The New York governor, Andrew Cuomo, is “the only person who wishes it was still 2020”, joked Trevor Noah on Monday’s Daily Show, as more and more high-profile Democrats called for his resignation following accusations of sexual harassment and bullying. Seven women have now publicly accused Cuomo of sexual harassment ranging from unwanted advances to alleged groping; several investigative features have outlined a toxic culture of bullying at the governor’s office.
“These accusations are some serious shit,” said Noah. From bullying to a Mad Men office culture that encouraged women to wear dresses and heels, it “sounds like Cuomo basically thought of himself as a bouncer outside a nightclub”, Noah joked. “Which is convenient for him, because that might be his job in a couple months.”
It’s a stunning fall from grace less than a year after the governor rose to national prominence for his commanding, televised press briefings on the pandemic that netted him an Emmy award. But the growing number of scandals engulfing his office is “getting so bad that he’s going to have to bring back his slides just to keep track of the harassment claims”, Noah joked.
Several high-profile Democrats from New York, including Representatives Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Jerry Nadler and more than 50 state lawmakers, have called for Cuomo to resign. But the pugnacious governor has so far refused to back down, blaming the calls on “cancel culture” targeting him for not being a member of the “political club”.
“That’s right: from the time he became governor 10 years ago, to his years as attorney general, back to when he worked in the Clinton administration, Andrew Cuomo has never been part of the political club,” said a sarcastic Noah. “And if you disagree, you can drive your ass out of New York on the bridge they named after his governor dad.”
On Late Night, Seth Meyers also tore into Cuomo, who has had “such a precipitous fall from grace that in the span of just a few months, he’s gone from winning an Emmy, writing a bestselling book and doing prop comedy with giant medical swabs on CNN like a dental hygienist at a middle school assembly to facing calls for his resignation from dozens of his fellow Democrats”.
As for Cuomo dismissing calls for resignation as “cancel culture”, Meyers said: “Can we now agree that the term ‘cancel culture’ is now officially meaningless? He’s using the same line as the people who spent the last three weeks getting mad about the Muppets, Mr Potato Head and Looney Tunes.
“Second, how can you say you’re not a part of the political club?” he added. “You’re the son of a former governor, you were in Bill Clinton’s cabinet, your last name is on a bridge.”
Meyers understood why people latched on to Cuomo’s straightforward briefings during the height of New York’s pandemic crisis last spring. “I get why we found them reassuring. I did too!” he said. “It was a scary time and there was a leadership void and he stepped into it.
“The same controlling, authoritarian tendencies Cuomo has displayed throughout his career also made him a commanding presence when everyone was desperate for one,” Meyers later continued. But “Cuomo has long been known in New York as a micro-managing bully who intimidates and coerces people to get his way, which is why he has so few friends left now as he faces a stampede of intensifying scandals”.
On the Late Show, Stephen Colbert admitted to a weird, unsettling hope of a pandemic-free future … if Americans would get vaccinated. Which is an open question, as one study found that nearly 30% of Americans and half of all Republican men say they do not intend to get one of the coronavirus vaccines. “First of all, I call dibs on theirs,” said Colbert.
“Second of all, why? Why, Republican men, why? Your guy is the one taking credit for the vaccine even existing! You’re insulting him by not getting jabbed. You’re going to break his … whatever is where his heart should be.
“If everyone gets vaccinated, we can make it through this pandemic in just a few months,” he continued. “As long as Americans don’t do anything stupid – and we’re doomed.” The host cut to clips of packed beaches and restaurants in south Florida this past weekend. “I know what’s going on our nation’s tombstone,” Colbert lamented. “America 1776-2021, destroyed by our biggest dick.”
And in Los Angeles, Jimmy Kimmel also marveled at the study in which half of Republican men said they will not get the vaccine. “Suddenly they’re against baring their own arms,” he joked, though “in fairness, they have been fed such nonsense from their Fox & Friends.
“Think about it, this is what they’ve heard: the pandemic isn’t a big deal, it will wash away, it’s no worse than the flu, but it was created by China to destroy us,” he added. “Which is it? Is Trump not getting the credit he deserves for manufacturing the vaccine? Or is this how Bill Gates controls our minds?
“No wonder they’re hesitant,” he concluded. “I’d be hesitant, too, if everything I was told contradicted everything else I was told.”