‘Daily Show’ visits Louisville to try to understand Kentucky politics
Kentucky’s legislature drew a lot of attention this year.
Now “The Daily Show” is taking a closer look. The Comedy Central show descended upon Louisville’s Bardstown Road to talk to “real Kentuckians” about the GOP-dominated legislature’s actions in a segment that airs Wednesday night.
The segment, which airs at 11 p.m. Eastern, opens on Louisville’s Great Lawn, Big Four Bridge in the background, as guest host Desi Lydic — who was born in Louisville — says the changes Kentucky “currently faces can’t be resolved with Accutane and 150 hours of community service.”
The Comedy Central show then launches into a mash-up of TV news headlines about state legislative efforts: one of the nation’s most extreme anti-trans laws (passed), a bill to criminalize abortions (never saw the light of day), a law preventing local law enforcement from enforcing national gun bans (passed), a bill stifling drag shows (died in the House), among others.
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Such bills, Lydic says, are getting shoved through like apparent Kentucky classics such as a fried chicken sandwich into Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s “lipless mouth.”
“But do Kentuckians really feel this way?” a voiceover of Lydic questions, before opening to a scene on one of Kentucky’s most liberal streets in one of its most liberal areas.
“Absolutely not,” an unidentified person responds, standing at the corner of Bardstown Road in the Highlands where Carmichael’s Bookstore is located, with Skyline Chili visible across the street.
A stream of unidentified people follows, all with little nice to say about their state legislature’s actions this year nor about their Republican senators in Congress.
“Turtle face,” one woman says after saying they’re sick of the guns, leading to a lengthy indecipherable bleeped out phrase and a look of shock on Lydic’s face.
“There’s that Southern hospitality I miss,” Lydic says.
To get more insight, Lydic does what many a Kentuckian (and many a Kentucky journalist, if we’re being honest) would do: she finds a nearby bourbon bar and buckles up.
Lydic invites Washington Post columnist and Louisvillian Perry Bacon along for the ride. Bacon, who also authors a newsletter that focuses on politics in the Bluegrass, explains Kentucky politics. Then, the two attempt to sing a song. (Y’all will need to watch the show to get the full effect.)
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And then, boom, there’s Edward Lee — one of Louisville’s most prominent chefs.
When asked if some in the Kentucky legislature could ever have the level of “humanity and kindness” shown by Lee’s actions, he quips, “They come here for dinner. I can ask them.”
When asked if McConnell has ever eaten at one of his restaurants, Lee says, “We don’t serve and tell.”
There’s more to see, but we’re not going to watch and tell, well, everything.
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Reach Olivia Krauth at email@example.com and on Twitter at @oliviakrauth.