Former President Bill Clinton annihilated Trevor Noah and the Daily Show during a Thursday night interview with Trevor Noah on the Daily Show.
Clinton criticized hyper-polarized thinking on the right and left when Noah asked him about hateful rhetoric that has been directed at his wife from supporters of Donald Trump.
"We're getting siloed," Clinton said. "We are siloed in the TV shows we watch and the websites we scan, everything. America's come so far: we're less racist, sexist, homophobic and anti-religious [in terms of] specific religions than we used to be. We have one remaining bigotry: we don't want to be around anyone who disagrees with us."
Clinton’s observation prompted nervous laughter from the studio audience, which he pointed out.
"The crowd is laughing, but they didn't laugh loud because they know I'm telling the truth," Clinton said.
Noah’s comedy show has tried to build a core audience of young, progressive viewers through sharable rants about politics from a reliably liberal perspective. Other comedy shows, such as John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight, Samantha Bee’s Full Frontal, and Larry Wilmore’s recently cancelled Nightly Show, have followed the same playbook.
The Daily Show’s stridency has not escaped the notice of reviewers. Noah "projects the righteous ardor of a campus activist," according to a recent profile in Time, using "parody and polemics, dripping sarcasm and cheap-shot one-liners" to target partisan opponents. By Noah’s own admission, he rejects balance in order to promote progressive causes.
Jon Stewart, the Daily Show’s most famous host, made a splash in 2004 when he decried partisanship during an appearance on the show Crossfire, which he said hurt the public discourse. Eventually, partisanship won. The show he founded became a reliable partisan instrument in later years.
UPDATE 10:55 A.M.: A previous version of this post stated that Jon Stewart was the Daily Show’s original host. Stewart was preceded by Craig Kilborn.