"'Daily' Dose of Name-Calling"
New York Post
August 13, 2001
by Richard Johnson, with Paula Froelich and Chris Wilson

 

For a nice guy, "Daily Show" host Jon Stewart sounds like one tough taskmaster. According to a source, when three writers recently left the Comedy Central show, Stewart tore into his remaining writing staff at a closed-door meeting.

"He was yelling at them, calling them a bunch of bleepheads and dilettantes," said the source.

Stewart admitted he might have been a bit hot-headed that afternoon, but added that he was just expressing himself. "It was more of an encounter group than a staff meeting," he tells PAGE SIX's Ian Spiegelman. "I played the bongos and wrote a poem about my feelings. We did a sun dance."

Our tipster tattled that at a similar session about a year ago, Stewart blurted out such a string of obscenities at his writers that the meeting has since become known as "The Bleep You Meeting."

"I've never heard of that," said Stewart. "Is this about me doing Ecstasy and running around in the park naked?"

The latest eruption came after writer Alison Silverman left the show to join "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and the writing team neglected to invite "Daily Show" head scribe Ben Carlin to Silverman's going away party.

"Ben doesn't have what you'd call good people skills," said our source. "If he doesn't like a writer's idea he says, 'That sucks,' or 'That's lame.' "

But Stewart stood up for Carlin, declaring, "He's a great head writer and a good man and I'm awfully pleased to have him working with us." After a pause, Stewart joked, "Wait, did you say Ben or George Carlin?"

In addition to Silverman, writers Dan Goor and Charlie Grandy also have left "The Daily Show" and are heading for "Saturday Night Live," but Stewart said he believed there were no hard feelings.

"There's bound to be tensions and things are going to boil over every now and then, but I never thought there would be residual effects. I think we have a pretty good team here and we're very proud of everyone," he said. "But I might just be the man thinking he's hipper with the crew than he really is."

Whatever has been really going on behind the scenes, Stewart preferred to look at the brighter side. "I'm excited. We finally have a scandal," he cracked. "For basic cable that means we've sort of made it. The Home and Garden Channel never had a scandal."

The funnyman then asked for our assistance in furthering his success:

"I need to run over a bunch of people in my SUV. Can I get a Jonny-mobile? Can we work that out with PAGE SIX? Hey," he laughed, "if I ever go into rehab, I'm going to call you first."

 

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