Daily Show on Comedy Central

1999, TV Show

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Day by Daily Show: Back on Track

Jon Stewart by Frank Ockenfels/Comedy Central

His first night back on Monday was a disappointment — too much griping about the strike, not enough political satire — but since then, Jon Stewart and his strike-era "A Daily Show" (it won’t merit the definitive "the" until his writers return) have returned to form. Skewering pundits and pollsters with relish, Stewart is back on his game, cracking himself up with the absurdity of carrying on without the safety net of a writing staff. On Wednesday's show, after taking a swipe at Larry King ("Was that a magical talking gnome?"), Stewart admitted, "Basically, we're now doing the show like Mystery Science Theater," harking back to one of Comedy Central's earlier breakthroughs.And yes, I loved that show, too.But my favorite Daily Show moment so far this week came on Tuesday, when he had conservative author and Guiliani advisor David Frum in his sights. While Frum trashed GOP underdog Ron Paul as "one of those people that the more you learn about him, the more disturbing a ... read more

Strike Watch: Another Day in Late Night

Jon Stewart by Kevin Fitzsimons/Comedy Central

The only true “moment of Zen” I experienced while watching the awkward writer-free return of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show Monday night — or, as Jon Stewart is now calling it, “A Daily Show” — was when his sole guest, a professorial labor expert, said of bitter strikes like the one the Writers’ Guild is currently engaged in: “It’s never intractable.... Eventually, they all get solved.”From his lips to....What a day it was in Strike World. The shoe finally dropped regarding NBC’s telecast of this Sunday’s Golden Globes Awards. The ceremony is canceled, and the awards will be presented in a news-conference style, covered exclusively by NBC News. Talk about your lose-lose propositions. Conferring “news” status on the Globes is an absurd exercise in hollow self-importance. The only reason the Globes is worth a toss isn’t because of who wins — just try to remember who won any of last year’s awards... read more

Cheers: Daily Requirements

Jon Stewart courtesy Comedy Central

Cheers to Jon Stewart and Stephen Colbert for proving The Daily Show and The Colbert Report must go on. The Comedy Central cutups returned without their writers and mined rich laughs from the strike (Stewart's "solidarity unibrow" and reference to the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers as "NAMBLA") as well as the presidential campaign (Colbert's suggestion he should run as Mike Huckabee's vice-presidential candidate on the "Huckleberry" ticket). Sure, some of the jokes could've used (re)writers: Stewart's facetious likening of the strike to the AIDS crisis and 9/11 fell flat. But I'm voting with my remote — Stewart/Colbert in '08!For another take on the returns of Stewart and Colbert, read the Roush Dispatch. • Read and react to Bruce's opinions on Desperate Housewives, Celebrity Apprentice and more!• Share your own raves and rants about other shows on the Reader Cheers & Jeers discussion board.• We may feature your Cheer or Jeer on TVGuide.c... read more

Happy New Year for Late-night TV

Conan O'Brien by Dana Edelson/NBC Photo

Did absence make our hearts grow fonder of late-night TV's hosts, missing in action for the last two months? I suppose it's possible, though I doubt anyone's preferences were changed by what they saw Wednesday night, when all of the network hosts finally returned to work, all but David Letterman and Craig Ferguson without writers. (If anything grew, it was facial hair, at least on Dave and Conan.)If you're the sort who for whatever reason prefers affable Jay Leno over cranky Dave, or chooses to stay up late for the delectable derangement that is Conan O’Brien, nothing about Wednesday’s opening night would likely have shaken you from your long-ingrained after-hours habits. The strike beards sported by Dave and Conan in solidarity with the still-striking writers (“and to prove that I still have some testosterone,” joked Conan) were the most noticeable changes on the late-night landscape.Here’s my report card on late-night’s opening night, keeping in mind ... read more

For Stewart and Colbert Fans, Good Newsy News

Both The Daily Show with Jon Stewart and The Colbert Report will resume production of new episodes starting Jan. 7, returning to the airwaves that night sans their striking scribes. In a joint statement, the newsmensches say, "We would like to return to work with our writers. If we cannot, we would like to express our ambivalence — but without our writers we are unable to express something as nuanced as ambivalence." Adds a less-funny Comedy Central rep, "We continue to hold out hope for a swift resolution to the current stalemate that will enable the shows to be complete again."Related:• Stewart and Colbert Return, But WGA Isn't Laughing read more

