The Daily Showdown
November 18, 2020

"Joe Biden was declared the winner of the 2020 presidential election, but outgoing President Donald Jigglypuff Trump is still looking for ways to overturn the results," Trevor Noah said on Tuesday's Daily Show. "Recounts haven't worked for him, legal challenges haven't worked for him, and he even tried signing an executive order that Nov. 3 was opposite day, but somehow that didn't work. But it turns out there is one more thing that Trump could try."

"Even though Trump lost the election, some of his people are hoping that he could pull out a win by using 'faithless electors,'" Noah explained. This is a long shot, on par with "Mitch McConnell being on the cover of Men's Health, but theoretically, faithless electors could give Trump the presidency."

The framers of the Constitution decided that a slate of elite electors would choose the president, and while it's now expected that those electors will vote for the candidate their state chose, that's not required by the Constitution or any federal law, Noah said. "A lot of people do realize that this system is a problem. In fact, states were recently given the power to require electors to follow the will of the people. Unfortunately, very few of them actually do." (Fourteen, in fact.)

"Now the good news is, Trump is down so many electors that it's unlikely that he can convince enough of them to to turn against their state's voters and vote for him," Noah said. "But the bad news is, it's easy to see how a future election could be close enough that the losing candidate could convince enough electors to make them the winning candidate, and it would be totally legal." Watch his suggestion for states, and his warning, below. Peter Weber

October 9, 2020

"On the day Donald Trump most likely contracted COVID at an event in the Rose Garden, he hosted another, slightly different kind of superspreader event, a campaign rally," Jordan Klepper said in a report on Thursday's Daily Show. "These rallies are a known vector for spreading many of Trump's favorite lies, so I traveled to the battleground state of Pennsylvania to see just how many people had caught Trump's version of reality."

Most, but not all, of the interviews Klepper included are with a handful of Trump super-fans who laugh with him when he points out ironic or bizarre contradictions in their arguments for another four years of Trump presidency. One of the most jovial Trump fans really hit it out of the park in the final interview of the video. Watch below. Peter Weber

October 6, 2020

Trevor Noah asked correspondent Jaboukie Young-White on Monday's Daily Show what he thought about the news President Trump caught COVID-19. Young-White said it made him angry.

"You know, I hear you Jaboukie," Noah said. "Many Americans are angry with the president because they feel like he was irresponsible with his health and with the health of those around him, and now he's not only endangering his own life but threatening the operation of the entire federal government." Oh, sure, Young-White said, but he's really angry "because he is overshadowing the most important news story right now: Melania Trump hates Christmas." When Noah looked confused, he played the clip of the first lady's NSFW tirade against decorating the White House for Christmas.

"Oh, man, I totally forgot that story," Noah laughed. "It was the greatest news story of all time, Trevor," Young-White said. "I love it so much, I made it my ringtone." He tried out some questionable jokes he had worked up in the two hours between the recording's release and the COVID diagnoses, ran through why the news is deliciously ironic, and suggested Fox News would not have greeted the recordings with total silence if the first lady trashing Christmas had been Michelle Obama. Watch below. Peter Weber

June 12, 2020

Rampant disease, economic collapse, soldiers gassing their fellow citizens in the streets, extreme voting dysfunction. "Admit it, America is a failed state," Michael Kosta said on Thursday's Daily Show. "America needs a return to democracy," Desi Lydic added. "And if it's one thing America knows, is when a country needs democracy, you invade it," Roy Wood Jr. deadpanned. "That's right, we're asking the good people of Canada to invade us," Kosta explained. "Please." They are probably joking, but there is a petition at the end. And if you don't want to watch them use NSFW language about having sex with their Canadian occupiers, don't watch past the 1:38 mark. Peter Weber

May 28, 2020

The U.S. passed 100,000 recorded COVID-19 deaths on Wednesday, by far the highest official death toll in the world. "It's a striking reminder of how dangerous this virus can be," said Kaiser Family Foundation health policy expert Josh Michaud. "The experience of other countries shows that death at that scale was preventable."

President Trump did not mark the sad milestone, tweeting instead the number of tests the U.S. has conducted with the exhortation: "Open safely!" His presumptive Democratic opponent, former Vice President Joe Biden, gave a eulogy for the 100,000 dead and attempted words of comfort for their loved ones. And The Daily Show just compiled a super-reel of Trump, his media allies, and members of his administration praising the Trump administration's response, with patriotic music playing in the background. There is, perhaps appropriately, no punch line at the end. Peter Weber

May 15, 2020

"For months now, everyone has been asking: When will things just get back to normal?" Trevor Noah said on Thursday's Daily Show. "Well, President Trump hasn't been great at doing the things that could help make that happen — you know, like expanding testing," he said, "but there is one part of getting back to normal that Trump is definitely an expert in, and that's conspiracy theories." For anyone missing the wondrous days when news cycles were routinely hijacked by "some far-out conspiracy theory that Trump had dreamed up about his enemies," Noah said, "well, good news, those happy days are here again with a brand-new conspiracy Trump and Fox News are calling 'ObamaGate.'"

