Earlier this month, FOX News Sunday's Chris Wallace confronted Comedy Central's Jon Stewart about his comedy and supposed liberal bias, to which Stewart naturally responded with facts and the well-known truth that he is a comedian first and foremost, and not an ideologue. (Watch Stewart's FOX News Sunday appearance if you need to catch up)
Well, apparently FOX News got the memo to send all of its talking head anchors into war with Stewart, and their marching orders told them to point out Stewart's "liberal bias" for making a funny voice during a joke about conservative Republican Hermain Cain. How'd that go? Well, if only they had seen and/or heard all of the other funny accents Stewart has employed on The Daily Show over the years. Oh, wait. They could have done that. Stewart and his employees beat FOX News to the punchline. Roll the clip!
Louis CK and Jon Stewart go back a couple of decades in comedy together, so last night's appearance on The Daily Show allowed the two comedians to reminisce a bit. They also -- spoiler alert -- discuss the fart joke that's a central plot point in the premiere episode of season two of FX's Louie.
Let Louis CK break it down for you why farts are funny. Safe for work? Even merely explaining farts makes Stewart laugh uncontrollably, at least when CK does it; also, when he describes in detail just how obesely obese he plans to get once his career in comedy is over.
"You don't have to be smart to laugh at farts, but you have to be stupid not to." -- Louis CK
Roll the clip!
Chris Wallace invited Jon Stewart to his Sunday-morning talk show, FOX News Sunday, with aims to prove that The Daily Show host not only has political intentions himself but also has a specific political point of view.
Wallace hoped time and again that Stewart would say that the "mainstream media" has an inherent liberal bias, and that Stewart buys into that. But the comedian replied consistently that his view instead is that too many media outlets are merely lazy and go for the easy stories, the sensational stories and the stories that provide clear conflicts to push the viewers buttons. Stewart pointed to Nancy Pelosi's recent press conference, which the 24-hour news networks all cut away from as soon as Pelosi talked about jobs instead of Congressman Anthony Weiner. "What's your evidence of the partisan bias, again, and what I do?" Stewart said. "That's the embarrassment. The embarrassment is that I'm given credibility in this world because of the disappointment that the public has in what the news media does."
Then he told Wallace that FOX News viewers are the most misinformed. Which Wallace responded to by pulling a clip from the Comedy Central Roast of Pamela Anderson. Case closed?
Here's the full, unedited interview (not all of this made it to air on Sunday).
The Daily Show with Jon Stewart does not air live on Comedy Central, but they go with the first take anyhow. Which last night added another layer of comedy and drama to the proceedings, when, during a cold open bit in which Stewart held a press conference to apologize for not covering the actual press conference by his friend, Democratic Congressman Anthony Weiner, Stewart broke a cocktail glass and cut open his right hand.
So Stewart really did have blood on his hands over the Weiner penis-picture scandal!
On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart has become fond of getting his guests to sit around for extended interviews after the cameras stop running. Only the cameras keep running for us here on the Internet. Last night, Stewart wanted to ask Albert Brooks about being part of the comedy heyday of the 1970s, and it quickly turned into a discussion about the power of Johnny Carson and The Tonight Show.
Gatekeepers are important.
Roll the clip!
Remember all the way back to yesterday, when I pointed out the fact that Ben & Jerry's had created similar special ice cream flavors for both Jimmy Fallon and Stephen Colbert? Yeah. Colbert noticed that, too. And Colbert decided to start a food fight with Fallon over it. In his own special way.
First comes war. Includes jokes at the expense of Fallon, Colbert, Stewart, Chelsea Handler and Jay Leno.
Then comes peace. With a bonus hallucination of Ben and Jerry.
When Congress finally, belatedly passed legislation to help fund health care for the 9/11 responders, the New York Times -- with thanks to the media's favorite pop-culture professor quote machine for more than a decade, Syracuse's Robert J. Thompson (full disclosure: I've even called him for a quote before) -- put Edward R. Murrow's name in a headline suggesting that The Daily Show's Jon Stewart was his modern-day equivalent.
All because Stewart devoted one of his final shows of 2010 to 9/11 responders and the need to pass said legislation.
And whenever the NYT publishes, you can be sure that TV will follow. And so it was that ABC News' Sheila Marikar asked if the NYT comparison was "incredibly apt" (as friend of the site, Mediaite's Rachel Sklar suggested) or "ignorant garbage" (as Columbia University's Todd Gitlin suggested).
CNN also asked its in-house comedian/host Pete Dominick about Jon Stewart's role as an advocate. Roll that clip, shall we?
The debate, of course, could be asking a better question. Dominick even brings up the point. It's not whether or not Jon Stewart is like Edward R. Murrow or Walter Cronkite. Because he's not. Stewart is a comedian, so he is not held to the same journalistic standards that Murrow, Cronkite, or today's journalists are.
