Matt Wilstein in Daily Beast:
“There’s a question I get asked a lot,” Jimmy Kimmel said at the beginning of a recent monologue. “Now that we have this president, people ask, ‘Is it easy now? It must be easy to write jokes, there’s so much material, the jokes must write themselves.’ And it’s not true. We still write the jokes ourselves. And in fact, in a way, it makes it harder to be funny when nonsense and stupidity is pouring on your head at all times.” Kimmel’s comments were merely a set-up to explain that his jokes didn’t write themselves “until today, when Kanye West visited the White House.” But aside from those rare instances, his sentiment echoes what several late-night hosts have expressed during the first two years of the Trump presidency. And especially in 2018, it seemed, the late-night men and still-too-few women frequently struggled to find the best ways to joke about this president and the madness that surrounds him. The daily onslaught of crazy from the White House, combined with a viewing public increasingly eager to call out any perceived transgression on social media, led to an unprecedented level of outrage, often of the “faux” variety. Here, in chronological order, are the most controversial late-night clips of 2018.
John Oliver’s Trolls Mike Pence with Marlon Bundo Book
The day before Charlotte Pence released her children’s book about a “day in the life” of her father, Vice President Mike Pence, Last Week Tonight host John Oliver published his own, far more successful, parody version. As Oliver explained on his show in March, A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundotells the story of a gay bunny who wants to get married but is initially thwarted by an evil stink bug who bears a striking resemblance to the vice president. For her part, Charlotte Pence was surprisingly cool with the rival book, the proceeds from which went to support LGBTQ charities. “I mean, I think, you know, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery in a way,” she said on Fox Business Network. “But also, in all seriousness, his book is contributing to charities that I think we can all get behind. We have two books giving to charities that are about bunnies so I’m all for it really.”