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Hey, what's going on, everybody? Welcome to the Daily Social Distancing Show. I'm Trevor Noah. Today is Tuesday, the twenty ninth of September, which means we're now just thirty five days from Election Day. Or to use another number, people will understand we're just 18 Trump scandals away from Election Day. Anyway, on tonight's show, Ronny Chang learns how to debate Donald Trump. The real reason wildfires have gotten so crazy. And we'll tell you how to ensure that your mail in ballots is actually counted.
So let's do this, people.
Welcome to the daily social distancing show from Trevor's couch in New York City to your couch somewhere in the world. This is the Daily Social Decency Show with children all year. Today, we're going to talk about voting.
It's how America chooses which person it'll be met for the next four years. Now, even though Election Day is still weeks away, the election has started in many states, and that's thanks to mail in voting. Now, as you may have heard, there is one individual who is extremely unhappy about that mail in voting.
It's going to be the greatest fraud in the history of elections. There's no way you can go through a mail in vote without massive cheating. The ballots are lost.
This fraud, this theft, it's it's happening all over the place. Russia, China, North Korea, Iran, these countries can grab those ballots or print forgeries of those ballots.
Kids in there raid the mailboxes in the hand of the people that are signing the ballots down the end of the street, which is happening the mail in ballots and mail them to anybody and they send them out by the millions number was sent, I guess, to that at least two, three, four were sent to dogs.
One was sent to a cat.
Holy shit, guys, Trump is freaking out. People are cheating. Cats and dogs are getting ballots. If I'm perfectly honest, I don't mind dogs voting because they'll vote for whoever they only vote for.
But cats, you can't trust them. Shit, those asshole will vote for Jill Stein just to mess with us. Well, I will say, though, Trump stories about kids and foreign countries rigging the election sound pretty terrifying. They kid go and get milk from milk books and I will reward you with delicious Russian candy is frozen onion. But regardless of how it happens, clearly Trump's goal here is to stir up fears about fraud. And if you commit fraud, you're going down.
This is tax fraud and Trump wants to trade tips. But voter fraud, you're going. Yeah, but just to be clear, are there sometimes isolated incidents of voter fraud? Sure there are. But in the states that have been doing all male elections for years, there's been no evidence of anything close to widespread problems that can affect the election. But and this is a big but that doesn't mean that America has no problems with mail in voting at all.
In fact, the real danger with mailing voting isn't fraud. It's all the little things that can get your vote thrown out.
There is evidence of widespread rejection of mail in ballots because of human error and this year's primary. More than half a million ballots were reportedly thrown out for simple mistakes, such as signatures not matching the state's records and missing signature envelope problems and ballots arriving after the deadline.
Many voters do not realize they have to sign the back of the ballot envelope they mail in rather than fill in the bubble that put an X, so they put a stray mark somewhere. The ballot is discounted, thrown out.
Pennsylvania is one of 16 states requiring that voters receive two envelopes with a mail in ballot, the outer postmarked envelope and the inner one meant to preserve anonymity and protect from tampering. Pennsylvania state supreme. Court now ordering officials to throw out mail in ballots that arrive without any privacy envelopes known as naked ballots, but as many as 100000 votes statewide could be invalidated because of missing privacy envelopes.
President Trump won Pennsylvania in 2016 by just over forty four thousand votes.
Oh, man, this could be a major disaster. Hundreds of thousands of votes could get thrown out because of minor human errors just from a missing signature to a partially food bubble. The more I learn about American democracy, the more I think to myself, you guys are invading other countries to give them this. I mean, maybe you guys should figure out this thing before taking it to the global markets. And don't get me wrong, I see why a lot of these ballot requirements exist.
I mean, they were designed to prevent fraud. The only problem is that they can mean that a perfectly legal vote gets thrown out. It would be like missing one square with a traffic lights. But instead of not getting into your email account, Donald Trump gets a second term. I knew it was a Trump. I knew it. And yeah, part of the problem is that there are a lot of little things you have to do and you have to get right for your ballots to count.
