UPDATED WITH VIDEO: “As you can imagine, it’s been a wild day around here. You may remember a few years back there was a gentleman on this program by the name of Stephen Colbert,” Jon Stewart said tonight at the top of his Comedy Central program The Daily Show, addressing CBS‘ hire of Colbert to replace David Letterman on Late Show. (Video below)
Wild cheering from the studio audience.
“He was yea high, skin like porcelain, very talented actor, writer, dancer, improvisational comedian. We would send him to the field, usually with some type of fruit, and see where the day took us.”
Related: CBS’ Late-Night Drama Not Over Yet
Jon Stewart has deconstructed the media’s consternation over Hollywood’s depiction of religion in Noah and Son Of God — particularly Fox News Channel and CNN. Fortunately for Paramount, which distributes Noah, and 20th Century Fox, which distributes Son Of God (a repurposing of History’s hit 10-hour miniseries …
Jon Stewart Returns From Spring Break To Tackle Cable News Networks’ Missing Malaysian Airliner Mystery: Video
“Today, satellite data seemed to confirm the worst,” Jon Stewart said of the latest missing-plane news. “I think we all feared this story would end in tragedy and so, early on, we turned to the news media for a sense of sober clarity,” Stewart said. Kidding! Watch here:
HBO has unveiled its promo for Last Week Tonight With John Oliver, which unveils on April 27 (see below). The new weekly satire current events show from the former The Daily Show With Jon Stewart correspondent (and stand-in host) will …
In a biting segment on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show, Jon Stewart demonstrates how Don King could be the answer to CNN’s ratings problems. Seems King was a guest on CNN and, when time came to switch gears and begin a report on men getting facial-hair transplants, King refused to go quietly into the night. He continued to talk over the report, winding up his commentary with the chant, “CNN today! CNN today!”
“I never said this before, but I was unable to change the channel from CNN,” Stewart confessed. “These news people are doing their best to do an incredibly stupid segment on beard transplants, but now, because of Don King, he’s making it real, and interesting! Give me more of the King!”
“CNN you have found your voice and it’s Don King’s voice talking over all your other voices,” Stewart advised, and illustrated. Watch here:
“This is already a very creepy way to start the question,” Oliver interrupted during the session of the TCA Winter Press Tour 2014, being held at the Langham hotel in Pasadena.
“Sarah Palin is hosting breakfast,” the critic explained.
“WHAT?! Are you kidding? Well, now — I’m checking in!” Oliver enthused. “What breakfast?”
Sportsman Channel, he was informed. Palin’s come to promote her new reality series for the network.
“Good for her!” Oliver beamed. “She’s going to do to sports what she did to politics. … Believe me, there is a significant voice in my head now saying, ‘Check in, go to breakfast’!” he said giddily. “I think I’m on a flight tomorrow morning, but again, half of me has already canceled that flight,” he continued as one TV critic offered him his credentials so he could attend the Palin breakfast. “I’m also glad the TCA security is so high that passes are utterly transferable — especially since we are different races,” he said of the critic.
UPDATE, 2:45 PM: Some Washingtonians were disappointed this afternoon when no one stepped up to ask President Obama a Duck Dynasty question during his last news conference of the calendar year. The disappointed ones had a pool going, in re which reporter would ask POTUS a question about the recently suspended Duck Dynasty star. “Moral dilemma for White House reporters: Duck Dynasty question guarantees pickup and/but..practical dilemma for @pfeiffer44: how much prep?” tweeted Mark Halperin, senior political analyst for Time magazine, Time.com, and MSNBC. (instead, Obama got asked whether 2013 had been the “worst year of your presidency,” a couple NSA surveillance questions and what he thought was his biggest mistake of the year. Answer: ACA rollout.)
A&E has no plans to edit down, or out, show patriarch Phil Robertson’s appearances in the nine episodes that have already been completed of the show’s upcoming 10-episode fifth season, scheduled to debut on January 15. And it is hoping he will be back for Season 6. That said, the network is giving some thought to pushing back start of production on the next batch of episodes currently slated for spring, according to informed sources, as it attempts to see what it can salvage from the wreck left by this week’s GQ article and newly unearthed Phil video. In that 2010 video, Robertson is seen making an impassioned speech against the “gross sexual immorality” of “women with women” and “men with men.” The video, first uploaded by various attendees of a Wild Game Supper of the Berean Bible Church, somewhere in Pennsylvania, shows Robertson alternately demonstrating bird calls, defining his pursuit of happiness as “to blow a duck’s head smooth off,” and discussing the “shameful lust” going on in this country.
“Women with women. Men with men. They committed indecent acts with one another. And they received in themselves the due penalty for their perversion,” Robertson said in the video. “They’re full of murder, envy, strife, hatred. They are insolent, arrogant God haters. They are heartless, they are faithless, they are senseless, they are ruthless, they invent ways of doing evil.”