It's not as if this is a new question, either. Four years ago, Hollywood made a movie, Man of the Year, which imagined a character much like Jon Stewart's who decided to run for president and won! Robin Williams played the lead role in that film, but politically-minded comedian Lewis Black also was in it, and I asked him back in 2006 about the notion of comedians running for higher office (this was before Al Franken's successful U.S. Senate campaign in Minnesota, mind you). I also posed the question to Doug Stanhope -- who then was considering a Libertarian run for president -- and Boston political comedian Jimmy Tingle.
But when you really stop to think about it, comedians are advocates all of the time, and always have been. A comedian speaks truth to power, whether it's the medieval court jester revealing the emperor has no clothes, Lenny Bruce, George Carlin or Richard Pryor showing the power words have over us, or today's social commentators who reveal their commentary on society in stand-up comedy clubs and theaters around the world. Sure, not every comedian focuses so much on politics and policy. Not every comedian has to. Jim Gaffigan told audiences on his 2010 theater tour about how much Americans rely on junk food -- whether it's McDonald's or tabloid magazines -- to feed their daily diet. Louis CK is making audiences rethink the way they relate to their children and the strangers all around them. Dave Attell continues to poke at an audience member's own thoughts about what is taboo. As does Sarah Silverman. Chris Rock. Tina Fey. Maria Bamford. Patton Oswalt. Bill Burr. They're all advocates. They might not be pushing for a particular piece of legislation currently up for a vote on the floor of Congress. But they are pushing for society to stop stalling, to move forward, to wake up.
They can do this because that's what a truly great comedian does.
Meet your new late-night TV competition, same as the old competition. That was the case for David Letterman last night, as just like a year ago, he's up against Conan O'Brien for viewers. And unlike Jay Leno, Letterman had no problem bringing up Conan by name. Or using it at Leno's expense.
Here's some footage from last night's Late Show monologue (with added jokes about former President George W. Bush's new memoir). Roll it.
The situation is decidedly different for Jon Stewart on Comedy Central. He's been ruling the roost at 11 p.m., but now he and Conan will be targeting the same demographic. For some reason, Stewart isn't all that optimistic, at least by how he opened the show last night on The Daily Show. Roll it.
Would a sane person hop on a bus, train, or airplane, fight all sorts of traffic getting to the National Mall in Washington, D.C., just to support a Rally to Restore Sanity (and/or Fear)? That was the question Comedy Central and Jon Stewart posed, and estimates say more than 200,000 people answered yes on Saturday.
Of course, a really sane person would, recognizing that Comedy Central was airing the three-hour rally live on TV, prefer the comfort of his/her own home to sit and watch the rally proceed. But that's just me (and perhaps millions, depending upon the Nielsen ratings to come). And finding out that several of my NYC friends and acquaintances reached D.C. midway through the rally, whereupon they'd have no chance to get close to the stage, I felt pretty good about that decision.
But what about the rally itself? We can argue about the worthiness of several of the scripted bits and musical selections, or the tone of the rally. I, for one, expected more of that "clarion call" to come in the form of stand-up comedy. After all, The Daily Show already puts on a regular monthly stand-up showcase in New York City at Comix, called The Daily Show and Friends (with the next show coming this Wednesday, Nov. 3), and a few of the show's correspondents already have plenty of material questioning the sanity of our government and our media. But John Oliver and Wyatt Cenac were relegated to small, supporting roles in the rally, and Lewis Black was not to be seen at all. They did put on a "heckuva of a good job," though, to borrow the phrase that was recently borrowed on TDS last week.
And they certainly reminded a lot of people that Tuesday, Nov. 2, is Election Day, even if they didn't really express that message explicitly, or enough.
So what to make of it all? After two hours and forty-five minutes of music from The Roots, Yusef Islam (the former Cat Stevens, although he was only identified first-name only as Yusef, hmmm), Ozzy Osbourne, The O'Jays, Jeff Tweedy and Mavis Staples, and Tony Bennett, in addition to banter between Stewart and Stephen Colbert (mocking the event from the "Fear" side), and a few honors handed out to choices sincere and not-so-much, Stewart finally took to the stage solo to address the hundreds of thousands of spectator on the Mall and those of us watching on TV or online, to make his case.
He was sincere and poignant. We must not let the insane people take over our government and our media, when they are such a small percentage of us. Who we are is better exemplified by the masses who make compromises easily every day funneling into the Lincoln and Hudson tunnels to commute by vehicle back and forth from NYC.
This is the full address from Jon Stewart at the end of the rally.
I don't know if you can ever have too many stars on a benefit show, but Comedy Central certainly tries every two years on behalf of autism research with its Night of Too Many Stars: An Overbooked Concert for Autism Education, which airs again tonight.
