Now that he's got your attention,
Jon Stewart would like you to buy his book.
Jon Stewart is mounting quite a comeback.
The 36-year-old comedian is rising from the ashes of a canceled
talk show in 1995, when, apparently, nobody watched him.
Now, television can't seem to get enough
of him. On Monday, Stewart replaced Craig Kilborn as host
of Comedy Central's The Daily Show. Stewart also was
rumored as a strong candidate to replace either Tom Snyder
on CBS' The Late Late Show (Kilborn's new home) or
Gary Shandling on HBO's The Larry Sanders Show, where
Stewart became a regular.
So it's probably no coincidence that his
first book, Naked Pictures of Famous People, was released
in the midst of all this Stewart-mania. For those who don't
subscribe to cable and have no idea what Stewart's about,
Naked Pictures is a healthy dose of the comic at
his best. The book is a collection of extremely fictitious
essays laced with Stewart's sardonic wit and self-deprecating
In the essay format, Stewart is able to
come off as snappy and sarcastic as he does on TV; it's like
reading the script to one of his stand-up routines. The essays
make for an extremely quick read, if you can grasp all of
the historical references the first time around. Most importantly,
though, the book is laugh-out-loud funny (although it should
be said that not all of it is rated PG).
In "The Cult," Stewart poses as
the leader of a messianic cult, trying to convince his devout
followers that Captain Crunch "will spring to life from
his resting place on the back of a cereal box and deliver
us to our eternal bliss."
"Adolf Hitler: The Larry King Interview"
details an interview in 1999 between King and the once-thought-dead
"KING: And this . . . new Hitler?"
"HITLER: I get up at seven, have
half a melon, do the Jumble in the morning paper and then
let the day take me where it will. Some days I'll fish,
maybe hit the mall for an Orange Julius. The other day I
spent seven hours in the park watching ants cart off part
of a sandwich. Me!! The inventor of the Blitzkrieg... When
you stop having to control everything, it's very freeing."
But it's Stewart's ability to laugh at himself,
or rather his Jewish ethnicity, that most often pops up throughout
the book. In "The New Judaism," Stewart lays the
foundation for a new American Judaism for the next millennium.
First, Stewart details the Jews' past history of escaping
extinction, including the Spanish Inquisition, the Third Reich
and the Burger King bacon, egg and cheese Croissan'wich: "A
sinful combination of pork, cheese and egg. The Triple Crown
of non-kosher living -- why does it have to be so delicious?"
Then, he calls for a few changes, which include a new god
("Uncle Pete") and a new mascot ("Jewey").
"Imagine a Bar Mitzvah boy's excitement at knowing he
just became a man, and that Jewey's on his way with money
and cigarettes. And here's the best part... He can fly!!"
Fortunately, if someone decides to pull
the plug on Stewart's TV career this time around, we can always
find him on a bookshelf somewhere.