Chris Matthews' New Book: A Political How-to

Chris Matthews by Lisa Berg/NBC

Chris Matthews recently celebrated his 10th year as the host of MSNBC's Hardball, and he spent a few decades in politics before that tenure. He's distilled his observations into a new Random House book, Life's a Campaign: What Politics Has Taught Me About Friendship, Rivalry, Reputation and Success. Ah, but can politics teach you how to handle Daily Show host Jon Stewart when he calls your book "sad," as he did when Matthews recently appeared to get a plug? Matthews tells The Biz how he survived what he called "the worst interview I've ever had in my life."TVGuide.com: What made you think your experience in politics would make a good advice book?Chris Matthews: It's what I know. You write what you know. I've spent 36 years watching politicians, and I've learned the traits that work with people. The absence of those traits usually suggests the failure of a career. I'm talking about people who get elected time and time again and succeed in American politics: Generally they have a set ... read more

I've been watching TV for so ...

Question: I've been watching TV for so long, I remember when test patterns were "must-watch TV." Critics fondly reminisce about the golden years, and there were some truly great years. But am I wrong to think that we are now in the platinum age of television? As this past winter season wound down, this DVR viewer was bummed by the thought of a long summer season of reality shows, relieved only by Rescue Me. To my surprise (and here's a plug for TV Guide), I learned about some of the new series that would be flung all over the cable globe: Mad Men, The Bronx Is Burning, Damages, Kill Point (episodes piling up as I try to catch up with other shows) and now I hear buzz about The Company. Add to that So You Think You Can Dance (far superior to American Idol), Top Chef and Hell's Kitchen, and my personal addiction The Daily Show, and I just can't find enough hours to watch. So my question is: Why don't the networks just give up the full season philosophy (usually thrown in with repeats or as ... read more

Hillary Does Dave as Other Contenders Do Daily Show

Hillary Clinton and David Letterman by John Paul Filo/CBS

Late Show with David Letterman will celebrate its 14th anniversary with an Aug. 30 visit from no less than 2008 presidential candidate Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. This marks the seventh time Bill's honey has dropped in on Dave.Not to be outdone, The Daily Show with Jon Stewart has landed its own lineup of White House hopefuls: Sen. Joseph Biden is a guest on Aug. 16, followed by Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson (loved him in Rocky V) on Aug. 20, and Barack Obama on Aug. 22. read more

TCA Awards: Correcting the Emmys

Alec Baldwin courtesy NBC Photo

No awards system is perfect, and the TCA Awards is no exception. But arriving two days after the often-inexplicable results of the Emmy nominations, Saturday night's low-key, good-time TCA Awards ceremony at the Beverly Hilton was a welcome course correction to several especially egregious Emmy oversights. (And, lo and behold, nary a mention of Boston Legal anywhere.)First up: Michael C. Hall, ignored by the Emmys but cited by the TCA for “Individual Achievement in Drama,” for his mesmerizing performance in Showtime's Dexter as a serial killer targeting Miami's lowest forms of criminal life. (Other contenders in this category included Friday Night Lights' Kyle Chandler and Connie Britton, also shamefully snubbed at the Emmys.)Friday Night Lights, a near shutout at the Emmys despite its status as a first-year critics’ darling (and recipient of Peabody and AFI awards), was later named Outstanding New Program. (The field also included 30 Rock, Dexter, Heroes and Ugly Bet... read more

Is NBC Eyeing Jon Stewart for a Late-night Gig?

Jon Stewart by Norman Jean Roy/Comedy Central

NBC Universal biggies Jeff Zucker and Marc Graboff recently had "exploratory" talks over dinner with Jon Stewart, Broadcasting & Cable reports, suggesting that the Daily Show frontman might somehow fit into the Peacock's late-night plan. Rather than pitch Stewart anything specific, a source tells B&C, Zucker and Graboff "just made their interest known in finding a way to do business together if Jon was ever available."Stewart's Comedy Central pact expires in 2008, not long before Conan O'Brien is scheduled to inherit The Tonight Show from Leno. There is some buzz, though, that with Leno still being immensely profitable, NBC might pay Conan to walk away, thus freeing up the 12:30 slot.POLL: Would NBC be wrong to pull The Tonight Show gig away from Conan? Vote here.POLL: Would you like to see Stewart host a late-night talker? Vote here.POLL: Should Leno retire as planned? Vote here. read more

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Premiered: March 11, 1999, on Comedy Central
Rating: TV-14
User Rating: (438 ratings)
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Premise: Jon Stewart's hip, irreverent skewering of the news and pop culture elevated this already successful series to new comedic heights (and doubled its audience) after he took over for Craig Kilborn in 1999. `If you watch the news and don't like it, then this is your counter program to the news,' Stewart said. Comedy Central's signature show snagged an Emmy in 2003 as the Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy Series.

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