I forgot to change my clock so I woke up at 12:19 thinking it wasn't even noon yet.
Jon Stewart is after the far left and far right...only to make jokes.
Stewart seems acutely aware of his role, and his Friday night appearance at the packed Rosemont Theater -- "How ya doin' . . . area near Chicago!" he greeted the house -- was a rare foray back into stand-up from the singular political/humor stratosphere he has found himself in.Now, for a sketch we call, "Back in Black."
Friday night's show dipped into stand-up standbys such as religion, technology and the rites of adolescence ("Here's how much I masturbate," he said. "You're lucky I'm here"). But Stewart's cultural work is his strongest by a country mile, and after a brief greeting -- "If only there was some way around here to get some filling food" -- Stewart dived into the Daily material that probably serves as news for much of the mostly young crowd.[...]
Jon stopped any rumors about him going to ABC.
During a brief Q&A, he said his show would never leave Comedy Central because the network "[lets] us do whatever the hell we want."
If that's a precarious position, comedians -- and politicians and cable-news hosts for that matter -- should be lucky to find themselves in it.
Comedian Lewis Black brings his sharp wit and biting commentary to the Orpheum Theatre in Boston Saturday, April 9, at 8 p.m.You can see Black for $37.50 or $45.
Are you serious?
"The whole point of our show is to do a comedic show, but about things that we care about. … What we do is sort of implicit. We take that direct expression and basically try to bury it under the labyrinth of fart jokes and noises. If the show is 30 minutes of stridency, then that's tedious. If you do five minutes of fart jokes, you might buy yourself one didactic moment."The Balitmore Orioles influence the law. Yet, Sammy Sosa finds himself back in Bush country?!?
When Stewart replaced Craig Kilborn on The Daily Show in January 1999, he was a comedian who had also acted in some movies and TV shows and briefly hosted a talk show in the mid-'90s (it started on MTV, then was syndicated) that was well-reviewed but failed anyway. Since then, "The Daily Show" audience has tripled, and its pop-culture presence has multiplied like crazy. The median age of the audience is 33, although the perception is that fans are mostly college kids.
Studies by esteemed research groups have indicated that a) yes, The Daily Show is a news source for young viewers, and b) its viewers are more likely to know things like campaign issues than people who don't watch it.
But now that the presidential race is history, the challenge for The Daily Show is to keep its edge and find targets as rich as the absurdities of the race for the White House. It's not as easy now to figure out what should be the focus each night, Stewart admits.
"We have to search harder to find relevant veins to mine, as opposed to being a little more illuminated by the schedule of the election," he says. "Our production content was driven by the election."[...]
Stewart enjoys calling out a journalistic insecurity or weak spot. For instance, he mocks the media's fixation on whether blogs are useful tools or the equivalent of the new angry mob.
"They make it seem as though bloggers are camped out on Michael Schiavo's front lawn or at the Michael Jackson trial. That's the media! That's dudes with cameras! Blogs are in their own homes and offices. And they're just writing."
Stewart insists he had nothing to do with the fact that CNN announced plans to drop Crossfire, the long-running show where conservatives and liberals yelled at each other, from its schedule. (The show is still on the air.) In October, Stewart went on the show and told the co-hosts what he really thought: that scream fest political shows were hurting America. And he called co-host Tucker Carlson a, well, colorful name. Not too long afterward, the president of CNN told the press Stewart had a point.
"Look, as much as these guys talk, if Pol Pot's talk show was doing really well in the ratings, he'd still have a talk show," says Stewart. "That was a vulnerable show." He says Crossfire was losing its creative and commercial footing, and "I just happened to be the idiot that was there at one time who said it."
Stewart doesn't have to wonder about what he'll be doing for the next presidential election because he's signed with The Daily Show through 2008. He's not interested in speculating about the race yet. He says he doesn't know where the Democrats are heading with their attempts to revive and redefine the party.
"If you have a lead, I'd love to follow it. It appears right now it's much like the way the Harlem Globetrotters used to beat up on the Washington Generals. They're the Washington Generals right now."
Stewart sounds more concerned with crafting next week's jokes than sizing up what the future holds for either party. "I don't think we buy into the whole political paradigm," he muses. "So much of that world right now is a battle for supremacy between partisans. I think I fall on the side of most people, which is: 'I'm busy. I wish you guys did all this better.' Most people I know don't define themselves by their party affiliation."
Bad weather is no excuse for bad turnout. That is, unless, you live in Trimble County.
Senator Evan Bayh has his priorities straight.