‘The Daily Show’: The New ‘1/2 Hour News Hour’?

What, me worry about whether the Iraq thing was funny?Photo: Courtesy Comedy Central

You can take your yellow ribbons down now: Rob “Former Marine” Riggle is back from Iraq. As a matter of fact, he was here this entire week. The “live” reports he filed the last couple of nights were actually shot earlier. (The edited segments were of course prerecorded, but his introductions and banter with Jon Stewart were intended to seem as if they were not.) And so The Daily Show rendered the real fake. Once last night's live-from-Iraq bit was over, there was Riggle, sitting with Stewart at the desk, an earnest, self-congratulatory list of thank-yous at his lips; the producers almost seemed to be playing this sour taste of cognitive dissonance for a joke. If so, it wasn't funny. Of course, it could have been worse: They could've repeated Assif Mandvi's crack, made in reference to Bush's comments on the U.S. pulling out of Vietnam, about how the Vietnam Memorial could have stretched from D.C. to Times Square. That one was so wrong that we're tempted to say that Mandvi was keeping it real. —Nick Catucci