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The Daily Showdown
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

October 30, 2018

"When we came down to Miami, there was a part of us that thought we were going to take a vacation from the news," Trevor Noah said on Monday's Daily Show, on tour in Florida, "But then the news followed us here." He was specifically referring to the capture and arrest of alleged package-bomber and uber "Florida man" Cesar Sayoc.

So the FBI arrested Sayoc, "but the question remained: What drove him?" Noah said. "And to find out, we had to find out what he drove." Looking at Sayoc's white van, covered with stickers lauding President Trump and targeting (literally) the people and organizations Trump criticizes, with signature Trump lines like "Lock Her Up," "fake news," and "CNN Sucks," it's pretty clear "this guy was inspired by Trump," he said. "But according to Trump and his people, this is nothing to do with him."

Noah wasn't buying that argument, but even if you did, Trump's continued attacks on the press shows "you either want to encourage violence or you don't care." Look, he said, "if the president of the United States calls someone the 'Enemy of the People,' don't be shocked when the people go after that enemy." He suggested Trump use a less violence-inducing alternative to "enemy," like "poopyhead."

In between scenes, Noah roped in the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter and the double murder and attempted mass shooting in a Kentucky black church. "You don't have to be a rocket scientist to draw the lines between these people and the rhetoric that is being parroted by the president of the United States right now," Noah said. But instead of changing his message, Trump is demanding that the media report only news he likes and America come together, but only under his rules. "That's what he preaches when he preaches unity," Noah said. "Trump's not saying 'Let's come together,' he's like, let's come together in the same way aliens come to Earth and they're like, 'Let's come together as we pillage the entire Earth.'" Watch below. Peter Weber

October 15, 2018

"Today was one of those crazy, interesting days," Trevor Noah said on Monday's Daily Show, and he was mostly referring to Sen. Elizabeth Warren's (D-Mass.) DNA test and "Trump having to eat his words." The news that Warren appears to have a small amount of Native American ancestry, as her family lore holds, has prompted "an interesting ball of emotions for everyone involved," including Native Americans, some of whom seem to be arguing that Warren is claiming tribal membership, and Trump, who promised a $1 million donation if Warren took a DNA test.

As he sees it, Noah said, Warren's "not saying, 'Hey, I'm Native American!' She's just saying, 'Hey, as you can see, it's not like some random lie that my family made up, like I'm not even trying to claim the heritage, I'm just saying that this is where the story came from.' And then Donald today, not only did he say, basically, that he's not going to pay," but he later stipulated that he'll only pay now if he can test Warren himself. Trevor looked confused. "Like, he's the only person that says, 'I will only accept it if it's not an expert,'" he said. "That's such a strange thing to do."

But one thing is clear, Noah said: If he were Warren and entering a presidential debate against Trump, he would make sure they were playing a certain Rihanna song when she walked onstage.

You can watch Noah's full segment on Warren versus Trump below — including the "DNA plot twist," footage of Trump denying he said what he said, Kool-Aid, and this final twist of the knife: "So basically, this white man made a promise to Sen. Warren and then went back on what he said ..." Peter Weber

October 12, 2018

"As you probably know by now, there was a ranting lunatic in the Oval Office today — and he had to sit there quietly as Kanye West did this," Trevor Noah said on Thursday's Daily Show, teeing up a highlight reel of some of the deep ruminations Chairman Kanye shared with President Trump. "You know, Trump's mouth said 'That was impressive,' but you could see he was thinking: 'Is it racist if I call the cops?'" he said. "And I'm not a fan of this new Kanye West, but I will say I really enjoyed seeing Kanye make Trump feel the way Trump makes us feel every single day."

"So today was a weird day for President Trump, and I hope that he didn't catch up on other news after that meeting," Noah said, explaining authorities found a wall-nullifying, solar-powered, rail-equipped drug tunnel between California and Mexico. Also, the first lady explained the origin story of her "Be Best" anti-bullying campaign. "Wow, okay, I'm not going to lie, that's disappointing. Like, I though Melania Trump was inspired to fight cyberbullying because she cared about other people, but no, it turns out she created an entire campaign just to help herself," Noah sighed. "I can't wait to see what issue Melania finds important next." He had a suggestion. Watch below. Peter Weber

October 10, 2018

"These days, a celebrity voicing their political opinion is like climate change," Trevor Noah said on Tuesday's Daily Show: "It's happening every day, and most people ignore it. But there are still some celebrities who simply cannot be ignored." That category includes MAGA fanboy Kanye West, of course. "Yes, the right has a new favorite rapper, so step aside ... nobody," Noah joked. "Republicans have been celebrating the second coming of Yeezus as one of their own, but yesterday Democrats said 'Uh hey, Republicans, Imma let you finish but we just got one of the best endorsements of all time.'"

Taylor Swift essentially endorsing two Tennessee Democrats "is a really big deal, because you realize until now, Taylor Swift has stayed as far away from politics as she does from rhythm," Noah joked. "If anyone can get young people to vote, it's the woman who somehow got young people to buy physical CDs because she wasn't on Spotify." He highlighted President Trump's hilariously "weird" response to Swift's political coming-out and had some pithy advice for pro-Swift Republicans.

When Noah's audience had a negative reaction to Justice Brett Kavanaugh's name, he offered a spot-on Barack Obama imitation: "Uh, don't boo, vote." He played a bit of Trump's unusual prime-time ceremonial swearing-in ceremony, where Trump apologized to Kavanaugh on behalf of America and told some whoppers about the resolution of Kavanaugh's sexual assault allegations. "Proven innocent?" Noah said. "Okay, that's obviously not what happened. You can't just replace what actually happened with what you wished happened." He suggested a twist on the mistaken-identity theory.

Kavanaugh pledged to let bygones be bygones but Noah wasn't convinced: "I mean, he's saying nice things, but in the same way that a waiter is 'nice' to picky customers." He ended by noting how the Kavanaugh imbroglio has apparently juiced Republican voters and offering a bleak bit of "good" news to disappointed Democrats. Watch below. Peter Weber

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