Much of the event taped earlier this month in NYC, although when it airs this evening, host Jon Stewart and a slew of celebrities will appear live in LA to answer the phones when you call in to make a donation. Viewers also will be able to vote, via texting, on celebrity stunts during the live portion of the broadcast. Comedians appearing and manning the phone bank include Jason Alexander, Mike Birbiglia, Julie Bowen, Drew Carey, Cedric the Entertainer, George Clooney, Bryan Cranston, Larry David, Will Forte, Jeff Garlin, Lauren Graham, Tom Hanks, John Hodgman, Rob Huebel, Penn Jillette, Chris Kattan, Jimmy Kimmel, B.J. Novak, Conan O’Brien, Jim Parsons, Andy Richter, Maya Rudolph, Paul Scheer, Adam Scott, Bill Simmons, David Spade, Eric Stonestreet, Betty White, Larry Wilmore and Weird Al Yankovic.
As for the show itself, I saw it, so I can tell you what you may see, unless they decide to edit it out.
You may or may not see Tina Fey joke about wanting to say hi to her family, then realizing the show is airing on Thursday night, when 30 Rock is on, adding: "Who am I kidding, they're watching Shit My Dad Says on the DVR." Here she is with Stewart showing off her 2011 Tina Fey Swimsuit Calendar:
You may or may not see Ricky Gervais make the audience gasp with a DUI joke that also includes a rape! Here is joking about his history of charitable giving, including the time he was given the gift of a goat. An African goat. Roll it.
You may or may not see Tracy Morgan awkwardly work with Stewart through a sketch about how big his pockets were.
You may or may not see Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell sing a novelty song that's only about 19 months too late, including the re-appearance of Tay Zonday. If you were around 19 months ago, that name might make more sense. But probably not.
You may or may not see Jim Gaffigan kill with his new material about McDonald's.
On last night's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, your sane host showed footage from recent rallies for the leaders of North Korea and America, holding it up as evidence of things one should do, or perhaps not do, in public. Good to know, considering Stewart himself is leading a rally in Washington, D.C., on Oct. 30, 2010 called the "Rally to Restore Sanity."
Stewart's advice to people attending his rally, or any rally for that matter: "When in doubt, don't be douchey."
In this clip, Stewart also revealed that, since this is a rally for sane and rational people, there might be more than a few of you out there so sane that you'll decide that D.C. is too far away, too expensive, or too out of reach that day to make it. No need to go insane, people! Comedy Central plans to provide live TV coverage of the event, as well as live streaming online.
Stewart joked that meant too bad for Broken Lizard, although looking at the actual Comedy Central schedule for Oct. 30, 2010, it means it'll be pre-empting a Scrubs marathon. Poor Scrubs. Roll the clip!
Jon Stewart has announced the location for the Oct. 30 "Rally to Restore Sanity" in Washington, D.C.
As he explained on The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, it's not going to be in front of the Lincoln Memorial, nor will it be on the steps of the Capitol, nor even in front of the Washington Monument.
Nope. Go east to the other end of the National Mall.
Just look at this map.
And as Stewart said on his program, please donate to the Trust for the National Mall. I have a funny feeling this also will be the location for Stephen Colbert's "March to Keep Fear Alive," also happening Oct. 30 in D.C.
Here's the video so Stewart can explain it all in detail for you:
Jon Stewart took a minute out at the end of tonight's episode of The Daily Show on Comedy Central to say a few words on the passing of comedian Greg Giraldo, who died Wednesday at the age of 44.
Stewart said of Giraldo: "The comedy world lost a good man and a great comic. And he was the type of guy that, when you were working the clubs, he was just one of those guys that you loved to run into, because he was always a font of warmth and good humor, and just smart-as-hell comedy. And fun to watch, and funny to hang out with, and we will miss him terribly."
"Here it is, our Moment of Greg."
So now the truth can be told? Amid laughing along with Jon Stewart about his recent appearance on Oprah Winfrey's "final" season, David Letterman disclosed the real reason Oprah had been giving him the cold shoulder for years upon years. Turns out she doesn't enjoy "a little horseplay." And by horseplay, he meant a little practical joke he pulled when they were both vacationing on a fancy island and dined at the same fancy restaurant. Or maybe the restaurant wasn't fancy. Sounded fancy, though. You be the judge. Oh, celebrities. They're just like us!
For all the bluster, no matter whom you think is blustering (but we all know who), it's interesting to see TV personalities play the game and dance with each other to promote their new books. Such was the case again last night when The Daily Show's Jon Stewart paid another visit to Bill O'Reilly's The O'Reilly Factor. Comedy Central meets FOX News. Always fun times in the No Spin Zone, right?
Well, what if the No Spin Zone is continuously spinning? Just like sometimes you look at a car tire's rims and you cannot figure out if they're spinning or not, or even maybe rotating in reverse. Maybe that's what's really going on with the Factor.