But the other problem is that most people just don't like reading instructions. I mean, it's the reason most of us can't cook. Cooking is literally just reading instructions and doing what they say. And yet half of us are going rogue in the kitchen like it says, a teaspoon of salt. But my hand is basically a teaspoon, right. Wait, what do you mean? My cookies got thrown off? Those are perfectly valid cookies. Now, what are people supposed to eat at the org.
Oh, and if you're one of those perfect people who never misses a detail and won't ever make a mistake, first of all, kill yourself. And secondly, it turns out the government might make your mistakes for you.
A mailer that was supposed to help district voters confirm their mailing address instead is sparking a lot of confusion. The D.C. Board of Elections sent as many as five hundred thousand faulty mailers. If you follow the instructions and you tear the card along the perforated lines before you mail it, vital information will not be included.
Roughly fourteen hundred voters here in Northern Virginia got duplicate absentee ballots. What elections officials are telling The Washington Post is that this was a clerical error.
Absentee ballots are arriving in thousands of New York City mailboxes, but we are told there is a major problem with the return envelope stuffed inside. Voters tell news for they were just about to mail in their absentee ballot when they noticed the name and address on the return envelope wasn't theirs.
Man, can you imagine that your vote doesn't count because the government messed up your ballots. That's why you have to vote for a better government.
But you can't because they messed up your ballot. It's the perfect crime. How come this never happens with the IRS, huh? You never get to not pay your taxes because they messed up your name. Mr. Trevor. No, hell, it's time for you to pay your taxes. Actually, that's not my name. Your name. We're here for the money.
And look, I'm not at all surprised that this is happening with these ballots because this kind of thing happens with all mail. I mean, think about everything you know about the people who used to live at your address just based on the mail for them that you still get. Like I know the guy who lived here before me used to shop at West Elm. I know that he went to the University of Arkansas. And I know that he has terrible credit because of all the credit cards that fell out in his name.
By the way, thanks for the new TV, Dave. I appreciate it. Oh, and by the way, your blood work came back. Now, the truth is mistakes were made with mail in ballots every single election.
But this year, especially, Donald Trump is preparing to hunt down any mistakes that could get a vote thrown out because he knows that Democrats are planning to overwhelmingly vote by mail. So, look, I don't wanna give anyone the wrong idea. The vast majority of mail in ballots should be fine. But if you want to be even more sure that your vote will count, you should try to vote in person if it's safe for you to do so. And if your state offers early voting, that's a good way to avoid crowds and long lines on Election Day.
But if you can't vote in person and you want to make sure that your mail in ballot is counted, well, don't worry. The Daily Social Distancing Show has got you covered. This year.
Many Americans will be voting by mail for the first time. For some young voters, this will be the first time they've sent an email at all. So to make sure your ballot is counted, we put together some simple mail in voting dos and don'ts. Do you remember that unless you live in these nine states, you can only get a mail in ballot after you've applied for one and been approved? It's called consent. Once you get your ballot, do vote as early as possible.
In fact, already filled out my ballot for the twenty twenty four election. Good luck on election night, Steve Buscemi do follow all the instructions mail in voting is like building a bookshelf from IKEA. Skip one step and the whole thing could collapse and fall on your nephew Dennis. And then everybody stops talking to you. Don't write in a fake address like sixty nine Doggystyle Lane. It's actually pretty good. I might I used to sign your name before sending your ballot in and not that squiggle bullshit you do on the credit card machine.
Acebes your real signature.
Don't eat Cheetos right before you fill your ballot out. The smudges won't nullify your vote. It's just gross. Don't use your ballot to write Fuller House erotica, even if you have interesting ideas about what Uncle Jesse and Camille Kibler could do to each other. It's been done. Do you remember that your state might require a witness to sign your ballot to don't knock to try it. Sometimes voting can be harder when someone's watching.
Do not send in a naked ballot and the states that require it make sure to put your ballot inside the secrecy envelope before sending.
Also, do not send in a naked photo of yourself. I've been told by numerous election officials they are not welcome, even if they're extremely sexy. Don't copy the Asian kids answers. This isn't high school algebra broyd.
