The best political jokes of 2018 (so far)

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In 2018, standup comedy is almost as inescapable as politics, and the two overlap fairly often. Comedians like to say Trump is good for comedy, but that means holding jokes to a higher standard than the easiest impression or something about Cheetos. 

How do we find humor in times of darkness, division, political upheaval and open hatred? How do we make people smarter and bring them together? With a Netflix subscription, for starters, and with some whip-smart comedy. 

Here are the best political jokes from the standup specials of 2018 (so far).

John Mulaney: Hospital horse

Mulaney doesn’t want to lose too much time to Trump jokes during Kid Gorgeous, so he commits wholly and brilliantly to one: He compares Donald Trump to a horse running amok in a hospital.

“I think eventually everything’s gonna be okay, but I have no idea what happens next,” Mulaney says. “There’s a horse loose in the hospital! It’s never happened before! No one knows what the horse is gonna do next, least of all the horse! He’s never been in a hospital before, he’s as confused as you are.” Stay tuned for the swamp-hippo cameo that is Kim Jong-Un.

Where to watch: Netflix

Hard Kondabolu: How Trump lies

Kondabolu has some quality political commentary, but the most absurd and gratifying bit of Warn Your Relatives is when he compares Trump’s rhetorical strategy to Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me.” Grabbed a woman by the pussy? “It wasn’t me.” Caught on audio? “It wasn’t me.” It’s a hilarious connection made even more impressive by the fact that – as Kondabolu points out – that song is literally 11 years old. 

Where to watch: Netflix

Cameron Esposito: PC culture

Esposito calls out her comedy peers along with any person who has ever groaned at the onset of “PC culture.” “PC culture is just the words we use now to talk about other people. It’s literally just updated terminology,” she says. “I’ll just say, if there’s any particular word that you need to use to do this job, I am a better standup comic than you. You think I’m just coasting through using old words? I used different words yesterday than I used today! I’m constantly evolving, I’m a fish swimming upstream.”

Where to watch: Her website

W. Kamau Bell: Donald Trump is a racist

Image: k.c. bailey/netflix

Why is it, Bell asks, that after everything Trump and his administration have done, white people across the political spectrum are reluctant to call him a racist? He does an extremely physical impression of a floundering apologist (“that thing outside of used car lots”).

It’s provable, Bell says. And he has the receipts. “If you look up on Google ‘Is Donald Trump a racist?’ Google’s like ‘How much time you got?'” Trump has a history of trying to marginalize people of color, a history dating back to the Nixon administration (and even they thought it was too much).

Where to watch: Netflix

Chris Rock: Police brutality

Rock questions the notion that “a few bad apples” are the ones among the police force who are shooting unarmed black men. “Bad apple? That’s a lovely name for ‘murderer,'” he says. “I’ve had a bad apple. It was tart, but it didn’t choke me out.”

Where to watch: Netflix

Hannah Gadsby: White men

Gadsby gets frequently misgendered by strangers, but she doesn’t mind.

“I love being mistaken for a man, because just for a few moments, life gets a hell of a lot easier,” she says in Nanette. “I’m top-shelf normal, king of the humans, I’m a straight white man!”

But it’s a tough time to be a straight white man, Gadsby concedes, especially for those who are a “bit soft in the belly” when it comes to being “a subcategory of human.” Don’t worry – she’s only joking. “It’s just locker room talk,” she says with a smile.

Where to watch: Netflix

Marlon Wayans: The N-word

Wayans refuses to let racism ruin the friendships in his life, which is why he won’t let his white friends use the n-word. He says he’d like to help, but he can’t, that the historical baggage of the word is too much for some sort of n-word application process. But that doesn’t stop him from enacting the application process, complete with a hapless white friend impression. 

Wayans can’t believe the madness of the Trump administration, which he says has turned the White House into a reality show. Trump is an embarrassment to his race, Wayans says – he’s the Flava Flav of white people. 

Where to watch: Netflix

Katt Williams: Trump doesn’t give a fuck

Williams spends a good chunk of Great America talking about the ridiculousness of Trump: He tweets like a vampire, shoots off missiles while on the toilet, signs insane orders just to get a rise out of people. Williams sells the bit with his physicality and just the right level of hysteria. Highlights include an analogy about black people watching news “like it’s the playoffs” and Melania’s apparently open disdain for her husband.

Where to watch: Netflix

Todd Glass: “What’s next” people

In his own response to anti-PC people, Glass criticizes those who think progress has an end. He drops the mic multiple times, sweating with rage beneath the lights while the accompanying band plays “Battle Hymn of the Republic.” 

“We’re on to you,” Glass says. “These are ‘what’s next’ people, and let’s make it very clear what these people are. They act like they’re okay with something ‘Oh, I’m all right with gay marriage, but what’s next?’ What do you give a shit? You sound like you’re saying ‘I’m tired of evolving.'”

Where to watch: Netflix

Tom Segura: Change my diaper

Tom Segura Comedy Special

Tom Segura Comedy Special

An accidental verbal altercation led Segura to say “Change my diaper,” and he wonders why it isn’t part of the lexicon. “Change my diaper” should be the ultimate insult, Segura says, something that the president of a foreign country should be able to say to ours as a mic-drop insult. “Change my diaper, orange man.”

Where to watch: Netflix

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