The Daily Show’s “Yearly Show” special Monday night had everything.
Host Trevor Noah opened the hour-long special, taped in front of a live audience at New York’s Gramercy Theatre, with a stand-up set that included much of the material he delivered at last month’s Stand Up for Heroes benefit.
Noah opined about how much he misses President Obama and explained how laughing at President Trump is one of the only things that has made this past year tolerable for him. Later in the show, correspondents like Hasan Minhaj and Ronny Chieng recapped the year in cable news and tech, respectively.
One major highlight came in the form of a “Careers In Memoriam” segment that revealed some of the warning signs that should have tipped us all off about just a few of the men who lost everything due to their own abhorrent behavior this year. The only reason why President Donald Trump didn’t make it into that montage was because he somehow still has his job.
But it was in a second monologue that came near the end of the hour that Noah did something surprising: He admitted that he had been “a little bit unfair” to Trump on his show this year, focusing on “all the things he got wrong and not on all the things he got not as wrong.” For instance, Noah said he was “surprised” that Trump did not “end the world” during his first international trip as president.
He remembered thinking, “Donald Trump is going to go to Saudi Arabia and give a speech on Islam to actual Muslims? I was waiting for the world to end in that moment. I thought he was going to get off that plane, see all the Muslim women dressed up and say, ‘So many ninjas!’ and it was just going to end.”
Of course, Noah added, all anyone wanted to talk about during that trip was the hand-slap from Melania Trump, or as he called her, “the Slovenian Dikembe Mutombo.” To those who started wondering if their marriage was in jeopardy, he said, “You don’t need to be a genius to realize that they’re not having a good time in their relationship.” The “first sign” was when she didn’t even move into the White House for the start of his presidential term.
“Every single speech they made seemed like they were throwing shade at the other person,” Noah said of the first couple, noting that Melania announced she would be taking on “cyber-bullying” as her pet issue and Donald waged his own war against immigrants. “You guys need to handle your shit at home, man, stop involving us,” Noah told them.
Then, the host proceeded to ridicule anyone who is still waiting for Trump to “stop tweeting” and become “presidential.”
“Fundamentally, Donald Trump wants to be president, but he doesn’t want to do president,” Noah explained. “Being president is symbolic. You fly around, you kiss the babies, you make the speeches, that’s being president. Being president is hard, it’s boring.” After saying, “no one wants to do that part,” he added, “Maybe Hillary.”
The moment Noah knew this was true was when Trump decided to play truck driver on the White House lawn. “It was the cutest, most terrifying thing we’ve ever seen in our lives,” he said. “He jumped in and started to fake-drive that truck with more passion than he’s given any other topic in the presidency.”
“And that’s when I realized, that’s all Donald Trump ever wanted, people,” he added. “He just wanted to play president. America didn’t need to elect him, they could have just bought him a Fisher-Price ‘My First President’ set, it would have been the same thing.”
The night’s “Moment of Zen” came courtesy of Lewis Black, the longest-serving contributor in Daily Show history. “As 2017 draws to a close, I’d just like to say, good riddance,” Black said into the camera. “That’s one year of Trump’s presidency down and only three more years of pants-crapping terror to go.”