Nobody look at it. You do not know if you're waiting for my turn to talk. Oh really? Well, yes.
OK, don't change your ballot to anyone who introduces himself as an official ballot taste tester. He does not work at the post office.
Do take a selfie when you mail your ballot in because we all know how bragging on social media is basically the whole point of voting. Do not keep your ballot as a souvenir. What are you, an idiot do give yourself a pat on the back after turning in your ballot. Democracy was in your hands and you did the bare minimum. Well, that once you vote it, it's time to prepare for the post-election chaos. Do make sure you have enough wood to build yourself a bunker and do not put me at night.
I'm ready for the. Save some space for me, Roy. All right, we've got to take a quick break, but when we come back, we'll try and solve the wildfires happening on the West Coast. And then Ronnie Chan prepares to debate Donald Trump.
We'll be right back. This episode of The Daily Show airs, Ed. is brought to you by Les Mills to help you stay active and work out at home during lockdown. Les Mills is offering all Daily Show listeners free access to Les Mills on demand. Les Mills called the Netflix of Fitness, provides a high quality video streaming experience for all workouts. With workouts ranging from 15 minutes to 55 minutes. You can fit in your workouts in and around a busy schedule.
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Trevor and Jennifer Palmieri, host of a new podcast from the recount, all just something about her after working on five presidential campaigns. I thought women could achieve the same success as men if they played by the rules. Then 2016 happened in my podcast. Just something about her. I'll talk with women, CEOs, athletes, politicians and more so together we can create our own girls. Listen to just something about her I heart radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcast.
Welcome back to the Daily Social Distancing Show, let's talk about wildfires, a.k.a. the coronavirus of the forest. As you probably know, the West Coast has been devastated by massive fires burning for weeks. And over the weekend, California saw one of its biggest blazes yet.
Those deadly new fires are raging out of control in northern California. Among the dozens now burning across the state and they exploded in size on Monday. Those fires destroying homes, damaging popular wineries.
Before sunrise, entire neighborhoods were engulfed in flames, devouring an untold number of homes. It was just a big red ball of fire right next to us.
In the world famous Napa Valley, more than 60 wineries are in the burn zone. An unknown number have already been damaged or destroyed.
It covered cars with ash and turned the skies above Sonoma County red as the smoke blocked the sun. So far this year, California has seen more than 8000 wildfires, destroying more than seven thousand buildings, scorching nearly fifty eight hundred square miles.
That's the size of almost three million football fields.
God damn, that is terrible. So many beautiful wineries are being threatened by these wildfires. And remember, there are a lot of people who rely on these wineries. You've got the owners, you've got the employees, you've got the economy of entire towns. And you know who I feel really bad for America's book clubs, because without wine, they're going to have to discuss books sober. I mean, that's that's just English class. Here's my question, though.
How come wildfires never burn the shit that we want them to, huh? Just once I want to turn on the news and hear about a wildfire burning down a pedophile's house, you know, taking out a neo-Nazi recruitment center, then passing by a marshmallow factory and roasting everything inside to a nice golden brown. And another reason I hope that these wineries get out of this thing, OK? It's not just because of how awful it would be for the region, but because it would mean that we would all have to start getting our wine from New Jersey.
I detect hints of Adidas tracksuit and Google GOOG. But yes, with yet another wildfire breaking out in California, a record setting year continues to get even worse for the West Coast. And the question many people are asking is why? Why have wildfires gotten so out of control? Well, let's find out why in another installment of If You Don't Know. Now you know. So why have wildfires been so bad in recent years? Well, if you immediately said the climate change, then, OK, you're mostly right.
It's a disastrous new normal, catastrophic fires once contained to one season. Now a harrowing, year-round battle. We got to go. A major factor, climate change.
In the last 40 years fall, temperatures in California have increased about two degrees, while precipitation has dropped about 30 percent longer.
Dry seasons and extreme events like heat waves that synchronized the risk of fire across enormous landscapes.
Climate change is increasing the area burned by the average wildfire more than doubling it since the 1980s.
