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Overview: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

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The Bottom Line

With such an affable, everyman like Jon Stewart behind the desk, how can you not enjoy The Daily Show? For those who like their discourse without the doublespeak, The Daily Show is a breath of fresh air.

Pros

  • Timely and topical
  • Slows political spin, both conservative and liberal, to a crawl
  • Drives public debate and discourse
  • Funny as heck
  • Jon Stewart is the Will Rogers of our time

Cons

  • Humor sometimes too base
  • Cringe factor high when interviewing those who don’t get it

Description

  • Airs Monday through Thursday at 11 p.m. EST on Comedy Central.
  • Debuted in 1996 with Craig Kilborn as host
  • Jon Stewart took over in 1999
  • Known for its frequent political and literary guests
  • “Your Moment of Zen” has appeared since the show’s debut
  • Steve Carrell is possibly the most well-known former correspondent
  • Stephen Colbert, challenging Carrell as most well-known, has his own show, The Colbert Report
  • Guests have included Bill Clinton, Jimmy Carter, John McCain and Colin Powell
  • Awards include Emmys, Grammys, two Peabodys and the Thurber Award

Guide Review - Overview: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Back in the day, when the show debuted (July 1996 on Comedy Central) with Craig Kilborn as host, I wasn’t a huge fan of The Daily Show. Kilborn, a skilled broadcaster and quick wit, had created a character that was a little too narcissistic – which skewered the news anchors of the day. But the show, otherwise, didn’t have the political bite that it has today.

Under Jon Stewart’s reign, The Daily Show has become what the editorial cartoon is to the OpEd page: humor puncturing the hot-air balloon of politics. But The Daily Show extends its “are you kidding me?” attitude to the media, as well, effectively changing the way news is reported.

For proof, look no further than Stewart’s scuffle with Tucker Carlson, then host of CNN’s Crossfire. Stewart, uncharacteristically, lambasted both Carlson and his co-host Paul Begala for failing in its responsibility to public discourse. Not long after, Crossfire ceased to exist.

Stewart, quite simply, is the Will Rogers of our day.

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