PREVIOUS, 8:47 AM: A&E Network has had to beef up security at its New York headquarters after receiving death threats and suspicious packages from people enraged about the network’s decision to suspend Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson. No formal meetings are schedule today between A&E and the Robertson clan, who yesterday issued a statement saying they “cannot imagine” doing the show without Phil — which, loosely translated, means “No Phil – no show.” That said, the network, which has had a good working relationship with the family (as the clan noted in its statement), is “always talking to them,” as one source with knowledge of the family said. The decision to suspend Phil Robertson triggered a firestorm and has created some strange bedfellows; last night Jon Stewart defended Phil’s “right to say ignorant shit” — joining Phil defenders Sarah Palin, who’d tweeted “Those ‘intolerants’ hatin’ and taking on the Duck Dynasty patriarch for voicing his personal opinion are taking on all of us,” and Republican Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, who’d pronounced it “It is a messed up situation when Miley Cyrus gets a laugh, and Phil Robertson gets suspended.”
Jon Stewart had John Oliver in tears as he surprised him with his own retrospective, on his last day at The Daily Show. Oliver, who got rave reviews when he filled in for Stewart over the summer, will launch his own topical comedy talk show, telecast Sundays on HBO, premiering in 2014. During last night’s ambush retrospective, Oliver, who’d been with the Comedy Central late night program for more than seven years, was mostly speechless and fighting tears.
Last month, when HBO announced it had signed Oliver, he said, “I want to thank Comedy Central, and everyone at The Daily Show for the best seven and a half years of my life. But most of all, I’d like to thank Jon Stewart. He taught me everything I know. In fact, if I fail in the future, it’s entirely his fault.”
Watch after the jump — autoplay alert:
‘Daily Show’s Jon Stewart, FNC’s Bill O’Reilly Weigh In On Megyn Kelly’s Santa-Is-White Segment: Video
“I guess we all owe you an apology,” The Daily Show faux newsman Jon Stewart said Monday night for his cracks about Megyn Kelly‘s show segment debating Santa Claus and Jesus’ ethnic backgrounds, after the Fox News Channel anchor said the segment was tongue-in-cheek.
Over in the other corner, FNC’s Bill O’Reilly last night insisted Kelly was right, in re Santa being white, but that “the spirit of Santa transcends all racial boundaries,” adding that the bruhaha over her remarks is another attempt by “the far left” to demonize FNC, “because they cannot defeat us on the media battlefield.”
Click over to watch the Stewart video, but beware autoplay:
UPDATE: 8 PM: Megyn Kelly said tonight on her Fox News Channel program that her Wednesday show segment, in which she said that Santa Claus and Jesus are white, was tongue-in-cheek and that anyone who says otherwise needs to lighten up. “Humor is a part of what we try to bring to this show, but sometimes that’s lost on the humorless,” she said on tonight’s The Kelly File. “This would be funny if it were not so telling about our society, in particular, the knee-jerk instinct by so many to race-bait and to assume the worst in people, especially people employed by the very powerful Fox News Channel.” On her show Wednesday, Kelly and panelists discussed a Slate piece written by a black woman suggesting Santa should not be a white man anymore. Writer Aisha Harris suggested a penguin replace Santa Claus, so as to appeal to children of all races. “For all you kids watching at home,” Kelly said Wednesday. “Santa just is white, but this person is just arguing that maybe we should also have a black Santa. But Santa is what he is, and just so you know, we’re just debating this because someone wrote about it, kids.”
Then on tonight’s show, Kelly said: “Contrary to what my critics have posited, neither my statement, nor Harris’, I’m sure, was motivated by any racial fear or loathing. In fact, it was something far less sinister: a lifetime of exposure to the very same commercials, mall casting calls, and movies Harris references in her piece. Should that change? Well, that debate got lost because so many couldn’t get past the fact that I acknowledged, as Harris did, that the most commonly depicted image of Santa, does, in fact, have white skin.” She did acknowledge tonight that her assertion Wednesday that Jesus was a white man “is far from settled.” Kelly said, “The fact that an offhand jest I made during a segment about whether Santa should be replaced by a penguin has now become a national firestorm says two things: Race is still an incredibly volatile issue in this country, and Fox News, and yours truly, are big targets for many people.”
Jon Stewart last night discovered/fell in love with CNN’s New Day Couch Sponsorship News-portunity, in which advertisers sponsor the morning show’s co-hosts as they walk from their desk to their couch. After fantasizing about the brainstorming session that produced the Couch Walk, headed by CNN chief Jeff Zucker (the guy who came up with “supersizing” for NBC’s primetime when he took over that network’s Entertainment, which kept that network in first place in the demo for a couple seasons, and allowed it to sell an extra ad break at Friends rates, while failing to develop the next Friends) including:
Walk to Couch
When Cats Tweet
Hot Thing/Cold Thing
Blitzer Kissing Booth
Cartoon Robot Sidekicks
Smell the News
All-Hologram Syria Coverage
Stewart announced The Daily Show was going to be rolling out sponsorship opportunities of its own, including:
Vaguely Justified Scatalogical Metaphor
Jon Stewart Crumpled His Script In Disgust.
