The ying and yang of TV satire, Jon Stewart of The Daily Show and Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report offered their diverse takes on everything from fast talking on the campaign trail to slow jamming the news.
The GOP on Obama on Fallon
The weirdest controversy of the week was President Barack Obama's ratings-smashing appearance on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon, where he attracted particular attention for his musical turn in the "Slow Jamming the News" segment. This put both Stewart and Colbert in the odd position of commenting on a controversy generated by another late night TV comedy show. Stewart confronted this conundrum by first proclaiming "Mr. President, you're the president! You don't have to do this [EXPLETIVE] anymore!"... then sheepishly adding "although we'd obviously love to have you back."
Colbert -- or rather his right-wing alter ego of the same name and face -- sternly took Obama to task for the appearance, calling it "a pathetically successful ploy to be appealing." He then showed various FOX "News" figures clucking their disapproval of a president "going on these comedy shows" -- before cutting to Mitt Romney doing a David Letterman Top 10 List, intoning in that familiar stiff baritone "What's up gangstas? It's the M-I-double-tizzle!" Insisting Stephen: "Now THAT'S the kind of gravitas we want in the leader of the Free Wizzle."
The Science Guy and the Not-So-Science Guy
News that some of the wealthiest people on the planet plan to send robot miners to asteroids in deep space first drew out Jon Stewart's inner gee-whiz school kid -- "Do you know how rarely the news in 2012 looks and sounds how you thought the news would look and sound in 2012?" -- and then his outer yeah-right skeptic. A clip showing a scientist saying "If you put two Google billionaires, a Microsoft billionaire and some astronauts together, you can't go wrong" was followed by Stewart stage whispering "except at an orgy."
Meanwhile, Colbert had as his midweek guest Don McLeroy, dentist by profession and creationist by obsession. Colbert mercilessly eviscerated the avuncular extremist -- by agreeing with him. When McLeroy said his "personal view" was that dinosaurs and humans lived side by side, Colbert joined in "I agree with you, science can be a personal choice." After McLeroy explained the Texas textbook approval process, Colbert enthusiastically agreed "I have always been a fan of reality by majority vote." You are never in more danger on The Colbert Report than when the host takes your side.
The Daily Show did a faux remote from Cartegena, Columbia, featuring Samantha Bee explaining why the Secret Service scandal would not have happened with more women agents along as "buzz kill" -- a premise shattered by the sudden appearance of her hard-partying sister, correspondent Jessica Williams, and Bee's eventual admission she was recovering from the mother of all benders.
The lesser scandal covered by Colbert wasn't sex for money but money itself -- specifically Canada's plans to introduce a coin with a glow-in-the-dark dinosaur skeleton. After hailing the American dollar as the currency that can buy anything "from sushi in Tokyo to prostitutes in Cartegena," Colbert denounced the luminescent loot from the north. "Canada's coming after our young people! What do you think they will prefer: a glow in the dark dino quarter, or (showing a Franklin hundred dollar bill) this green rectangle with a creepy old pervert on it?"
Disgraced White House wannabe Cain clearly suffers from Attention Deficit Disorder -- he thinks he isn't getting nearly enough attention. Only that explains this bizarre interview with TDS regular Oliver, in which dignity and credibility fell victim to publicity.
The entire army of Daily Show correspondents tried to make a voter whose vote didn't matter feel like it mattered.
Stephen Colbert received writing tips from an actor who famously portrayed a children's book character and now somewhat less famously creates them.
Best Lines and Exchanges:
Colbert: Can liberals and conservatives find common ground? Yes -- if conservatives can drill for oil on it.
Stewart interviewing social activist Ben Rattray of Change.org:
Stewart: Please welcome to the show... Ben Rattray!... (Ratray enters) Nice to see you. Did I pronounce that correctly?
Stewart: That's the end of the interview.
Colbert on the flying of the space shuttle to New York:
Colbert: It's embarrassing to see the old shuttle caught on camera getting pity sex from a 747.
Congress chronicler Robert Draper described House Speaker John Boehner:
Draper: He has very limited powers now... The knuckle-breaking days of Tom DeLay are over with.
Stewart: And that's why Boehner is always weeping.
Colbert on the War on Women:
Colbert: Ever since Republicans started talking about defunding Planned Parenthood, Democrats have accused the right of having a war on women. That's ridiculous. Why would we go to war on women? They don't have any oil.