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.