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TV Review: The Daily Show (March 15)

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In a hilarious, biting segment that aired Wednesday, Daily Show correspondent Nate Corddry went quail hunting. “I wanted to hunt pheasant like the vice president,” Corddry explained.

Vice President Dick Cheney made news last month when he accidentally shot a friend while hunting quail and pheasant on a Texas farm. Many satirical pieces and cartoons have spoofed Cheney’s accident, but this segment is the funniest one I have seen. The segment — the highlight of Wednesday’s episode — also did an excellent job of showing how stupid, unfair, and easy hunting is on canned hunting at ranches like the one Corddry visited. “It is like regular hunting but with a menu,” Corddry said.

As the segment starts Corddry, asks employees at the ranch how hunting there varies from traditional hunting. Well, he is told, at the ranch it is guaranteed that not only are the animals you are hunting there, but it is arranged so you can easily shoot them. “One thing I have always hated about hunting was the challenge,” Corddry replies. “Who has time to hunt and track prey anymore?”

As Corddry mocked the entire experience, the ranch employees appeared clueless that they were about to get hit with more ammo than Cheney’s friend.
At one point, for example, Corddry is being told the cost of paying to hunt and kill various birds, with the help of a pointing dog. Well, Corddry asks, how much does it cost to shoot the dog? The employees have to explain that the dog is not on the menu.

Soon after Corddry announces, “The hunt is on.” He and the employees are shown in a car driving to a building with a sign, “The Bird Barn,” where Corddry says, “We tracked our prey to this barn, where they were hiding in a quail cage. I made my move.” There, he picks out which birds he wanted to “hunt.” The birds were brought out in a sealed laundry basket because “God forbid they would get away and we would have to spend all day hunting them down.”

Then the birds were placed in brush from which they could not get free. As the bird dog flushed out the prey, Corddry summarized his feelings: “I finally understood the thrill hunters feel when a pheasant is flushed out. It was like an Easter egg hunt… of death!”

After shooting a pheasant he said, “That felt great. I rest in the knowledge that, like the vice president, I too had what it took to shoot something that has no chance of ever getting away.”

The rest of the show was pretty underwhelming. The interview segment was with actress Natalie Portman, who was promoting her new movie V Is For Vendetta. She is cute and parts of it were funny but it was not hilarious or terribly revealing or informative.

The show was better than Monday’s but not nearly as good as
Tuesday’s episode.

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About Scott Butki

Scott Butki was a newspaper reporter for more than 10 years before making a career change into education... then into special education. He has been doing special education work for about five years He lives in Austin. He reads at least 50 books a year and has about 15 author interviews each year and, yes, unlike tv hosts he actually reads each one. He is an in-house media critic, a recovering Tetris addict and a proud uncle. He has written articles on practically all topics from zoos to apples and almost everything in between.
  • Scott Butki

    I’m curious what others – especially hunters – thought of this episode.

  • Bliffle

    Dick Cheney is NOT a hunter, he is a killer.

    I started hunting when I was 14. Those of us who were real hunters knew well the killers we saw in the field and we avoided their vicinity because they were so careless and often drunk: we were concerned about being shot. Often, they had out-of-state license plates, new equipment, fancy weapons and made an unseemly amount of noise. One time my buddy and I watched in hilarity as a group of them crept along the ground stealthily toward a flock of coots sitting on a lake and popped away stupidly at the inedible birds.

  • http://childoftv.blogspot.com Brent

    I’m not a hunter but I don’t object to hunting – real hunting. Real hunting involves getting up at the crack of dawn sitting in a duck blind or walking through a field and shooting your duck or your goose as it comes over, or your pheasant breaks cover. It involves the animal having a chance to escape or survive. It involves caring for the environment because if you don’t the animals disappear. Some of the most vocal conservationists (in terms of not wanting wild habitats destroyed) I know are hunters. What Cheney and other “canned” hunt participants are doing isn’t hunting, it’s the slaughter of animals as surely as if you chained a deer to a fence and let a paying customer shoot it from 15 feet away.

  • Scott Butki

    Wel said, you two.
    I agree – hunting is one thing but this canned hunting seems like a whole different, um, creature.

  • Scott Butki

    I’ll be out of town next week as I learn about diversity by working in Baltimore schools so you’re going to have to go a week without my summaries. I’ll tape them, though, and may write up reviews later if I get some time.

    Any feedback on these reviews and summaries is welcome – I’m still choosing my voice and style as you may have noticed.

    My goal is to make them funnier next time, instead of just trying to describe why the show is funny.