Jason Isbell Drops Airplane Jokes, Guitar Licks on 'The Daily Show' - Rolling Stone
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Jason Isbell Bests Trevor Noah in a Battle of Airplane Jokes on ‘The Daily Show’

Singer-songwriter also discusses covers compilation Georgia Blue and returning to concerts safely

Jason Isbell bested Trevor Noah in the ultimate test of comedic wit — telling airplane jokes — on The Daily Show Thursday, September 23rd. 

The bit began with Noah introducing Isbell as a new musical sidekick, there to peel off a few guitar licks to punctuate the host’s punchlines. The topic of the evening was a company’s new airplane where the windows would be replaced with screens showing things like natural landscapes instead of, well, the actual natural landscape.

But where Noah’s jokes were absolute groaners undeserving of a tasty riff, Isbell had the whole Daily Show crew laughing as he joked that a better improvement to the planes would be making the bathrooms bigger: “Those doors are so small, I don’t even have room to sit down when I pee! That’s why I fly Spirit Airlines — the whole plane’s the bathroom!” (A frustrated Noah shouted, “Hey, Spirit Airlines is my thing!”)

Along with participating in the bit, Isbell joined Noah for an actual interview where he spoke about his new covers compilation, Georgia Blue, which he promised to make if Joe Biden won the state in the 2020 election. Isbell also spoke about his efforts to return to the road safely amid Covid-19, which have included requiring audiences to show proof of vaccination or a recent negative test.

“I got into this business and this job because I wanted to enjoy my life, and this is the thing that I loved doing the most,” Isbell said. “And I worked hard for a long time and got real lucky, and finally got to a point where I don’t feel like I’m going to work when I get up on stage to do my job. But if I’m up there worried about people getting sick in the audience, and maybe people dying because they came to that show — I’m not enjoying my job. It shouldn’t have come down to us, it shouldn’t come down to entertainers, it shouldn’t come down to venue or promoters; in my opinion, there should’ve been leadership from the top. We shouldn’t have had to step out and say, ‘I’m gonna do this.’” 

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