In a recent segment on America’s revelation that Iran has been constructing a secret nuclear reactor in the city of Qum, The Daily Show‘s Jon Stewart flexed his powers of vocabulary, generating more than a few laugh-out-loud moments over what is otherwise a grave international dispute.
“The Islamic Republic of Iran has been building a covert uranium enrichment facility near Qum for several years,” Obama announced during the G20 summit in Pittsburgh.
A rapt Stewart exclaimed to the camera: “Did you hear that? There’s a city in Iran called ‘Qum’! I can’t even believe it!”
Obama’s pronunciation of the name — phonetically, “ko-om” — stood in contrast to Stewart’s, who conflated the sacred Iranian city’s name with a male reproductive fluid.
“And they’re building a nuclear plant,” said Stewart, “I’m assuming under mounds of Qum! I hope there’s not an accident, otherwise there’d be an explosion of hot Qum. People in the nearby village of Jalalabad [in Afghanistan] could be sprayed with pieces of Qum! Radioactive Qum!”
Blotting forehead with tie, the host blew kisses at his audience, seemingly acknowledging the absurdity of his riff.
“Ah, I have much to atone for,” Stewart joked.
An on-screen graphic featured an aerial shot of the alleged secret nuclear site with a title that read, “Qumshot.” The audience erupted in laughter as Stewart pursed his lips and grinned.
He concluded the routine with a rip on Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad.
“Let me tell ya, Mahmoud,” Stewart said. “You know those rocket technologies with the nuclear stuff? That’s like 60 years old.” Showing a black and white image of J. Robert Oppenheimer, who was largely responsible for America’s nuclear arsenal.
“We’ve had nukes so long, he rode a horse to work,” Stewart said. “So here’s my advice, Mahmoud: You guys better start building a new facility in Sploogistan.”
This video is from Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, broadcast Sept. 28, 2009.