‘The Daily Show’ comes to Johnston County rally and finds acne, Satan and mask ‘funk’

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“The Daily Show with Trevor Noah” turned its comedic lens on an anti-mask rally in Johnston County on Thursday night’s show, with flag-draped protesters showing viewers across the nation a special North Carolina brand of COVID-19 grievance.

In a string of interviews — with Rep. Madison Cawthorn notably absent — protesters alternately told host Jordan Klepper that face coverings lead to acne, fill the body with toxins and reflect Satanist rituals.

As Klepper marched with them to a Sept. 14 Board of Education meeting, Klepper declared schools “America’s new Thunderdome.”

“Masks don’t work,” said one woman, wearing a T-shirt that read, ‘I Don’t Co-Parent with the Government.’ “My child was suffering after wearing his mask so long.”

“What kind of issues has he had?” asked Klepper.

“He’s had acne on his face from the mask covering and not letting his skin breathe.”

“Has he had COVID?”


“But he has had acne.”


“So if you had to choose ...”

Response to Comedy Central choosing Smithfield for its satirical news segment was swift and embarrassed: at least on Twitter.

“So proud to be a North Carolinian,” tweeted Virginia Buysse, a scientist at UNC-Chapel Hill.

“The Daily Show” has swung through North Carolina before. In 2013, a Buncombe County Republican precinct official made this comment about a voter ID law, which then found its way into a federal court ruling: “If it hurts a bunch of lazy blacks that want the government to give them everything, so be it.”

Klepper, while polite, came armed with retorts in the Johnston County segment.

A protester in Smithfield told Klepper that masks make children breathe in toxins, and that anyone who smelled “the funk” inside would agree they weren’t healthy.

“How do surgeons do it?” Klepper asked about wearing masks.

“That is a good question.”

While the footage wandered into the group’s opposition to Critical Race Theory and whether or not any of the protesters vote, Klepper’s final interview hit hardest.

The woman who feared mask “funk” reappeared to say, “I’ve discovered in my research, also, that Satanists stand six feet apart. They wear masks during the ritual.”

When she stressed that the nation is at war with Satan, Klepper asked “How are we doing?”

“I think we’re winning,” she said.

“Good!” said Klepper. “Finally some good news.”

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