Smokey the Bear Revealed to Be an Ex-Con in ‘The Daily Show’ Gag (Video)

Parody of the U.S. Forest Service mascot appears during discussion of prison labor in firefighting

Last Updated: November 5, 2019 @ 9:35 PM

On Tuesday’s “The Daily Show,” Trevor Noah talked at length about the plight of prisoners used as firefighters, and he brought out a parody of Smokey the Bear to help – and during the gag, fake Smokey revealed a hilariously disturbing criminal past of his own.

The issue at hand is that prisoners who risk their lives putting out fires alongside professional firefighters are barred from working as firefighters once they leave prison, which Noah argued is an exceptionally unjust situation. So it is he brought out the U.S. Forest Service mascot — in reality just a “The Daily Show” correspondent in a costume — to talk about it.

Fake-Smokey said he believes former inmates “could make great firefighters. And I’m a living example.”

A disbelieving Noah asked if Smokey was saying he’s an ex-con. After giving a shout out to “my boys in San Quentin,” Smokey explained that he was sent to jail because “in the ’90s, I ran a Ponzi scheme that preyed on the elderly,” because “I didn’t know right from wrong. I was doing a lot of blow.”

Noah joked that he figured a bear would have gotten in trouble for stealing honey, a comment fake Smokey said was racist. America, fake Smokey continued, is all about “giving people second chances,” which is why former inmates should be allowed to fight fires. Though there was one group Smokey said do not deserve second chances: “People who won’t put out their campfires.”

“Those people should have their d—s ripped off by a bear! But not me, I’m still on parole,” Smokey added.

Watch the whole bit above.