love to point to Jon Stewart -- comedian and host of Comedy
Central's The Daily Show-- as a newsman for a new generation,
detailing the day's events to twentysomethings everywhere with
wit and satire. Jon Stewart loves to point out that those critics
don't know anything about the news, our show isn't going to
make much sense to you," he said this week from his office in
The Daily Show from Craig Kilborn in 1999, he has made the show
more news oriented, pushing it further away from its late-night
talk show brethren. Airing on the Comedy Network in Canada each
night at 11 p.m. opposite other news shows -- each edition opens
with a short newscast from Stewart and his pseudo-correspondents
in which everything from foreign affairs to the stock markets
to Washington's domestic policy are lampooned.
who is in Toronto tonight to perform as part of the Comedy Network's
fifth anniversary celebrations, then concludes each show with
a celebrity interview that often feels out of place, given the
show's public affairs flavour. The addition of guests such as
a former UN weapons inspector have reinforced the current-events
theme, but the New Jersey-born comedian says he has no plans
to eliminate the celebrity chitchat.
one of the reasons that it's there is we just can't write that
much," he says. "We've tried to make the interview segment somewhat
different from what you might see on other [late night shows].
But the truth is, it is what it is and we do the best we can
with it. It's not a part of the show that any of us necessarily
go 'I can't wait to get hold of that interview segment and make
it happen.' "
has no plans to follow his predecessor to the network talk-show
circuit: "I don't think I would enjoy it as much. Could I do
it? Yeah. I've played karaoke bars, I've gone on in front of
strippers, I could do a lot of things. Anything's better than
working a real job. I really enjoy the fact that this is what
I get to do."
what he does is up for debate. While some count him among the
Dan Rathers and Peter Jennings of the world, Stewart says that
kind of overblown hype is silly: "We get a million viewers.
There are 350 million people in this country. You know what
I mean?" he says. "It's like when people say about jokes, 'Where
do you draw the line?' Well, why don't people ask that to corporate
heads? Why don't they ask that to people that do things that
impact people's lives in an enormously explicit way. What we
do is implicit. It is in the ether.
anthem is an amazing song. Did it win any wars? No, but it adds
an atmosphere and a flavour and it adds to a national dialogue.
Jokes don't destroy things. They don't kill anybody. They're
JON STEWART: "If you don't know anything about the news, our
show isn't going to make much sense."]