Since taking over as host of Comedy Central’s Daily Show in 1999, Jon Stewart has made "fake news" a part of the cultural vernacular. He has demonstrated that there’s a market for smart, political commentary — as long as it also makes people laugh. And he has shown that being really angry can also be really funny.
Fortunately for us, one of the things that makes him angriest — and funniest — is injustice against the queer community.
And unlike many men on the left, whether they’re comedians or pundits, Stewart has never made lesbians and bisexual women an afterthought in either his outrage or his humor. He consistently uses real-life lesbians as examples when discussing general LGBT political issues, and lesbian images appear as often as those of gay men, if not more frequently.
In October 2007, the show launched a vast archive of video clips at TheDailyShow.com, and now that the WGA strike seems to have no end in sight, there’s no better time to work your way through the funniest queer moments of Stewart’s eight-year tenure as the nation’s leading fake newsman. We’ve already reviewed some of his greatest gay moments on AfterElton.com, and now we take a look at some of his best lesbian ones. (A word of warning: The web archive still has the word "beta" appended to its logo, and there are still a few clips that don’t always work properly.)
When it comes to fodder for scathing political comedy, lesbians aren’t the first group that comes to mind. That’s because powerful, closeted lesbian conservatives rarely get arrested in public restrooms or are exposed as prostitute-soliciting, meth-using televangelists. No, that ground definitely belongs to the guys.
So where did all that lesbian material come from? A big hunk of it comes from one of the longest-running displays of political hypocrisy in the history of American government, Mary Cheney.
Mary Cheney is, of course, the out lesbian daughter of Vice President Dick Cheney, or as Stewart describes him: "Dick Cheney: Conservative. Draconian. Drinks the blood of puppies."
So just what bugs Jon Stewart about the vice president and his daughter? Maybe it’s the way he claims to love her and support her while his political party devotes vast amounts of energy to making sure she never gets better than second-class citizenship. Or the way questions about the Republican Party’s policies on LGBT issues are somehow an invasion of Cheney’s family’s privacy — even though Mary Cheney is out, lives with her partner, and wrote a book about being the out lesbian daughter of the vice president.
Lesbian political content on The Daily Show doesn’t end with Mary Cheney, however. From same-sex marriage to right-wing values pundits like William Bennett and Dr. Laura, there’s a whole lot of lesbian gold to be mined in the Daily Show‘s brand new clip archive.
Protesting Dr. Laura (March 15, 2000)
Making fun of conservative radio personality Dr. Laura is kind of like shooting fish in a barrel. She does all the work for you, really.
Here, she’s even more upset over If Walls Could Talk 2 than she was over Heather Has Two Mommies. This segment includes a beautiful clip of a lesbian wedding (which was also that night’s Moment of Zen). Dr. Laura also sarcastically apologizes to her listeners for not being Sharon Stone or Ellen DeGeneres. And well she should.
(or watch the video here)