Brow Beat

Trevor Noah and The President Show Try to Laugh at Trump’s Paris Agreement Reversal

President Trump’s decision to pull out of the global Paris climate agreement sparked outrage, confusion, and alliance-shifting around the world. It was a seismic moment, and for the late-night comics on Comedy Central, at least, they could only mine humor in just how bleak things are looking right now.

Trevor Noah started by highlighting the fact that the U.S. is now among just three countries, including Nicaragua and Syria, that have rejected the agreement. This means, among other things, that “even Israel and Palestine are on the same side”—like when they agreed on “pork” and “chickpeas,” Noah quipped. Given that Nicaragua’s rationale was that the Paris argeement’s goals aren’t ambitious enough,  that means the U.S. is left in the sole company of a country with, let’s say, more pressing concerns. (“I think we can all agree that Syria gets a pass,” Noah said.) Otherwise, it’s just us—and our president’s jobs-saving justification doesn’t even really hold up to scrutiny. “We all want people to have jobs,” Noah began, “but the numbers have shown that green energy is where the work is going to be.”

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Following Noah’s last show of the week, The President Show offered a sharper, nastier tone—the stiff shot to follow the cocktail. Anthony Atamanuik’s President Trump bumbled out to the podium, cracking, “Is it hot in here, or did I just pull out of the Paris Accord?” before nonexplaining, in a most Trumpian way, why we needed to reverse course: “Everyone says ‘Trump, Trump, what about the melting ice caps?’ Don’t worry: My environmental policy will take care of the penguins—the Pittsburgh Penguins!

But then, of course, came the real reason: Trump’s appeal to a base that doesn’t seem to care what he does, or why. “Who cares about science? That’s for nerds,” Atamunik’s Trump screeched. “I’m fighting for the forgotten man. He doesn’t read studies—he’s the man who forgot to read.”

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