The Daily Show (seasons ? – 18)

{5/5} “There is near-universal consensus that the melting is due to global warming, though the Bush administration counters that the ice caps are not melting. Rather, the water has been liberated.”

The Daily Show season 18 just ended. I’m not sure why their season ends in September — new episodes are coming next week.

I’m not sure exactly when I started watching this show, but I’m fairly sure I saw every episode of this past season. I’ve seen many episodes from the last few years. It’s funny and it’s a useful source of information about what’s going on in the US and the world.

Jon Stewart has been the host since 1999 — he’s funny and smart. He has various “correspondents” who pretend to be live on the scene and submit reports on various topics. The current correspondents are Samantha Bee, Jason Jones, John Oliver, Aasif Mandvi (Ruby Sparks), Al Madrigal, and Jessica Williams. Occasional contributors include Lewis Black, John Hodgman (the PC in the Mac vs PC commercials), Larry Willmore, and Kristen Schaal.

Former correspondent Stephen Colbert got his own show, The Colbert Report. Former correspondent Steve Carell (Seeking a Friend for the End of the World) became a big movie star. Rob Corddry (Warm Bodies) has also gone on to star in movies.

The show is divided into four segments, which typically don’t have anything to do with each other.

The show starts with a monologue from Stewart, talking about the issues of the day. He often talks about US politics but will talk about anything important going on in the world.

In the second segment one of the correspondents typically has a video piece about a story that’s fairly absurd. They’ll find people who will say things on camera that you won’t believe anyone would say. My favourite is the interview with the email spammer who claimed that his “customers” enjoyed getting his emails. He gave his personal email address to the correspondent, but asked that they not show it on the air. The correspondent assured him they wouldn’t — but they did.

In the third segment Stewart interviews a guest — he’s interviewed actors, politicians, journalists, writers, and musicians. When he’s interviewing an actor he might joke around with them and not talk much about the show they’re promoting. When he’s interviewing someone who’s written a book he always demonstrates that he’s read the book.

In the final segment they show a “moment of zen” — a funny video clip, occasionally related to something that came earlier.

One of the important things that the show does is present a clip of a politician saying one thing one day and another clip of them saying the opposite another day — where it’s clear that they haven’t changed their mind but they’re just saying whatever they think will win them the most points on that occasion.

Stewart and his correspondents are occasionally silly but frequently hilarious, and they point out things that we should know about.

Guests interviewed this past season include Arnold Schwarzenegger, Liam Neeson, Warren Buffet, Magic Johnson, J.K. Rowling, Barack Obama, Laura Linney, Anne Hathaway, Jeff Bridges, Christopher Walken, Al Gore, Jimmy Carter, Neil DeGrasse Tyson, Tom Cruise, Robert Downey Jr., Carey Mulligan, J.J. Abrams, Ellen Page, Morgan Freeman, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Helen Mirren, Regis Philbin, Danny Boyle, and Salman Rushdie.

This summer Jon Stewart took a break to direct a movie. John Oliver filled in for him, and did an excellent job.

This entry was posted on Saturday, September 28th, 2013 at 12:44 pm and is filed under Reviews of TV shows. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply