The Daily Show: February 23, 2006
"Enemies With Benefits": Al Qaeda is trying to recruit more people to join them, attempting to appeal to the public by explaining the benefits of joining. Believe it or not, Al Qaeda offers paid vacations and health plans... "Wow! It's like there's no downside!" Jon exclaimed. "Oh... right... The retirement plan." The Iranian suicide-bombing group, the Martyrdom Seekers, have also been working the recruitment lines. They even held a seminar to try and bring in more suicide-bombers that many students attended. Jon quipped about how weird it would be to try and argue against a grade in a suicide-bombing class.
"Soft Corps": The terrorists aren't the only ones trying to get people to sign up... The US Army has attempted to bring more of today's youth in by adopting a kinder and gentler approach to basic training. There's going to be less yelling to reduce anxiety, and the overweight soldiers won't have to skip dessert anymore! Boot camp is now officially easier than fat camp.
"Your Tax Dollars at War": Jon and his short self popped out of the chair for this segment, touching on the ever-growing amount of US tax dollars going towards the war ($250 billion so far... a novelty check for that can actually be seen from space!). This money goes toward such things as defeating insurgencies, convincing the public that we're defeating the insurgencies, the reconstruction, the re-reconstruction, the re-re-reconstruction, and convincing people that we're succeeding in the reconstruction. Once the math works out, it means that the war has cost $2083 in tax dollars of every person in the country. But don't think of it as $2083 that you don't have... think of it as $200,000 that your grandchildren won't have. But who gives a fuck about them anyway?
"Back in Black": Lewis Black was back with another segment (done at another taping, I guess, because Jon's tie suddenly changed). Black's last "Back in Black" was surprisingly (and somewhat disappointingly) tame, so I was glad to see him cover some more caustic material. Black talked about the developments in the Middle East and how they have moved on from burning flags to burning corporate symbols, like one of their KFCs. They even burned a Ronald McDonald effigy (which garnered a surprising number of gasps from the audience... and me). And in Iran, they have even gone as far as protesting by renaming a pastry. Bakeries decided to change the "danishes" to the "Roses of the Prophet Mohammed". The following Fred the Baker joke made me a laugh a little too hard ("Time to make the Roses of the Prophet Mohammed... Time to make the Roses of the Prophet Mohammed"). Wow. Renaming a food item to "protest" another country... I wonder where they got that from... Insert fake cough that sounds suspiciously like "Freedom Fries". At the end of the segment, Black and Jon bumped fists (just like how Jon bumped fists with Sarah Vowell when she was on). I guess Jon was trying to keep his germs to himself.
The night's guest was Roger Ebert, who started by trying to make Jon nervous about hosting the Oscars. At first it was kind of funny, but when Jon didn't break, Ebert kept egging him on and started to sound like he was just being a jerk. "Were you sent here to fuck with my mind?!" Jon finally asked. The conversation then steered to Jon's new movie Doogal, in which he plays Zeebad, "a blue spring that wants to freeze the world with ice that he shoots out of his moustache". Jon paused for a moment and then broke into fits of laughter. I guess he didn't realize how ridiculous the character was until just then.
Jon then checked in with Stephen Colbert, who hinted that he was going to out a famous Hollywood actor as a Nazi... and then have to apologize for lying. Sounded like a good show. Moment of Zen: Pat Boone sang his heart out at something for the Conservative Political Action Committee... Ohh-kay...