Author and long-time “This American Life” regular Sarah Vowell made her “Daily Show” debut Thursday night (Nov. 17) as the show’s Senior Historical Context Correspondent. And wouldn’t you know, she gave the audience an actual, not-made-up history lesson.
In the segment above, Vowell makes her case for celebrating Evacuation Day on Nov. 25, rather than paying so much attention to Thanksgiving the day before. Like Jon Stewart, we at first assumed “Evacuation Day” was a joke about our collective overeating on Thanksgiving, but it turns out it’s a real thing, celebrated in New York to mark the last British troops leaving the city at the end of the Revolutionary War in 1783.
(There’s also an Evacuation Day in Boston that marks British soldiers being driven out of the city in March 1776.)
Pretty much everything else Vowell says is 100 percent true as well, including the part about how there were at one time pole-climbing contests as part of the festivities for the holiday.
Was this the funniest “Daily Show” segment we’ve ever seen? No — although Vowell’s cursing of Abraham Lincoln is kind of great. But we actually learned some things, so that’s pretty cool.