Wednesday, March 25, 2015

How I Came To Love Jon Stewart

Jon Stewart is a national treasure.

I know, I know, it's been said by many people before, in fact all kinds of good things have been said about him. But hear me out. I came late to The Daily Show. Actually, I went there kicking and screaming and there's a reason for that. I've spent a long time IN news and wasn't really interested in faux news. Also, the landscape of news anchors and reporters, the landscape of television for that matter, has changed from when I first started. It's now littered with shouting, not very bright people, who are determined to get their point across no matter how much sense it makes.

Kinda makes me sound jaded, don't it?

From a complex but wonderful relationship came a voice of reason. Like many married couples, both my wife Denise and I were married before. 
Denise's former mother-in-law, Dawn Ehrlich, still loves and treats her like she's still her daughter-in-law. And treats me like I'm her son. It's one of my most cherished relationships and I love her dearly. She's smart, has great taste, and is oh so loving to our kids.  Dawn kept saying that I should watch The Daily Show.

Okay, okay.

So I did.

And lo and behold it became 'must watch TV' for me.

There are two things, no three things, I like about Jon Stewart. First he's smart. I like smart. Watch him in the interview segment at the end of the show. With guests who are traditionally on Meet the Press or Face the Nation, he glides through complicated stuff, like it's nothing, and makes it easier for the audience to digest the information. He asks intelligent questions, and follows them up with even more intelligent questions. Great insight. Great conversation.

Second, he's funny. Never forget he's a comedian. I can't tell you how many times his facial expressions or his timing have made me laugh out loud. That same interview segment that brings us authors and politico types is chocked full of people like Kevin Hart, Will Farrell, Anne Hathaway, Colin Firth, Martin Short, the list goes on and on. And with them, he gives as good as he gets. Witty repartee.

Here's the third thing, Jon's heart is always in the right place. In the first two segments of The Daily Show, he calls out all kinds of things. Whoever is on his staff does a wonderful job in finding video clips that you just can't believe they find. And Jon does his part to help make this a better place. His assaults on Fox News have got to be seen to be believed. And don't think he hits just them, he's been pointing out the short comings of CNN for like, forever. His show on the commemoration of the march on Selma, and CNN's use of drones to film it, was too funny.

Spoiler Alert...

I interviewed Jon long before The Daily Show for his book, Naked Pictures of Famous People. It was on the set of CBS This Morning after the regular show was finished. That's called a post tape. 
We were waiting for Martha Stewart, a contributor, to finish her post tape. When it was done, she came over to tell Jon what a huge fan of his she was. He was very gracious and said thank you and when she left, he looked at me and I looked at him...and we broke out giggling like little school boys. What he knew, what I knew, and what Martha didn't know was there's a chapter in his book called Martha Stewart's Vag#$%. In it, she tells women how to 'furbish' theirs.

Remember, he's a comedian.

True story and I've been telling it for years.

Thank goodness for The Daily Show and thank goodness for Jon Stewart.

I said it once, I'll say it again, Jon Stewart is a national treasure.

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1 comment:

  1. He is a national treasure! I am wondering just how I will get my news after he is gone. For, even though I understand satire, I also choose to pick out the truth from the humor. I find it easier this way. The shouting and the yelling just pull me down. I depend on Jon and his staff to pull from the hundreds of hours of interviews, speeches, reports, and the like, to tell me the gist of the matter, to get to the reality behind the fluff. I need him for this because I have neither the patience or the time to find it for myself.

    Thank you for this article. It's spot on and great for me to read at the top of my day. Keep 'em coming!