"Picks & Pans: The Jon Stewart Show"
October 31, 1994
by ?


At first, it would seem that we need a new late-night talk show as much as we need more coverage of the O.J. Simpson case. Jay and Dave and Conan (and Greg, et al) are more than enough, as the departures of Arsenio and Chevy attest. However, when a talk show can be as fresh and consistently amusing as former stand-up Stewart's, there is always room for one more.

His format doesn't seem that different. There's a live studio audience, an opening monologue and the usual parade of celebrity guests plugging away. What makes Stewart unique is his complete lack of pretense. He seems like Letterman's younger, hipper brother, taking the Late Show star's laid-back approach one step further. Instead of a band, he'll have a 10-year-old harmonica player one night, an 82-year-old grandma on piano the next.

Rather than attempt yet another boring celebrity interview, he'll play Foosball with Kelsey Grammer or practice mouth-to-mouth resuscitation with Baywatch's Pamela Anderson.

Not every joke works, of course, but Stewart's hey-let's-put-on-a-talk-show! attitude holds up well.

Grade: A


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