What I do know from watching the TV show last night is this: The unedited version of O'Reilly's "interview' with Stewart -- I use quotes because as you watch this, you can tell that O'Reilly doesn't actually care what Stewart thinks so much as he wants to goad and jibe the satirist to prove how witty and connected the broadcaster is. O'Reilly says some really dopey things, and Stewart zings him right back on them, in a few of the moments cut from the segment that FOX News viewers saw in the broadcast.
FOX News viewers did get to hear off-camera laughter during the broadcast. But when O'Reilly suggested the Obama was somehow different in "separating himself from the regular folks," causing Stewart to turn in his chair, is cut short for TV so they don't hear O'Reilly claim that you can and he has shown up to trick-or-treat at the White House for Halloween. Of course O'Reilly has. There's also a great line Stewart gets in on O'Reilly about wearing a costume to his rally: "No, you can dress up as a guy still pretending to be blue collar." To which O'Reilly replies, smiling: "OK, fine. And that is something I do very well."
FOX News viewers also didn't hear O'Reilly claiming that "dope dealers" would be crawling all over D.C. for the Oct. 30 rallies planned by Stewart and Stephen Colbert. And where's that section where Stewart talks about what the Tea Party Republicans have done to Karl Rove, that O'Reilly tries to duck and weave away from.
So what FOX News did air? And do they get credit for showing the full unedited conversation? Or by doing so, do they merely reveal that the editing conceals
After a series of teasing pre-announcements, Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert announced last night on Comedy Central that they would, in fact, host actual rallies on the National Mall in Washington D.C. on Oct. 30, 2010. As Stewart pointed out, this coincides with the end of a week full of episodes The Daily Show with Jon Stewart will be broadcasting from the nation's capital.
So does this mean New York magazine meant this was the beginning of the Jon Stewart Decade? Because if you read the article, it sounded like they meant it was the end of it. Either way, great way to cap it off. I know where I'll be spending my Cabbage Night. Stewart will lead the Rally to Restore Sanity. Colbert will lead the March to Keep Fear Alive.
As you may recall, FOX News guy Glenn Beck recently held a big rally in D.C. and invited Sarah Palin to spread their own messages to the masses. Here's a quote from the NY Mag cover piece on Stewart that is about his visit to CNN's Crossfire several years ago, but applies here, too:
“What’s been misconstrued is the idea that I’m saying I’m ‘just a comedian.’ I’m not saying I’m just a comedian. I think comedy is harder than what they do. We have to process things in a manner that’s more thoughtful.”
OK. Here's the video of Stewart announcing his rally.
And then, after President Bill Clinton gave a lengthy interview to Stewart, Colbert followed with his own program and his own announcement.
You may not care about politics and elections in a midterm year, but the folks at The Daily Show aren't letting it slide by unnoticed. In fact, Jon Stewart and company will be taping a week's worth of shows straight from Washington, D.C., at the Shakespeare Theatre Company's Sidney Harman Hall.
The shows, from Monday, Oct. 25, through Thursday, Oct. 28, will be called "When Grizzlies Attack: The Daily Show Midterm Teapartyganza." Tickets for the tapings are available only through the show's site -- wait, correction! The Daily Show's site already says that tickets are sold out. That was fast. Go to The Daily Show's ticket site and plug in your information and stay tuned to see if tickets become available.
Previously, the show has hit the road to produce episodes in Philadelphia (2000), Los Angeles (2000), D.C. (2002), Boston (2004), Columbus, Ohio (2006), Denver (2008) and Minneapolis (2008), all as part of its "Indecision" election coverage.
On the eve of the annual Emmy nominations, Steve Carell made his first appearance on The Colbert Report since Carell and Colbert both were colleagues on Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. The reunion did not disappoint!
Carell opened the show by taking over the show, insisting instead, in a grey suit that closely matched Colbert's own, that we would be watching The Carell Corral.
That may have been Colbert's dream, but comedy fans weren't dreaming when they saw Colbert drop his "Stephen Colbert" arch-conservative character to engage in a witty repartee with Carell about the movie he was plugging, Despicable Me, and their mutual careers post-Daily Show in a re-enactment of their old "Even Stephen" segments. And all of that posturing prompted a cameo, albeit on a screen behind the duo, of Stewart himself to ask how he can move on and take his career to the next level after The Daily Show. Is that a question he really needs to be asking in real life? Let's not think about whether he'll take over Late Show when David Letterman retires, and just for these next six-plus minutes, enjoy the reunion for what it was. Roll the clip!
In case you weren't at Radio City Music Hall last night, or are planning on going tonight, here is something that Conan O'Brien clearly didn't do at any previous stop on his Team Coco theater tour of North America: A fake feud and dance-off with Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart.
Team Coco and Conan himself have linked to this audience YouTube video for you to see for yourself. Enjoy!