"It's a Shanda! Jon Stewart Abandons His Roots (Formally)"
June 19, 2001
by Jessica Ricci


KATIE COURIC, co-host:

Last year, the presidential election provided lots of fodder for the late-night comedians, but these days, "The Daily Show"'s Jon Stewart still manages to find lots of prime political material.

Mr. JON STEWART ("The Daily Show"): The president and first lady arrive in Brussels for a historic summit. Bush daughters arrive at White House for historic keger.

Upon touching down in Europe for the first time, the president immediately noted that this Europe was even nicer than the one they have at Epcot.

COURIC: That was funny.

Mr. STEWART: Hilarious! Oh, my God!

COURIC: I hadn't seen that. Hi, Jon.

Mr. STEWART: I look like David Copperfield.

COURIC: How are you?

Mr. STEWART: It's an illusion.

COURIC: Nice to see you.

Mr. STEWART: I'm doing well. How are you? How's Al doing?

COURIC: I'm good.

Mr. STEWART: How's the -- the knee operation?

COURIC: He's doing well, as Ann reported in the 7:00 news.

Mr. STEWART: I wasn't up yet.

COURIC: He's out of the hospital. He's home. You weren't awake yet. But he's doing well.

Mr. STEWART: Can I tell you -- did he get what I asked him to get? I want him to get his knee replaced with the Doppler 8000.

COURIC: That would have been pretty convenient for him, wouldn't it?

Mr. STEWART: So that he -- he could do this, 'All right, time to check the weather,' then he just drops his pants. 'Let's see what's going on in your neck of the woods.'

(Jon Stewart growling and lifting his knee up in the air)

COURIC: That's a great idea.

Mr. STEWART: Don't you think?

COURIC: Yeah, that would have been neat, Jon. All right, let's talk about -- let's talk about politics. George Bush in particular. Is he turning out ...

Mr. STEWART: His European trip.

COURIC: ...is he turning out to be as much fun to cover and to -- to mock as you thought he would be?

Mr. STEWART: He's the best. First of all, it's not mocking.

COURIC: OK, sorry.

Mr. STEWART: I'm a journalist.

COURIC: Sorry, I forgot.

Mr. STEWART: I'm sorry, fake journalist. I -- I love it. Here -- here's a man who is -- he is what he says he is. He is a uniter. I have never seen Europe this united against us. He's really done -- he's done a tremendous thing. He got Sweden mad at us.

COURIC: There's been -- I mean...

Mr. STEWART: Sweden!

COURIC: He didn't get a very warm reception. Do you think there's been...

Mr. STEWART: Sweden is mad at us!

COURIC: ...do you think there's...

Mr. STEWART: These are people -- their day consists of volleyball and sex. They don't get mad.

COURIC: Well, what do you think he's done wrong with his European adventure?

Mr. STEWART: It could have been going there and telling them that everything they hold dear is wrong. You know, they have a whole thing about global warming being bad and maybe us not doing the laser system above the earth. And may -- so maybe it was when he landed and went, 'Hey, forget about that global warming treaty and that laser system, we're building it. See you guys!' You know what I mean? It was like -- he's like the accidental tourist. He just kind of shows up with the -- you know, the Hawaiian shirt and the thing. "Hey, you guys got a Pizza Hut, too!"

COURIC: What do you think about all the controversy about his -- his daughters? Of course, that...

Mr. STEWART: That's a dangerous situation.

COURIC: That's been in -- in the headlines a lot.


COURIC: People magazine did a cover story about them.

Mr. STEWART: Sure.

COURIC: They were criticized in some quarters. Of course, the Bushes were not happy with that.

Mr. STEWART: Yes. Although, with the cover story on them, I had to dig deep to find out what was happening with Matthew Perry's Vicodin addiction. I don't like to read that closely. The -- the -- the Bush twins, I mean, Katie, look, they ordered margaritas at a restaurant. I mean, thank God it was a Mexican restaurant, at least they knew how to make it. But imagine if they had done that in, let's say, a German restaurant. Something that specialized in perhaps Octoberfest. Well, the bartender would have been stunned and wouldn't have known what to do. Could have been a whole international incident.

I -- the kids are -- the Bush twins are -- it's ridiculous. I don't even know what to -- I don't know what the issue is. Nineteen-year-olds trying to order alcohol with fake ID. Hmm, you know, you'd need more than 24 hours of news to cover all the kids who did that one.

COURIC: So you think the press should lay off?

Mr. STEWART: The press?

COURIC: Yeah, covering them.

Mr. STEWART: No, what I've liked about the press coverage is not the coverage but it apologies about the overcoverage. The coverage of the overcoverage I thought was much more interesting than the coverage of the coverage.

COURIC: Exactly.

Mr. STEWART: I thought the footage of the overcoverage was really astounding, whereas the undercoverage was not so covered.

