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Camel Stunt on ‘The Daily Show’ Bombs

Written by PETA | February 24, 2011

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart consistently airs hilarious stories, but the show recently bombed big-time with the public. As part of an ill-conceived skit, the show dragged a live camel onto the slick, snowy streets of Madison, Wisconsin. After the camel got stuck in a fence, an onlooker captured video footage of the camel’s handlers jabbing the animal in the neck and yanking her so hard that she fell to the ground. One handler continued to aggressively jerk the camel even though she might have been injured. When the video hit YouTube, PETA instantly wrote a letter asking Jon Stewart and the other producers to stick with what they do best—writing and delivering witty dialogue—and to respect animals enough to leave them out of future skits. At the same time, Daily Show fans hit the show’s website hard to complain.

We hope that the show responds positively. One need not be an expert in camel behavior—but simply a decent person—to recognize that this skit was unkind and that the idea should have been scrapped.

Not funny, guys, not funny.

Written by Michelle Sherrow

Commenting is closed.
  • Margaret says:

    Poor camel.

  • Percy says:

    The animal rental company that provided this camel is obviously negligent. They did not have the required city permits to have this animal on city streets, and obviously should be fined by the USDA for having it on slippery footing. The company’s name is “ALL THE FUN IN 1” out of Huntley, Illinois.

  • animalsarealright says:

    …You guys realize that, whatever they had planned, it backfired, right? No one was harming the animal in the video – they were trying (in a panicked, human state) to get him/her out of the fence, and the animal (in a panicked, animalistic state) was freaking out. Gah, why bother. Care for humanity.

  • Panthera says:

    Umm…there was no neck jabbing or yanking. Fail.

  • woodstock09 says:

    Its terribble to bring a desert animal to Wisconson in winter for a tv stunt. However i don’t see any jabbing or jeerking of that poor animal. i see a scared animal and people trying their damned best to help it like any of us would so lighten up i doubt any one could do better with the given curcumstances.

  • ocean17 says:

    @ Antoine “Plus, all animal “tricks” are humiliating and terrifying for the animal. ALWAYS. No exceptions. And this is not my opinion or an intransigent view, it is a FACT.” i agree, and this pointless stunt proves you correct. gawd that is just insane, such unforgivng and cruel actions from the human handlers. and to bring a hot weather animal to the cold of wisconsin, that is cuckoo and totally inhumane. something needs to change.

  • sondra says:

    The creep that was holding the camel’s head had what is called a severe bit in his mouth that cuts the tongue and cheeks when jerked, which was happening all the time because the “know not” was trying to be macho. The animal was not only in distress with his foot or leg caught in the fence but also the jerking on the bit in his mouth. What a FUNNY act. I would hope peta is getting names and adresses for a follow up on the condition of that poor animal.

  • roxanne says:

    This is not funny. shame on the daily show. do they need cheap ratings so badly. are they out of writing materials that they need to resort to animal abuse. I hate this so much.

  • Emily says:

    This is sick and I am humiliated that i even watch the show. I am NEVER ever going to watch this show again until him, the company, and the handlers publicly apologize and agree to leave animals out of the show completely and forever and to bring the camal to a sanctuary where it can live its life in peace and happiness!!!

  • MAC says:

    If this stunt was performed by anything Fox News related Liberals would go nuts and scream bloody murder.

  • L says:

    Yes, it was an absolutely terrible idea to bring a dromedary camel into the city, in the middle of winter. No, animals should not be used in television stunts, no matter what the stunt or show is. However, I honestly do not see any of this alleged jabbing the camel’s neck or yanking on her lead rope. From what I can tell from this video, they responded to the situation in an appropriate manner and took care to prevent any injuries (or further injuries, it’s never actually mentioned if the camel was hurt or not). As far as I can tell, the handler was moving with her as she went down, not jerking on her lead rope or anything close to it. Why not deal with the actual issue here, that of a camel being used in some stupid act for a television show, and not the imagined abuse?

  • Seamus says:

    I love how PETA reacts to as much cruelty as possible. I adore ALL ANIMALS, this was horrendous and absolutely uncalled for, weak-minded people need to start making fun of themselves in stunts like this rather than making an animal the amusement point for a show to which the animal won’t benefit at all. Absolutely disgraceful, shame on them. I hope to work for an animal rights organisation in the future once I have secure my education, maybe i’ll start up an additional organisation.

