Here’s a few selections, including what Jon has to say about Stephen.
It’s Jon Stewart’s job to make fun of the news, even when there’s nothing remotely funny about it.
Such was the case last week when Stewart and the cast of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show came to work on Monday and were confronted with the breaking story of the deadliest shooting rampage in American history.
So what’s a fake anchorman to do? Find something else to be funny about.
“I will do what I always do when faced with something that is that powerfully damaging to the emotional core,” Stewart said at the top of Monday’s show. “I will begin to repress it, and swallow it . . . so let’s move on, as if the world was OK.”
Why do guests like Card come on a show that hurls venomous barbs at the Bush administration five days a week and whose host supported John Kerry in the 2004 campaign? “I don’t know,” says Stewart, sounding genuinely puzzled. “My guess is that he has kids and they watch the show. That’s how we get most people who we have no business talking to.”
Stewart clearly relishes tangling with those whose views are antithetical to his own. But when asked whom he prefers talking to, Halle Berry or former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, he answers like a politician.
“I can tell you who smells better,” says the comic, 44, who sees his role as akin to an editorial cartoonist. “Bolton’s mustache is actually not a mustache. It’s an air freshener. So he has a nice pine scent. But seriously, one smells like heaven and one smells like fear. You decide.”
Though the sitting president is Stewart’s most frequent comic target, the satirist says he won’t miss Bush when he leaves office. “People used to say, ‘When Clinton goes, what are you going to do without him?’ I have complete faith in the continued absurdity of whatever’s going on.
“And besides that, I look forward to deconstructing someone else’s game. At a certain point there’s no more surprises. You know [the Bush administration is] going to come out and say the opposite of what most people believe reality to be as adamantly as they possibly can. . . . And I’m pretty much done with that. I’m ready to move on to another form of deception.”
The success of The Daily Show has meant that many correspondents have moved on. Despite the departures of the likes of Steve Carell and Ed Helms, both of whom star in the NBC comedy The Office, the show has kept rolling with funnymen like British comic John Oliver. “There are times when I feel like the guy in Monty Python who gets one arm cut off, and then another, and then a leg,” says the host. “But I’m still lying on the ground going: ‘I’ll bite you!’ ”
Stephen Colbert’s departure in 2005 for The Colbert Report, which follows The Daily Show at 11:30 p.m., gives his own program balance, Stewart says. “Thankfully, we’re made of the same genetic material. And it makes us a stronger parody, with us being more of the staid mother ship.”
Stewart sounds almost envious when discussing the fabled cojones of Colbert, who mocked the president at a White House correspondents dinner last year. “Part of the joy of being in character is being able to get away with things others cannot. Though a lot of that is that [Colbert] is so high on Nyquil you never know what he’s going to do.”
The Daily Show host, though, has no complaints about his own job. “The best part is that I’m able to come in, and whenever I want, choose an intern . . . oh, wait – Is this being recorded?” he deadpans. “No, the coolest part is the ability to have a silly thought about whatever is going on in your world at 10 o’clock in the morning, and be able to see it go out on the airwaves at 11 o’clock that night. That’s an amazing privilege.”