Since nineteen thirty five of the biggest fires so far out of the top 10 have been this year. California is America.
Fast forward, in other words, a postcard from the future. Oh man.
Are you serious? California is basically a postcard from the future. That means the future is also on fire. And it also means that the post office is still functioning in the future. So I guess we did it and that really is mind blowing. Five of the biggest fires have been this year. That's insane. Although this is 20, 20, so I'm kind of shocked that all of the biggest fires haven't been from this year. Wildfires might be here to stay, which is awful for humans, but especially bad for trees.
Because they can't move, humans can just run away from a wildfire. But trees, they just stuck there. Can you imagine how terrifying that must be for them?
Now, there are a number of ways that climate change makes wildfires bigger and more frequent. For instance, not only does dry wood and leaves make better fuel for fires, but hot weather is also associated with increasing lightning strikes that ignite them. In fact, even small things about climate change can have a huge ripple effect that leads to fires and I mean really small things.
Millions of drought, stressed trees in California forests. We're low on sap, which is their natural defense against the bark beetle.
These are these little tiny bugs about the size of a grain of rice. Bark beetle infestation is linked to global warming. As weather gets warmer, they burrow into the bark of pine trees. They kill the pine trees. The pine trees then essentially become sticks of kindling ready to burn.
The beetles took down more than one hundred and sixty million trees. And that's where some of the largest fires are burning today.
Yeah, believe it or not, people, the spread of the tiny bark beetle is yet another way that climate change is making wildfires worse. It's also a great reminder that even though climate change is really bad for us humans, for some other creatures, it's the best thing that ever happened. It's like how the Trump administration has been a disaster for most people, but great for various reptiles. And I've got to be honest, I never thought the apocalypse would be caused by such a lame villain.
I mean, really, guys, beetles are going to be the reason everything is on fire. Come on, man. The last season of Game of Thrones was bad enough when Denarius was burning everything down with Dragons. Now, imagine if she had beetles instead, that she would make the brand storyline seem exciting.
Well, let's get back to the kid who like a bird or something. I watch these beetles. So, yes, we have to address climate change. But the truth is, climate change isn't the only reason that these fires have been getting worse.
There's also at least a century of government stupidity.
Controlled fire or prescribed fire is the method of burning certain land to reduce wildfire hazards. This method was developed by Native Americans thousands of years ago.
These low intensity fires called cultural burnings that built much of California's forests. Without controlled burns, forest would have become overgrown and unmanageable.
Overgrown forests create a lot of fuel in the form of dry or dead plants.
As European colonization grew in California, native tribes were banned from engaging in cultural burning. And over time, state and federal authorities focus on quickly extinguishing any wildfires. For example, the US Forest Service infamous 10 a.m. policy so that any fires that occurred must be put out by 10:00 a.m. the next day.
This limit on fires did little to reduce the fuel that was growing on the forest floor. And even with these policies, California still has fuelers waiting to be burned from centuries ago, making prescribed burning far more tedious and expensive than previously thought.
Yeah, you heard that right. One thing that would help out a lot is if California had been doing more controlled burns, which is basically when you burn a little to prevent a lot from burning later, it's the same way you meet your college friend for coffee so that you don't have to have a three hour dinner with them. And, you know, you have to admit, it's pretty unbelievable that California is now doing what they outlawed the native people from doing.
I guess it's kind of hard, though, to kick somebody off their land and take their advice at the same time. This is my property now, you savage. Oh, also, before you go, do you have any landscaping tips like any like mulching techniques or things that I have to learn? Now, obviously, it's bad enough that wildfires are burning millions and millions of trees, but what makes it an especially big problem for people is that we've been giving the fires a lot more of our stuff to burn since nineteen ninety.
Sixty percent of all the homes in the United States have been built in the wildland urban interface.
We've got houses in places we didn't used to have houses. And that puts people and and property at risk.
As more houses are built near wildlands, more of them burn. Fifty years ago, wildfires destroyed a few hundred structures per year across the United States.
