Daily Show": Former Topekan and KU grad works on Comedy
Bailey is a political satirist who found his niche on "The Daily
Show" with Jon Stewart.
native has lived and worked in New York since 1989, when he
graduated from The University of Kansas with a degree in journalism.
supervising producer for "The Daily Show," he sends reporters
to cover political events with a laughable angle. For example,
they spoof the blundering pronunciations of President Bush,
who can't seem to pronounce "subliminal" and recently created
the word "embetterment."
looks like George Stephanopoulos, but he is much taller than
the former White House aide, whom Bailey described as "so tiny
you could put him in your pocket."
was a keynote speaker Tuesday at the International Association
of Business Communicators' District 5 conference in Topeka.
He had the group of public relations officials laughing as he
recounted some of the stories he has produced.
in July when nine miners from Pennsylvania emerged from a water-filled
mine, the show's staff discovered there was another miner who
didn't work that day because he had gone to OzzFest, a concert
known for heavy metal music.
had to endure was way worse than what the miners had to," Bailey
joked. "Can you believe this guy made it out alive?"
Stewart became the host of "The Daily Show" in 1999, he told
the staff the show could grow in quality, intellect and viewership,
and "we believed it," Bailey said.
A New York Times article published at about that time indicated
some youths get their news from comedy shows. Seeing an opportunity,
those involved with "The Daily Show" had to do a fair amount
of exposition before setting up its jokes.
recruited former Kansas Sen. Bob Dole to be a contributing correspondent
during the 2000 presidential election. The show didn't pay Dole
much, but Bailey said he was grateful that someone of his stature
could add to the show's credibility.
"dogged perseverance," the show is no longer about a "marauding
gang of nobodies," Bailey said. It has had guest appearances
by Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Conn., and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz.
is to make sure the show is "edgy enough" but also fair, he
said. Some jokes aren't aired because they aren't appropriate,
said the staff has tried to be fair with politicians.
just poke them with a stick just to hear them go 'ouch,' " he
Flynn, a Topeka High School classmate with Bailey who currently
works at Bartlett & West Engineers, said Bailey always wanted
to work for the Letterman show, which is where he got his start.
Bailey said several thousands of people who applied to work
for Letterman as a page. Only 50 were hired. He was one.
said there are many Kansans who are successfully working in
for granted we have pretty good educations here," he said.
Bailey won the prestigious Peabody Award for the show's coverage
of the 2000 presidential election.
so totally Kansan to me," said Katharine Weickert, co-chairwoman
of the International Association of Business Communicators'
District 5 conference. "And I mean that in the best possible
Name: Stewart Bailey.
Family: He and wife, Jennifer, are expecting their first child
Parents: Edward and Sarah Bailey, of Topeka.
Background: Bailey, a Topeka native, earned a journalism degree
from The University of Kansas in 1989. After graduation, he
moved to New York, slept on a friend's futon and held various
assistant positions at "Late Night with David Letterman" and
"Saturday Night Live." In 1993, he became a researcher for the
"Jon Stewart Show" on MTV. He is the supervising producer for
"The Daily Show" on Comedy Central. The show airs at 10 p.m.
caption: Stewart Bailey, a Topeka native and a producer for
"The Daily Show" on Comedy Central, speaks on "Rags to Riches:
Comedy Along the Way," at Tuesday's meeting of the International
Association of Business Communicators at the Capitol Plaza Hotel.]