March 6, 2006


Why Jon Stewart isn't funny (Michael Kalin, March 3, 2006, Boston Globe)

THE SELECTION of Jon Stewart as the host for Sunday night's 2006 Oscars undoubtedly marks a career milestone for the aspiring king of late-night comedy. Unfortunately, however, the ascension of Stewart and ''The Daily Show" into the public eye is no laughing matter. Stewart's ever-increasing popularity among young viewers directly correlates with the declining influence of progressive thought in America. Coincidence? I think not. Let me explain. [...]

Although Stewart's comedic shticks may thus earn him some laughs Sunday at the Oscars, his routine will certainly not match the impact of his greatest irony: Jon Stewart undermines any remaining earnestness that liberals in America might still possess.

Irony? It's a truism.

Memo to Jon Stewart: Keep Your 'Daily' Job (Tom Shales, March 6, 2006, Washington Post)

"Crash" was not only the film chosen Best Picture at the 78th Academy Awards last night; it was also the sound made by the show itself as, metaphorically speaking, it drove into a wall.

It's hard to believe that professional entertainers could have put together a show less entertaining than this year's Oscars, hosted with a smug humorlessness by comic Jon Stewart, a sad and pale shadow of great hosts gone by. [...]

Stewart began the show drearily, loping through a monologue that lacked a single hilarious joke with the possible exception of "Bjork couldn't be here tonight. She was trying on her Oscar dress and Dick Cheney shot her."

Translation: the s.o.b. made fun of the left instead of the Right.

Those big stars just don’t get Jon Stewart (Andy Dehnart, March 6, 2006, MSNBC)

Judging by the Kodak Theatre audience's reception to Jon Stewart, he will find his place in Oscar hosting history alongside Chris Rock and David Letterman, both of whom were judged to be poor hosts, either for their celebrity-bashing jokes (Rock) or their immature antics (Letterman). Despite the fact that Stewart (like Rock and Letterman) did an admirable job, the audience didn't seem to like him.

Coming back from one break, Stewart pretended to be in mid-sentence. "And that is why I think Scientology is right, not just for this city, but for the country," he said, clearly mocking some stars' commitment to Scientology. Hollywood sat silent.

An admitted and unashamed progressive himself, Stewart later made fun of the film industry's perceived liberalness, telling viewers the Oscars are a chance to "see all your favorite stars without having to donate any money to the Democratic party." Our favorite stars barely chuckled.

Who asked him to point out that they're laughable?

Posted by Orrin Judd at March 6, 2006 1:41 PM

I still miss Craig Kilborn

Posted by: Bryan at March 6, 2006 2:05 PM

Didn't he make a comment like, "This is the only place you can see all your favorite stars and not be at a Democratic Party fundraiser." ?

I don't watch the show...haven't for decades.

Posted by: Bartman at March 6, 2006 2:11 PM

The whole point of the Daily Show is that The News Is Stupid. This is why I have never been able to watch after 9/11. So what else would John Stewart have been expected to do with the Oscars but start from the theme The Oscars Are Stupid?

Posted by: b at March 6, 2006 2:12 PM

Whoops, hit "Post" too soon.
Craig Kilborn was well aware that he was the host of a dopey fake news show and kept it at about the same level as "Not Necessarily the News." The interview segment was four minutes of softballs lobbed at whatever celebrity was shilling a movie that week.
Jon Stewart has these dreams of remaking The Daily Show into something Important! and Meaningful! and Socialy Relevent! So, now the interviews are four minutes of earnest softball questions lobbed at whatever lefty moonbat had an afternoon free. Whereas the old Daily Show (and props go to Lizz Winstead the liberal lesbian headwriter at that time) had a "Wow, that Clinton sure is a goofball, isn't he?" tone, the current Daliy Show is "George Bush is the DEVIL! Laugh, damn you, laugh!" tone. I recognize that, as president, people are going to make fun of Bush. Heck, I'll join in from time to time. But the Daily Show is essentially a one-note canary these days. They've got two jokes: Bush = Devil or Bush = Moron.

Posted by: Bryan at March 6, 2006 2:13 PM

Oops, didn't see that last posted article.

Posted by: Bartman at March 6, 2006 2:14 PM

I didn't watch the Oscars and I have never seen The Daily Show.

I did see King Kong over the weekend. It liked it somewhat, although it was very long. I still think Narnia got screwed, but Nick Park got some love with Wallace & Gromit.

Posted by: pchuck at March 6, 2006 2:46 PM

Jokes aren't as funny when you're on the receiving end, I guess. I promised myself I'd turn it off at the first political statement.

Watched about 19 minutes of the show, through Clooney's "We're great: we're out of touch acceptance speech." And George? Hollywood's track record on minorities and civil rights since Hattie McDaniel's Oscar? Not so hot.

