Ah, remember those care-filled days when we were masking up, washing our hands obsessively, and worrying about every single human interaction like it was potentially our last? At least, that’s what we’d be saying from a perch of relative safety and rueful reminiscence if everyone actually had done those things, instead of following the lead of the worst people in the country and ditching doctor-advised, civic-minded collective action for me-first, all-’Murican pig-headed irresponsibility. And thus, Monday’s Daily Show saw host Trevor Noah introducing the second annual Pandemmys.
Introducing this year’s nominees for the worst public spectacles of COVID-era idiocy, boorish bullheadedness, and outright historical inappropriateness, Noah noted that the very fact that the bit got a second installment proves that these losers (no matter the outcome of fan voting) have made the entire country lose, big time. And while there’s no Donald Trump among the competitors this year, Noah assured potential voters that the second Pandemmys features plenty of right-wing shills, loonies, and walking disease vectors, all vying to take up Trump’s Pandemmy-winning, mass-murdering crown.
Just as COVID has mutated to swamp the nation’s ICU’s with the last, defiantly unvaccinated breaths of those who just didn’t make it to the big awards night, The Pandemmys’ categories had to change with the tide of Fox News-infectious stupidity. In the category Best Historical Adaptation, Noah could only shake his head at the conundrum facing voters, as Republicans railing against life-saving vaccines made such jaw-droppingly inappropriate comparisons as “vaccine mandates are the new Jim Crow” (Tucker Carlson), “vaccine mandates bring back segregation” (Candace Owens), and, in the dead-eyed, bald-faced nonsense to beat, “vaccine mandates equal Nazi Germany” (Marjorie Taylor Greene). South Africa-born Noah himself had to stump for Fox News’ Steve Hilton for comparing common sense health procedures to apartheid, but that’s just him being a homer.
But, as Noah noted, the Pandemmys aren’t just about overpaid, murderously misinforming celebrity idiots. He urged viewers to chime in on everything from everyday, sucker-punching, mask-averse airline passengers (the “Do you know who my parents are?!” trust fund baby getting duct-taped to his chair is going to be tough to unseat), to a jam-packed roster of red-faced public forum blowhards. (“Vaccines make you magnetic” versus “black lights reveal that the vaccinated aren’t human any more” is a horserace, but don’t count out the shrieking Hulk Hogan wannabe blowing out a town meeting’s unsuspecting soundboard with bellows of “Hail Fauci!”).
And that’s just the teaser for this second installment of thoroughly deserved public ridicule for the self-outed dumbest and least-loved COVID deniers and would-be infection all-stars. For the full list of Pandemmy nominees, and to vote for the people you’d most like to see immortalized as this benighted era’s true embodiment of all-American selfishness and deadly asininity, head to pandemmyawards.com. Don’t miss the stirring In Memoriam segment for those anti-vaxxers whose stalwart stumping against COVID safety saw them fall (from COVID) before they could compete. We’ll always remember you.