Now it's more than 3000. In California alone, more than six million houses are in wild areas because urban housing is so expensive.
Instead of avoiding these high risk zones, Californians continue to build in a tinder box of grass and trees boxed by Windy Canyon instead of Smokey Bear in the middle of the woods.
We need a Smokey Bear in the middle of suburbia.
Are you? Do yourself a favor, Smokey Ban. You stay out of the suburbs. We don't want Karen calling the cops on you.
Hello? Nine one one. There is a bear in my neighborhood and he's. He's brown.
But yes, one big problem is that more and more people are building homes in the middle of the forest. And let's place the blame where it belongs here with the Keebler Elves. Yeah, these guys made living in the forest looks so cool that everyone started doing it. You get to be in a tree making cookies all day. Sounds great, but guess what? Those cookies are covered with bagels. And if we're honest here, guys, one of the bigger issues is human arrogance.
We just think we can build wherever we go, you know, wherever we build a house. That's our land. Now, it's the same way people in Florida are always surprised when alligators show up. Oh, there's an alligator in my backyard. No, there's a person in that alligators house. But the good news is we can fix these problems. Yeah, believe it or not, the wildfires don't have to happen the way they have been. We can stop them.
If we take action to reduce climate change. We can stop them if we maintain the forests and we can stop them if we build in environmentally sensitive ways. And that's for those beetles. You leave them to me, it's for a short break, but don't go away, because when we come back, Ronnie Chang takes us into the world of debating Donald Trump. We'll be right back.
Food is and always has been political. If that wasn't clear before, the events of 2020 have revealed this truth in a spectacular fashion. So this season we're diving deeper, learning about the nomadic roots of the Fulani people and the cultural significance of matte dining. We traveled to Palestine to taste the milky pestilent Iraq and then to La Palma in the Canary Islands to drink local wine from a woman winemaker.
While considering the industry's male dominance. We're questioning the morality of meat, the politics of language and why we don't say food desert, but rather food apartheid. This season, we're bringing you into the policies that influence and shape our food system and along the way, drinking coffee with you while discussing its African origins.
From the makers of wetstone media, its point of origin, season three. I'm inviting you to travel with me, your host, Stephen Satterfield, for another tour of the World of Food Worldwide.
Listen to Point of Origin on the I Heart radio app, Apple podcast or wherever you get your podcasts.
Welcome back to the Daily Social Distancing Show, Joe Biden has spent a lot of time preparing for the debate tonight, but how do you prepare for a 90 minute conversation with Donald Trump? Well, our very own Renee Chang talked about it with a debate expert who had a personal experience. Check it out.
It's finally debate night, Trump versus Biden, the royal ramble.
So how is this going to play out? Phillipe Rinus, former adviser to Hillary Clinton, has a few ideas. That's because he played Trump in Clinton's 20 16 debate prep.
So what qualifies you for this? Is it a Spider-Man situation where you got bit by one of the Trumps? And if so, was it Eric?
Someone said to me, you've been practicing for this role your whole life. You just didn't know it. I can be tough and I can be not nice. I could be caustic. The point is to help Hillary Clinton. Get used to this idiot making a lot of noise, some of which is just nonsensical.
So during the 2016 campaign, people basically said, look, we need to find the biggest dick available to us right now. And that's you. That's me.
So how did this big dig deep inside Trump's head? The first step was getting into his pants.
I went to my tailor and I said, I need to actually look at Donald Trump. Gave me a suit too baggy. The sleeves were too long.
I thought, bring in a quarter inch lifts in my shoes because, you know, he's like six, six, six, seven. I didn't wear a wig because it was not SNL. I don't want to make a mockery of it.
You don't wanna make a mockery of it. But the three inch lifts an oversized suit. That was just silly enough. Could I have done as good of a job if I was wearing a blue blazer or a onesie? Probably. This was my process. I wanted to it was method acting. It was I wanted to be him.
You went method to play a president in debate prep. You look at ninety nine cents. Daniel Day Lewis.
As ridiculous as it sounds, this guy deserves an Oscar for mock debating and not a pity one like Green Book. It's more like a beautiful mind.
