The Daily Show was on break last week, which was a pretty inopportune time to go on break for a show that covers world news. So much happened! Japan! Libya! Yemen! It was, and is, an overwhelming time to be a follower of current events. So it makes sense that the crew over there had a bit of pent up energy just waiting to be unleashed when they got back on the air.
But man, they really had a singular focus last night. They spent what amounted to the entire episode lobbing bombs, like so many tomahawk missiles, at the Obama administration for their justification for the war/enforcement of a no-fly zone in Libya. Jon’s opening desk bits, above, were just the beginning.
He then brought out Aasif Mandvi for a piece making fun of the doublespeak used to avoid calling this thing a war. After all, a war needs to be authorized by congress, something the administration didn’t do. It ended with them using Obama’s own words against him, which was more of an oof moment than a hilarious one. Sort of a theme for the night.
They also had John Oliver come out to do an extended infomercial bit about America’s “Freedom Packages” — that is, the various responses America has to oppressive regimes, depending on said regime’s strategic worth. Again, it was funny to a point, but also sort of tough to watch.
The episode was a reminder of what we missed by not having The Daily Show on the air last week; these were perspectives we weren’t really seeing on cable news. While it’s certainly fucked up that we need a comedy show to get them out there, I’m glad that this one exists, even if it can sometimes make you squirm more than it makes you laugh.