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Jon Stewart

An American comedian, actor and writer

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Quite Possibly the Smartest Man in Political Commentary

  • Jun 30, 2009
  • by
Rating:
+5
In 1999, The Daily Show got a new boss.  Jon Stewart.  For ten years now, Jon Stewart has been providing us with political satire and news.  While Jon Stewart is most certainly fake news, if you know the REAL news, Jon Stewart can be quite informative and entertaining.  Stewart uses comedy as commentary.  Stewart, like a pundit, doesn't make his views a secret, but unlike a pundit, Stewart doesn't play partisan games.  He is liberal.  But he isn't beyond criticizing or making fun of liberal politicians or news anchors.  Case in point, he criticizes MSNBC as much as he does Fox News.  With Obama coming into office he's taken quite a few shots at him.  Stewart bases his comedy on who is in office and what the news media is saying.  Perhaps what makes Jon Stewarts show so good is that he isn't bound by the same old journalistic ethics.  He doesn't have to spin or "clarify" things.  Of all the sources for news, it is a little strange that Stewart is among the best.  Some may not take him seriously as a comedian, but one thing is for sure: Jon Stewart is certainly better than watching MSNBC or Fox News all day.  If there was any real problem with Stewart's show... it would be that's only a half hour long.

Jon Stewart has a very simple brand of comedy and sattire.  He takes a look at basic news stories and makes jokes.  Let's get one thing straight: Stewart is a late night talk show host.  He isn't a pundit.  What he does best is talk straight and true.  What he also does best is point out the hypocrisy in the media and within the politics of both major political parties.  And with so much hypocrisy in the media and politics in particular, Jon Stewart will forever have a job.  He comes to it fairly heartfelt at least.  He's not exactly an insensitive prick about it.  Better is that Stewart also isn't afraid to face his critics and set the record straight.  

His show follows a simple pattern.  He always begins talking about the biggest news story of the day.  Where he makes certain jokes.  Often times he shows a montage of clips where a news commentator or politician says something and then he might show another clip where that politician contradicts himself.  The best part is that Stewart goes after everyone.  Democrats, Republicans and just all around stupid people.  In spite of his confirmed support for Barack Obama, he has never been shy about being critical of him either.  In a recent episode he talked about how Barack Obama has gone back on having a more "open" whitehouse.  He jokes about it perhaps for the same reason many of joke about certain things.  It's easier to swallow a joke than it is harsh criticism.  Tone is everything.  And even when Stewart is clearly upset, he manages to hold his composure and be funny about it.  It's a remarkable talent to have.  But it makes swallowing bad news easier to get from Stewart than it is from the likes of CNN, Fox News or MSNBC.  If you are on top of most News Stories, Stewart does a far better job of making sense of them than most of the political pundits do.  It is probably why Stewart is so good at what he does.  He's perhaps the commentator most of us can relate to.  Instead of taking a moment so horrendously seriously and spinning it, he isn't afraid to say things such as, "Why are we talking about this?"  Sometimes he plays clips and answers people directly. 

Stewart doesn't go about his show alone, however.  He has a lot of others who help him.  There's Larry Wilmore, Wyatt Cynac, Samantha Bee, Jason Jones, Rob Riggle, Assif Mandvi, and John Oliver.  These guys are regulars who often appear in the second half of the show.  Often times they provide political skits or mock interviews with Stewart where there are more humorous jokes and more political commentary disguised as comedy about the major news networks or the current events.  It really gets a clear point across that anyone, regardless of their political beliefs can really swallow.  Stewart and company aren't afraid to say that some news stories are just stupid, and that sometimes the punditry doesn't matter so much as the event itself.  In other news intereviews, Stewart has been the same off the air as he has been on the air.  Stewart is no stranger to expressing his disappointment with news media or using his show to criticize the news media.  In fact, he is probably more critical of the news media than he is of politicians.  Certainly Obama gets a fair share of criticism (and Bush DEFINITELY got his fair share of criticism), but Stewart is much more likely to criticize how the news media covers these events than the event itself. 

