Trevor Noah kicked off The Daily Show’s week of episodes from Chicago on Monday night by taking a hard look at the city’s reputation as one of the most violent in the country—a reputation that has been cemented by President Donald Trump and his friends at Fox News.
After a cold-open parody of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off that had the host singing “Danke Schoen” on top of a parade float, Noah took the stage at the Athenaeum Theatre and delivered an opening monologue that resembled his latest stand-up special more than his typical Daily Show desk pieces.
Within minutes, Noah acknowledged an “unfortunate” truth that Chicago is “famous for its violence,” a stereotype that has even made its way into a cartoon that he watched as a child in South Africa called Sharky & George about fish who fight crime in “Seacago.”
Noah explained that he decided to take The Daily Show to Chicago because he views it as a “microcosm for all the issues that the rest of the country faces.” If he believed only what he heard on TV, he said he’d “never want to come to Chicago.”
“According to the president, Chicago is basically Syria—but with different pizza,” Noah continued, playing a montage of Trump smearing the city. Since other cities in America have more violence per capita than Chicago, he asked, “Why would the right be so obsessed with Chicago?”
With that, Noah cut to a series of clips of Fox News’ Sean Hannity, Brian Kilmeade, and New York mayoral candidate Bo Dietl blaming President Barack Obama for failing to curb the violence in his “hometown.”
“Oh, now I get it,” Noah said. “When there’s shootings, Obama’s from Chicago. All the other times, he’s from Kenya. Now it makes sense.”
“These people don’t care about Chicago’s murder rates,” he continued. “They care about how they can use Chicago to score political points. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter whether Chicago is ranked No. 1 in murders or No. 9 in murders. What’s important is stopping the murders.”
So instead of just complaining about the problem, The Daily Show sent correspondent Roy Wood Jr. to follow Cure Violence’s Ceasefire program to see how they are actually making a difference.