An Oral History as Told by Jon Stewart, The Correspondents, Staff and Guests
By Chris Smith and Jon Stewart
This is the story of how a marginal show on basic cable became a major force in show business and politics. Like Tom Shales’ book about Saturday Night Live, reading the book is a lot like watching a documentary with a lot of talking heads. It is comprehensive and still funny.
Copyright 2018 DJ Cline All rights reserved.
Larry Wilmore’s show on Comedy Central was cancelled. I found out by catching up on all those episodes I should have been watching live. Wilmore took all kinds of risks and maybe that was too much for a mainstream audience. It was clearly a lot of work to do four shows a week. Jon Stewart’s other alumni HBO’s John Oliver and TNT’s Samantha Bee are knocking it out of the park by doing only one show a week. CBS’s Stephen Colbert’s new show was struggling until he fell back on his strengths of being the old Stephen Colbert. NBC’s Seth Meyers also fell back to sitting at a news desk and delivering the sharpest commentary of his career. ABC’s Jimmy Kimmel and NBC’s Jimmy Fallon seem to competing directly for the mainstream audience.
Copyright 2016 DJ Cline All rights reserved.
Jon Stewart stepped down after sixteen years on Comedy Central’s Daily Show. He made a point in showing how many people it took to make the show a success. Just about everybody who ever worked on the show was recognized. Being from New Jersey, he closed with Bruce Springsteen. Combined with Stephen Colbert’s trippy finale, this is the end of an era. Two of the best counterpoints to billionaires controlling public debate are off the air just as the country is heading into one the most decisive elections in history. Will Trevor Noah be able to fill Stewart’s shoes? John Oliver, Larry Wilmore and Seth Meyers do not yet have the audience or influence yet. There is no sign that Stephen Colbert’s new show will be as political in its attempt to compete with the more juvenile Jimmy Fallon or Jimmy Kimmel. We have not heard the last of Jon Stewart, but for now his voice is silent.
Copyright 2015 DJ Cline All rights reserved.