Wasn't just a matter of studying how to copy him, it was kind of thinking through what it is he might do.
I knew he'd be confused and I knew that he would walk around on stage and not know where to stand.
So I did that.
And in the second debate, when Donald Trump started lurking and creeping around Hillary, she had experienced it already during our debate prep.
Wow. This guy really knows Trump well. How do you think Trump is going to be different in twenty twenty debates versus twenty sixteen? Like, is this one going to be one of those sequels that kind of live up to original or is Trump going to be like the Fast and Furious movies where just keeps getting better and more furious?
While Donald Trump was dangerous in twenty sixteen, he was dangerous because he had nothing to lose in twenty twenty. Donald Trump is dangerous, but for the opposite reason. He is a wounded animal. There are some animals that are inherently mean honey badgers, jackals. If you kick a Jackel, he's going to be more of a dick than he is the normal day. Just walking around the. Tunja, or whatever you call the bush or the. Have you ever kicked a jackal before the actual jackal or her life?
No, I don't think I've ever seen a. I grew up in Manhattan, so I don't know what the people call the wild. Wow.
If this guy understands Trump as much as he doesn't understand nature, maybe he could help the Biden campaign.
So what strategy should Biden use to defeat Trump in a debate? Keep in mind that everyone's minds are already made up and Fox News will say that Trump won anyway and American democracy is broken.
But yeah, anyway, how can Biden win if Joe Biden is trying to out Trump Trump? He's going to lose because we already have a Trump, one of Joe Biden's biggest assets here is that he does not always sound like a politician. The craziest, oldest person to ever be president just told me I'm crazy and old. Do I sit there and say. I just took a test. I have a doctor, I'm perfectly healthy. You say, are you kidding me?
This guy has it up. I'm going to.
OK, so you're saying that you can't out Trump Trump, but everything you're suggesting sounds like Trump. So are you saying that you can trump Trump by being somewhat Trump, but not over Trump again? Or are you saying don't be Trump at all? It's a very it's a very tough balance guarded by Trump, but don't be Trump.
So Joe Biden for the next debate, be like a jackal in the Bush or the tundra. You know what? Forget it.
I hope you enjoy watching this. Thank you so much for that, Ronnie.
All right. When we come back, I'll be talking to the ballerina and superstar, Misty Copeland.
So stick around. Welcome back to the Daily Social Distancing Show. So earlier today, I spoke with Misty Copeland, the first black principal dancer at the American Ballet Theatre. We talked about representation in ballet, a new book for children and a whole lot more Misty Copeland. Welcome to The Daily Social Distancing Show.
Thank you so much for having me.
You are one of the most accomplished ballet dancers in the world. You're also one of the most recognizable faces in the world, not just because of how good you are, but because of how many boundaries and how many barriers you broke down in just doing what you do. You know, being the first black lead in Swan Lake, being the first black principal dancer in a major ballet company, these are huge, huge, huge achievements. And now you've written a picture book that really inspires kids to follow in your footsteps.
But I read this book and I was like, I don't think anyone can follow in your footsteps. Aren't you setting me up for failure?
Oh, man. You know something that I wanted to do that I that I do and carry and everything that I do in my life and in my career is is really bring value to more people and educate people on what it is. You know, there's there's so many misconceptions and preconceived notions and tropes that come along with being a ballerina and film and television and media that just aren't our reality. We're not living in the Black Swan movie. We come into dance to find a way of expressing ourselves, to find happiness, to to find beauty and joy.
And so that's something that I've always wanted to highlight, the camaraderie, the relationships that develop. And so within Bunheads, we have this misfit group of a diverse group of characters. There's there of all ages and backgrounds. We have myself, a young Misty on her first day in ballet class. We have my best friend, Catalina, which we call her cat, who's a Mexican-American girl who is my actual best friend growing up. And I just wanted to show that we can find differences in one another and learn from those differences and grow and support one another, which I think is such a huge part of the ballet community.
