In theory, the foreign-born comedians on America's late-night comedy and satire shows are supposed to provide a fresh, outsider’s perspective on the news in their adopted homeland.
But in practice, these imported jokesters often seem to pander to their liberal audiences -- and that typically means unleashing vile attacks on the Trump administration.
These comedians include Canadian-born Samantha Bee, British-born John Oliver and James Corden, and South African-born Trevor Noah.
Out to 'fix' America
Bee, 48, who acquired U.S. citizenship in 2014, is the latest example of comedians going too far in a bid to score cheap political points.
She told American-born late-night show host Stephen Colbert last year that although she’s Canadian and can flee Trump’s America, she’s not planning to do so anytime soon.
"At any moment I could leap into the arms of Justin Trudeau," Bee said, noting that she and her husband Jason Jones -- like herself, a former “The Daily Show” correspondent who holds dual Canadian and American citizenship -- will stay in the U.S.
"We're not joking around," she said. "We chose this place and we intend to fix it."
In Bee’s view, fixing the country seems to mean going on a “vile” tirade against Ivanka Trump, daughter and senior adviser to President Donald Trump. On Wednesday, Bee called the first daughter a “feckless c---“ during the opening monologue of her show, "Full Frontal," on TBS, prompting a backlash from the public.
“I would like to sincerely apologize to Ivanka Trump and to my viewers for using an expletive on my show to describe her last night. It was inappropriate and inexcusable. I crossed a line, and I deeply regret it,” Bee wrote on Twitter.
TBS, the network that airs the show, also issued an apology, as multiple sponsors pulled their ads from the show.
"Samantha Bee has taken the right action in apologizing for the vile and inappropriate language she used about Ivanka Trump last night. Those words should not have been aired. It was our mistake too, and we regret it,” the network said in a statement.
Bee and her husband have also tried other ways to “fix” the U.S.
In 2016, the family led a fight in New York City against a plan to move their top-performing children’s school from the affluent Upper West Side of Manhattan area just 16 blocks away to a more capacious building to relieve the shortage of school places.
The reason for their opposition? The new location for the school is near multiple housing projects and would increase the enrollment of poor and minority students – risking the school's status.
According to liberal Slate magazine, the school has “a lopsided enrollment, with a population that’s three-quarters white and Asian, with only 13 percent of kids qualifying for free lunch, in a district that’s 43 percent white and Asian and 48 percent low-income.”
Jones, Bee’s husband, denied that the opposition to the move was “classist or racist” and said at a public hearing that “We are not divided. We are absolutely united in wanting what's best for our children.” He also encouraged other parents not to speak to the press about the issue.
John Oliver, 41, an English comedian and another “Daily Show” alum, also found himself cashing in from the hysterical reaction to the election of Trump.
But not that long ago, in 2013, he urged Trump to run for president. “Do it. Do it,” he said back then. “I will personally write you a campaign check now, on behalf of this country, which does not want you to be president, but which badly wants you to run.”
Since the election, Oliver pandered to the audience to pick on the Trump administration at all cost. In March, he came under fire after mocking Vice President Mike Pence and a children’s book written and illustrated by his family member.
Pence’s daughter, Charlotte, released a children’s book about her family’s rabbit titled “Marlon Bundo’s A Day in the Life of the Vice President,” showcasing a day in the life of her father from the pet’s point of view. The proceeds from the book go to A21, a nonprofit dedicated to stopping human trafficking, as well as an art therapy program at Riley Hospital for Children.
Yet for Oliver, this appeared too much to stomach. He released a spoof book titled “A Day in the Life of Marlon Bundo,” in which the pet is secretly gay – as a shot at Pence’s views on gay rights. Similarly, the proceeds from the troll book go to the Trevor Project, a crisis intervention and suicide prevention service for LGBTQ youth, as well as AIDS United.
As a result of Oliver’s trolling, his book’s page on Amazon has been flooded with negative comments about the vice president, some calling him a “homophobe” and “vile,” and with calls to boycott the book by Pence’s daughter.
“It's unfortunate that anyone would feel the need to ridicule an educational children's book and turn it into something controversial and partisan,” a spokesperson for Regnery Publishing, which published Pence’s book, said in a statement.
James Corden, host of “The Late Late Show,” is another non-native comedian attracting liberal American audiences. He did his best to align himself with the troves of other partisan late-night show hosts that, naturally, led to a controversy.
After trying out jokes about disgraced Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, prompting a backlash from multiple victims of sexual harassment, Corden regained its liberal stripes after pushing an appearance by Hillary Clinton during the 60th annual Grammy Awards in January.
Corden, who hosted the awards ceremony, was credited with bringing Clinton onboard to do the sketch in which she read the infamous “Fire and Fury” book by Michael Wolff, the controversial author who fell from grace after he suggested earlier this year that Trump was having an extramarital affair with U.N. ambassador Nikki Haley.
Haley criticized the awards ceremony for giving credence to the book, tweeting: “I have always loved the Grammys but to have artists read the Fire and Fury book killed it. Don’t ruin great music with trash. Some of us love music without the politics thrown in it.”
Corden remained unapologetic for the awards ceremony mishap, which fetched the smallest demo audience in the its history, and instead criticized Haley for speaking out.
“I guess Nikki only liked the other nonpolitical parts of the Grammys,” Corden said on his late-night show in January. “You know, Kendrick Lamar’s performance about police violence, or U2’s performance about immigration in front of the Statue of Liberty. You know, lighthearted, nonpolitical stuff.”
Corden then took a swipe at President Trump, who is known for speaking out on social media. “Well, Nikki Haley, you can tell your boss, some of us love politics without the Twitter meltdowns thrown in.”
Trevor Noah, who took over “The Daily Show” in 2015 from Jon Stewart, is yet another foreign-born comedian whose show ratings are partially saved by the frequent attacks on the Trump administration.
The little-known South African comic rose to fame after Comedy Central selected him to succeed Stewart. The transition wasn’t easy as Noah’s troubling jokes about Jewish people and women resurfaced online, leaving fans wondering whether the network made the right decision.
But that’s all forgotten now, thanks to the comedian’s attacks on Trump, earning him a contract with the network until 2022, despite ratings that are far below Stewart's.
While Noah hasn’t stirred nearly the same outrage as the other comedians, he once questioned the president’s health following the results of Trump's first physical exam as president.
The comments were perceived by some as hypocritical as many slammed conservatives for speculating about the health of Hillary Clinton during her 2016 presidential run.
"Did you test for racism?" Noah said during his show in January. "It makes me worried because he’s doing all of this s--t on purpose? You 'covfefe' in your normal mind? Because to us, the non-experts, the only thing that looks healthy about Donald Trump is that he’s shaped like a food pyramid, right?”
“To say that his health is excellent, it’s like medicine is gaslighting us now. I mean, how is this even possible?" Noah added.
How is this even possible? Many viewers of these imported comedians may be asking the same question.