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TV Review: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, Sept. 16, 2010

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Last night (she said…) on The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, featuring special guest former President Bill Clinton, the laughs started with a few good punches on the Pope (aka “Big Papi”) and continued on with visual sillies of Martin Luther King, Jr. The audience of “nine-year-olds” (myself included) especially loved the Stalin mustache bit which cleverly poked fun of all the nonsense with superimposing the Evil One’s facial hair onto any given political figure of our times. The “actual announcement” is this: sometimes you just have to laugh, and hallelujah for the cable bill being paid this month because it’s Friday and I’m here, but only til 6. Wink, wink, nudge, nudge… a nudge is a wink to a blind bat. Stop me if you’ve heard this one before…

So, the “when signs breed” segment was genius (you can watch the whole show online) and the tin-can meeting of Colbert and Stewart was well done (DAMN YOU, AT&T!) and I, too, would like to head on down to the Mall (D.C. — not the place where people line up for Cinnabuns and the right shoes), even though I hear echoes of the Groucho Marx line about not being part of any club that would have me as a member.

Yet in the interest of “Taking It Down A Notch For America,” I must confess that I think Bill Clinton looked smashing in his pink tie (remember guys, it takes a certain kind of main to wear pink well!) and the genuine emotion expressed in talking about his experience of walking his daughter down the aisle was so touching that if he had not followed it up with a joke about his personal contribution to the economic stimulus, I may have welled up with tears. He went on to speak about conditions associated with coming back to meetings for the Clinton Global Initiative to make the point that things must be implemented, not just talked about. Green efficiency projects, microcredit loans, and much more are all a part of this Initiative.

Perhaps the best joke of the night was actually delivered by Bill Clinton himself, a slip-of-the-tongue made around 11:23pm EDT about Newt Gingrich’s “Contract on America.” The sometimes combustible mix of laughs and politics (I’m visualizing the old Muppets sketch with Dr. Bunsen Honeydew) was well-balanced last night and to borrow (“I’ll gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today”) a wonderful end to the night’s show, well, “that’s what I believe.”

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