become a comedy team, Jon Stewart and I.
I ask the
questions, and the The Daily Show's hilarious host fires
off the one-liners.
straight man, please:
coming to Cincinnati, just like President Bush?
I'm going to have a very similar-sized security detail, so I
hope that doesn't upset people in Cincinnati," says the comedian,
who performs at Taft Theatre at 8 p.m. Friday.
a show, and make one policy speech."
wear a suit and tie, as you do on The Daily Show? Or
dress more casually?
on how I feel. It might just be a cocktail dress," says Mr.
Stewart, 38, who did talk shows for MTV and syndication before
replacing Craig Kilborn in 1999 on The Daily Show, the
scathing satirical news show (11 p.m. Monday-Thursday, Comedy
will be more casual," he says. "And I want people to know that
there will be profanity - sometimes from me, and sometimes from
your stand-up act differ from The Daily Show parody newscast?
musings about what's wrong with everybody but me. I talk about
the things that I'm obsessed with - war, sex, death, religion
Daily Show go global on CNN International last month, as
announced in July?
feel the difference in world affairs? Don't you feel the uptick
in the nations getting along?"
worldwide audience realize you're a comedy show?
with who knows how many disclaimers on CNN saying, "This
Is Not Real News!!" he says.
Jon, I remember your telling TV critics about the CNN deal at
the summer press tour.
bought the show, and I really don't know why. I'm not sure they
realize that we're actually making fun of them.
badly for the countries that think that we're serious, but I've
heard that in sub-Saharan Africa, irony is considered a real
art form. ... Listen, this is not the first time we've been
broadcast internationally. We have been in Canada for two years
now - and may I say, without incident."
the ratings been?
I have no idea. I don't know how viewing is measured in other
parts of the world. My guess is that CNN doesn't even know."
always been interested in politics?
6 I ran for alderman. Actually, as a child, I was far more attracted
to baseball and sports," says the New York native who played
soccer for William & Mary College in Williamsburg, Va.
found politics interesting. And when I learned that history
wasn't black-and-white, that there were two sides to an issue,
then history became more interesting."
So the mix
of political satire and brief celebrity interviews makes The
Daily Show a perfect fit for you?
like about it is that the fuel of The Daily Show isn't
show biz. It's world events," he says.
doing a regular talk show, and you have to act like you care
about what the wife on 24 is doing," he says.
quite frankly, that the interview on The Daily Show gives
us a four- or five-minute break, and really helps us focus on
the (comedy) we're doing that day."
you taking The Daily Show on the road to Washington,
D.C., on Oct. 28 for a week of "Indecision 2002" shows?
the country can't stop talking about the mid-term elections,"
says Mr. Stewart, whose "Indecision 2000" presidential campaign
coverage won Peabody and Emmy awards.
feel the excitement about the 15th Congressional District race
catch much flak from New Yorkers with your "America Freaks Out"
comedy segments during the post-9-11 anthrax scare a year ago?
York, we were all shell-shocked. As my wife said, `It would
be nice that the world wasn't ending 10 blocks away - all the
networks were doing segments called, `America Fights Back,'
`America Responds,' `America Mourns.' We thought of calling
it, `America Has A Sandwich.' Or `America Goes To The Bathroom:
We'll Be Right Back.' "
Central began airing Late Night with Conan O'Brien reruns
at 7 p.m. last month, The Daily Show repeats have been
bumped from 7 to 5:30. p.m. Has that hurt your ratings?
know. I don't watch the network," he says.
on the road help keep your comedy instincts sharp?
a real good sense of what things people think are important,
by what they respond to," he says. "We're very isolated in the
studio in New York. We're putting together most of the show
from media (video) sources."
Is it hard
to keep your stand-up act fresh?
to keep the quality up. But this still is preferable to working.
I know what working is."
me, what types of jobs did you do before becoming a show business
"Oh, I did
construction work, landscaping, bartending. I was a waiter for
a while," he says.
"And I was
a male gigolo, but I was very bad at that. I kept saying, `But
lady, you're SO OLD!' "
thank you very much. You've been a great audience.
The Diet Coke with Lemon Improv Tour with Jon Stewart and Jim
When: 8 p.m. Friday
Where: Taft Theatre
Tickets: $35 at Taft Theatre box office, Ticketmaster
outlets, Ticketmaster.com or 562-4949.