Every late-night comedian who aired a new episode on July 26 expressed their shock and even horror at Donald Trump announcing via Twitter that he wants to ban trans people from the military — but only one invited a trans comedian on his show to take it on with their own jokes.
Jimmy Fallon is usually late-night’s most determinedly apolitical host. But on Wednesday night, he made a point of highlighting the trans ban announcement by taking a break during his monologue to hand over the mic to Patti Harrison, a comedian and transwoman who had some things to say.
After expressing her total lack of shock that Trump would pull such a move at the expense of trans people, Harrison laid out why a military ban on trans servicemembers is so alarming.
“Now, I don’t necessarily want to serve in the military, but I want the right to serve,” she said. “It’s like, I don’t want to go to your baby shower, but I want the invite.”
“But you know,” Harrison continued with a tone so dry it practically crackles off the screen, “I don’t even think Trump knows what ‘transgender’ means. He probably thinks transgender people are those cars that turn into robots.”
Finally, Harrison addressed Trump’s cavalier statement that trans servicemembers are a “disruption.”
“I get it,” she said. “If you constantly draw attention to yourself, spend all day distracting everyone, and cost taxpayers millions of dollars, the perfect job for you isn’t the military: It’s President of the United States.”
Updated to reflect that The Tonight Show wasn’t the only late night show to invite a trans person on to comment, as The Daily Show featured trans veterans.