Trevor Noah is not the first person to artlessly skewer Marco Rubio for being something of a sweaty guy. Indeed, Donald Trump noted it at least eight different ways a full year out from the 2016 election, and if Trump did it, you know he did it better and classier than it’s ever been done before, believe me.
But the complaint I’m planning to make — patience — isn’t that one throwaway line on the Daily Show is somewhat less than perfectly original (stay tuned for a different near-future post). It’s that said throwaway line came close enough to hint at the inkling of an All-American pun — one that would have made Jon Stewart z”l himself proud — but instead only managed to betray the fact that Noah is not quite from around these parts.
And with that introduction out of the way, we come at last to the line in question. Last Wednesday evening, Trevor Noah actually described Marco Rubio as “the king of sweat” (click to embiggen):
It doesn’t make a ton of sense out of context, but — trust me — it didn’t make a ton of sense in context, either. Random jibes of this sort are perfectly excusable if well-executed: a clever turn of phrase, say, or one of the aforementioned puns that were a staple on the Daily Show diet a short time ago. You know, the kind Stewart would use to title a segment. “The King of Sweat” is neither.
And the sad part is just how close Noah came to clearing that low bar. So close to passing as American, babe, and yet — so far:
Marco Rubio, Sultan of Sweat — now that sounds like something Stewart might vaguely approve of, had Babe Ruth not been a hated Yankee.
Maybe next time stick to cricket.