“Go fuck yourself,” Jon Stewart told the media — but, mostly, Fox News Channel – in response to an orchestra of news talking heads having pointed to Stewart’s snarking about the Affordable Care Act as proof of its failure. “If you’ve lost Jon Stewart you’re in trouble,” FNC’s Howard Kurtz said at the top of Stewart’s The Daily Show segment last night, followed by other mostly FNC talking heads and guests contributing plenty more where that came from:
* “I guess it was very significant that even Jon Stewart has turned against this.”
* “I can’t recall even Jon Stewart doing that before.”
* “When Jon Stewart and SNL are making fun of the job you are doing and the website, that speaks to the fact that young Americans are laughing at the secretary and the website.”
“If that causes things to end, why is the network you are on still on the air?” Stewart faux wondered aloud. “Don’t act like us making jokes about a certain program or the president is evidence that politician, or issue, has reached some tipping point for action,” he scolded, noting he’d also mocked former President Bush, VPOTUS Dick Cheney, etc.
Pivot — the millennial-targeting network launched in August to “entertain and inspire activism” among 18- to 34-year-olds with its “completely different approach to television,” including a “very f—ed up, weird reality talk show” (said Pivot president Evan Shapiro) — today announced that the host of that very f—ed up, weird reality talk show, Meghan McCain, will interview her dad, Sen. John McCain, for the first time.
The interview, premiering Saturday, will feature Meghan asking Dad, among other things, how he turned “a crushing defeat into an inspiring comeback” during the ’08 presidential bid. In clips sent to the press today, Meghan also asked Dad how millennials “can overcome all the obstacles we are facing and still live a fulfilling life.” He said they need to be involved, but “it doesn’t have to be in the military,” ticking off a couple other ideas. More newsworthy, perhaps, Meghan asked Dad about his failed 2008 presidential race against now-President Obama and how he turned that concession speech — or, as Pivot at one point in its news release called it, his “confession speech” — from a “difficult moment into something that has turned out to be so beautiful.”
Stephen Colbert last night talked about his Comedy Central late-night show’s Primetime Emmy Award win for best variety series, snapping The Daily Show’s decade-long run in that derby. Meanwhile, Tina Fey wants to remind us about her wardrobe malfunction at the Emmy ceremony while promoting her upcoming hosting gig on the season debut of Saturday Night Live.
More than 2 million people caught Jon Stewart‘s return to The Daily Show last night after taking most of the summer off. That’s a 24% improvement over the Comedy Central show’s year-to-date average with Stewart-hosted episodes (1.63 million). It’s Stewart’s second-best number this year. About 640,000 of last night’s crowd was aged 18-34 — the show’s target audience. That’s 22% better than Stewart episodes have averaged this year. In his final two weeks of original episodes before leaving to direct his first feature film Rosewater, Stewart averaged 1.415 million Daily Show viewers.
Some perspective: Daily Show’s biggest audience ever happened in October 2008 when presidential candidate Barack Obama was Stewart’s guest and the show clocked 3.6 million viewers, beating Michelle Obama’s appearance a few weeks earlier by about 600,000 viewers. It was the first time the show had ever cracked 3 mil. In ’10, Obama became the first sitting president to visit the show; 2.8 million tuned in at a time when the show was averaging 1.9 million.
UPDATED WITH VIDEO: “I’ve missed you so much — you don’t know what it’s like out there in the real world. Nobody applauds every stupid fucking thing you do!” Jon Stewart said in his return to The Daily Show last night. Viewers, meanwhile, may still be missing Stewart. The comic-turned-fake news show faux-anchor returned from Jordan, where he spent a good chunk of the summer directing his first feature film, showing telltale signs of a comic who has been through a life-changing experience and feels he should be doing something more serious.
After an opening taped bit in which his summer substitute John Oliver discovered how changed Stewart is, and tried in vain to get back the old Jon — instead turning him into Moses, Freddie Mercury, Miley Cyrus at the VMAs, and Hitler — Stephen Colbert is brought in and, for script purposes, successfully exorcised Stewart, so The Daily Show could start. Stewart took his anchor chair and brought out Oliver to receive praise. Not that Oliver needs it. He got great reviews filling in for Stewart this summer, which must have been a comfort to Viacom Entertainment Group President Doug Herzog tonight, knowing there can be life after Stewart for The Daily Show. Not that Herzog’s making plans to replace Stewart — but it’s got to be nice to know The Daily Show won’t fall off a cliff should this new Stewart just back from Jordon decide it’s time to move on.