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The December 3, 2012 episode of The Daily Show featured the war on Christmas, filibusters and the guest was Denis Leary.
The episode begins with Jon Stewart discussing the start of this year’s war on Christmas talk in the news. He starts out with a “Made Fox News Madlibs” and fills it in with atheists, nativities and Santa Monica. He then shows clips from a story about people trying to remove nativities in Santa Monica. He then goes on a mini-rant about how Christmas is in no danger and these few random people trying to get things removed have not made a dent. Christmas is everywhere. It has expanded from the one day birthdays usually are to the point where it has now taken over Thanksgiving as well. There is every type of Christmas store and show. There is even a prehistoric Christmas special for The Flinstones, which takes place thousands of years before Jesus was even born.
Stewart then shows a clip of Bill O’Reilly telling a guest on his shows that Christianity is not a religion. It is a philosophy. This shocks Stewart and to demonstrate how much Christianity is a religion, which has philosophical parts he compares Jesus and Socrates. Both Socrates and Jesus had bears, wore sandals and baggy clothes, taught through parables and were martyred. The difference, Stewart says, is that one of them got better and went to heaven. In one of the clips, O’Reilly even says that to be Christian you do not have to believe in Jesus, just his teachings. Stewart replies that he is a fan of some of Jesus’s lessons, love your neighbor, turn the other cheek, but he certainly is not qualifying for heaven (since he is Jewish).
The second segment of the show is about the filibuster rule in congress and the different parties’ efforts to either remove this or keep it. The argument for removing it is to make congress more efficient. Part of at least one of the new rules suggested is to actually require the person filibustering to talk the whole time. Which, much like Stewart, I thought was the rule. Stewart says that if a Senator is going to filibuster he should have to stand up there reading song lyrics and look like a jerk. The Republicans, as the minority in the senate, do not want the filibuster removed, while the Democrats do. However, it is going to be difficult to remove the filibuster rule when people can just filibuster it. So the plan, according to the clip Stewart plays, is to wait until the start of the term in January because on the first day of a new congress they will only need a simple majority to pass it.
The guest for this episode is Denis Leary promoting his book, Denis Leary’s Merry F#%$in’ Christmas. They start out with the fact that the book is tiny. The cardboard cover of the book is thicker than its contents. He basically wrote something that can be read in under four minutes. In those four minutes, Leary says, you can destroy your kids view of Santa and Christmas. However, Leary points out, as he does throughout the interview, this is meant to benefit fire fighters. Leary does a great and amusing job of guilting Stewart and the audience into buying this book, since it is meant to benefit fire fighters and all the proceeds go to that cause. He even says at one point that Santa is not real, but firefighters are so you should buy the book,
Stewart’s interview with Leary was as funny as they usually are. There was a bit less insulting than there usually is, but there were a number of cracks at Stewart’s age. The rest of the episode was okay. Probably better than my description makes it sound, though, since there were a lot of little jokes that do not really go over well in this format. The part about O’Reilly was certainly interesting. Although, I think they could have done a slightly better job with the part on the filibuster.