The Week in Satire: What You Missed on 'Daily Show,' 'Real Time' and More
Jon Stewart hits Austin, Bill Maher mocks an 'American Idol' and John Oliver looks at the midterms
The 2014 elections are tomorrow (yes, there is an election tomorrow) and that, along with the Ebola quarantines in Maine and New Jersey, dominated last week in satire. If you missed the hilarity, The Hollywood Reporter has you covered with the best clips of the week.
Jon Stewart was live from Austin in deep red Texas last week to tackle political gerrymandering, the midterms, President Obama's deepening unpopularity, and Ebola in New York, where The Daily Show correspondent Aasif Mandvi lamented, "When I agreed to stay here in New York, Ebola was in Texas."
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Stewart was flanked in the Lone Star State by an all-star slate of guests, including state Sen. Wendy Davis, Rep. Joaquin Castro, Boyhood phenomenon and native son Ellar Coltrane and alt-rockers Spoon, who performed singles "Inside Out" and "Do You."
On HBO's Real Time, Bill Maher addressed the protest at UC Berkeley by Muslim students offended by his recent comments on Islam, saying he will still speak at the commencement ceremony for the university's December graduates. Actor Kal Penn was present to discuss his new film, Bhopal, about the catastrophic Indian gas leak in 1984. Actorvist Eva Longoria was on hand to discuss the plight of immigrant farmworkers outlined in her new documentary, Food Chains. New Rules this week ended with Maher lambasting American Idol star turned congressional candidate Clay Aiken for running away from his party, quipping, "Come Wednesday, Obama will still have a job. Whereas I don’t know what Clay will be doing, but I assume it involves a cruise ship, and a cover of Copacabana.”
HBO's Last Week Tonight began internationally with protests in Hungary and the flag New Zealand is struggling to redesign before shifting to robot hardware-store helpers and a guest spot by Nick Offerman in a Home Depot ad. Host John Oliver began election coverage by exclaiming, "The Senate is up for grabs!" before focusing instead on state legislative elections, which have held sway over important policy matters including, legislative redistricting, but are often "portrayed as circuses" due to cheesy ads and outrageous outbursts and various scandals. And since nearly 25 percent of state legislators are running unopposed, Last Week Tonight projected over 1,000 winners of races around the country.
The midterms will be over, but we're sure we'll still be working on Ebola next week in satire. And of course, it'll be time to start talking 2016.