Chad Riden appears on The Daily Show – June 5, 2013

Chad Riden on The Daily Show

The Daily Show visited Nashville again on May 16, 2013 to shoot a story about how Tennessee’s governor has rejected Obama’s Medicaid expansion money in favor of a wacky health care lottery designed to fail. Correspondent Jessica Williams interviewed three Nashvillians and shot a sketch in which Nashville’s own Chad Riden appeared as a Publisher’s Clearing House prize patrol guy.

Comedy Central aired the edited piece on June 5, 2013, titled “Care Bearers: Jessica Williams investigates America’s “health belt” and its rejection of expanded Medicaid coverage.” Here’s the video:

Here are some still photos from the video:

Chad Riden on The Daily Show Chad Riden on The Daily Show Chad Riden on The Daily Show Chad Riden on The Daily Show Chad Riden on The Daily Show Chad Riden on The Daily Show


More from Chad Riden:

Murfreesboro Mosque Mockery

A couple months ago when we heard that The Daily Show was flying in to do a two day shoot in Murfreesboro, we weren’t exactly sure how.. but we knew someone in the area would soon make us cringe. As the news reports about the Mosque in Murfreesboro continue to make Tennessee look increasingly intolerant and ignorant, we’d like to point out that MOST of us Middle Tennesseeans are nice, friendly people who will NOT firebomb your religious gathering places.

On August 25th, Aasif Mandvi reported on the 30+ year-old Islamic center in Mufreesboro that is facing opposition as they try to expand. Enjoy the video:

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John Oliver’s Twist on American Satire

Anna Matsen attended John Oliver‘s May 25th show at Zanies and sends in this review:

john_oliver-zaniesSomebody put the fear of Nashville in John Oliver — thankfully for comedy fans, he nonetheless braved the city. To test the audience, he opened with a Voldemort vs. Cheney joke in which the former Vice came off the worse. (Call me crazy, but that appraisal coming from Harry Potter’s grown up doppleganger — minus only the lightning scar — carries added authority.) When the crowd roared in response to this and a Catholic Church vs. Galileo joke, Oliver expressed relief and excitement over what was sure to be a fun night.

I don’t know whether his show was literally sold out, but but the crowd was sure packed in and excited. The vast majority of people there were no doubt already big fans of his because he is popularly recognized; therefore, concerns that the audience wouldn’t get his humor were ultimately unwarranted. However, it’s worth noting that Nashville is a more mixed town when it comes to political humor than many realize, particularly when it comes to jokes at America’s expense. Sure, there are folks here (as everywhere) with a distaste for political comedy, but even those who’d get up-in-arms in defense of blind patriotism would have been at a loss how to react to Oliver’s jokes. His satire wasn’t aimed at critiquing U.S. policies, but rather expressed his dumbfounded, ironic love of all that’s ridiculous in American culture … and if there’s anything true about U.S. mass culture, it’s that we’re a “more to love” body of people.

For instance, do you know which of the U.S. states is the “least obese”? Or that our nation has the most flamboyant (if not the most participatory) democracy? Did you know that Americans have the most names in the Guinness Book of World Records? John Oliver can answer all of these questions, and has several illustrative examples proving that Americans will do anything for a token of notoriety. He also talked that night, as he does on his recorded stand up special Terrifying Times, about certain gloriously frivolous products found in our malls — things (according to him) no other country would make or buy, like the oreo pizza and the inflatable grill.

But the set wasn’t dedicated solely to satirizing American culture — Oliver is a pro at candid self-effacement too. He described for us his first feeble time firing a gun and the young (hilarious) trauma which inspired him to pursue comedy rather than athletics. After chastising his own insufficient masculinity to properly “Wooooo!,” he actually tried competing yell-for-yell with the happily rowdy audience — an unwise, but greatly amusing move.

Toward the end of this gig Oliver received a gift from an audience member: the quite hefty Encyclopedia of Rock. He stayed on stage an extra ten minutes just flipping through the pages for entertaining bits, like the maracas on the “things you need to start a band” page. Inspired by this, I am right now issuing a challenge to every other city that John Oliver visits: I dare you to outdo Nashville, particularly with a thoughtful and creative gift of some sort, given toward the end of his act. Since he pokes fun at America for not just inventing but selling items like the inflatable grill, best of all would be a product of like-minded American ingenuity. (Perhaps the portable microwave I once saw advertised in a magazine … I presume for people who have so little free time that, to eat at all, they simply must nuke on-the-go.) We want him to keep laughing at/with us, after all, so that this witty Brit stays a permanent import.

Finally, on The Daily Show he’s always struck me as the most bubbly correspondent — someone who’s thrilled to tears every time he reports. Happily, both his stand up show and his podcast with Andy Zaltzman (The Bugle) embrace the same invigorating enthusiasm. John Oliver is a smart, irrepressibly fun comic who works well with a crowd, even when self-conscious because unknown somebodies hyped him full of worry over Nashvillains. And there’s always the bonus of the lovely accent. (If he recorded a CD of himself reciting binary code, I’d buy it … but I’d much prefer his comedy.) If he comes to your town, go to his show, laugh a lot, and bring a gift. I dare ya.

Anna Matsen — a word nerd, political junkie, amateur philosopher, sushi-lover, and Nashvillian — attends as many comedy gigs as she can afford. As a grad student of English at Belmont Unversity and an English tutor at The Learning Lab, she works daily to improve her writing skills, hoping to one day write something worth a book jacket. Visit Anna on Facebook.