Back in October of 2007 we put together a compendium of what we considered the greatest gay moments from The Daily Show‘s video archives. Everything from Jon Stewart sparring with Bill Bennett over gay marriage in 2006 all the way back to a hilarious 1999 Boy George interview by Beth Littleford.
But when it comes to LGBT issues, Jon and his band of fake news reporters were just getting started. After all, in recent years they’ve had DADT, Prop 8, Ken Reker, NOM and Maggie Gallagher and more to skewer.
Here are some of the best and most pointedly gay-supportive Daily Show moments since 2007. Did we miss something substantive? Feel free to add your favorites to the comments!
Interview with Mike Huckabee, Pt. 2
Dec. 9, 2008
Jon Stewart continues racking up the gay ally points as he nails just what’s so offensive about opposition to marriage equality based on “faith.” Oh, Stewart starts out nice and finishes nice, but in between, he relentlessly backs Mike Huckabee into a corner on the inconsistencies in his anti-gay views.
He even makes a point I don’t think is made often enough: In this country, we protect the rights of people to practice their faith, even though religion is unquestionably a choice and people change their religion every day. “I’ll tell you this,” Stewart says, after pointing out he actually knows gay people, unlike Huckabee, “Religion is far more of a choice than homosexuality. We protect religion – and talk about a lifestyle choice!”
Huckabee says that if gay people really want to have equal rights, they need to make a better case to the American people that they should change the ancient and immutable definition of marriage as one man, one woman.
And this is when Stewart gets beautifully angry. “I think it’s an absolute, I think it’s a travesty, that people have forced someone who is gay to have to ‘make their case’ that they deserve the same basic rights as someone else.”
Lots more blah blah blah about “re-defining marriage” by Huckabee, and then Stewart cuts him off. “It does beg the question, though: Why? You talk about ‘re-defining a word,’ and it feels like semantics is cold comfort when compared to humanity.”
And hey, it’s funny, too. Huckabee makes the “every state that’s had a vote has voted against gay marriage,” and Stewart zings back, “Thirty states had Mike Huckabee on the ballot, and they went with John McCain. Guess you can’t trust the voters.”
Gaywatch: Peter Vadala and Will Phillips
Nov. 19, 2009
“Gaywatch” is an ongoing special feature on The Daily Show that features… wait for it… gay news and events.
In this segment, Jon begins with the story of Peter Vadala, who told his boss to stop talking about her same-sex fiancé and got fired from Brookstone. “Wait, you have a problem with gay people, and you work at Brookstone? The one-stop-shop for all my towel warming and Tuscan herb mini-garden needs? Just saying.”
But the real reason this clip made the cut comes in the second half. We meet ten-year-old William Phillips, an Arkansas fifth-grader who refused to pledge allegiance to the flag until there really is “liberty and justice for all,” including equal rights for lesbians and gay men.
When William is interviewed by CNN’s John Roberts about how his fellow students have reacted to his action, he tells the anchor that a lot of the kids at his school think his stand means he’s gay, and have called him names like “gaywad.”
Roberts asks what a “gaywad” is, and Stewart goes nuts. But he leaves it to William to define the term.
“It’s a discriminatory name for homosexuals,” he says confidently.
“This is a very valuable child,” Stewart says. “This child must be protected. Foley. Ladies and gentlemen, Mick Foley.”"
The pro wrestler comes in and essentially threatens to bring down the fury of hell on anyone who hassles young William. It’s hysterical and very visual – you really have to watch it.