TV

Michelle Wolf Explains How Late Night Political Segments, Including Her Own, Are All The Same

Ever since her roast of Sarah Huckabee Sanders at this year’s White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, comedian Michelle Wolf has been making waves with her late night-esque Netflix series, The Break with Michelle Wolf. The show, which drops new episodes every Sunday, looks and sounds very much like Late Night with Seth Meyers (where Wolf served as a writer), The Daily Show with Trevor Noah (where she worked as a correspondent) and their competitors at other broadcast and cable networks. And one of the many things they currently have in common? They all love the more-than-occasional political segment.

Hence Sunday’s “Segment Time” segment, a recent bit that outlines and mocks what pretty much everyone, including Wolf’s former employers, is doing right now in late night television. “I just finished the monologue, I addressed all the news this week and now I’m at a desk,” she began. “So you know what that means? It’s segment time!”

“This is the time of the show where we do a viral segment. And since this is a comedy show in 2018, you know one thing for sure: This comedy segment’s going to be sincere and angry. And you can also tell that it will be funny because I’m sitting down, there will be graphics and facts, and it will feel a little bit like school.”


Sure enough, Wolf’s meta “Segment Time” bit focuses on President Donald Trump — specifically the news that Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy will be retiring, and that Trump is already vying for a pro-life replacement. After calling Trump the devil, and calling out the fact that she called him the devil, Wolf then transitions through a series of “parts” (“The Information Part,” “The Unexpected Pivot,” “The Courageous Point”) before explaining herself, albeit still in the context of the joke:

“Writing jokes is hard. It’s, I mean, really hard. You know what’s easier? An earnest plea. So I am gonna throw my pen down on the desk and I’m gonna shake my head in crestfallen bewilderment. I’m gonna look you in the eye, and I’m gonna tell you that Trump is bad!”

The whole thing, which lasts around six and a half minutes (so roughly one-fourth the length of a Last Week Tonight deep dive), provides viewers with a good bit of fun, especially since it lets them in on the joke. At the same time, one gets the sense that Wolf, and likely her The Break team, are actually quite tired of the whole charade. Especially when you consider the tweet she posted on Sunday to promote it. “The hole Jon Stewart left has finally been filled. Introducing: Segment Time,” she wrote with a measure of wry. “You’re welcome.”

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