In the final few minutes of the show, Stewart conducts an interview.  Most times the person is promoting a new book, but there are times when he's done interviews with people promoting films or with other journalist or movie stars and directors.  He'll have on just about anyone.  Sometimes the interviews aren't spectacular, but with a comedy show it isn't his job to ask the hardhitting questions.  That's better left to the likes of people like Chris Matthews and Rachel Maddow.  That doesn't mean Stewart can't be tough in his interviews.  He ripped Chris Matthew's book apart, and recently made a fool of Jim Cramer (host of CNBC's "Mad Money").  It shows that Stewart is joking around, but he isn't playing games.  He's an incredibly smart man.  Most of the time his interviews are fun, but sometimes you do get something a bit more serious.  Stewart has confronted people like Bill O' Reilly on what they believe.  Not to question their beliefs, but to get clarity on why they may believe just what they do.  How many political pundits actually do that?  Very many pundits spend their time criticizing other beliefs, but Stewart actually wants to have a discussion.  Despite being a tough critic he is often very respectful in his interviews and very friendly.  Again, the only real problem with The Daily Show is that it's a short show.  His interviews don't get as fleshed out as you'd like.  But Stewart will sometimes have the interview be longer by taking up the entire second half.  For Jim Cramer, Stewart gave him the entire show. 

Finally, there is the moment of Zen, which is usually just an extension of a story Stewart talked about earlier.

There are also times when he checks in with his good friend Stephen Colbert at the Colbert Report.  These are always hilarious moments where the two just have some fun. 

Stewart is a smart man who plays the game of politics the way it used to be played.  Instead of being swept up in political punditry he gives his own comments, uncensored and in a way that most of us can relate to and understand.  He may be liberal, but he isn't partisan and goes after everybody when they mess up.

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More Jon Stewart reviews
Quick Tip by . March 23, 2011
Jon Stewart is witty and interesting. He is by all accounts the coolest thing to happen to political commentary well since I can remember. He is also thought provoking and makes you question the points of political pundits on both sides of the isle. A big Boola for The Daily Show.....
Quick Tip by . January 20, 2010
This is the way I like my news delivered! >:D
Quick Tip by . September 02, 2009
better news than npr!
review by . December 17, 2008
Jon Stewart is a funny, funny man.  He's also incredibly eloquent, molds his face into fantastic expressions, and knows his politics.    Jon Stewart's strength is in his ability to be subtle.  This may seem like a strange statement, given the titles of many of The Daily Show's regular segments ("Clusterf&$k to the White House" is one example), but it is precisely Jon Stewart's subdued demeanor that allows him to get as far as he does on the show.  As opposed …
review by . December 11, 2008
Jon Stewart, beyond just being funny, also delivers an honest news broadcast.  He points out the problems with media coverage of many topics as well as saying "Hey, maybe we should pay attention to this?"  For example, he covered the Alberto Gonzales trial much more than any of the major networks who seemed rather content to drop it, as if it wasn't a major issue.  He's hilarious, and also very informative.  On CNN International they even have a weekly edition of the Daily Show …
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Sean A. Rhodes ()
Ranked #6
I'm a more analytical person. I believe that the purpose of the review is not for me to give you my opinion but for me to give you an analysis and help you decide if you want to get it. If you reading … more
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Wiki

Jonathan "Jon" Stewart (born Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz; November 28, 1962) is an American comedian, television host, and political satirist. He is best known as host of The Daily Show, a satirical news program airing on Comedy Central.

Stewart started as a stand-up comedian, but later branched out to television, hosting Short Attention Span Theater for Comedy Central. He went on to host his own show on MTV, called The Jon Stewart Show, and then hosted another show on MTV called You Wrote It, You Watch It. He has also had several film roles as an actor.

Stewart became the host of The Daily Show on Comedy Central in early 1999. He is also a writer and co-producer of the show. After Stewart joined, The Daily Show steadily gained popularity and critical acclaim leading to his first Emmy Award in 2001. Stewart himself has also gained significant acclaim as a critic of the Bush administration and of personality-driven media shows, in particular the coverage of the U.S. news media networks CNN, Fox News Channel and MSNBC.[7] Critics say Stewart benefits from a double standard: he critiques other news shows from the safe, removed position of his "fake news" desk.[8][9] Stewart himself agrees, countering that neither his show nor his channel purports to be anything other than satire and comedy. In spite of its self-professed entertainment mandate, The Daily Show has been nominated for a number of news and journalism awards.[10]

Stewart hosted the 78th Academy ...

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