"Naked Pictures of Famous People"
Publishers Weekly
September 28, 1998
by Sybil S. Steinberg


While assuming his role as the new fulltime host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show, Stewart also debuts this collection of short humor pieces whose impact accrues with the reader's total immersion. Generally, the story ideas are cleverer than their execution, as is the case with the opening entry, a slapstick sketch about the Kennedy family that pushes the envelope of irreverence a bit too far.

Still, most of Stewart's plots are fresh and surprising. "Revenge Is a Dish Best Served Cold" parodies B movies as the narrator creates a monster to take to his 30th high-school reunion only to find that his former classmates have all arrived with similar revenge fantasies. Another clever plot device animates "Vincent and Theo on AOL," in which Van Gogh and his brother correspond in the contemporary idiom. A cult leader who tells his followers they are losers for believing him, a Martha Stewart parody in which she gives advice on a "multifaceted" part of the female anatomy ("Martha Stewart's Vagina") and a Larry King interview in which Hitler confesses his emotional vulnerability are wacky and off-the-wall. Stewart also skewers religion in a hilarious account of the Last Supper as observed by a waiter, and in another piece outlining the tenets of "The New Judaism." Although not for the fastidious, these acerbic satires could easily become a cult fave.


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