  • Susan says:

    I live in Madison, WI and I saw the camel footage aired on local news the following morning after the incident. Day before we had had a half inch of freezing rain that that camel bravely was trying hard to stand and walk on. Outraged, I began making contacts to help the camel, and this is what I was able to do….our local Humane Society was going to investigate further if the camel received any needed veterinary assessment, for possible bone fracture or muscle/ligament trauma. Personally I’d like to see the owner/ handlers identified, contacted, and held accountable, because clearly their judgment was way off in even allowing this animal to endure any of what it did. I heard that a local animal advocacy group called Alliance for Animals was also investigating. I admit that I didn’t watch the YouTube or TV clip any further than glancing because it was just too upsetting. Thank you PETA for writing Jon Stewart, and thank you for the supportive voices here.

  • nancy says:

    PETA Thanks for letting people know this happened, but I agree with another comment that you’re being too easy on Jon Stewart.

  • Rex's Mom says:

    This camel should be retired to a sanctuary since it probably wouldn’t make it if it were returned to the wild. The camel shouldn’t be with handlers anyway. It should be in a safe environment in an accredited sanctuary and just be a camel. The handlers were idiots to bring a hot weather animal to a cold climate.

  • CJ says:

    First of all, it was an awful idea to have the camel out in the snow and ice. But I didn’t see any yanking or poking. Not one bit. A little over dramatic with the description don’t you think? I see a handler trying to keep the animal from moving around and trying to keep her from hurting herself more. Should have your facts straight before posting articles.

  • Antoine says:

    To all those who claim that the handlers are not being “cruel” and that the camel is “okay” Perhaps you should watch the video again, and try to (as much as possile) put yourself in the camel’s position, rather than the handler’s. As for the camel being “okay” none of us know that (none of us are Dr.Doolittle, we don’t speak camel) but based on the panicked screams and growls of pain that the camel is making, I think that he is far from OKAY. Second, with regards to cruelty: well the handler is the one who PUT the camel in that situation (on the side of a busy street with snow and cars)… While I would contend that ANY handler is by default cruel, we need to consider the CARE that is being given to this animal. Just like with children, a bad caretaker is not only someone who abuses a child, but also someone who KNOWINGLY puts a child in harms way. The camel was taken out of the truck before the snow was cleared, before the area had been fenced, and before the stunt was ready and before the gate was erected…which is WHY the camel got stuck…or is it the camel’s fault that the fence was not up before he was taken out of the truck??? You don’t agree with us that animals used in entertainment is by default abusive? Fine. According to you handlers are kindly sweethearts who love their animals like children? Okay. Don’t you think that IF he cared for his (sic) animal, he would have asked the set people to only make him take the camel out when the road was fenced off, the snow cleared and the shot READY (to minimize the stress to his (sic) animal) Even if there were no jabbing or yanking (but there was) the handler is irresponsible to have put that animal in that position in the first place. Plus, as a slave-owner, the handler is by default cruel anyway: Is the ownership not a form of cruelty? and for those who scoff at this ask yourselves: was the camel asked if he wanted to be there? Why not? If he is not being abused, it is implied that he is doing this of his own free will, right? Many people like to think of “working” animals like seeing eye dogs, police dogs, circus and tv animals, as just doing their JOB. But how are they paid exactly? with food and lodging (and in most case bad food and lodging btw)? Is that payment? Sorry but you can’t have it both ways. Either the animal is a tool (like a gun or a police car) or the animal is “working”. Since no intelligent sensitive person would consider a dog or a horse or a camel to be an inanimate object, than the animal is working. We have a word for a laborer who “works” but receives no payment: a slave.

  • April says:

    This doesn’t look like cruelty at all to me. Although it’s a completely stupid thing to do in the first place, the guys were trying to help the camel, not “jabbing it in the neck” and “yanking her so hard she fell to the ground”..That description is a little dramatic.

  • Really, guys? says:

    This is what I hate about PETA. I would have been perfectly fine with you saying that the camel getting it’s leg caught in the fence was a sad incident but what I’m not cool with is you lying. The street clearly isn’t slick or snowy and the handlers clearly weren’t jabbing or yanking it’s neck.

  • Veronica says:

    I am disgusted! This is not entertainment but cruel and unusual punishment to the animal and viewers! Boo to Comedy Central and the Daily Show. They have just lost one viewer!

  • breebree says:

    Whet were they thinking even bringing a camel to Wisconsin?!? Camel’s do not walk across snow and ice, they walk on sand and dirt. Those people should be ashamed of what they put that poor camel through.