Posted by: Rick T. at March 6, 2006 3:04 PM

Stewart didn't do a bad job, not a good job, but not a bad one. Stewart fell flat because, unlike EVERY OTHER HOST! his jokes pointed out the differences. He would have mocked gibson were gibson up for an oscar, but ALL of Stewarts daily show comedy is based on observational humor. Yes he is popular, and yes the show is funny if you can get pass the irritating fact that he is funny with libs, and offensive with 'pubs, but the reason stewart flopped at the oscars, and with the oscar audience isn't because he was to anti-"progressive" but because he NEEDS to point out that hollywood is liberal before he can say that 'pubs are evil. Hollywood likes to think that they are the only genius's, geniei(spelling?) whatever of social culture so they believe that they are above partisan politics, they only support the dem's cuz only the dem's come anywhere close to being as enlightened as themselves.

Frankly Stewart, with his reasonable humor (not offensive, not very partisan, but clearly archetypical) offended the hollywood elite because the hollywood thinks that they are above such things, and thought Stewart was painting them as hacks rather than the extraordinarily important elite intellectuals they believe themselves to be. Even though Stewart agree's with them, and only made broad jokes about republicans (his "out of touch" joke, was actually about the ignorance of America, rather than the elitism of hollywood, watch it again if you disagree) he poked fun at a few actors individually, (my favorite was the "best make-up" joke about "did you notice was nominated for being able to make russel crowe look like he just got into a fight)the audience was offended because they are isolated hollywood idiots. THAT is why Stewart flopped. If you watch again, you will see honestly that you prolly would'a laughed more times if the audience had as well, but Hollywood was too offended that this pissant NY cable comedian made fun of them. I would say the only one who got it was Hanks.

Posted by: wickedpinto at March 6, 2006 3:20 PM

There's a good chance that with the drumbeat leading up to the Oscars about the liberal nominees, the liberal slant of the nominated pictures and the generally liberal tone that Stewart takes on his regular season, the people running the show, and possibly the host himself, decided to tone it down a little, since the nominations were already seen as a big middle finger to the Red States.

The problem, as Clooney's acceptance speech showed, was that too many of the people there wanted to throw a big middle finger at the Red States, and were obviously disappointed that Stewart failed to deliver the red meat they were expecting (OK, he did a Cheney joke, but if it had been Al Gore who had blasted someone while hutting on college roommate Tommy Lee Jones' Texas ranch, we would have still gotten a joke at the Oscar ceremony).

Posted by: John at March 6, 2006 3:51 PM

I just reviewed Stewart disemboweling Tucker Carlson on Crossfire (who handled being disemboweled pretty well)

Since I don't have cable, this was my first taste of Stewart. Pretty darn talented and fearless. A few months of reading this blog should cure him of most of his affair with bad policy.

Posted by: Bruno at March 6, 2006 3:59 PM

Q: How many Hollywood liberals does it take to screw in a light bulb?

A: That's not funny!

Posted by: Gideon at March 6, 2006 4:00 PM

Stewart disembowelling Tucker Carlson: a Lincoln v. Douglas debate in mirror-opposite Bizarro universe.

Posted by: pchuck at March 6, 2006 5:04 PM

The thing about Stewart's effective attack of Carlson is that it seems to me like so much of an attack on a competitor. How is the Daily Show, as currently run, any different from something like Crossfire? They may say, "Oh, we're the fake news," but they certainly take themselves a lot more seriously than that, and encourage other people to. I think they protest too much.

Posted by: John Thacker at March 6, 2006 5:04 PM

The reason Stewart didn't hit the big funny, is simple. Most movie actors are idiots. Pretty idiots, big breasted idiots, but idiots nonetheless. How funny can you get, making fun of idiots?

Posted by: AllenS at March 6, 2006 5:52 PM

The spoofed political-style ads upstaged Daily big time. Way more funny. And you could see it in his eyes after about the 2nd or 3rd break. Even HE was wondering why he was reading some of the lame "joke" copy.

Posted by: John Resnick at March 6, 2006 6:01 PM

Thanks guys, I chose not to watch and reading your comments, I'm pleased I didn't.

Did rent Crash and beyond the first 30+/- minutes found it a thoughtful movie. For me, Hollywood's circling the bowl.

Posted by: Genecis at March 6, 2006 6:51 PM

John T.

I tend to agree with you. The guy's ability to attack people is predicated upon his being a comedian.

No one sees him coming. They think he's kidding, and by the time the target has his defenses set up, the damage is done.

Interesting MO. I've never seen anyone so deadpan.

Posted by: Bruno at March 6, 2006 6:58 PM

Jon Stewart seems to feel that his flunky, Steven Colbert, is upstaging him.

Could be

Posted by: John J. Coupal at March 7, 2006 10:39 AM

I thought Stewart was to funny to describe. I can't believe how "sensitive" some people get. It has nothing to do with being "progressive" or "making fun of the left". It is about challenging a culture of elitism in Hollywood that has barely average individuals, with skill and talent in the arts, assuming a greater posture in our society. Making fun of them (and of course liberals) is a great passtime for anyone seriously engaged in life.

Posted by: Jim at March 8, 2006 1:13 PM


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