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Jon Stewart vs. Stephen Colbert: Who had the best inauguration jokes? VIDEO

Comedy Central’s crack fake news team kicked off four more years of Obama jokes last night, when the president’s second inauguration provided a wealth of material for both The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

Jon Stewart began the evening with a discussion of the day’s main event: Michelle Obama’s awesome new bangs. He also hit on the inauguration itself — which featured an Obama screw-up that must have made Mitt Romney spit out his milk, George Stephanopoulos proving that all tall people look the same to him, and a presidential address that detailed “a healthcare plan designed to kill your white grandparents. Kill ‘em dead!” Pretty solid stuff, though not quite as notable as the fact that the show welcomed Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor just hours after she swore in Vice President Biden. (Someone give The Daily Show‘s guest booker a raise, stat.)

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Katy Perry celebrates inauguration with her own tiny Aretha Franklin hat

Trust Katy Perry to focus on what’s really important.

Throughout all of Monday’s inaugural hullabaloo — the music! The balls! The music at the balls! — the media somehow failed to focus on the event’s real cause for celebration: Last weekend marked the four-year anniversary of Aretha Franklin wearing her Hat to End All Hats at President Obama’s first inauguration. (Eat your heart out, Princess Beatrice.)

Thankfully, Katy Perry stuck around D.C. after performing at the 2013 Kids Inaugural Concert last Saturday — and on Monday, she honored Aretha’s bodacious bow by wearing a tiny version of it to this year’s Inauguration Day festivities. Here’s photographic evidence:

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Inaugural Balls: The Obamas and Bidens dance, but so do Piers Morgan and Chris Tucker

The Obamas had their first dance to a Jennifer Hudson cover of “Let’s Stay Together,” and the Bidens were serenaded by Jamie Foxx singing “I Can’t Stop Loving You.” But there was another dance to watch during the inaugural balls: That of CNN’s indoor coverage, which had to juggle politics and a party. The tone was set early when Piers Morgan and Erin Burnett tried to interview San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro and Rep. Joaquin Castro while Rihanna’s “Please Don’t Stop the Music” blared in the background. Ultimately, Piers just gave up:

Piers: By the way, I’ve never met any Latino that can’t dance, so are you guys gonna be — [Julian and Joaquin laugh and say he just met his first two].

Erin: Pierce’s first highly inappropriate comment of the evening.

Piers: That’s not inappropriate. I never have.

In case you were wondering, I’d say Piers’ second inappropriate comment came when he segued from a taped interview with performer Stevie Wonder to a live chat with the Black Eyed Peas will.i.am by referring to him as “almost as big a legend now in the music world as Stevie Wonder.” READ FULL STORY

Alicia Keys sings 'Obama on Fire' for Inaugural Ball: VIDEO

Alicia Keys altered her Hunger Games anthem “Girl on Fire” for her performance at President Obama’s Inaugural Ball Sunday night. Watch an excerpt below. “Obama on Fire” is a definite crowd pleaser. READ FULL STORY

Obamas share first dance as Jennifer Hudson sings 'Let's Stay Together': VIDEO

Jennifer Hudson had the honor of serenading President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama as they shared their first dance at the Commander-in-Chief’s Ball following Monday’s inauguration. The First Lady makes her entrance in a Jason Wu gown at 2:45 in the video below. READ FULL STORY

Inauguration 2013: Michelle's bangs, Scalia's hat, and other key moments

The Second Inauguration of President Barack Obama marked the beginning of a brave new American era of bipartisan governance and well-reasoned political discourse. No it didn’t. But it was a hell of a party, a grand and justifiably pompous power-pageant which reached an emotional climax when the stirring voice of the world’s most powerful human being echoed throughout the National Mall. But enough about Beyoncé. Here are some key moments frozen in time from a cold day in Washington: READ FULL STORY

Stephen Colbert's sister running for Congress in South Carolina, as a Democrat

What will the Colbert Nation make of this?

Elizabeth Colbert-Busch, one of Comedy Central star Stephen Colbert’s older sisters, will run for Congress in her home state of South Carolina — as a Democrat — according to a report from local newspaper the St. Andrews Patch. This is Colbert-Busch’s first foray into politics; she’s previously worked for various administrative departments at Clemson University. The race for the traditionally Republican seat in the state’s First Congressional District — which runs along the Atlantic coast — is a hotly contested one, with ex-governor Mark Sanford one of several Republicans vying for the seat.  READ FULL STORY

White House responds to petition to build a Death Star: 'The Administration does not support blowing up planets'

When the Obama Administration first created its “We the People” petition system — where a petition by an ordinary citizen requires a White House response if it gets 25,000 signatures within 30 days — they had to know they were inviting all manner of Internet shenanigans. Already, the president’s staff has had to contend with a petition to deport CNN’s Piers Morgan over his views on gun control, and MPAA chief Chris Dodd found himself the target of a White House petition after statements he made to Fox News seemed to imply that Obama’s re-election campaign had to play nice with the movie business if it wanted Hollywood’s financial support.

But those efforts pale in comparison to the petition, created on Nov. 14, 2012, demanding that the Obama Administration “secure resources and funding, and begin construction of a Death Star by 2016.” It earned 34,435 signatures, more than enough to force a White House response, which was just posted to the White House Petitions website, penned by Paul Shawcross, Chief of the Science and Space Branch at the White House Office of Management and Budget. As the response’s title — “This Isn’t the Petition Response You’re Looking For” — makes clear from the get go, it. Is. AwesomeREAD FULL STORY

Quentin Tarantino refuses to answer questions about movie violence: 'I'm not your slave!' -- VIDEO

Note to interviewers: Quentin Tarantino is really, really sick of your questions about the violence in his movies. So sick, in fact, that the Django Unchained director flat-out refused to answer when British TV newsman Krishnan Guru-Murthy recently asked him why he’s so sure that there’s no link between people who enjoy watching violent movies and people who enjoy committing violent acts in real life.

“Don’t ask me a question like that. I’m not biting. I refuse your question,” Tarantino shot back. Why? “Because I refuse your question,” he continued. “I’m not your slave and you’re not my master. Don’t make me dance to your tune. I’m not a monkey.”

That’s right: The guy who made a movie about the horrific experiences of American slavery just compared himself to a slave and his interviewer to an imperious plantation owner. Eeesh.

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Jon Stewart tackles gun control debate and Imaginary Hitler -- VIDEO

There ought to be a law against The Daily Show going on hiatus just when the political sh– really starts hitting the fan. The series aired its last episode of 2012 on Dec. 13; Newtown’s horrific school shooting came the very next day, spearheading the gun-control debate that’s since grabbed hold of the national news media. It wasn’t until last night — his second episode of 2013 — that Stewart finally got to weigh in on the issue, devoting two thirds of his program’s run time to a segment called “Scapegoat Hunter” — which detailed gun proponents’ reluctance to even entertain the notion that the United States needs stricter gun laws.

NRA head honcho Wayne LaPierre was a frequent target of the segment, as was Fox News host Mike Huckabee. And while Stewart made plenty of joking suggestions for ways to help curb gun violence — replace cool shooting sounds with goofy, cartoonish boings; have Woody Allen star in the next Bourne movie — he also got serious as the show’s first commercial break drew near: “We can dance around the issue all we want,” he said. “We can blame movies, or video games, or the mentally ill, or God. And it’s a complex problem, and all solutions have to be on the table. But it is time we talk about guns.” The host’s hoarse voice — the result of a winter cold — only gave more urgency to his words.

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