De Blasio Seeks Culinary Redemption on ‘Daily Show’

Photograph by Rob Bennett/Mayor's Press Office/AP Photo

New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, left, shares pizza and soda with host Jon Stewart on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show” on Feb. 3, 2014 in New York.

New York’s mayor ate pizza on late-night television last night.

He had to, you see, to redeem himself after last month’s “forkgate,” when the city’s new chief was caught feasting on the unofficial foodstuff of the five boroughs with — horror of horrors — a fork and knife. This time, “The Daily Show” host Jon Stewart made sure Bill de Blasio did it right: With his hands. Cue the audience applause.

It was the new mayor’s first guest appearance on the Comedy Central show since taking office Jan. 1, giving him a break from municipal duties to test his comedic chops and break bread, err, pie. (Regular viewers had seen him there before, of course, just as the but of jokes instead of willing participant. Like when Stewart skewered him for the pizza flap, or donned a towering afro, à la de Blasio’s son Dante, who became a minor celebrity for it on the campaign trail.)

Stewart ribbed the populist Democrat, who won in a landslide on a pledge to tax the rich, envisioning a City Hall now adorned with images of Lenin and Stalin.

“The Che Guevara posters are very popular, they really are,” de Blasio replied in jest.

The show also poked fun at another minor scandal during de Blasio’s short time in office: the lack of snowplowing on Manhattan’s Upper East Side during the second of three big storms to hit this year. Some saw it as a slight to the wealthy residents clustered there.

“It seems de Blasio’s plows are actively bringing snow in,” said correspondent Aasif Mandvi, buried in a snowbank up to his neck while ostensibly reporting from the Upper East Side. “But hey, that’s life in de Blasio’s New York. He’s hellbent on making the city unlivable for the rich!”

Correspondent Jessica Williams, meanwhile, was clad in beach gear on a sandy backdrop in de Blasio’s home borough of Brooklyn. “It’s 82 degrees and it’s sunny,” she said.

Things began to take a more serious tone when talk turned to outlawing carriage horses, a campaign promise.

“Horses do not belong in the middle of traffic in New York City,” de Blasio said. “They do not belong in an urban environment like this. It’s not safe for them, it’s not fair when you think about what their lives should be and what our society is like.”

Replied Stewart: “That brings up an interesting point. Should we even be living here?”

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