Brow Beat

Trevor Noah Broke Down Trump’s Trade War, Call of Duty Style

It must be hard for late night hosts to choose what Trump tomfoolery to cover nowadays. Still, The Daily Show is always game to turn political terrors into teachable moments. Last night, Trevor Noah dedicated a special segment of The Daily Show to Trump’s trade war. Seeing “Trump” and “war” in the same sentence probably just activated your flight-or-fight response, but, according to Noah, it could be much worse.

The hypothetical trade war will launch if Trump makes good on his threats to impose worldwide tariffs on steel and aluminum. It’s basically an attempt to put American steel ahead of China, which produces the metal for cheap from their subsidized factories. To hear Trevor Noah—and many prominent Republican Party members—tell it, this is a very bad idea. Pundits and politicians alike cautioned Trump against a trade war, especially after the EU threatened to impose taxes on some beloved American exports: Harley-Davidson motorcycles, whiskey, and Levi’s jeans.

Noah walked viewers through the issue last night, poking fun at major Party members along the way in a segment delightfully titled “Trade Ruiner 2018.” His Ben Carson impression, as inspired by U.S. Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross’s soup-can blathering, was especially hilarious: “The best can of all,” Noah-as-Carson wheezed, “is the human skull.”

Noah ended the report on a positive, if sardonic, note by pointing out the silver lining to this pending trade war:

“Of all the wars we thought Trump could get us into … nuclear war, race war … a trade war is like, the least bad option. And it’ll make the next Call of Duty completely different.”

Cue the fantastic, poorly edited video game trailer parody, complete with giant soup can and gruff, masculine voice-over. “Hang onto your asses,” the protagonist announces. “We’re gonna raise the price of steel!”

Hang on indeed, but keep in mind that, of all Trump’s threats, this is still one of the least terrifying (tariffying?). Thanks for keeping things in perspective, Trevor. And for schooling those of us who are a long way from Econ 101.

Lena Wilson is Slate’s culture intern.