For those devoted viewers who keep up with Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, the program featured a satirical segment about the possible secession of Long Island from the state of New York on Monday, June 15. If you missed the episode, it can be seen at Comedy Central.
That said, if you’re used to the brand of news that The Daily Show reports, then a story like this should come as no surprise. In true Jon Stewart style, the comedian ended a segment on the Tehran election riots by segueing into this one, an item of debatably lighter substance. Daily Show correspondent Samantha Bee proceeded to cover this possibly (*ahem*) groundbreaking event.
In an interview with Suffolk County Legislator Edward Romaine, The Daily Show revealed that some Long Islanders are frustrated over the fact that “Long Island is paying $3 billion more…than we’re getting back in assistance from the state.” Rebutting his views was NY State Senator Carl Marcellino, saying, in essence, that secession would be highly impractical and unlikely. (And we’re supposed to be surprised?)
To U.S. citizens not residing in NY, this situation might not come as particularly humorous. However, those familiar with the major differences between these neighboring bodies of land can’t help but snicker over the fact that “The Islanders” would choose to alienate themselves from the rest of the state.
While Long Island does offer such cultural experiences as pot smoking, beer pong, drag racing, and the “Massapequa Hell House” (a suburban home resembling that of the Addams Family), it may lack some of the appeal of its urban cousin.
The second half of the segment centered around an interview with three young men in a bar. Yes, it may sound like the setup to a joke, but it’s not. The men in question expressed their opinions as to why Long Island definitely should secede, and draft its own Constitution, the 1st Amendment of which would be “No homos”. The sad part is that this is only a slight exaggeration. Again, to those who have never visited the place, some of the humor may be lost, but suffice it to say that you couldn’t write a funnier scene.
Some former residents of Long Island who have seen the segment apparently agree. One user on Comedy Central’s web site commented, “This is exactly why I left! Those 3 idiots are who stays, when intelligent people leave. Samantha didn’t have to search very far…” While some may have found the jabs offensive, one must remember that The Daily Show is fairly equal opportunity, poking fun at itself as well as celebrities, foreign nations, the U.S., and politicians at all ends of the spectrum.
In all likelihood, the prospect of Long Island becoming the 51st state seems distant. Then again, in the past few years, Americans have seen a number of events that they thought might never take place in their lifetimes.
So hey, you never know…but in the meantime, Americans are focusing on important things, like Kim Kardashian’s butt.