Brow Beat

“Trevor Noah: Racism Detective” Faces His Toughest Case Yet: Another Weekend of Donald Trump’s Obvious Racism

A black and white photo of Trevor Noah dressed as a 1940s detective, holding up a magnifying glass.
Case closed.
Comedy Central

There are no genuine consolations to living in a country led by a demented white supremacist, but there are a few things that Donald Trump and his cronies are undeniably, accidentally improving. Well, one thing, anyway: the “Trevor Noah: Racism Detective” bit on The Daily Show gets funnier and funnier the more the clearly the president’s vile beliefs come into focus. So Monday’s segment about Trump’s weekend tweets—the most obviously white supremacist things he’s said since a few weekends before that, although he’ll no doubt break his own record in weeks to come—is tears-of-blood hilarious:

From the moment he was elected president, Donald Trump was so obviously a world-historical disaster that we missed most of the “but at least late night hosts won’t run out of material” jokes that accompanied the political careers of George W. Bush, Dan Quayle, or Ronald Reagan—although there was plenty of that kind of thing during Trump’s campaign. Even if the Trump era had turned out to be a golden age for satire—and believe me, it hasn’t—a joke doesn’t move the needle much when the scale’s other pan is full of dead children. On the other hand, “Trevor Noah: Race Detective” is not really a joke about Donald Trump: It’s a joke about a country that would put Mick Mulvaney on TV in the summer of 2019, ostensibly to further inform the public about Donald Trump’s thoughts about white supremacy. Everyone in the country—everyone on the planet!—understands very well what Donald Trump and his supporters believe, most of all Donald Trump and his supporters. Is there really that much to be learned from continuing to let them lie about it on television? Sounds like another tough case for Trevor Noah: Racism Detective!