"Fox News hasn't been this excited since the last time Colin Kaepernick bent down to tie his shoes, but here's the basic idea of what this is about," Noah said: After the 2016 election, the intelligence community discovered that Michael Flynn, Trump's national security adviser, "was having secret conversations with foreign powers. And now, you might be wondering why those shady conversations were happening in the first place, but that's not important! Keep up! The important part is that they investigated it, and that's what has everyone in Trumpworld so excited right now, because there's new documents that shed light on what happened during that investigation."

What do they show? Well, "basically, what the Obama administration did was a standard government procedure that happens thousands of times a year," Noah said. "But that isn't stopping Donald Trump from proposing his favorite solution to any problem: Lock them up." Trump defenders also claim someone illegally leaked Flynn's name and argue Flynn did nothing materially wrong, but "you know what? The full conspiracy theory's actually pretty complicated. I mean, it's too much for my little brain. But luckily, our very own Desi Lydic volunteered to watch Fox News nonstop so that she could help break this ObamaGate scandal down." Watch her "FOXplain" the "scandal" below. Peter Weber

November 7, 2019

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) "has shot to the top of the polls thanks to her support among college graduates, Hispanic voters, and kids who ate lunch with their English teachers in middle school," Trevor Noah joked on Wednesday's Daily Show. "But there is one demographic who hears Elizabeth Warren and immediately s--ts their Armani suits. ... Yes, Wall Street bankers are more terrified of Elizabeth Warren than they are of a surprise gust of wind. 'Oh no, my cocaine! Waaah!'"

"It's not surprising that the people of Wall Street are afraid, because Elizabeth Warren has proposed some of the most progressive financial policies in years," Noah said. "Things like breaking up the big banks, increasing taxes on the ultra-wealthy, and making it easier for normal people to join the Illuminati — that's like a big thing." At the same time, "it's kind of hard to take the Wall Street crowd seriously," he said, because "this isn't the first time they've predicted the end of the world. ... Yes, for both Trump and Obama, analysts claimed that the stock market would tank. But do you know what actually happened? The exact opposite. It's been going up for 10 years."

"But according to these billionaires, they aren't just anti-Warren because she's threatening their wallet — no, they don't like her because she's also hurting their feelings," Noah said, showing one hedge fund manager brought to tears. "You're a billionaire who's crying because Elizabeth Warren is criticizing billionaires? Would you like a tissue?" After mocking their grief, he showed a trailer for a Warren-themed Wall Street horror movie. Watch below. Peter Weber

September 17, 2019

Over the weekend, The New York Times reported a new allegations of sexual misconduct against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh from his college days, plus revelations about how the previously reported allegations were effectively ignored. "Every high school story or every college story we hear about Brett Kavanaugh just makes him seem worse and worse," Trevor Noah said on Monday's Daily Show. "And it's always something about him exposing himself."

"This story is messy," Noah said. "And what makes it messy is that the woman this allegedly happened to says she doesn't remember any of this happening. But the guy who says he saw it says that she was so drunk at the time he's not surprised that she can't remember it. And we may never know for sure what happened that night, especially since the FBI never even investigated it — which may seem a surprise to some people, but according to The New York Times, the FBI didn't look into a lot of the accusations against Kavanaugh."

"The FBI ignored 25 former Yale students who could have given evidence?" Noah said. "That's insane — because I didn't know the police also ignored white people. ... Now, in the FBI's defense, the reason they didn't interview these potential witnesses was because the White House reportedly told the FBI than when it came to Kavanaugh and the accusations, they were only allowed to interview 11 specific people and no one else. Which is not something you do when you're confident of someone's innocence."

"As has become normal in the age of Trump, reactions to this story have become as partisan as everything else is right now," Noah said, and there's no prize for guessing which side Trump landed on in the Kavanaugh imbroglio. "The Justice Department should come to his rescue? What? I feel like Trump doesn't really understand how the government works." Watch below for some safe-for-work theories on Kavanaugh's alleged proclivity for exposing himself at parties. Peter Weber

See More Speed Reads