"Jon Stewart is more than a funny guy"
Bucks County Courier Times
May 4, 2002
by Ed Condran


The comedian/host of Comedy Central's "Daily Show" grew up in Lawrenceville.

Jon Stewart will make his debut tonight at the Tower Theater, but it's not the first time the comedian/host of Comedy Central's "Daily Show" will visit the Upper Darby concert Hall. The cerebral humorist, who grew up in Lawrenceville, vividly remembers catching the Alarm at the Tower in 1986.

"But that's not all about the area I recall for better or worse," Stewart said. "I went into Philly and the surrounding area quite a bit since I lived pretty close by."

Stewart toiled as a landscaper at the Oxford Valley Mall. "Ah the memories of menial labor," Stewart said. The future professional entertainer sported his New York Giants cap at the Vet in 1981. "I thought that Eagles fans would think a kid wearing an item of the opposition would be cute," Stewart said. "It didn't work out that way." In 1971 Stewart got his first big television break on WPVI's Captain Noah show. "I did standup on Captain Noah," Stewart joked. "If he gave you the thumbs up you were set to work."

Actually Stewart was part of a group of kids who played Big Band music.

"I performed poorly but I was part of a novelty act," Stewart said. "All I can say is that Captain Noah was a mean man, who craved a smoke. Those are my memories of breaking into showbiz."

Obviously Stewart went on to greater things. Stewart has won justifiable acclaim as the host of the consistently funny "Daily Show." The program is a news parody show, which won an Emmy for its writing about the last presidential campaign, "Indecision 2000: Choose and Lose." The show retained its humorous edge after the Sept. 11 tragedies. "That was absolutely horrible but we had to do our show to the best of our ability," Stewart said.

"Politically Incorrect" host Bill Maher made headlines for slamming David Letterman and Stewart for shedding a tear over the disaster.

"I'm not losing sleep over that," Stewart said. "That's part of my media life. It's not like I go home and (Maher) says, 'hey, ya sissy make me a sandwich.' You rise above it and try to do the best work you can."

After honing his skills on the standup circuit during the mid-'80s, Stewart has consistently been at work in front of the cameras.

Stewart left for Manhattan in 1986 to take a crack at the wacky business and went national as host of Comedy Central's "Short Attention Span Theater" and MTV's "You Wrote It You Watch It" during the early '90s.

Stewart won acclaim due to his funny, freaky self-titled syndicated late-night talk show. However, the ratings were anemic as some of the supermodels, which frequented the program. The show was yanked after one season in 1995.

Stewart penned a contemporary "Without Feathers," which hit bookshelves in 1998. The offbeat but very humorous "Naked Pictures of Famous People" proved that Stewart was more than a talking head connected to a clever producer.

Stewart, 39, acts on occasion. He landed roles in such films as the Adam Sandler vehicle "Big Daddy," Robert Rodriguez' slice of horror "The Faculty" and the Danny Devito-directed comedy, "Death to Smoochie."

Jon Stewart appears tonight at the Tower Theater, 69th & Ludlow streets, Upper Darby. Tickets are $46, $38.50 and $34.50. Show time is 8 p.m. 215-569-9400.


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