Jon Stewart and former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee went toe-to-toe on The Daily Show Monday night, discussing the intricacies of America’s culture clash, specifically in regards to the most preeminent pop figure: Beyoncé.
In his new book, God, Guns, Grits and Gravy, Huckabee discusses the myriad differences he’s seen between those who live in the blue, coastal “bubbles” and the “bubbas” of the red flyover states. In one chapter, he uses Jay Z and Beyoncé as examples of a “culture of crude,” and describes the latter’s lyrics as “obnoxious and toxic mental poison.” While Huckabee lauded Beyoncé’s talents, he argued that the role model did not have to be “vulgar in order to set the trend.”
Stewart countered, saying he believed Huckabee was “diminishing Beyoncé in a way that’s truly outrageous.” The host proceeded to pull out his trump card: A clip from Huckabee’s old Fox News show in which he plays bass for Ted Nugent during a performance of the definitely not-G-rated “Cat Scratch Fever” (Sample lyric: “Well, I make the pussy purr with the stroke of my hand/They know they gettin’ it from me”).
“That ain’t about bacteria,” Stewart cracked, before adding: “Do you see my point? You excuse that type of crudeness because you agree with his stance on firearms. You don’t approve of Beyoncé because she seems alien to you. Johnny Cash shot a man just to watch him die — that’s some gangsta shit!”
Huckabee did point out that neither Nugent nor “Cat Scratch Fever” were as ubiquitous in 1978 as Beyoncé is in 2015, adding he was primarily concerned about what content is considered acceptable for children. While Stewart urged Huckabee not to ignore the corrosive nature of the “bubba” culture while singling out all that’s bad about the “bubble,” the pair ultimately ended their conversation in friendly disagreement.
“There’s a difference between education and smart,” Huckabee said. “If your car breaks down in the middle of the night on a country road, who do you want coming by? An MBA in a Beamer, or do you want a couple of good ol’ boys in a pickup truck with a toolbox in the back?”
“Both of those scenarios feel very frightening to me,” Stewart quipped.