Nicola Sturgeon a hit after Daily Show appearance

Nicola Sturgeon during her appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Picture: Contributed
Nicola Sturgeon during her appearance on the Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Picture: Contributed
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SHE was accidentally billed to appear on the show as a comedian but when Nicola Sturgeon appeared on The Daily Show she was likened to Saddam Hussein.

The US chat show’s host, Jon Stewart, compared the First Minister to the former Iraqi despot for not being satisfied unless she got all the votes in Scotland.

Ms Sturgeon, for her part, ­defended haggis and claimed Scotland “almost invented the modern world”.

Her appearance on the satirical news programme was the highest-profile part of her four-day trip to the US to promote Scottish tourism and business.

Ahead of her appearance on the show, Ms Sturgeon was described on its website as a “comedian” and she wasted no time in addressing the confusion.

She said: “You billed me on your website as a comedian. You raised all these expectations that I’m going to be funny.

“And I’m a politician and as you know politicians are rarely funny.”

Stewart, who has been hosting The Daily Show since 1998, replied: “You need not worry, they thought I was going to be funny for 17 years.”

Referring to last month’s general election, Mr Stewart ­described the SNP’s victory in 56 out of 59 seats as “unprecedented”.

Ms Sturgeon joked: “I’ve ­ordered an inquiry into how we didn’t win the other three.”

Stewart replied: “Do you think you’re Saddam Hussein, you get 99 per cent? 56 out of 59 is pretty good.”

He added: “You have pledged for Scotland greater self determination, more financial independence, but now after the election that has crashed head on with the reality that Westminster controls the purse strings, still believes in austerity and receipts can dwindle for the GDP of Scotland.

“My question to you is, First Minister – what is haggis? What is that? Why would anyone?”

Amid roars of laughter, Ms Sturgeon replied: “Haggis is delicious. Have you tasted haggis? It’s spicy, it’s tasty, it’s absolutely delicious. Another reason for you to come to Edinburgh.”

Ms Sturgeon added that Scotland could become a “successful, dynamic, independent” country as “Scotland almost invented the modern world”.

Mr Stewart said sarcastically: “Let’s not get nuts here… any look at world history, Scotland is usually first mentioned.”

As the interview drew to a close, Stewart jokingly asked permission to invade Scotland because of its oil reserves.

Ms Sturgeon replied: “This is progress because you’ve just heard Jon, presumably representing the United States, asking permission to invade another country.”

The Daily Show is one of the most influential programmes in the US and Stewart is seen as more trustworthy than many news anchors, especially among the young. The programme attracts 1.3 million viewers each night and has won dozens of awards, including 18 Emmys.

Previous British politicians who have appeared on The Daily Show have had mixed results. Gordon Brown was mocked for being a “socialist” and told to “run off to whatever Commie meeting you’re going to”.

Boris Johnson fared better and drew laughs when he joked that his dual British American citizenship meant that he could technically run for president.

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