After cancelling Monday and Tuesday’s shows because of Superstorm Sandy’s devastating effect on New York and New Jersey, both Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert returned to the Comedy Central airwaves Wednesday night.
“You ever have one of those days where everything you ever loved as a child was under water?” Stewart said as he opened “The Daily Show.” That, sadly, is a problem that many on the East Coast are now familiar with.
Meanwhile, on "Colbert Report," Colbert opened more seriously than usual, asking his viewers to visit redcross.org to donate what is most needed. “Spoiler Alert: It’s Money,” he said.
Christie takes center stage
New Jersey governor Chris Christie was a focal point of both shows, for both his handling of the crisis and his willingness to praise President Barack Obama for his assistance in bringing disaster relief to the area.
As an example, Stewart showed a clip from Fox News asking Christie if Mitt Romney might be coming to tour the damage with him; Christie’s expression of disdain was priceless.
“If you think right now that I give a damn about presidential politics, you don’t know me,” Christie said.
The response of Christie and Obama, along with New York City mayor Michael Bloomberg, was inspiring to Stewart. “It’s amazing how once you remove political partisanship and gamesmanship, performance improves dramatically!”
Colbert showed similar footage, although he objected to the praise of the president. “Oh, come on! You’re praising Obama just because he declared New Jersey a disaster area?” Colbert said. “Johnny Carson did that for 30 years!”
And the footage of Obama and Christie touring the damage together? Well, that was too much for Colbert to take. “Barack Obama stole Mitt Romney’s date to Disaster Prom!”
It all fed into the post-storm narrative that saw some turn quickly from footage of the damage to questions about Mother Nature’s October Surprise’s potential effect on the voting.
“Yes, all across the country people were frantically texting their loved ones: ’Your father and I are so worried, have you seen the latest tracking polls of undecided suburban women in Ohio?’” Colbert said.
Government comes through
You have to feel for Romney, whose proposal to reduce or eliminate the government’s role in disaster relief and leave it up to the states or the private sector seems like it would be a harder sell today than it did a few weeks ago.
“Who better to respond to what’s going on inside its own borders than a state whose entire infrastructure has just been swept out to sea?” Colbert noted.
As for the private sector … well, then you’re relying on folks like Donald Trump, with his offer of a $5 million check for charity if Obama releases his college and passport application info by Halloween. Though, as Colbert noted, “That heartwarming act of extortion got lost in the tragedy of the storm.” But fear not, the offer was extended another day.
“He’s doing the right thing and extending that $5M offer until noon on Thursday,” Colbert said. “You hear that Mr. President, you can breathe easy! Donald Trump has given you an extra 19 hours to deal with the largest Atlantic Hurricane on record affecting millions of Americans … and then photocopy your college record.”
As the waters recede
Jimmy Kimmel also got his "Live" program -- still temporarily based in Brooklyn -- going full speed again on Wednesday night, and he wasted no time getting to know the neighborhood. Kimmel paid a visit to Levels Barbershop in the borough to quiz the customers and barbers about a very important topic: Mitt Romney.
"What do you think Mitt Romney could do to get more of the black vote?" asked Kimmel.
"He can drop out of the race," noted one barber.