Louis C.K.’s explicative rants are often cringeworthy but always relatable takes on modern life. For example, his cold open for Saturday Night Live about mild racism, which normalized the “I’m not racist, but…” mindset, is a perfect example of his deranged yet charming rants. Last night, he returned to that signature style on Conan when he officially endorsed Hillary Clinton. That’s not really news, or even surprising, but his logic of how he got to there is.
He starts off strong, saying that he supports Hillary Clinton not because Donald Trump is worse, but because she’s the right person for the job. Things go a bit off the rails though when Conan asks if Louis is excited to have a woman in office. “It’s not about the First Woman,” he says. “It’s about the First Mom.” He explains that even bad moms take care of “200 percent” of their kids’ needs.
The suggestion that Hillary Clinton’s greatest contribution to politics is her role as a working mother unfortunately plays into the misogyny that has attempted to discredit Clinton for decades. For much of this election, her womanhood has been a non-issue, which has been a beautiful thing. But C.K. continued to roll downhill, referring to her as “two-face, conniving, crazy” and suggesting that’s a good way to think of a president.
It was charmingly rabid in a style that is all his. The woman served in the Senate and as Secretary of State, for goodness sake. To C.K.’s credit, he does point out that Clinton has suffered a torrent of abuse at the hands of the public and the media since her tenure as First Lady of Arkansas. Through all that drama she’s remained resilient and committed or, in the words of C.K., a “tough mother bitch.”
Calling the first female presidenial candidate a bitch is questionable, but he has a point. Maybe that’s what we need in a leader when the other choice is a prick: a no-nonsense woman who doesn’t let herself get treated like a doormat on the world’s stage by hyper-masculine leaders. There is something to C.K.’s belief that we don’t need a “likeable” or “cool” leader. President Barack Obama’s run as one of the most hip presidents in history was certainly fun, but with the rise of racism and the growing threat of ISIS, we’d be better off with a straight-A student in charge than the most popular girl in school.
In the long run, celebrity endorsements are as meaningless as political endoresements. Oprah campaigned against Clinton, now she’s for her. George Clooney endorsed Obama in 2008, and now he’s full-on Clinton. If you’re watching Conan, you’re likely already voting for Clinton, so C.K.’s statement is anything but political. It’s just one long build to the real punchline, which is the pièce de résistance of his segment: “[If] you vote for Trump you’re a sucker. If you vote for Clinton you’re an adult. But if you don’t vote for anybody, you’re an asshole.” Word.