Contrary to Reports, Dan Rather Made Brief Jokey Appearance on Comedy Central
It seems we were misled by Dan Rather about playing it "straight" on The Daily Show on Election Night. He made a brief appearance to draw laughs by spouting a few canned "Ratherisms," in case anyone missed the biennial tradition of the disgraced CBS anchor’s homespun Texas phrases. (By the way, we coined the term "Ratherisms" in Notable Quotables back in 1992, and were recounting the election-night expressions back in NQ’s first year, 1988.) On Tuesday, Rather gave a bland analysis of the state of play, allowing Stewart to set up the gag:
Stewart: "We sort of brought you in here to, you know, give us a little bit more of that Dan Rather. You know what I am saying? A little bit more of that home-spun kind of... ?
Rather, faking confusion: "How so?"
Stewart: How about Hillary Clinton? We knew she would win in a landslide. How would you, Dan Rather, describe the largeness of her victory?
Rather: It was a healthy margin. [Stewart mugs and urges the Ratherism.] How about...She ran away with it like a hobo with a sweet potato pie?" [Wild applause, cheers.]
Stewart: "That's what I am talking about! The Allen-Webb race in Virginia too close to call. An ugly, ugly race?"
Rather: "Yes, it was."
Stewart: "Wondering in your view, the magnitude of the ugliness, is there some way that you might – "
Rather: "I would say as ugly as a hog lagoon after a bachelor party."
Stewart: "All right. That is ugly -- I think." Then he joked about the defeat of Rep. Don Sherwood, accused of strangling his Peruvian mistress, asking Rather why the mistress-strangler didn’t take that race:
Rather: "If you ain’t got the yolk, you can't emulsify the Hollandaise."
Stewart: "Now, I don't know what you are talking about."
Then, in the weirdest riff, Rather began quoting a voice from "Another Brick in The Wall," a song by the rock band Pink Floyd: "Jon, if you don't eat your meat, you can't have any pudding. You can't have any pudding if you don't eat your meat."
After underlining Rather’s vast experience at covering elections, Stewart thanked him for appearing, and Rather said farewell:
Rather: "Thank you, Jon. I really appreciated being here. It was a real eye opener for me. I realized I was just a four-dollar gopher in a two-dollar pelt."
Stewart: "That's -- that's an insult. Right?"
Rather: "I believe it is, Jon."