super powers now that he's black," he said. "And the powers being taken away are not small things" in real life, with Republicans working to keep Democrats from fulfilling campaign promises the voters elected them to carry out. "The ballsiest part about all of this is that Republicans don't even care enough to come up with a good excuse," he said.

And while Republicans in Michigan and Wisconsin are committing "voter suppression after the election," the race for North Carolina's 9th Congressional District "might have been outright stolen," Wood said. "So between Michigan, Wisconsin, and North Carolina, Republicans are doing everything they can to distort the will of the people. And what makes it so ironic is that for years, Republicans have been searching high and low for evidence of voter fraud — but it turns out, it was inside them all along."

And if you are wondering why Wood, not Noah, was anchoring the show, Noah — well, Michael Kosta — explains why below. Peter Weber

November 28, 2018

"You may remember a few months ago, Special Counsel Robert Mueller convinced [President] Trump's former campaign chairman, Paul Manafort, to flip against Trump," Trevor Noah said on Wednesday's Daily Show. "But now it turns out Manafort may have double-flipped." Yes, he said, Manafort "has apparently been telling Trump what's happening in the Mueller investigation — telling him everything Mueller's thinking about, what they're doing." He compared it to having a friend tell you what's on a test before you take it, and he had a suggestion for how Mueller "figured how that Manafort was being shady."

Noah also dissected Trump's latest word-salad rationale for doubting his own administration's climate change warnings, and razzed Ivanka Trump for her Hillary Clinton–like emails scandal. "I actually believe her when she says that she wasn't using her private account for important work emails, because in order to have important work emails, you have to do important work," he said. "She doesn't do anything! Her inbox is probably just Goop newsletters and thousands of unopened emails from Eric." But seriously, Noah added, "what's amazing is not only is Ivanka's email scandal similar to Hillary's, but the excuses sound the same, too." He had pretty striking proof, and a novel solution: "Lock them up! Lock them up! Make them share a cell! Make it a reality show!" Watch below. Peter Weber

November 28, 2018

GM is in the news for the cars they are not going to make, Trevor Noah said on Tuesday's Daily Show. "GM is killing off six of their cars," he said, critiquing each model, especially the Chevy Cruze. He had several reasons for celebrating its demise, among them: "People don't want to drive a car that shares a name with Ted Cruz."

"Now look, as much fun as it is to roast GM and its cars, the sad truth is ... they're also shutting down a lot of humans' jobs," nearly 15,000, Noah said. "People are pissed off for two reasons. One: Like all big corporations, GM just got a huge tax cut, but they didn't use that money to protect jobs — no, they mostly used it to prop up the price of their own stock through buybacks." That's not surprising, since companies traditionally maximize their profits, he noted. "If a business isn't making money, it's either a charity or Trump is running it."

"And speaking of Trump, those thousands of GM workers are particularly pissed off at him, because he specifically promised that if people voted for him, he'd make sure that GM added jobs," Noah said. "So it turns out, America's top used car salesman clearly sold GM workers a lemon. And if you think about it, Trump's promises are a lot like the Chevy Cruze: You can sell them as hard as you want, but at the end of the day, no one's buying it."

Noah also used the police shooting of 21-year-old Emantic Bradford Jr. in Alabama — police initially said Bradford shot two people in a suburban Birmingham mall, then admitted they killed the wrong guy — to argue that "the 2nd Amendment was not made for black folks." You can watch him make his case, including other examples of black "good guys with a gun" killed and white mass shooters taken into custody alive, below. Peter Weber

November 14, 2018

"After eight years of impotence, the House Democrats are back in command," Trevor Noah said on Wednesday's Daily Show. "And it turns out that they won the election so hard last week, that they're still picking up seats. Every day we learn of a new seat that the Democrats have won. Basically the elections have turned from a one-day event into the credits of a Marvel movie — it just never ends."

"So now that the Democrats are back in control of the House," bolstered by a freshman class so diverse "it looks like a stock photo in a college brochure," they're "making some big plans for next year," Noah said. "The Democrats will have the power to investigate the Trump administration, and they're definitely planning to use that power," even coining the new phrase "subpoena cannon." "Poor Trump," he said. "For the next two years, he's gonna be in subpoena hell. There's gonna be subpoenas popping out at him from everywhere."

And the Democrats say they plan to investigate everything, though Trevor said he hoped "the plan isn't just to run around investigating all of Trump's farts. Because although there are many issues worth investigating, things like Space Force don't rise to that level. And Democrats need to be strategic about what they investigate, because Republicans have already come up with a response" — turning "government oversight" into "presidential harassment." Noah laughed at the idea that "the most powerful man in the world be the victim," then pretended to get serious.

"We joke around, but presidential harassment is a serious issue in America," Noah deadpanned. "Which is why, before the Democrats take power, they're going to have to watch this video." Michael Kosta narrates, and you can watch it below. Peter Weber

November 8, 2018

After bidding a tearful goodbye, ousted Attorney General Jeff Sessions "hopped on a sleigh back to the North Pole, where he will only have seven weeks to finish making all of those toys," Trevor Noah joked on Thursday's Daily Show. "Yeah, gotta make toys for all those kids he put in cages — too soon?" The audience suggested yes. "Since Sessions is gone, let's focus on the man who's replacing him," Matt Whitaker, Noah said.

Whitaker was a tight end for the University of Iowa, a federal prosecutor for five years, and a failed Senate candidate in 2014, Noah said. Oh, and "there is one other thing about Whitaker that probably makes him the perfect pick for President Trump: He shares a similar passion for business ethics." That passion is low, of course — a company Whitaker helped lead shut down after paying a $26 million federal fine for fraud. "How's America going to hire a guy who scams hot-tub inventors as its top cop?" Noah asked. "That seems like a real conflict of interest to me."

Whitaker was also a fixture on CNN, making one specific argument: Kneecap Special Counsel Robert Mueller. "So the guy who's now in charge of the Mueller investigation was on CNN over a dozen times s--t-talking Mueller and his investigation," Noah said. Well, it turns out that was an impressively devious scam, too. "He knew that Trump spends all day watching CNN, so he wasn't just trash-talking Mueller for no reason, he was trying to lure the president in," he said. "But Whitaker's plan to get Trump's attention on TV worked even better than he expected, because all he wanted was to be a judge in Iowa and now he's the acting attorney general. That's like applying to be a cashier at Ross Dress for Less and then they're like, 'Forget cashier, you're Ross!'" Dulcé Sloan also offered her thoughts. Watch below. Peter Weber

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