The Jon Stewart Profiles Industry Marches On - Macleans.ca
 

The Jon Stewart Profiles Industry Marches On


 

New York Magazine’s article on Jon Stewart and The Daily Show is a long and good example of a familiar type of article: the “Jon Stewart is the last sane man” piece. It’s written a lot because it’s kind of true. This one even got comments from Glenn Beck, who feels that Stewart doesn’t understand the messages of his show.

One of the writers who features most prominently in the piece, Josh Lieb, was a writer on NewsRadio who became its showrunner in the final season (and is the guy saying “oh, it would be awful!” on one of the commentary tracks to describe what that show would have been like as a one-camera production) . So this means that I might as well accept it: everything has some kind of NewsRadio connection, real or imagined.


 
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The Jon Stewart Profiles Industry Marches On

  1. Quick question, because I happened to move into university housing just before the switchover: are the 10PM episodes of The Daily Show and Colbert on The Comedy Network the previous night's episodes, or brand-new episodes aired an hour before they broadcast in the US?

    • I'm pretty sure they're the new episodes. I watched an episode yesterday and today, although tonight's Colbert Report was a repeat. I'm not sure about why that was but The Daily Show was new.

      • So The Daily Show was the same episode that's airing on CTV as I type this, covering Terry Jones and having Ben Affleck on as a guest?

        The Comedy Network website says Colbert's new tonight, but having gone to a Colbert taping, I know that they can delay filming until around 8 in order to do rewrites. Hence my skepticism that they would guarantee episodes be ready an hour earlier for Canadian broadcasts, since my impression was both shows worked almost to the last minute on the 11/11:30 schedule. Maybe Colbert was too late tonight, so Comedy Network was forced to throw on a repeat.

        To clarify, I have Comedy Network at home, but basic cable without Comedy Network in student housing. So if I can get new episodes at 10 instead of waiting til midnight or spending precious amounts of my monthly Internet cap use on downloading/streaming episodes, I'll probably spend the extra money to get Comedy Network added (and Conan at 11 is great too).

        • I've been waiting to write about this until I can figure out what's going on, but as best I can tell, Comedy has the new DAILY SHOW at 10, but each time I've tuned in, they have the previous night's COLBERT at 10:30.

          It's odd but I'm assuming that TDS is finished in time to be aired early, while COLBERT isn't. Or maybe it's something to do with the deal. But it's awkward having to wait two extra hours to see the new COLBERT (on CTV).

          • It makes sense. The Daily Show is more reactionary, with longer rants working off pre-planned beats of clip packages, while The Colbert Report is more heavily prepared, dense with wordplay and with lots of props and graphics, so any last-minute rewrites on the latter would have to go through those departments. Plus, everything Colbert covers has to have his character's connection to the subject, and his logic about it, explained, unlike Stewart, who can write in a nut-shot clip and play it with little set-up, solely for entertainment, if he really wanted to.

            Basically, I think both shows value testing the material at rehearsal and then rewriting, but while that can be pretty quick for Stewart, it lead to a 90-minute when I visited Colbert. I'm not surprised that after post-production, Colbert's not ready for 10:30 PM.

  2. Stewart truly does seem like the last true sane man on TV most days. Even when he's going through the motions it's good to see him point out endless incongruity piled on hypocrisy heaped on BS– and yes it's mostly directed at the right, but he dishes it left plenty as well. He dishes disses where they're found most.

    • and yet, as JS says himself – "I'm just a comedian!" when others take him to task for not upholding journalistic standsrds his critics had to look up in oder to level them at him

  3. I've been a long-time fan of TDS and Jon is great.

    I have to say that nobody makes me laugh as hard as Colbert thou. What a character. Even on TDS near the end, he was stealing the show on a regular basis.

  4. I have been watching TDS since 2002. I have been to a taping in 2006. Jon Stewart is indeed a genius. Everyone thought he'd be hard pressed to find funny material since Bush left. Instead, he just gets better and better as America and the world get crazier and crazier. It's hard to think how our mental health would be without Jon Stewart poking fun at the crazy.

    And Glenn Beck, don't flatter yourself. Jon Stewart is laughing AT you. Take the money Gold Line pays you and buy a clue.

  5. Excellent article. Thank you for posting it.

  6. I love both shows and think The Colbert Report is truly amazing. I know more than a few people who think he is being serious and absolutely hate him and I have to explain what he is doing (Stephen Colbert plays a character called Stephen Colbert who is a puffed-up right-wing blowhard).

    With what Colbert did this year – his week in Iraq – I think he was completely robbed for the Emmy this year (something he has joked about more than a few times since). Jaime, what do you think?

    Something else I fiund interesting is that Colbert is quite a devout Catholic. In much the same way as Sacha Baron Cohen is a very observant Jew, I think this shows that just because one is religious it doesn't mean one has to be a brain-dead moron (although there are plenty of those too).

  7. Stewart is great in the scripted bits on his show, but when he gets a "serious" guest on the show (i.e., not a movie star plugging their latest venture), he's not much tougher on his guests than most network-news reporters are, and sometimes even more of a cream-puff than they can be, especially when he agrees with them. There have been exceptions, such as his blow-out with Jim Cramer (who was ASKING for it–and got it between the eyes), but with more than a few writers and particularly politicians, he seems sort of lost. But then, he isn't a reporter. A very good comedian, a smart man, but not a reporter. (Yes, I know, the actual reporters aren't throwing themselves at their jobs the way they should, but turn a really determined, prepared print or TV journalist loose and someone, and they leave Stewart in the dust. But not nearly as often as they should.)

    • I actually disagree (slightly). I think Stewart does a pretty good job when interviews a "serious" guest and it usually when he continues in his "no bullsh*t" mode.