"Stewart wants to rock 'n roll all night"
San Francisco Chronicle
February 27, 2002
by James Sullivan


Jon Stewart considers himself uniquely qualified to host the Grammy Awards.

"Look, I had the Kiss live albums," the 39-year-old said comic recently, recalling his wayward youth as a New Jersey rock 'n' roller. "I was indeed part of the Kiss Army."

Actually, he was kidding. He is a kidder, after all. The talking head of Comedy Central's mock newscast "The Daily Show," Stewart was one of the more amusing awards-show hosts in recent memory at last year's Grammys.

A good part of his appeal was his Johnny Carson-for-the-'00s style of self- deprecation. At one point, realizing a joke wasn't clicking, he gazed into the camera and deadpanned, "I suck."

This year, he's just glad to be back. He only got the gig in the first place, he told a conference call of reporters, when Whoopi Goldberg was unavailable.

Two weeks before tonight's broadcast, he was still suggesting that the Grammy people might pull a Mariah Carey on him: "At the last minute, I could be paid millions of dollars not to do jokes."

Waxing serious for a brief moment, he pointed out that his biggest role is to get out of the way. "The nice part about the show is it really is about the performances. As long as I don't ruin those -- as long as I don't trip over somebody's amplifier wire or something -- we'll be OK."

When someone asked whether Chris Rock might be an equally good choice to host the show, Stewart readily agreed. "Chris' security people are much stronger than mine," he said. "All mine have asthma."


<< back

Copyright © 2002 San Francisco Chronicle. All rights reserved.

main - pictures - transcripts - multimedia - desktop - links