COURIC: All right, I got you. All right, let's say...

Mr. STEWART: But Bush...

COURIC: ...let's take a look at -- at the leadership of -- of the Senate -- because I know it's changed.

Mr. STEWART: Are they here?

COURIC: No, but we...

Mr. STEWART: Where...

COURIC: ...we've got...

Mr. STEWART: Delay!

COURIC: We've got a clip from your show where you're talking about that.

Mr. STEWART: From our show?


Mr. STEWART: I hope you paid.

COURIC: We're here to promote you. It's all about you, Jonathan.

Mr. STEWART: Really? You're a sweet woman.

COURIC: Let's take a look. Shall we?


(Beginning of clip from "The Daily Show")

Mr. STEWART: The ousted majority leader Mississippi Senator Trent Lott was bestowed with the ironic title of minority leader.

Mr. TRENT LOTT (Republican, Mississippi, Senate Minority): Primarily, I want to extend my congratulations to -- also my partner and my friend -- Tom Daschle. As the majority leader, I also extend to him my hand of continued friendship and commitment.

Mr. STEWART: Adding, 'Psych!' Daschle also addressed the body politic.

Mr. TOM DASCHLE (Democrat, South Dakota, Senate Majority): Polarized positions are an indulgence, an indulgence that the Senate cannot afford and our nation will not tolerate.

Mr. STEWART: That's the new majority leader? Dude, makes Al Gore look like Captain Dynamo.

(End of clip from "The Daily Show")

COURIC: It is kind of funny, the posturing that takes place...

Mr. STEWART: It is kind of funny. Someone should do a show about that. Oh, wait, that's me.

COURIC: What do you think is use -- you think anything will change as a result? Or...

Mr. STEWART: Of course not. My favorite thing is when they act sanctimo -- 'The American people want us to stop bickering. It's time for us to get back to the people's business.' What -- what -- so what business have they been running out of there? Like, what, have they got a deli in the back? They're running a thing?


Mr. STEWART: You know, Trent Lott, it's time for you to stop that lemonade stand over on Washington Avenue and get back to the people's business.

COURIC: It's kind of...

Mr. STEWART: Go clean Jon's gutters.

COURIC: It's pretty amazing that Jim Jeffords could do so much damage to the Republicans. It's this one single guy.

Mr. STEWART: What's so amazing about it is how much damage he did in a system that is antiquated and parliamentary. 'Yes, Jeffords has switched. And now, the minority leader won't be able to vet and pull a blue slip on the judicial nominations as they do the addendum in committee.'

The American people are like, 'Ah, don't you guys just vote on stuff?'

Like they got all these -- it's ridi -- it's like literally we're living in 18th century England. You know, the -- the rules of the Senate. Do you even understand what goes on there?

COURIC: Barely. It's complicated. You're right.

Mr. STEWART: It is comp -- Katie, I'm outraged. I'm getting...

COURIC: Jon...

Mr. STEWART: You know what I'm doing today?


Mr. STEWART: Getting both my knees replaced.

COURIC: Are you?

Mr. STEWART: And you know what they're going to say?


Mr. STEWART: I'm going to get them replaced with neon signs, 'I'm outraged.'

COURIC: OK, you do that, Jon.

Mr. STEWART: And then Al Roker and I -- you know, here's the thing, Katie, I haven't been on this show in awhile. And you forgot...

COURIC: How weird you were?

Mr. STEWART: You -- you forgot that I'm weird.

COURIC: No, I haven't.

Mr. STEWART: I -- I've never -- you know, I have that look on my face. You ever been on really, like -- like a blind date where your friend sold you really high and you got there and the girl was like, 'I got to talk to my friend.'

COURIC: Actually, you know what? I -- I reread our transcripts from past interviews last night. And I...

Mr. STEWART: Have you really?

COURIC: I remembered how weird you were last night. So I was prepared.

Mr. STEWART: I would have read the transcripts, but I'm too busy reading Oprah's transcripts.

COURIC: Are you?

Mr. STEWART: Katie, in my courage journal, may I read to you from it? 'Today I had chocolate. I didn't want to. I had to. No, I did -- see! Now I'm not weird, now I'm amusing. Little weird dancing man.

COURIC: Oh, we got to go. I'm sorry. Bye, Jon.

Mr. STEWART: I'm just waking up!

COURIC: Thanks for coming by.

Mr. STEWART: Wait, I got funny things!

COURIC: OK, good. Stick around, tell us during the commercial.

Mr. STEWART: All right.

 COURIC: You can catch "The Daily Show" weeknights at 11:00 PM on Comedy Central on cable.

Mr. STEWART: The political system is...

COURIC: It's 7:46. Up next, this is actually a very touching story. We've got a lost dog story with a happy ending.

Mr. STEWART: What?

COURIC: Right after this.


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Thanks to Isaih for the article.

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