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About (Late) Last Night: Jon Stewart and friends outdo election absurdity [video]

November 3, 2010 |  6:34 am
The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
Indecision 2010 - Maybe We Can't - Election Results

During the television frenzy of an election night, the absurdity of real news reaches surprising peaks, with pundit upon pundit and newfangled graphics scrambled together in a mess of red, blue and bluster. It almost renders parodic fake news unnecessary. Almost.

Jon Stewart's "Daily Show" was reporting live as the results started to trickle in, but Stewart and crew had a pretty good idea of the night's trajectory. "The GOP is now projected to take 692 seats from the Democrats," Stewart said. Close enough. Republicans ultimately won control of the House of Representatives with an increase of at least 60 seats, along with considerable gains in governorships and in the Senate. The title of the "Daily Show" segment? "Maybe We Can't."

Referring to cue cards, Stewart rattled off projections in key races -- Connecticut, Florida, Delaware and "the fourth best Carolina" (South) -- before declaring the "prognosticating" over. Take it away, news team! "Daily Show" correspondents, installed in front of strategic green screens, chided Nancy Pelosi's empty optimism, presumptive House speaker John Boehner's orange skin and failed South Carolina Senate candidate Alvin Greene's arrested development. A clip from "The Shining" illustrated the Republican-predicted "bloodbath."

And so as the professionals parsed the election results for meaning, or at least narrative, the comedians gave each other high-fives and cut together clips of three-dimensional CNN renderings of the U.S. Capitol. It's easy to see all of it as equally empty -- for any sentient human being, but especially for Democrats. The intentional slapstick, at least, is sort of soothing.

-- Joe Coscarelli