On last night's episode of CNN’s The Messy Truth, Daily Show host Trevor Noah spoke to activist and commentator Van Jones about Donald Trump and made the somewhat surprising statement that Trump behaves like a stand-up comedian. “I’ve always gone, when I see Trump, I see a stand-up comedian, Noah said. “He connects with audiences in the same way. He knows how to make you laugh in a moment where you didn’t think you would. He knows how to broach a topic in a way that no one normally can.”


 
It looked like Jones agreed with Noah, giving the Messy Truth audience a wide-eyed, knowing look after Noah started talking. And it’s hard to argue with Noah’s logic---he cited an example from Trump’s first address to Congress, during which Trump made a point to acknowledge the widow of a slain Navy SEAL but then decided to joke around with the audience moments later.
 
Trump, like a stand-up, undoubtedly has a way with words (though it’s sometimes hard to tell based on how many typos he makes in his Tweets). Calling his opponents names like “Crooked Hillary” and “Lyin’ Ted”? Dodging questions by making ambiguous statements that could literally mean anything or nothing? We’re not saying John Mulaney’s going to start calling Nick Kroll “Nasty Nick” anytime soon, but it’s obvious that Trump, like stand-ups, uses rhetoric to make his “audience” (i.e. basically the entire world) react a certain way. And, as Noah points out, Trump’s uncanny ability to make people bend to his will by using language is “scary,” despite how ridiculous his efforts may seem.
 
But as Noah and Jones kept talking, another interesting aspect of Trumps’ approach to politics came up. Jones was heavily criticized after praising Trump’s address to Congress and admitting that it was “presidential,” and Noah mentioned that Trump’s ability to suddenly “become” presidential within a single moment was both impressive and a little frightening. Even though Trump’s use of language and humour is similar to the way a stand-up comic would use the same tools, his ability to switch in and out of certain personas with a single action or statement is more akin to an improv comedian.
 
Are we saying that watching Ryan Stiles and Colin Mochrie bromance it up on Whose Line is like watching Donald Trump recite a speech? Kind of.  As we’ve all seen by now, Donald Trump can seem semi-normal-ish on his best days and like a complete lunatic on his worst, and he’s able to go back and forth between the two with incredible speed (but no grace whatsoever). 
 
So even though you might not find Trump funny, the next time you read one of his Tweets or watch one his statements, you might want to think about why a lot of other people do.

While you’re here, enjoy last night’s Daily Show embedded below!