John Oliver has taken over hosting duties for The Daily Show while Jon Stewart is on leave filming a movie. In honor of the temporary switch up, today on the show we aired an edited version of an interview Terry did with him in 2010. Enjoy!
The Daily Show | June 13th 2013
Jon Stewart is getting serious this summer. No, seriously: John Oliver is going to fill in for him as Stewart takes three months off from The Daily Show to direct a film. A drama, no less. It’s based on the book Then They Came for Me: A Family’s Story of Love, Captivity and Survival” by Maziar Bahari. Stewart wrote the screenplay and The Daily Show actually appears as an plot point in both the book and the script.
A Canadian-Iranian journalist and documentarian, Mr. Bahari was jailed in Tehran in 2009 for four months, accused of plotting a revolution against the government. Shortly before his arrest, Mr. Bahari had participated in a “Daily Show” sketch, conducted by one of the show’s correspondents, Jason Jones, who was pretending to be a spy. Mr. Bahari’s captors used the footage against him.
“You can imagine how upset we were,” Mr. Stewart said, “and I struck up a friendship with him afterward.”
Mr. Stewart said he eventually read Mr. Bahari’s book and “because I’m naïve about the movie business” started to think about a film. He said he did not intend to also adapt the screenplay. “It just kind of happened,” he said.
The Daily Show | June 7th 2011 [x]
[Elvis Costello] was trying when he was younger to try to write Bruce Springsteen songs — and that he really liked Bruce Springsteen’s sound. And he said, but then he eventually stopped doing that because he would try to write these songs like Bruce Springsteen and he would end up writing things that were a little bit wry, sardonic or even character-based. And they didn’t have that sort of sincere, anthemic quality that Bruce’s songs sometimes have. And that kind of blew me away, because he’s describing his relation to Bruce Springsteen kind of like my relationship to Jon Stewart. And Jon’s favorite artist is Bruce Springsteen, and my favorite rock artist is probably Elvis Costello. So there’s an odd parallel between Elvis’ evolution from what he was trying to do like Bruce and my evolution from what I was trying to do when I worked with Jon.
[Elvis Costello] was trying when he was younger to try to write Bruce Springsteen songs — and that he really liked Bruce Springsteen’s sound. And he said but then he eventually stopped doing that because he would try write these songs like Bruce Springsteen and he would end up writing things that were a little bit wry, sardonic, or even character-based. And they didn’t have that sort of sincere, anthemic quality that Bruce’s songs sometimes has. And that kind of blew me away because he’s describing his relation to Bruce Springsteen kind of like my relationship to Jon Stewart. And Jon’s favorite artist is Bruce Springsteen and my favorite rock artist is probably Elvis Costello. So there’s an odd parallel between Elvis’ evolution from what he was trying to do like Bruce and my evolution from what I was trying to do when I worked with Jon.
We woke up to the New York Times asking this question today:
"Did the bill pledging federal funds for the health care of 9/11 responders become law in the waning hours of the 111th Congress only because a comedian took it up as a personal cause?
"And does that make that comedian, Jon Stewart — despite all his protestations that what he does has nothing to do with journalism — the modern-day equivalent of Edward R. Murrow?"
As it happens Stewart, one of the more polarizing and relevant comedians of our lifetime, was a guest on the show earlier this year. As part of our ongoing series of the most entertaining interviews of the year, Fresh Air will re-broadcast Terry’s interview with the Daily Show host tomorrow. The conversation was recorded in September of 2010 in front of a studio audience at the 92nd Street Y in Manhattan and covered topics from Glenn Beck and Christine O’Donnell to his homelife and how the show gets made.
Jon Stewart in Conversation with Terry Gross, Host of NPR’s Fresh Air
Stewart cracks wise on 92nd Street Y, explains The Million Moderate March and discusses at length on why The Daily Show is not journalism.
“…the march is merely a construct. It’s just a format…” Stewart allowed, “to translate the type of expression that we do…it’s a format to be filled with the type of material that Stephen and I do and the point of view.”
The conversation continued with discussion about what it is that Jon Stewart and crew do on The Daily Show. According to Stewart, the work they do is all about using their instincts, making connections between news stories and then looking into it. Terry described it as journalism. “Nah, I don’t think so,” Stewart disagreed, “I think it’s called Googling.” Either way, Terry expressed surprise at the information she discovers on The Daily Show: “I often feel like, how come I had to find out about [an issue] on your show, a comedy show?!” “That’s funny,” Steward deadpanned, “because we often feel that way as well.”
It’s an interesting perception, and one that Gawker’s Nick Denton, would probably agree with. In a recent interview, Denton was asked if what he does is journalism. “I don’t consider that to be a very interesting question,” he responded, visibly irritated. “Most good journalism is produced by people who don’t care about producing good journalism.”
Video of Terry’s interview with Jon Stewart is now up. Thanks 92nd Street Y!
“Like everything that we do, the march is merely a construct. It’s merely a format, in the way the book is a format, a show is a format … to be filled with the type of material that Stephen and I do and the point of view [that we have]. People have said, ‘It’s a rally to counter Glenn Beck.’ It’s not. What it is was, we saw that and thought, ‘What a beautiful outline. What a beautiful structure to fill with what we want to express in live form, festival form.” — Jon Stewart during an interview with @NPRfreshair’s Terry Gross.
Audio is now up for the Jon Stewart interview! Enjoy!
You’d be surprised at how easily I turn it off when I go home. … The kids and I, we watch The Wizards of Waverly Place, and I don’t think about it again. … The real challenge is when I’m at work, I’m at work. I’m locked in, I’m ready to go, I’m focused. When I’m at home, I’m locked in and I’m ready to go and I’m focused on home. We don’t watch the show. We don’t watch the news. We don’t do any of that stuff. I sit down, I play Barbies. And sometimes the kids will come home and play with me.
I’m less upset with politicians than [with] the media. I feel like politicians — the way I explain it, is when you go to a zoo and a monkey throws feces, it’s a monkey. But when the zookeeper is standing right there and he doesn’t say, ‘Bad monkey’ — somebody’s gotta be the zookeeper. I feel much more strongly about the abdication of responsibility by the media than by political advocates. They’re representing a constituency. Our culture is just a series of checks and balances. The whole idea that we’re in a battle between tyranny and freedom — it’s a series of pendulum swings. And the swings have become less drastic over time. That’s why I feel, not sanguine but at least a little bit less frightful, in that our pendulum swings have become less and less. But what has changed is the media’s sense of their ability to be responsible arbiters. I think they feel fearful. I think there’s this whole idea now that there’s a liberal media conspiracy, and I think they feel if they express any authority or judgment, which is what I imagine is editorial control, they will be vilified.
— Jon Stewart, on the responsibility of the media, from his interview with Terry Gross at the 92 Street Y.
Jon Stewart, on Tea Party candidate Christine O’Donnell: “We like to sit around the office and we have a little game called ‘How will the Democrats blow it?’ And that’s the way they’ll do it. They’ll think somehow that that will resonate with voters, that 20 years ago Christine O’Donnell on MTV said ‘Masturbation is a sin.’ And they’ll play it, and they’ll ridicule it, and the voters will be like, ‘Yeah, I don’t have a job.’ That’s how they’ll blow it.” (From an interview conducted September 29, 2010 at the 92nd Street Y with Terry Gross.)