News / USA

Comics Seize on Government Shutdown to Mock Washington

Comics Seize on Government Shutdown to Mock Washingtoni
X
October 04, 2013 3:00 AM
U.S. comedians on late night TV love to make fun of American politicians whose feuds often paralyze national decision-making. When the disputes led to the federal government's shutdown this week, the jokes went into overdrive.
Comics Seize on Government Shutdown to Mock Washington
U.S. comedians on late night TV love to make fun of American politicians, whose feuds often paralyze national decision-making. When the disputes led to the federal government's shutdown this week, the jokes went into overdrive.

The government shutdown has given some of America's most popular TV comedians new ammunition against one of their favorite targets: Republicans.

In a YouTube clip posted by Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, the host pounces on Republican lawmaker Todd Rokita for opposing President Obama's health care law.

"I just want to help the American people get by and through what is one of the most insidious laws ever created by man. And that is Obamacare," said Rokita in the clip.

"Not just one of the most insidious laws ever created by America, which has Jim Crow and slavery on its resume of laws, but by man - putting Obamacare up with the Nuremberg laws, the Spanish inquisition and 'prima nocta' - the medieval law where on your wedding night the king gets to sleep with your wife," ridiculed Stewart.

In another video posted to YouTube, Comedy Central's Stephen Colbert of The Colbert Report sees irony in Republican Senator Lindsey Graham's criticism of the president.

"Where is our commander-in-chief, why isn't he on the phone right now, calling the Senate and House leadership, and telling them our nation is at risk because of the government shutdown," Senator Graham told Fox News.

"Yes, why isn't the president telling Congress that shutting down the government is bad? And why won't he tell them the stove is hot? Boehner keeps burning his hand over and over again," mocked Colbert.

Conservatives are not the only ones being mocked. On a YouTube video of NBC's Late Night With Jimmy Fallon, host Fallon finds it hard to sympathize with the thousands of furloughed government employees.

"This is nice, actually. I saw several bars in Washington, D.C. are offering discounts on drinks to federal workers affected by the government shutdown. Or, as people who aren't federal workers put it, 'I'm a federal worker.'" said Fallon.

And in a YouTube clip of NBC's The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, the veteran comic points out that tourists have plenty of sites to see besides the monuments shut by the government.

"Well, as you know, most of the tourist stuff is closed. Well, here's the story," began Leno.

"With the government shut down, the impact is being felt far beyond the nation's capital, as zoos, libraries and national parks are now closed. However, there are some alternatives to the shutdown. For example, with the closure of the National Zoo, you can still see dangerous animals at an [Oakland] Raiders football game. The Library of Congress also will be closed, but don't worry about it - nobody goes to libraries, anyway. And for those of you hoping to get a glimpse of Joshua Tree National Park [in southern California], you might want to reroute your trip and head for the 'Kardashian butt-acle' forest," offered Leno's mock news report.

Michael Lipin

Michael covers international news for VOA on the web, radio and TV, specializing in the Middle East and East Asia Pacific. Follow him on Twitter @Michael_Lipin

You May Like

Photogallery Americans Celebrate Thanksgiving With Feasts, Festivities

Holiday traditions include turkey dinners, 'turkey trots,' American-style football and New York parade with giant balloons More

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

With two years left in term, analysts say, president has less to lose by taking conversation on race further More

Video Italian Espresso Expands Into Space

When Italian astronaut Samantha Cristoforetti headed for the ISS, her countrymen worried how she would survive six months drinking only instant coffee More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violencei
X
Lenny Ruvaga
November 27, 2014 7:05 PM
The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video To Make A Living, Nairobi Street Vendors Face Legal Hurdles, Physical Violence

The Nairobi City Council has been accused of brutality in dealing with hawkers in the Central Business District - in order to stop them from illegally selling their wares on the streets. Lenny Ruvaga has more for VOA News from the Kenyan capital.
Video

Video For Obama, Ferguson Violence is a Personal Issue

Throughout the crisis in Ferguson, Missouri, President Barack Obama has urged calm, restraint and respect for the rule of law. But the events in Ferguson have prompted him to call — more openly than he has before — for profound changes to end the racism and distrust that he believes still exists between whites and blacks in the United States. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Online Magazine Gets Kids Discussing Big Questions

Teen culture in America is often criticized for being superficial. But an online magazine has been encouraging some teenagers to explore deeper issues, and rewarding their efforts. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky went to this year’s Kidspirit awards ceremony in New York.
Video

Video US Community Kicks Off Thanksgiving With Parade

Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States, a holiday whose roots go back to the country's earliest days as a British colony. One way Americans celebrate the occasion is with parades. Anush Avetisyan takes us to one such event on the day before Thanksgiving near Washington, where a community's diversity is on display. Joy Wagner narrates
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid