The positive and negative aspects that come
with interviewing a comedian are one in the same. It's very rare
that they can take anything seriously. Sure, youfre able
to see their quick and entertaining wit first-hand, but sometimes
you just want them to answer some questions seriously, too. Such
is the case with Jon Stewart. A standup comedian since 1987, hefs
hosted a self-titled, short-lived talk show on MTV, appeared in
numerous films and television shows, written a book, and now those
who put out for cable are lucky enough to catch him four days
a week as the host of Comedy Centralfs The Daily Show.
His signature nonchalance, poise and relaxed composure have remained
the same over time and have helped to make him one of the most
consistently humorous and likable comedians in the business. And
youfll be glad to know that speaking with Jon Stewart on
the phone was equally charming --more like talking to a close
friend. When I got flustered about Jon not taking his questions
seriously, he told me, gLook, if you want to take a bong
hit and get back with me, thatfs fine by me.h Priceless.
Ladies and gentlemen: Mr. Jon Stewart.
What's up with this tour? Is it mainly politically-fueled stand-up?
I like how you call it a tour like I'm breaking my new
album. No, I always try to get out and do some stand-up in the
fall and the spring to keep fresh, and this is a great time to
go out because, as you know, I'm working on my UN resolution material,
which the kids love. They love a good regime change as well.
Aside from how you present yourself on TV, what are your
generalizations on what's happening now politically?
Generalizations? I'm consulted on that. I'm the first
guy they call when they need to hammer out a treaty or something.
"What's Stewart doing? Get him on the red phone." As long as I
haven't used up my mobile phone minutes, I consult with your Rumsfelds,
your Wolfowitzs, your Wolfensteins.
But do you consider yourself politically involved?
No, not at all. But when you say politically involved
do you mean with dreds in my hair saying, "The Gap is bullshit.
Down with globalization. Starbucks blows"?
I guess I figured you do political stuff on TV, so you'd
have more of a political consciousness. Do you have a serious
stance on politics outside of the jokes?
Well, I don't think you could do the jokes unless you
had a stance on what you were discussing. Otherwise your jokes
would seem baseless and as deep as you would go would be, "Dukakis,
what kind of name is Dukakis?" Yeah, obviously the show focuses
on [politics] because of the deep interest in world events. I
thought you meant taking an active role in actually helping. I
donft do that. I just sit on my couch, eat ice cream and
go, "What's with these people?"
So I'm guessing you don't have any Geraldo-type aspirations in
the field of journalism.
Well no, we both try to be as fake as we can be and see
how it works out. But no, I don't have the 'jones to do that.
What are your main criticisms with politics today?
Maybe it's the pure fakeness of it all. I think for me
it's a disappointment in that we have an opportunity. We had a
historic, if not horrible, moment in our history, which you would
hope would call for bolder, more interesting leadership, and yet
there's that same red vs. blue mentality. I mean, they're literally
acting like [it's] the Duke/North Carolina rivalry after the NCAA
tournament. It's disappointing to see a moment to be seized not
only not be seized, but be reenacted with the same old
garbage we've always seen. Other than that though, I'm real happy.
How do you respond to the fact that a lot of people actually
watch your show to get the news?
I find that hard to believe. I mean, I enjoy the show
as much as the next guy, but we don't actually give any news.
If you haven't seen the news, you probably won't know much about
what we're talking about. We're a cable channel. If you found
us, you found Headline News, Fox News. I mean we're beyond Spanish
people playing soccer on the dial; we're near a naked talk show.
My guess is if you found your way to us, you're a relatively savvy
consumer of information.
Is there a job better than yours?
King of All Blowjobs. I believe it's a gentleman who's
on the throne, and he is paid hourly to receive blowjobs from
ladies. I believe that that's a fine job and one of the better
ones you can get.
Does the fact that I steal cable in any way affect your
Actually, I respectfully say I get a percentage of stolen
cable and dishes, too. Do people even steal cable anymore? I thought
they got around that. You know I'm recording this.
That's exciting though; cable is expensive.
Our paper deals a lot with music, what … ?
That's what I'm talking about. Buffalo Tom! Great band.
What else? Ja Rule.
[Jon sings a line from the new Ja Rule album with a voice a la
You know the best thing about Ja Rule is that he always
has two women on his arm and all they do is rap about him.
Yeah, I have that too. There's a girl on my arm right
now getting ready to rap. I'll have to have her keep it down,
so she doesn't cause a rap ruckus, if you will.