Yeah, it's a really powerful story because so many of the themes that you deal with, not just in this book, but in your life, really relate to what people have been talking more about. It feels like in twenty twenty. And that is how do we make spaces more equitable? How do we give people an equal opportunity to succeed? For a long time, people would say, well, I mean I mean, you can do ballet if you want to do it.
It doesn't matter what the color of your skin is, but you learn very early on that it did matter. People said, you know, your body type is too muscular. And, you know, we've seen a lot of these narratives. You started with the Williams sisters in tennis where they were like, well, they're not the classic tennis players in the way they look. It's a theme that we see over and over again. Once you in those spaces, what have you done to try and change the ideas that exist within the world of ballet that's seen as a white space?
I mean, you kind of just hit it right there, I mean, so much of the language, I had to decipher and really understand that it's code, it's this code language that the ballet world and so much of the white world has been able to get away with. We're in a visual art form that's about your aesthetics. So it seems acceptable to say, I'm sorry, you just don't have the right body type was like, what does that mean?
Well, I have brown skin. It means the girl standing next to me have just as big of muscles and breasts and they are not being told that. So, so much of it has really been just knowing how to navigate in a way that is palatable for white people in the ballet world. But that's honest and allows people to really understand the underlying narrative that's being that's been a part of the ballet, culture and community from the beginning of time.
And you've inspired so many people with your story. And you are one of the few people on this planet who could say that Prince was inspired by you, which still blows my mind because Prince was an enigma. I mean, I met him once and he seemed to know everything about everything. And I found it really interesting that for him, Misty Copeland was was a source of inspiration. What do you think it was that connected you and the late, great prince?
I'm so happy that you had a chance to meet him. First of all, he's someone that was just constantly educating himself. He was so invested and involved in learning about the next generation and what people were doing, whether it was in politics or art and music. I mean, it was such an honor to even have an opportunity to share the stage with him and to collaborate. And he gave me so much confidence and belief in myself to be able to be a free artist.
And as dancers, especially as a black ballet dancer, we often aren't given that freedom. We're told what to do. We're doing the steps from hundreds of year old ballets and just have the freedom to create and bring our own selves to it.
What I've really enjoyed watching is how now you've been responding to what's happened due to the coronavirus. One of the biggest areas that's been devastated by the coronavirus has been the odds and sometimes people take it for granted. But I mean, the ox is sometimes the fabric of how we live our lives. It's the music that's playing in the background. It's it's the thing we watch to take our minds off how hard life can be. I know that you've got a program where you set out to try and keep dancers just living during this time.
What is the program and why do you feel it's so important to keep the world of ballet alive?
I know that in times of crisis like this, people congregate towards art and music. It feels as though it's kind of this frivolous thing and in times like that. But it's not. And it's as elite as ballet seems. We are not making a lot of money. Well, I'm not going to say because I have a lot of other projects going on, endorsement deals. So I'm not going to put myself in that category. But as professional dancers, they do not make the money they should be making like professional athletes do and deserve to be making.
So I really felt that it was my responsibility with the platform and the reach that I have to use this time to bring awareness to the what dancers are going through. So I started I co-founded Swans for Relief with a coworker of mine, Joseph Phillips, who is in a company in the Philippines in Manila. And we decided I decided to call on all of my ballerina sisters and forces from around the globe. And I ended up with thirty two ballerinas from twenty two different professional top companies and from 14 different countries.
And we came together. We performed one very iconic variation to raise funds and bring awareness to each each ballerina's respective relief funds. So you can go to go fund me and funds for relief and donate.
Misty Copeland, thank you for inspiring us. Thank you for the work that you're doing. And thank you so much for joining me on the show.
Thank you so much for having me.
Well, that's our show for tonight. But before we go, as we talked about earlier in the show, the West Coast is battling horrific wildfires that are destroying millions of acres of land and displacing thousands of people. Climate change has been a key factor in increasing the risk and the extent of these conditions. And one organization that has been working to find practical solutions for climate change and other environmental threats is the Environmental Defense Fund. Until tomorrow. Stay safe out there, wear a mask and remember, check your balance before you wreck ballot.
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