Tag Archives | Jon Stewart

Trevor Noah’s “Daily Show”: A New Era of Punching Down?

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Though I don’t consider myself a huge TV critic, I’ve been following the Daily Show’s efforts to crown Jon Stewart’s successor relatively closely. This is important, people. As goes the Daily Show, so goes the entire Dorito-eating, couch-sleeping, occasionally shaven 18–30 demographic. This demographic has proven crucial in political issues such as – well, I can’t really think of any. But you get the point.

Seriously, as easy as the show’s target demo is to make fun of (one which, I should add, includes myself), it does play an important role in the American political process. It’s the one program on mainstream television that comes closest to adequately calling out the mountains of bullshit heaped on average citizens by the unholy alliance of corporate interests and political elites that runs America, and for that matter, pretty much the entire world.

Though maybe I’m wrong for liking it. In my last post on the Daily Show, I took some heat for not being reflexively dismissive of the show, and therefore having sold out to the Man, or something.… Read the rest

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What Should the New “Daily Show” Look Like? A Modest Proposal

In 1998, the still relatively young cable network Comedy Central wanted to show its viewers that it wasn’t afraid to dip its toes into the troubled waters of politics. Two years earlier, it had created a program called The Daily Show, tackling the dirty deeds of the political world with a humorous angle. The program had been relatively successful, but two years in, the program’s original host, Craig Kilborn, decided to bow out.

For his second to last show, Kilborn brought on the comedian chosen to take his place: Jon Stewart. Their on-air chat kicked off with a few gags that would become staples of Stewart’s tenure: jokes about his shortness and his being Jewish. As a welcome present, Kilborn gave Stewart a phone book to sit on.

When Kilborn asked Stewart what he would change about the show, Stewart quickly replied, “Changes? This is The Daily Show, man!… Read the rest

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Cartoonists of Charlie Hebdo: Should We Nominate Them for The Darwin Awards?

On Wednesday night, Jon Stewart said something during his opening monologue on The Daily Show which has continued to bother me and nag at my conscience: “Our goal tonight is not to make sense of this because there is no sense to be made of this.” There is plenty of criticism which has been leveled against both Stewart and Colbert in the past, but I find his unwillingness to acknowledge the underlying factors which contributed to this slaughter to be particularly disturbing. Earlier today, I came across this superb article by Maria Bustillos, titled “How Much Did We Need This Blasphemy?” I can only hope that Stewart gets a chance to read it, and that he might consider amending his monologue with something a little more thoughtful and nuanced:

It is unsurprising in the extreme that the most hawkish, pro-Iraq War, pro-Bush and anti-Islamic conservatives are now falling all over themselves to defend Charlie Hebdo.

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The Legacy of The Colbert Report: The Joke’s On You!

Pic: Promotional photo (C) Comedy Central.

As you have most likely already heard, Stephen Colbert will be taking over for David Letterman as host of The Late Show. Some are lamenting this decision, while others are rejoicing. Colbert has said that he will be hosting The Late Show as himself, so as he prepares to retire his much-loved alter-ego at the height of his show’s popularity, perhaps now would be a good time to reflect on the legacy of both the character and the show…

Few there are who seem able/willing to question the wit and integrity of either Colbert or Stewart, which is why this brutal Baffler essay by Steve Almond is so incredibly refreshing! Almond completely eviscerates the two and puts them both in their place, refusing to apologize for what he views as mindless mollification and mediocrity for the masses.

The entire essay is well worth the read, though here are a few highlights that are particularly poignant, resonating with a righteous fury:

Stewart and Colbert’s net effect is almost entirely therapeutic: they congratulate viewers for their fine habits of thought and feeling while remaining careful never to question the corrupt precepts of the status quo too vigorously…We have come to accept coy mockery as genuine subversion and snarky mimesis as originality.… Read the rest

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Jon Stewart Reacts To The Arizona Shootings

Jon Stewart takes a moment to have a heart-to-heart with his viewers on the cycle of craziness and patriotism after the Arizona tragedy. As he stumbles through trying to make sense of the incident he reminds us that whether politics or visual violence was a factor behind the motivation of the killings, "you cannot out smart crazy."
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