“The Daily Show” has been openly auditioning new hosts to replace the recently departed Trevor Noah, and former “West Wing” star Kal Penn is said to be the front-runner (ahead of favorites such as Chelsea Handler or Leslie Jones) after using his White House connections to nab an exclusive with President Joe Biden.
Penn, the openly gay star of such comedies as “Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle,” has moved easily between the worlds of entertainment and politics, having spent over two years serving in the public engagement arm of the Obama administration.
President Biden dropped his oft-repeated line that he’s “never been more optimistic” in his entire life about America’s future despite the country’s obvious division.
However, he also remains realistic about the current issues causing the divisiveness–particularly climate change and gender issues–while sharing his concerns regarding the impact on younger generations.
“That whole generation is damned. It’s not a hyperbole. Really, truly in trouble”: Pres. Biden made his first appearance of his term on @TheDailyShow, telling guest host @KalPenn that the younger generation has made space for him to take action on climate change. pic.twitter.com/4aUdGPHZPS
— CBS Mornings (@CBSMornings) March 14, 2023
The potential new “Daily Show” host also brought his own experience to the topic of same-sex marriage, as he’s engaged to his partner of five years, and he told the President that his “aunties and uncles” are tired of waiting for their wedding.
The President shared his own epiphany regarding same-sex marriage, which dates back to a time when everyone was essentially forced to live in the closet. As a teenager, President Biden was out with his father and saw two men kissing for the first time, which confused him.
His dad turned to him and said, “Joey, it’s simple, they love each other.”
And that’s how it’s been for Joe Biden ever since, maintaining the “it’s simple” outlook.
“Doesn’t matter whether it’s same-sex or a heterosexual couple, they should be able to be married,” the President told Penn. “What is the problem? So, listen to your auntie and uncle, get married. Do it now.”
"It doesn't matter whether it's same-sex or a heterosexual couple, you should be able to be married." @POTUS joins @KalPenn to discuss his evolution on same-sex marriage, and how the government can protect the transgender community. pic.twitter.com/HqurEvVctE
— The Daily Show (@TheDailyShow) March 13, 2023
The President also took a more serious tone when it came to the very real threat to transgender Americans from the extreme right, particularly in Florida.
He quoted his mother, whom he said would define the GOP’s actions as “close to sinful.”
“It’s not like a kid wakes up one morning and says, ‘You know, I decided I want to become a man or a woman.’ I mean, what are they thinking about here? They’re human beings. They love, they have feelings, they have inclinations,” the President said. “I don’t know, it’s cruel, and the way we do it is we make sure we pass legislation like we passed with same-sex marriage. You mess with that, you’re breaking the law and you’re going to be held accountable.”
👀 @POTUS on @TheDailyShow with @kalpenn praising young people who made it possible to pass the largest climate action legislation in the history of the world.
Many thanks to all the Millennial and GenZ voters and much love to the cool GenX and Boomers too. pic.twitter.com/yMxWZU9zNH
— Brad Bo 🇺🇸 (@BradBeauregardJ) March 14, 2023
Watch their entire discussion, below.