The Daily Showdown
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

November 5, 2018

Monday night was Election Eve, and Trevor Noah was ready to fire up the holograms — well, almost — for The Daily Show's election coverage. "Now you can tell that these midterms are some of the most important in recent history, because America is leaning hard on its No. 1 natural resource, celebrities," he said. Not all celebrities are equal, however.

Oprah Winfrey showing up at your door, for example, "has to be the most effective thing ever," Noah said. "Seriously, if Oprah showed up at my house and asked me to do anything, you better believe I'm doing it — and I'm talking anything," including hiding a dead body. On the other hand, he said, it would probably be more effective to have her hiding behind a random polling booth, "because if I knew that Oprah might show up at my house, I'm staying home all day. I'm not going to leave to vote in case I miss Oprah."

"I don't need graphics to tell you why tomorrow is huge," Noah said after his hologram fail. If Democrats win the House or Senate, they can block any legislation, they'll have a seat at the table, and they "might even be able to see what's inside his tax returns — spoiler alert: it's Hillary's emails." If Democrats don't win either house, Noah added, Trump will take that as a mandate to get "even Trumpier. And you thought that tie was too long before? We're going ankle-length, baby ... super-ankle-length, and also concentration camps, but mostly tie lengths."

Noah showed a clip of a Ted Cruz rally to make a point that polls may not reflect reality. "People can say whatever they want in the polls, it doesn't have to be true — they're like the Tinder profiles of democracy," he said. So don't vote because of the polls, vote for your convictions, or to crush the other side, whatever. Watch below. Peter Weber

November 1, 2018

Wednesday was Halloween, Trevor Noah's Daily Show audience in Miami was pumped, and Noah had mixed feelings: "Because of 'stand your ground' laws, I don't know how anyone can enjoy Halloween in Florida. No, because the law is that someone can shoot you if you frighten them. That's the whole point of Halloween! You dress scary, you go to people's houses, and you rob them of candy. I feel like in Florida, it doesn't matter what you dress as, you're leaving as a ghost."

On the subject of spooky, ill-considered things, "President Trump is in the news again," Noah said. "He doesn't need a special day to scare people, he does it every day. And his latest trick has everyone spooked." That would be Trump's suggestion he can end birthright citizenship with an executive order, bypassing the 14th Amendment.

"Basically, Trump wants to make it so if your parents aren't American, and then you're born here, you won't automatically be American anymore," Noah explained. "And honestly, part of me thinks that Trump is only doing this because he's hoping it will kick his kids out." He imagined that conversation between Trump and his son Eric. Trump "wants to white-out the Constitution so he can whiten America," he said. "Unfortunately for him, there are some people who read who disagree with him," including Fox News' Shep Smith and House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.). "So look, as spooky as this Donald Trump news is," Noah added, "like most things on Halloween, it's scary when it first pops out at you but on closer inspection, it's some bulls--t."

Meanwhile, Daily Show correspondent Desi Lydic traveled around Florida trying to discover "what makes a man Florida Man?" Her answers began to sound like a Jimmy Buffett lyric — alcohol, woman, alligators, the weather — before she hit on a plausible, half-exculpatory explanation for all the bizarre stories you hear out of Florida. Watch below. Peter Weber

October 31, 2018

Trevor Noah's Daily Show audience in Miami cheered loudly Tuesday when he asked if they were excited about the midterms. President Trump's excited, too, he said, and "to motivate his voters, he's doing something really special — well, it's the thing that he does best: He's scaring the s--t out of his voters. Specifically by using brown people. It's sort of like Halloween, but a racist Halloween — or as Megyn Kelly calls it, Halloween."

Noah described the caravan of migrants walking to the U.S. from Honduras and Guatemala, "partly as a protest, and partly to apply for asylum and a better life," as "basically like Burning Man, except that the people aren't pretending to be poor. It's a group of people who are saying to America, 'Hey, we're in trouble, can you help us?'" And Trump's response is sending 5,200 active-duty troops to the border — more troops than migrants and about as many as are fighting the Islamic State in Iraq. "That has got to be so weird for the troops," he said.

"I think the reason Donald Trump is sending troops to these asylum-seekers instead of help is because in his mind, this is an invasion," Noah said. "And when I say 'in his mind,' what I mean is on Fox News." He showed some examples, asking: "What kind of 'invaders' apply to come in and give their enemy three months' warning?"

Then Noah got clever: "I know right now some of you are asking me, you're going: 'Trevor, why do you even bother with Fox News? You know who they are. They're always brining xenophobia, they're bringing racism.' And that's true, that is true. But here's the thing: I assume that some of them are good people. Because even though this network might seem like one giant caravan of dangerous extremists, I believe there are people in there who mean well" (and might need asylum). Watch below. Peter Weber

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