"Close-Up: The Daily Show with Jon Stewart"
Daily Variety
March 30, 2001
by Ramin Zahed


Perhaps no other show on Comedy Central's schedule represents the cabler's irreverent and ironic take on the world better than "The Daily Show With Jon Stewart."

"We see ourselves as a news program," says series exec producer Madeleine Smithberg.

"We thought there just weren't enough news magazines on the air," she adds, tongue firmly planted in cheek. "We may compare ourselves to those news shows, but the good thing is we don't have to worry about things like accuracy or objectivity like (Tom) Brokaw or (Ted) Koppel do."

Taped in midtown Manhattan, the "reality-based look at news, trends, pop culture and current events" prides itself on being a cool alternative to the other chatshows and news reports. Since January 1999, when comic Jon Stewart replaced Craig Kilborn, who went to CBS' "The Late Late Show," "The Daily Show" has certainly adapted to the standup's laid-back style and particular brand of humor.

"We had to make the desk a lot smaller, and we're saving a lot of fabric on the suits, because Jon is a lot smaller," jokes Smithberg. In addition to Stewart, she gives a lot of credit for the show's popularity to its off-the-wall correspondents and contributors (Steven Carell, Stephen Colbert, Vance DeGeneres, Mo Rocca, Nancy Walls, Lewis Black, Frank DeCaro and Stacey Grenrock-Woods).

Not only does the "Daily Show" offer offbeat takes on world events and loose-cannon commentaries, it has been able to attract an impressive list of guests who stop by to chat with the host. Mike Myers, Adam Sandier, Sarah Jessica Parker, Angelina Jolie, Michael Stipe, George Carlin and Ian McKellen are only a few of the stars who've taken the hot seat to date.

"These days, I think we're doing our best work ever," she adds. "Of course, we couldn't have asked for a better comedic scenario than the Bush presidency."


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Copyright © 2001 Daily Variety. All rights reserved.
Thanks to Isaih for the article.

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