  • Antoine says:

    Who is the guy at time code .32 who tells the person filming to put away his camera? So… he is in the business of filming video for a living but he does not want others to film? These are the kind of people who put themselves in the face of politicians, movie stars, etc at every chance they get, but when the spotlight is on them, they change their tune. As they say, comedy is a serious business and while we may see them smiling on camera, comedians are NOT nice people AT ALL. They are in the BUSINESS of MAKING people laugh (at any cost). What people need to realize is that ALL animal entertainment is cruel to the animals whether an accident like this happens or not. Plus, all animal “tricks” are humiliating and terrifying for the animal. ALWAYS. No exceptions. And this is not my opinion or an intransigent view, it is a FACT.

  • Tahler says:

    I’m glad I never watch that show. Shame on them!

  • jkavvy14 says:

    This is absolutely horrible…does anyone know what company provided the camel for this ridiculous segment?

  • Sam says:

    I agree. An utterly STUPID STUPID idea! Shame on them, really. BUT: Looking at the footage, it seems as though the man made the camel lie down (in a very forcable manner) so they could untangle it from the fencing. If it would habe continued to panic, it might have hurt itself much more. That was the first thing I thought. Horrible situation!

  • Randy says:

    “Not funny, guys, not funny.” Is that the best PETA can come up with? Why are you giving Jon Stewart a free pass? So animal cruelty by liberals is now okay by PETA?

  • jessica says:

    What the hell?!

  • le'mone says:

    Please print to letter that was “instantly fired off to Jon Stewart!”

  • jd says:

    To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime. ~Romain Rolland, Nobel Prize 1915

  • MaryL says:

    Don’t know that I agree with you. I am guessing that when you hire a camel; it would come with camel handlers, right. Well, accidents happen and the camel slipped. It did not appear that the handlers were mistreating the animal as they seem to be trying to rectify the situation. Is there more to this video-how can you judge that it was unkind-it was unfortunate that it happened.

  • callie says:

    I went to The Daily Show to voice my concerns about the abuse of this camel. Is the camel OK? I don’t watch The Daily Show because I don’t care for their politics, now I know I will never watch it!!! And these people call themselve geniuses? How disgusting!!

  • nancy says:

    Wow, how could they think that would be funny? That “humor” comes from a person lacking empathy.

  • whatever 69 says:


  • kellijo says:

    I’m sure PETA’s letter was more tactful than the one I wrote- I was/am furious when I saw that! No one should ever EVER exploit an animal like that!

  • Martie says:

    If you think pulling a poor helpless camel through a fence or poking it or kicking it how about you getting stuck in a fence and people can do the same thing to you. See how you like it. God does not like ugly and that was definitely ugly!

  • Katie says:

    This makes me absolutely FURIOUS!

  • Wendy Mckay says:

    I have always been a HUGE fan of Jon Steward, but this stunt just ended that. NOT FUNNY !!! AT ALL !!!

  • Amy00Good says:

    Camels don’t belong in snowy, busy cities. This is ridiculous.

  • JerseyJim says:

    I would have LOVED to tie a noose around that scumbags legs and drag him off the bumper of my Ambulance for 15 minutes….then ask him about steel bar’s in his ass

  • Billy says:

    Please look at these cockfighting idiots in Texas

  • Joyce Gannon says:

    you must have heard the old addage ” never work with children and animals” Please live by that rule because you obviously suck at animal handling…I’d love to know who gave you the camle,, They should be ashamed..

  • K Gleason says:

    What idiots. The handler acts as if he has had no experience handling this animal. Was the camel injured? It appeared as if it’s leg was under the metal fence it was laying on top of. That had to cause an injury.

  • Mellie says:

    And also…not once is the camel “jabbed in the neck” and it tripped because it’s leg was caught. Stick to the actual issue of having a desert animal in a cold climate…you don’t have to make stuff up.

  • Mellie says:

    I agree that a snowy street is no place for a camel, but the handler’s aren’t being cruel in anyway. They are trying their best to free the animal so that it doesn’t break it’s leg.

  • Coastal Coyote says:

    I’m… not the only one that sees a video of a struggling camel that collapses to the ground(due to being caught in a fence) and it’s handlers moving with it to keep from being jerked to the ground… right? I mean, the handlers were holding on to the leads very close to the camel’s face. They weren’t jerking it down; they were moving with the camel to keep from having their shoulders dislodged.