The United States bombed Iraq on Friday, and
by Saturday, Jon Stewart was armed with jokes for an audience
of about 650, mostly students, packed into Coon Forum.
"Didn't take G.W. long to figure out where they
kept the weapons," Stewart said at the event, sponsored by Hillel
Cultural Life. "How many times do we have to kick Saddam's ass
for him to know that we won't stop?"
Stewart touched on a wide range of topics —
including his first visit to Northwestern — during more
than an hour of of stand-up comedy and a question-and-answer session.
"I've never played a college named after a direction
before," he said, adding that his next stop would be "Up-the-road-a-piece
When asked how he liked NU, Stewart told The
Daily in an interview afterwards that it was "excellent," but
added, "it could use a sun lamp."
Students began lining up at 7 a.m. Monday to
secure free tickets, which became available at 10:30 a.m. A CBS
crew filmed Stewart's performance for a "60 Minutes" profile that
will air in April.
Stewart warmed up with stock comedy material
about the November election.
"Haiti had a better election than we did," he
said. "Don't we control their government?"
He then added that we had "a cardboard cut-out
of Lee Majors" running their country for a couple of years.
Stewart joked several times about the Grammy
Awards, which he will host Wednesday night on CBS.
When a student asked if he and his friends could
accompany Stewart, he said: "You've never been to the Grammys?
They're lame. ... And this year they're gonna be lamer. I'm no
Rosie (O'Donnell, last year's host). If I were Rosie, you'd have
gifts under your chairs."
Regarding whom this year's winners will be,
Stewart joked, "I got a lot of bets there." Then he took it back.
"I don't even know who's nominated, sir," he said.
On the controversial Elton John and Eminem duet:
"It's like you've never seen a white rapper and a gay rocker before.
I had them playing at my Bar Mitzvah."
Religion was a hot topic during his routine.
Stewart's oft-used Jewish humor crept into the performance, for
example, when he acknowledged that he does not wear "protective
Jewish head gear."
Stewart also chimed in on why the Middle East
conflict won't be resolved: "Jesus, Muhammad and Moses all went
to the same high school."
Stewart went on to say why he thinks Jews and
blacks often do not get along: "Jews and blacks, we're fighting
for the supremacy of — who has more people in show business?"
On the Pope: "Purely from a hat choice, the
guy's a step away from being the grand wizard of the Ku Klux Klan."
On minorities: "We're always going to be minorities.
That's why there are more of us in show business."
Stewart made light of people's fears of the
"gay agenda," which he listed as having the opportunities to get
married, enlist in the army, march in a St. Patrick's Day parade
and join the Boy Scouts of America.
"As far as I can tell, the Boy Scouts are the
gayest organization in the world," he said, adding that the word
"gay" is not defined as liking homosexual intercourse but as thousands
of little boys wearing neckerchieves and getting excited about
the next Jamboree.
He also made fun of the campaign against violence
"You can run 'Mary Poppins' 24 hours a day,
seven days a week," he said. "Somewhere in America, someone sitting
at home is going to think, 'Must kill flying nanny.'"
Posting the Ten Commandments in schools to instill
morals in children is like thinking the "Employees must wash hands"
sign keeps urine out of Happy Meals, he said.
Aside from these non-conservative musings, Stewart
said he didn't believe in state-funded art.
"I'd much rather they fund hungry people than
people who piss in a jar," he said.
When asked about his political affiliation,
Stewart called himself "socially left leaning" but denied a party
affiliation, saying partisanship is an inside-the-Beltway phenomenon.
"We're not partisan," he said. "We have jobs
and things. If you want to end partisanship, do. We have gutters
Stewart also decried modern technology.
On cloning: "Why is someone sitting in a science
office and saying, "You know what we need more of? People. ...
There are six billion people. It looks like fucking is getting
the job done."
Later he said, "We spend billions of dollars
to make sheep that look alike. Sheep already look alike. That's
the whole point of sheep. It's why we count them when we go to
sleep. If they didn't look alike, that wouldn't work."
The Y2K bug needlessly worried people, he said:
"We're all going to have to live like we did in 1980."
In the voice of a frightened child, he said:
"My God, how will we make butter? I have buddies who are (instant)
He also complained about the new computer he
bought a year ago. After a problem arose, and he took it to get
fixed, the service technician looked at him like he was holding
"You're telling me computers should go obsolete
every two months?" Stewart yelled. "That's a normal business procedure?"
Stewart made several comments about "The Daily
Show" on Comedy Central, which he hosts.
"There's just a lot of days we walk off that
show and go, 'Ewww, we were putrid,'" he said. "I feel like when
you watch that show, it shouldn't look like we're working hard
on it, but we are."
Stewart would not choose a favorite correspondent,
but said frenzied commentator Lewis Black is actually toning it
down on the show.
"There's a vein in his head that I used to think
was an eyebrow," he said.
Stewart said his wife watches the show, but
he rarely does.
"I don't particularly care for it," he said.
"I just don't think that guy's funny."