"Satirist reaps the news whirlwind"
The Baltimore Sun
January 6, 1999
by Chris Kaltenbach

 

Monday, Jon Stewart steps into Craig Kilborn's shoes as host of Comedy Central's Daily Show, which finds the humor in American news, radio and television 

With an impeached president and a scandal that has shone new light on such mundane items as cigars and stained dresses, has there ever been a better time to get into the business of satirizing the news?

Probably not, and that's great news for Jon Stewart, who on Monday takes over the job of host on Comedy Central's Daily Show, a nightly send-up of American news (and newscasters).

"You feel kind of weird cheering for chaos," says Stewart, who's taking over for the departed Craig Kilborn (who, in a tidy game of TV dominos, will take over the retiring Tom Snyder's late-night spot on CBS). "There is that sense that the crazier it gets, the better off we are. Before, when I was part of the American public, I was hoping for a reasonable and quick solution [to the impeachment process]. Now, I'm hoping for partisan bedlam and chaos. It's really what serves me best."

Stewart says he has no intention of making any dramatic changes to the show, one of Comedy Central's top-rated programs. True, correspondents A. Whitney Brown and Brian Unger are also leaving. But fans shouldn't tune in Monday expecting any big changes.

"We're probably just going to try and get me up to snuff at first," he explains. "It took me a while to get to know how to read, so for the writers to learn how to write everything down phonetically for me, it's going to take a while."

There will, however, be one change: The show is now officially known as The Daily Show with Jon Stewart.

"I really like to put my name on everything, so my roommate doesn't steal it," Stewart says, harking back to his college days for an explanation of the name change. "It's really a throwback to that."

 

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