November 29, 2021

1999, the Straight Talk Express and Pork Barrel Spending

Check out this fabulous bit of video of Daily Show “reporter,” Steve Carell following John McCain’s last campaign for President.

It’s well worth watching through to the end.

From New Yorker’s “Annals of Entertainment: Is It Funny Yet?” by Tad Friend, from February 11, 2002:

“In late 1999, one of the show’s correspondents, Steve Carell, boarded Senator McCain’s campaign bus, the Straight Talk Express, and asked the candidate to name his favorite movie and his favorite book. Then, with no change in his expression, he asked McCain how he could reconcile his criticism of pork-barrel politics with the fact that “while you were chairman of the Commerce Committee, that committee set a record for unauthorized appropriations.” For a long moment, McCain was speechless. Carell started laughing. “I’m just kidding!” he said. “I don’t even know what that means!”

“That’s a true fact, that question,” [then-head writer Ben] Karlin said. “And McCain was caught in the headlights. But we punctured it with a joke, so all you’re left with is funny and awkward. It’s bittersweet.”

Thanks to this article in the Huffington Post for calling my attention to this video gem.