Even Daily Show host Jon Stewart had to admit to being impressed on Wednesday night — not just by John Beale’s ability to scam his way through a job with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for nine years, but by Beale using his ill-gotten free time to ride his bike and read books.
“This is what’s so wonderful about this story: this man is a liar, and boring as f*ck,” Stewart said. “It is an amazing fraud perpetrated by a guy so he could do things we only do when we’ve run out of other things to do. Brazen criminal, ordinary life. He’s the Secret Life of Walter Sh*tty.”
As Politico reported on Wednesday, Beale was sentenced on Wednesday for his Ferris Bueller-like stint at the agency, during which he got away with skipping work with pay for two-and-a-half years after convincing his superiors, his wife, and his friends that he was an undercover CIA agent. Beale also scored a preferred parking spot at his office by falsely claiming he contracted malaria while serving in the Vietnam War.
“He has told people he has malaria, so that he may park closer to the job he does not show up at,” Stewart said.
But on top of that, Stewart said, Beale’s ability to get away with such an over-the-top ruse had House Oversight Committee members Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) and Elijah Cummings (D-MD) at a loss for words, particularly after finding out that the former EPA official who recruited him to join the agency was letting him stay in his house.
“Suddenly, for just that one brief, miraculous shining moment, Democrat, Republican, white, Black, all believed in Santa again,” Stewart said excitedly.
Not even correspondent John Oliver was able to catch on to Beale’s act, as he proudly showed Stewart a “tribal heirloom” he said Beale gave him — after calling himself Sitting Bull’s great-great-grandson.
“What else did Beale tell you?” Stewart later demanded. “What else did this guy tell you — that his urine tastes like champagne?” An awkward second later, Stewart implored Oliver to say he didn’t confirm that the hard way.
“I’m a journalist, Jon!” Oliver yelled. “When someone makes a claim like that, you fact-check it!”
Watch Stewart’s commentary on Beale’s ongoing deception, as posted online on Wednesday, below.