Brow Beat

Stephen Colbert Presents an Anxiety Baking Show for the Trump Era

Emmy Blotnick breathing into a bag of flour.
Everything is going to be fine!

Since November of 2016, there have been two ways to approach leisure activities: Either explicitly think of them as a way to escape from the unceasing needles-in-the-eyeballs stress of the mess we’re in, or explicitly think of them as proof that you’re not succumbing to the unceasing needles-in-the-eyeballs stress, etc., and you’re spending so much more time going water-skiing or whatever lately because you LIKE IT, just the SAME AS ALWAYS, and the giant Donald-Trump-shaped negative space in your psyche is something WE WON’T BE DISCUSSING because WE’RE HAVING TOO MUCH FUN WATER-SKIING. Whichever you choose, it sucks—and it’s a reality that hasn’t really made it to TV, which continues to spread harmful, unrealistic, and unattainable images of people “enjoying things.” So Stephen Colbert and Late Show writer Emmy Blotnick created a baking show that really leans into the moment:

Blotnick really captures the mood. In the specific case of baking, however, it’s probably unfair to attribute all of the anxiety to Donald Trump: We already invited the vampires of anxiety in long before Trump, when we decided cooking shows needed judges. Has anything ever been improved by adding a report card? We could all benefit from rediscovering the life-changing magic of covering up culinary mistakes with cheese and heavy cream:

We should, as a nation, recommit ourselves to modeling Child’s admirable equanimity, until we can confidently say that what we do in our free time no longer has anything to do with Donald Trump. We’re eating an entire brick of cheese and washing it down with this glass of heavy cream because WE LIKE IT, SAME AS ALWAYS.