13 September 2007

I [heart] The Daily Show

On average, we don't really care that much about American politics in the UK, heck most of us don't really care about British politics as Hannah reflected on recently. Of course there are some Brits who do care about what happens within the Beltway, (hey I lived there, I know these things), with a deep and abiding passion, so much so we wonder if they are a bit confused.

Now most Brits know who Bush is and that he's an idiot but the recognition rate of the rest of them; Cheney, Al Gore, Hillary Clinton, Condoleezza Rice, Barack Obama and Mitt Romney drops away sharper than the inverse square law. However before our American cousins get too upset at our mostly pitiful knowledge of their politicians I have to point out that we are probably more aware of who Larry Craig is than who is in the Tory Shadow Cabinet. But then again we are more likely to pick out a member of Lordie out of make up than the shadow minister for Education.

There are two groups who valiantly strive against this wave of British indifference in US politics. The first lot are those whose eduction/job depends on the knowledge the rest of us who gain our intimate knowledge of US pols and what they get up to from The Daily Show on More 4. We are a select and small band but we are dedicated and fond. The Daily Show is great, the satire sharp, funny and they even do irony from time to time, something we Brits tend to believe is physically impossible for Americans. It's far more incisive than any thing that we have here except perhaps The Now Show - Bring back the podcast. Thanks to Jon I am even beginning to care about whether it's Barack or Hillary in 08. I now know all about Mitt Romney's brave sons, the sordid and very funny details of Larry Craig, but sadly I still don't know who the Shadow Education Minister is.


  1. Indeed, bring back the podcast. Or just Marcus Brigstock's bits at least.

    He actually had a daily show type show on BBC 3 or something, but like the rest of the country I unfortunately rarely caught it.

  2. I don't know who the Education Minister is, any more than the Shadow. I haven't heard anything from any of the new Cabinet yet and I don't remember who they are. Nor do I know the Shadow Cabinet, nor the Lib Dem spokespersons. And somehow, I think the problem is with them rather than with me.

  3. YES! Yes, the podcast. Although it had the nasty side-effect of making me laugh out loud whilst in public, thereby looking (more) like the crazy woman.

    And yes, the Daily Show is awesome.

    Oh, and Shadow Higher Education is David Willetts, Children's Education is Michael Gove.

  4. I'm intending to re-read Fear and Loathing on the Campaign Trail '72 soon. American Presidential elections are great fun if observed simply as drama.

  5. Michael Brian30 September, 2007

    I completely agree. Here in the states, it's our only therapy from the day-to-day stupidity of our government. We don't feel so dissapointed when Jon can make us smile a little. Believe it or not, he's the most honest newsman we have, which is very sad to admit.

    You're 100% correct in saying that we have no clue who is in the Tory Shadow cabinet, though... I'm now pathetically living up to the ignorant American sterotype. In a sad attempt to save face, I will say that most Americans hate Bush (68% or so) and would rather have a mentally disabled monkey as our leader. He'd probably make better decisions.

    But yeah... the Daily Show is the one redeemable quality about our (at the moment) sad nation. I'm not sure if The Colbert Report would play well out there, just because of the Democrat/Republican divide... but, we laugh our asses off in the States. He comes on after Stewart and is the wrapper to his delicious candy. The two are pretty big here and equally satire both parties. Colbert plays the "Truthiness" Mega-American character who has been known to say things like, "I love the truth. It's facts I'm not a fan of." (Essentially Bush-mocking in his ignorance of reality, compared to what he wants reality to be.) Like the President, he "Feels the truth." Something facts aren't capable of. Another quote of Colbert's is "Hey foreign newspapers! If you have nothing to hide, why don't you write in English?!"

    The two are dynamite, and if you want to love Colbert as well, I encourage it. He made millions of fans instantly by making fun of Bush at the 2006 White House Correspondents Dinner. 25 minutes of reaming Bush to his face! Priceless, and much needed. You can find video of it online, or just check him out on www.comedycentral.com

    Anyway, that's my tirade. I'm always interested to hear what people overseas think.


  6. Michael Brian30 September, 2007

    I just attempted to embed some videos I think you would like, but it denied my attempt so you'll just have to copy and paste the following address into the browser.

    In regards to Obama, the first video made me laugh hysterically in my chair. Colbert discussing Obama's blackness with a black woman, who wrote a book called "The End of Blackness." Certainly a Democrat, who Colbert opposes beautifully.

    The second is a great interview of Colbert with Liberal Actor, Tim Robbins. One of my favorites.

    Remeber... Colbert satirizes the Bush-supporting, blissfully ignorant, ultra-conservative, big business, war monger who hates all Democrats and Liberals (who oppose Bush and those qualities) and he likely sleeps in a bed with sheets made of American flags with "America! Hell Yeah!" stamped on the ass of his underwear. Stewart's best friend and utter opposite. (Even though he's really a Democrat too.)

    Good stuff.

    Debra Dickerson on Colbert:



    Tim Robbins on Colbert(Colbert has a well-know bear phobia. To him they are Godless killing machines. That'll help explain one of the jokes in the interview):


    Enjoy! And let me know what you think.



  7. Mike,

    Thanks for the Colbert Report links, he's good, I'd heard of him in other blogs sometimes it seems people don't get the joke with him which is a shame cos it seems like sharp satire.