This is not a joke. Comedy Central's Jon Stewart,
whose schtick is making fun of the day's headlines, is putting
together a show that will launch on CNN's international news
Stewart will compile some of his best lines
from Comedy Central each week and retell them for a new late-night
show that will air in Europe, Latin America and Asia on English-language
The weekly half-hour show debuts Sept. 21.
It will be available only outside the United States to avoid
competing with Comedy Central, which is owned by CNN parent
AOL Time Warner and Viacom.
The idea for the new show underscores how
different CNN's international version is.
CNN International airs several feature programs
on weekends, including ones that focus on sailing, music and
design. But Stewart's "The Daily Show: Global Edition" is the
first straight entertainment show for the network.
Actually, not so straight.
"It's a risk," CNN International General
Manager Rena Golden said. But Stewart's "smart and sassy" approach
and the focus on poking fun at the news makes sense for the
network, which tends to draw younger adult viewers than CNN
does in the United States, she said.
"I wouldn't put on Benny Hill, for
God's sake," Golden said.
Many of CNN's international viewers are looking
for coverage of the United States and a view of what Americans
are up to socially and culturally. But Stewart is not widely
known overseas, and it remains to be seen how funny his jokes
will be to an international audience.
Golden said Stewart has not been told to
avoid controversies such as the Middle East, but CNN International
will have veto rights over what it airs. And the comedy will
get bumped if there's breaking news, she said.
Stewart is sensitive to the issues,
Golden added. "He's not offensive. He's not a know-it-all, boasting