Jon Stewart doesn't quite
know what to make of the current pop-music/geopolitical scene:
"The Stones got back together
... the Who got back together ... Germany got back together." Pause.
"Hey, let's hope they don't
go back on tour."
Stewart - who cracks wise
Saturday night at the Saidye Bronfman Centre with fellow funny person
Wendy Liebman - is a chronic worrier.
As anyone who caught Stewart's
act at last summer's Montreal comedy fest will attest, the New York-based
comedian fears for the future, particularly in the U.S.
Not surprisingly, he's
been obsessed of late with the coming presidential election:
"There are no good choices.
We don't really need a voting booth - we need John Wilkes Booth.
"Hey, I'm kidding," he adds. "But I think it's pretty depressing
that the Republicans are taking a stand that gays shouldn't do combat
"I think what the Republicans
- and the army - are worried about is the concept of 1,000 gay guys
with M-16s saying: 'Who did you call a faggot?' "
Stewart also reports that
New York City is still abuzz following Sinead O'Connor's performance
on Saturday Night Live. The rebellious rocker shredded a picture
of the Pope while crooning a tune last Saturday.
"Sinead went too far,"
Stewart says. "I feel Pope John Paul is a great guy. He just has
a poor sense of fashion. Basically, he's just a hat-choice away
from being the Grand Wizard of the Ku Klux Klan."
Stewart, born in New Jersey
29 years ago, hadn't set his sights on a career in comedy. After
completing a degree in psychology at William and Mary University
in Virginia, he was thinking more Freud than Seinfeld.
"But what happens to all
psychology grads? We end up working as busboys in bars and kitchens.
I majored in Mexican restaurants."
After being booted out
of his last busboy job, Stewart made the move to comedy five years
ago. He has since been a regular on the U.S. comedy-club and TV
"I haven't told my family
yet what I actually do. But I'm sure if I did, they'd be delighted
to know that I'm not a urologist. Anyway, I have an older brother
who works on Wall Street - who will provide for them in their time
Among other gigs, Stewart
may have said he served as host of the Short Attention Span Theatre
TV show - but I wasn't paying attention. However, the ears did perk
up when Stewart said he played and slayed on Late Night With David
"Letterman was the most
generous and giving person I've ever met," Stewart says, tongue
firmly in cheek.
"OK, he had just eight
words for me: 'Thank you very much. You were very funny.'
No matter, because Stewart
must have impressed someone. He's been signed to become host of
an MTV comedy series.
"Thanksgiving has come
early for me - or roughly the same time it arrives in Canada," says
Stewart, grateful for his new TV job.
"Personally, I like to
celebrate Thanksgiving in the tradition of the early American settlers.
I invite all my neighbors over, have a big feast - then I kill them
all and steal their land."
Also at Saidye Bronfman
For her part, Wendy Liebman,
fresh from a performance last week on the Tonight Show With Jay
Leno, has no plans to throw a Thanksgiving feast while she's in
Montreal this weekend with Stewart:
"I think I'm a feminist
because I don't know how to cook."
But don't mess with Liebman,
a deceptively soft-spoken Wellesley grad. Her license plate reads:
PMS - 666.
"Nobody cuts me off," notes
Liebman, 31, who left her Boston home last year for greener comedy
pastures in L.A.
"Pray for me. I've been
speaking to the networks about doing a couple of leads in some sitcoms
- like this is ever going to happen," she says. "I think my grandmother
is also talking to the same execs for the same jobs."
Did Just for Laughs
Just in case the comedy
doesn't pan out, Liebman - who played last summer's Just for Laughs
festival - is working at another career as well:
"I'm also a writer. I write
checks - fiction, mostly."
Like most comedians, Liebman
admits she's a tad insecure:
"My parents stuffed me
as a child. I don't think they wanted a daughter, they wanted a
pinata - boy, did I hate that stick."
Nor did feelings of inferiority
go away as she got older, Liebman claims:
"Why, just the other day,
someone yelled, 'Lady Di' in my direction. At first, I was flattered,
although I'm not even blonde. Then the guy explained it was just
* Wendy Liebman and Jon
Stewart perform Saturday at 8 p.m. at the Saidye Bronfman Centre,
5170 Cote Ste. Catherine. Tickets: $ 25. Phone: 739-7944, 790-1245.
GRAPHIC: Jon Stewart performs
Saturday at Saidye Bronfman.