Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm Sure They'll Do A Craig Kilborn Profile Someday

The Esquire profile of Jon Stewart is really terrific.  It confirms by belief that Stewart knows he was being a dick in his famous Crossfire! interview, but he gets away with it because he's a well-meaning dick.  What's really funny is that he's slowly morphing into that which he tries to abhor -- a power broker with a base that adores him, which in his case includes the mainstream media.  I also enjoyed this passage for obvious reasons...
Oh, well: another night, another show about Fox News. It's been like that, over at The Daily Show, ever since Obama was elected. Stewart just doesn't have the material he used to have when George W. Bush was in power, nor the nightly foil. (Audience members still ask him to "do Bush" during the introductory Q&A.) He's been accused of making halfhearted jokes about Obama in an attempt to keep the show ideologically balanced, but that's not the problem, not really; the problem is that Democrats, with their perpetual disarray, are not as funny as Republicans, with their reality-bending unity, and that Stewart is left to nurse what is probably the most potent comedy killer of all: disappointment. According to one former writer, the creative atmosphere  at The Daily Show has gotten "doomier" since it became clear that Obama wasn't going to fulfill his promise — and that Jon Stewart was not in a position either to help or to savage him. "You can see the strain in his interviews," the writer says. "It used to be, 'Hey, we're a comedy show.' Now it's, 'What we do is so hard.' And it is hard. One of the reasons I finally left is that we were running out of targets. I was like, 'Do we really want to make fun of Fox & Friends again? Really?'"
Why isn't Stewart in a position to savage Obama?  Is it because he can't hammer Obama without disappointing his audience. or because doing so hurts because Obama's such a disappointment?  There was a time when comedians found it difficult to mock Obama, because they thought he was "trying to do something good."  It's good to see comedians, including Stewart, have found a way past any initial reluctance to attack the One, because the material is in such great supply.

The funniest thing about the disappointment in Barack Obama?  Someone as cynical and world-weary as Jon Stewart bought his shit.

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