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Tue Dec 11, 2012, 02:57 AM

Stewart nearly quit The Daily Show in 1999 due to ‘assholes’



Source: Raw Story
By Eric W. Dolan
Monday, December 10, 2012 19:26 EST

The current incarnation of Comedy Central’s The Daily Show almost never was, its host Jon Stewart revealed late last week during a fundraising event at New Jersey’s Wellmont Theatre.

Stewart told his former colleague and friend Stephen Colbert that he nearly quit the show after taking over for Craig Kilborn in 1999, according to Sharilyn Johnson of Third Beat. Stewart’s attempts to bring sharp political commentary to the parodical news show was met with resistance, as the “powers that be” insisted he stick with the previous entertainment news format.

“What I did not realize is, a lot of the people who worked there were assholes,” Stewart said. “I wanted it to be satirical in the classic sense of the word, not the Spy magazine sense of the word where you just add adjectives like ‘pepperpot.’”

“I walk in the door, into a room with the writers and producers, and the first thing they say is ‘this isn’t some MTV bullshit,’” he added. “And then I was told not to change the jokes or improvise.”

But Stewart was “talked down from a moderately high cliff” and remained as the show’s host despite having to deal with the unsupported staff left over after Kilborn’s departure. Stewart said that eventually — after nearly two and a half years — he acquired a supportive staff through a “natural winnowing process.”

http://www.rawstory.com/rs/2012/12/10/stewart-nearly-quit-the-daily-show-in-1999-due-to-aholes/

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Reply Stewart nearly quit The Daily Show in 1999 due to ‘assholes’ (Original post)
Unknown Beatle Dec 2012 OP
liberal_at_heart Dec 2012 #1
hollysmom Dec 2012 #2
xxqqqzme Dec 2012 #3
Cooley Hurd Dec 2012 #6
Vinnie From Indy Dec 2012 #4
ReRe Dec 2012 #5
mucifer Dec 2012 #7
lunatica Dec 2012 #8
We People Dec 2012 #9

Response to Unknown Beatle (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 03:10 AM

1. thank goodness he hung in there

We would have missed out on something special. They way he delivers his commentary may seem juvenile, but underneath the comedy is real intellectualism.

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Response to Unknown Beatle (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:09 AM

2. I see him as the FOX news antidote

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Response to Unknown Beatle (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 04:44 AM

3. That is scary.

I can't imagine Jon not being there. He was a welcomed relief during the w years. Glad he stayed around and changed the course. I frequently watched TDS when Kilborn hosted (wonder what happened to him?). Once Jon stepped in, I rarely miss a program.

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Response to xxqqqzme (Reply #3)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 06:51 AM

6. Jon and Keith Olbermann...

The early double-aughts were a frightening time. I feared we were heading down the road of true fascism...

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Response to Unknown Beatle (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:08 AM

4. The Edward R. Murrow of our time

Which highlights our modern, national dysfunction.

Hey Jon! If you read DU, cheers to you!

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Response to Unknown Beatle (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 05:09 AM

5. Don't we wish that "winnowing process".....

....could work in Congress in as much time? I've been voting and waiting, voting and waiting, voting and waiting for a loooooonnnnnnnnng time.

Yeah, I don't want to think of what life would have been like without Jon and Stephen throughout those hard years of GWB. They were truly a Godsend for so many of us...

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Response to Unknown Beatle (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 06:58 AM

7. I remember the kilbourn days as lots of "fat and ugly" jokes

and not so much substance. The show got tons better with Stewart.

In fact Liz Winstead, the creator of The Daily Show did:

The show was much less politically focused than it later became under Jon Stewart, having what Stephen Colbert described as a local news feel and involving more character-driven humor as opposed to news-driven humor. Winstead recalls that when the show was first launched there was constant debate regarding what the show's focus should be. While she wanted a more news-driven focus, the network was concerned that this would not appeal to viewers and pushed for "a little more of a hybrid of entertainment and politics". The show was slammed by some reviewers as being too mean-spirited, particularly towards the interview subjects of field pieces; a criticism acknowledged by some of the show's cast. Describing his time as a correspondent under Kilborn, Colbert says, "You wanted to take your soul off, put it on a wire hanger, and leave it in the closet before you got on the plane to do one of these pieces." One reviewer from The New York Times criticized the show for being too cruel and for lacking a central editorial vision or ideology, describing it as "bereft of an ideological or artistic center... precocious but empty."


There were reports of backstage friction between Kilborn and some of the female staff, particularly the show's co-creator Lizz Winstead. Winstead had not been involved in the hiring of Kilborn, and disagreed with him over what direction the show should take. "I spent eight months developing and staffing a show and seeking a tone with producers and writers. Somebody else put him in place. There were bound to be problems. I viewed the show as content-driven; he viewed it as host-driven," she said. In a 1997 Esquire magazine interview, Kilborn made a sexually explicit joke about Winstead. Comedy Central responded by suspending Kilborn without pay for one week, and Winstead quit soon after.
In 1998, Kilborn left The Daily Show in order to replace Tom Snyder on CBS's The Late Late Show. He claimed the "Five Questions" interview segment as intellectual property, disallowing any future Daily Show hosts from using it in their interviews. Correspondents Brian Unger and A. Whitney Brown left the show shortly before him, but the majority of the show's crew and writing staff stayed on. Kilborn's last show as host aired on December 17, 1998. Reruns were shown until Jon Stewart's debut four weeks later.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Daily_Show

I think it's great that kilbourn's show didn't get great ratings and didn't get the critical acclaim that Stewart's show has.

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Response to Unknown Beatle (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 07:02 AM

8. Jon Stewart is the comedic reincarnation of Walter Cronkite

Everyone trusts him to tell the truth.

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Response to Unknown Beatle (Original post)

Tue Dec 11, 2012, 10:45 AM

9. This article makes me appreciate Stewart even more; I can't imagine the '00 years

without him. He's the best political interviewer out there today.

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