The Week in Satire: Post-Midterm Hangover Hits 'Daily Show' and 'Last Week Tonight'
Jon Stewart and Bill Maher comment on the elections while John Oliver has Mayor Bloomberg in his sights
A red wave engulfed the nation last Tuesday, and no, it wasn’t a particularly bloody episode of Sons of Anarchy. It was the midterm elections, which gave the Republican Party control of the United States Senate and was the hot topic last week in satire.
Jon Stewart saw the drubbing coming on Monday, beginning pre-election coverage with a republican majority on the horizon, portraying the democratic prospects as “a rain that falls and washes away all that you’ve worked for. ” Stewart provided media context in the wake of the election, showing that the coverage of the parties is basically the same every time depending on who loses. Jake Gyllenhaal continued the Nightcrawler press tour on Monday, and Stewart also welcomed legendary comedian John Cleese, and New York Times journalist James Risen.
Bill Maher had some harsh words for democrats in the wake of the midterm bloodbath. The outspoken liberal criticized his own party for low voter participation and vulnerable candidates’ strategies of distancing themselves from the president. Maher also explained his reasoning for being an ex pot dealer to Hand to Mouth author and viral sensation Linda Tirado, who discussed the trap of poverty in the U.S. The Comeback star Lisa Kudrow was promoting the new season of the HBO comedy. “I knew we would catch on in the second season, you know, be patient” Kudrow said. The first season of The Comeback aired in 2005.
Read more Complete Guide to TV Premiere Dates 2014
HBO’s Last Week Tonight called pulled out all the stops for a segment about a “salmon cannon” intended to help salmon swim upstream. The segment featured just about everyone including David Letterman, Meredith Viera, and Jimmy Fallon, to name a few, being hit with salmon “launched from the salmon cannon.” John Oliver went after state-run lotteries. Lotteries across the country made $68 billion last year, “more then movies, music, porn, NFL, and video games combined” according to Oliver, who quipped “They spent more money on the lottery then they spent on America.” Also, with news that former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg bought over 400 .nyc domain names of Bloomberg bastardizations, Oliver’s latest social media blitz is buying domain names like “tinytinymikebloomberg.nyc” to “own something that a desperate billionaire cannot purchase. ”
It was a busy week. We’ll see how Obama and the new republican majority play along, and the comedians will all be there to explain how it goes next week in satire.