As Hurricane Sally neared landfall in Alabama and Florida – the second hurricane in a month to batter the Gulf and one of five tropical storms churning in the Atlantic – and wildfires continued to blaze in several western states, the impact of climate change is undeniable, said Trevor Noah on Tuesday’s Daily Show. But “what’s crazy to me is that even though we’re seeing the effects of climate change almost every day, there are still tons of people in this country who are like, ‘I don’t know if it’s real, and even if it is, I’m not really afraid of it,’” Noah said.
Trump's approaches to climate change and coronavirus are the same: deny its existence, and hope it will magically disappear. pic.twitter.com/MZIuFG2Rwt— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) September 16, 2020
One of the people not taking climate change seriously? President Trump, who visited California over the weekend and dismissed climate change as a factor in the state’s historically destructive wildfire season, which turned the sky over San Francisco an apocalyptic shade of orange last week. Noah played an extraordinary clip of the president telling the California state natural resources agency secretary, Wade Crowfoot, who pleaded for evidence-based cooperation, that “it will start getting cooler, you just watch”.
“I wish science agreed with you,” Crowfoot replied, to which Trump said: “I don’t think science knows, actually.”
“Trump’s approach to climate change is the same as his approach to coronavirus: just deny its existence and then hope it will magically disappear,” Noah said. But “it’s no wonder that Trump doesn’t believe in science,” he added, since “the dude’s been defying science his whole life — when science told him he couldn’t subsist on a diet of fast food, meatloaf and steak for 74 years, Trump was like: ‘challenge accepted.’”
The first presidential debate is now only two weeks away, reported Stephen Colbert on the Late Show, “so this year, you won’t have to wait until Thanksgiving to hear two grandpas argue about politics.” And with everything up in the air in 2020, there could be a format change thanks to popular podcast host and former reality TV personality Joe Rogan, who suggested in one of his podcast episodes last week that he would host a debate on his show — “If they both wanted to come here in Austin [Texas], sit down, and have a debate, I would 100% do it,” Rogan said.
“Hell yeah, it is about damn time we had a debate moderated by the former host of Fear Factor,” said Colbert, imagining the set-up: “Gentlemen, you’ve got three minutes to outline your plan for comprehensive infrastructure reform while you eat donkey testicles.”
When Rogan’s guest Tim Kennedy tweeted a proposal for the podcast debate — four hours, no live audience, “who wants this?” — Trump responded “I do.”
“Don’t get your hopes up, Rogan,” Colbert responded. “Trump has a long record of not meaning it when he says ‘I do.’”
Colbert also offered a souped-up counter-pitch: a debate between Biden and Trump, “eight hours, locked room, no cameras, only one boardwalk caricature artist, winner is whoever has the biggest head.”
“I’m talking one stage, one podium on wheels, zips back and forth, two competitors, two shields, one man has a sword, the other one has a net and a trident. One hungry lion in a Colosseum, each man will get 30 minutes to make one meal from the ingredients found in our mystery basket,” Colbert jokingly riffed on the Rogan gimmick, pulling capers, Red Vines, and a bottle of bourbon out of his debate picnic basket.
And on the Tonight Show, Jimmy Fallon recapped Trump’s latest appearance on the Fox & Friends morning show, during which he appeared to catch the hosts by surprise when he announced he’d call in once a week. “That’s right, it will be one call a week and 168 hours per call,” Fallon joked.
“I’m not surprised Fox had to schedule a weekly call with Trump,” he continued. “He’s like your relative who always calls at the worst times — ‘oh, you’re in the shower? That’s interesting, I was taking a shower the other day…’”
During his 47-minute Fox & Friends appearance – host Steve Doocy noted the exact time – Trump also claimed that he read journalist Bob Woodward’s new book, Rage, “very quickly” and called it “very boring”.
“It was very boring,” said Fallon, imitating the president. “None of the pictures popped up and nothing I scratched made a smell.”
As for Trump’s claim that he read a 480-page book in one night – “please, I have more faith in there being a real vaccine before the election,” Fallon said. “The only way Trump finished a whole book in one night is if he ate it.”