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The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Top 10 Comedy Bits of the 2016 Election Season

The 2016 election season has been a series of ups and downs for both political parties, but there has been one group of people that have been winning the entire time: comedians.  The overly expressive personalities of the candidates make for hilarious television, and every late night host and comedian has been taking advantage of it.  Here’s a breakdown of our top ten comedy bits from this election season:

1. The Cold Opens

Saturday Night Live

Each of the first five episodes during the 42nd season of SNL has opened with a parody of that week’s election highlights. Both Kate McKinnon and Alec Baldwin nailed their presidential impersonations and delivered consistently hilarious material each week.  Whether they were throwing zingers at a debate or holding hands while exploring Times Square, the duo easily earned the top spot on our list.

(McKinnon as Clinton) “Alicia Machado is a very beautiful political prop…”

2. Donald Drumpf

Last Week Tonight

It is rare to see content from premium networks go viral, but John Oliver shattered viewing records with his twenty minute segment exploring the history of the Trump name.  With over 85 million views, this clip became the most-watched HBO segment of all time. Pyrotechnics, massive light displays and even custom Donald Drumpf apparel (available for purchase) were all part of what is a must-see video for any comedy buff.

(Oliver on Drumpf) “Drumpf is much less magical. It’s the sound produced when a morbidly obese pigeon flies into the window of a foreclosed Old Navy. Drumpf.”

3. So Even

Late Night with Seth Meyers

A common remark from undecided voters has been that both candidates are equally terrible.  Seth Meyers strongly disagrees. In this late night rant, Meyers launched an all-out attack on Trump, and spent over 50 seconds rapidly spurring out a list of Trump’s offensive actions, compared to just five seconds on Clinton.

(Meyers, after his comparison) “How do you choose? It’s so even.”

4. Black Jeopardy

Saturday Night Live

This election season, nearly all late night comedians have publicly supported Clinton in the race.  This overwhelming majority has led to comedy becoming rather one-sided, but SNL has done everything they could to poke fun and show support for both candidates.  In their most recent sketch of “Black Jeopardy,” Doug, a loveable white Trump supporter played by Tom Hanks, teaches us that even people of opposing political beliefs are more alike than different.

(Host Kenan Thompson) “They Out Here Saying: The new iPhone wants your thumbprint ‘for your protection’”

(Player Tom Hanks) “What is, ‘I don’t think so, that’s how they get ya’?”

5. Socialist Vs. Sociopath


Earlier in the year, Comedy Central’s @midnight host Chris Hardwick held a parody debate featuring comedians Anthony Atamanuik and James Adomian as Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders.  While the predicted democratic nominee was incorrect, the skit was still one of the funniest and most impressive comedy sketches of the election.  Atamanuik’s cartoony Trump impersonation is rivaled only by Alec Baldwin’s, and the debate topics, including immigrant chickens, ghost diversity and human centipedes, are impossible to watch without laughing.

(Atamanuik as Trump) “I have the same policy on women as I do the Chinese, which is that China is our enemy.”

6. Stephen Colbert from Home

Internet Video (The Late Show)

Despite the staff of The Late Show having off for Columbus Day, Stephen Colbert couldn’t resist the urge to spread his comedic remarks about the second presidential debate.  To do so, Colbert filmed and released a YouTube video from his home.  His passion for his career is seen as he picks up a guitar and shows off a new tune about the notorious Ken Bone.

(Colbert, On Clinton saying she most respected Trump’s children) “In other words, her favorite thing about [Trump] is five other people”

7. Louis C.K. thinks America Needs a Mom


Conan himself has openly showed his support for Clinton, but Louis C.K.’s comments during an appearance on his show proved even more powerful.  The crass comedian gives a convincing argument on why America needs the first president who is a mother.  He goes on to explain how even terrible moms are better parents than good dads, and why America needs to end a chain of nearly 250 years of presidential dads.

(Louis C.K.) “We need a two-faced, conniving, crazy… tough b—- mother who nobody likes”

8. Trump Can’t Read

Full Frontal with Samantha Bee

Samantha Bee is one of the most open comedians in regards to politics, and her hilarious extreme statements on hot political issues have strongly assisted her show’s success.  One of her funniest arguments this year is that Donald Trump, a billionaire business mogul, is illiterate.  Bee spends seven minutes on this theory, citing evidence such as Trump’s open hatred for teleprompters and his failure to answer questions about documents and books.  Whether you buy into her theory or not, it is certainly an entertaining and well-supported hypothesis.

(Bee) “What’s his biggest enemy… I mean besides knowledge, integrity and basic human decency?… Teleprompters.”

9. Fallon with the Candidates

The Tonight Show

Both candidates have made a steady tour of late night comedy shows, but their appearances on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon are arguably their best.  Trump was happy to fulfill Jimmy’s request to mess up his hair, a moment that instantly was immortalized as an Internet meme.  The following week, Clinton appeared on the show to hear Fallon read her letters she had received from child supporters.  Both candidates showed their light side and likely gained some voter support from doing so.

(From a child’s letter to Clinton) “Best hairstyles was when you were Senator and in November 1994”

10. Jon Stewart Comes Out of Hiding

The Late Show

Millions of Americans were struck with disappointment in 2015 when political satirist Jon Stewart announced he’d be leaving The Daily Show.  While Stewart was seldom seen after his departure, on July 21, he came out of hiding to The Late Show to give a classic Jon Stewart rant on the election.  A scruffy t-shirt wearing Stewart showed his feelings about Trump’s Cinco De Mayo dinner bowl, the evil teleprompter, and the problem with being a “Blue Collar Billionaire.”

(Stewart, on the term ‘blue collar billionaire’) “Trump does seem like the kinda guy you’d want to sit down and own a fleet of airplanes with”

Can’t Get Enough? Check this out!

If you’ve been enjoying the hilarity of the election season as much as we have, here are 10 more of our favorite comedy moments that didn’t make the cut:

Saturday Night Live – Celebrity Family Feud

Epic Rap Battles of History – Trump Vs. Clinton

The Daily Show with Trevor Noah – Remarks on the First Debate

Saturday Night Live – Melania Moments

Conan – Trump Tour Vs. Hillary’s Home

The Ellen DeGeneres Show – Ellen at the Republican Debate

Saturday Night Live – Val the Bartender

Saturday Night Live – Donald Trump’s Monologue 

South Park Season 20 – Giant Douche Vs. Turd Sandwich

Saturday Night Live – Vote Trump ad

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About the Contributor
Steven Verdile
Steven Verdile, Design Editor
Steven Verdile is a senior graphic design major.  He spent his first two years as a design assistant, and is entering his second year as Design Editor. He hopes to increase readership by designing engaging issues and creating dynamic online and social media content. Have any questions? Email Steven at [email protected]
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