Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Trevor Noah
Trevor Noah
Screenshot: The Daily Show

Say what you want about the somewhat eerie spectacle of late-night monologues delivered to nobody, at least the country’s late-night hosts are taking this COVID-19 pandemic seriously. Just look at Trevor Noah, who continued his The Daily Social Distancing Show from the couch of his frankly kick-ass Hell’s Kitchen apartment on Tuesday. Granted, the limitations of hosts’ one-crappy-camera home setups mean that we don’t get to see much of Noah’s bachelor pad apart from his sofa and some eclectically decorated shelves. (Noah claims that those spherical items people have been asking about are “African heritage globes” and not modernist Ikea lamps. And definitely not “sex things.”) Calling out his commitment to social distancing and flattening the curve in this time of worldwide health crisis, Noah pointed to his “caveman” appearance in these videos, although his scruff and slight hair-shag are nothing compared to Stephen Colbert’s Tony Stark-esque “Colbeard.”

Still, as Noah went on when segueing into the nightly news, both hosts are thinking a lot more clearly and rationally about this admittedly stressful and irritating sequestration than the one American TV host who should theoretically be modeling civic-minded caution. That person? The caught-on-tape sexually predatory host of Celebrity Apprentice, who is—to our nation’s everlasting shame should it emerge intact from a Donald Trump administration—already getting itchy about sending everyone in a country already taxing its hospital system back outside. Preferably to one of the currently money-hemorrhaging Trump-branded hotel and golf properties. Noah tried to be sympathetic—after all, who want’s to hang out with Eric? But noting that Americans are already flouting doctors’ admonitions against public virus-sharing to a ludicrous yet predictably American degree, Noah pointed out that the idea of “going back to ‘normal’ after doing a half-assed job” is pretty much exactly the level of responsible quarantine one would expect from Donald Trump.

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Of course, Trump’s desire to ditch every single health professional’s desperate advice can’t all be laid at Eric’s feet, as Noah went on to examine the current deep philosophical underpinnings of the GOP’s current, homicidally stupid messaging on coronavirus. Throwing to a clip of Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick (on a blankly nodding Tucker Carlson’s show, naturally) proposing that the nation’s old people need to just suck it up and hurl themselves off the (literal and fiscal) cliff in order to ensure that the economy stays healthier than they will be, Noah expressed the incredulity of someone who just watched the Republican Party go on Fox News to pitch mass-suicide to the shared GOP/Fox demographic.

Picking up on sudden elder abuse enthusiast Patrick’s claim that, as a senior himself, he’s not claiming to be “noble or brave or anything like that” in suggesting that he is willing to climb into the proverbial Wicker Man, Noah agreed, heartily, that Patrick and his Wall Street-worshipping ilk are exactly nothing like any of those things. Encouraging everyone watching to do what he’s doing and stay inside (even if they’re not in a massive penthouse crash pad), Noah offered up some alternatives to the GOP’s current unmasked they had better do it, and decrease the surplus population” approach to late-stage capitalism, in the form of two organizations (that are displaying the actually American ideals of, you know, keeping vulnerable people alive.

Contributor, The A.V. Club. Danny Peary's Cult Movies books are mostly to blame.

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