R. Kelly's epic "Trapped in the Closet" series has given us midget love triangles, bisexual trysts, cop love, infidelity galore and just about everything in between ... except a Republican senator (allegedly) trolling for some action in the men's room of the Minneapolis airport. That might be too wacky even for the notoriously libidinous Kelly (see "R. Kelly Screens New 'Trapped In The Closet' Chapters, Calls Series 'An Alien' ").
But it wasn't for "The Daily Show" ringmaster Jon Stewart, who stormed back from a two-week hiatus on Monday night with plenty to talk about and make fun of. Topping his list was the still-broiling scandal involving disgraced Idaho Senator Larry Craig, who was arrested June 11 as part of an airport sex sting and originally pleaded guilty to a disorderly conduct charge. Then Craig went from agreeing to step down in the middle of Stewart's summer hiatus to filing papers on Monday in an attempt to withdraw his guilty plea.
"So what the hell is going on?" Stewart asked as he introduced the segment titled "R. Party: Trapped in the Closet" Monday night. Using an audiotape of Craig's statement to police, in which he admitted that his feet "bumped" those of an undercover officer in the neighboring bathroom stall, Stewart looked perplexed as an R. Kelly look-and-soundalike suddenly appeared next to him and intoned, "That's what he said."
As the by-now-familiar drip-drop backing track from Kelly's saga swelled, the smooth-looking singer in all black and shades began to sing-talk Craig's tale: "He was sitting in the men's room, just sitting in the men's room."
"I'm sure there's an explanation for this that's less awkward than illicit gay sex in a men's room," Stewart said, segueing to tape of Craig giving a "Closet"-worthy attempt at an explanation: "I tend to spread my legs when I lower my pants."
When Stewart wondered aloud if that just makes it harder to lower your pants, the singer crooned, "Maybe he was wearing [MC] Hammer pants/ Who remembers Hammer pants?" Then, proving that the only thing funnier than frisky midgets under the sink are quotes taken out of context, Stewart rolled Craig's reasoning: "I'm a fairly wide guy."
"Really?" Stewart grinned, pausing a beat as the singer wailed, "He's in his wiiiide stance with his Hammer pants down!"
As Stewart mentioned that Craig subsequently pleaded guilty to avoid a scandal and then regretted the plea, the Kelly-a-like hit the money line, wailing the wordy retort, "He could have easily contested the charge of interference of privacy/ It's law school 101!"
"Anyway, he still says he's not, nor has he ever been, gay," Stewart said, to which the singer calmly responded in a feathery voice, "That's not how gay works."
Will there be 22 more parts to this scandal? Judging by how things have been going lately for the GOP — from one senator's name popping up in the records of an escort service to a raid on another's home in a corruption investigation — it's not out of the question. If nothing else, maybe Kelly should be trolling the headlines for future chapters of his own marathon.