Because Rupert Murdoch wants to buy Time Warner, and journalists have reported Murdoch would sell off Time Warner‘s cable news network CNN, Jon Stewart last night launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise $10 billion in order to buy the network “and do…something with it. Not quite sure what yet.” ”CNN, America’s first 24-hour cable news network, has been terrible for many, many years. Does it have to be that way? Who knows, maybe it does,” The Daily Show host’s campaign explains. “So let’s find out for ourselves! This $10 billion, all-cash bid for CNN would secure control of a massive television network reaching over 100 million homes in the US alone, which we could then use to rebuild a news organization befitting this proud land. Or more likely we’d use it to make a lot more poop jokes. Either way, you get to watch!”
A mere $10 contribution gets your photo in an on-screen “21 box” of talking heads. For $15,000 it’ll be just you and Carol Costello in a “2 box”, with 5 minutes of freestyling. And for $5 million, CNN will initiate a 24-hour, 2-week hunt for your lost car keys. Watch here:
Bassem Youssef, the Egyptian doctor-turned-TV-host who is known as “The Jon Stewart of the Arab World,” will no longer present his satirical news program, Al Bernameg. At a press conference in Cairo on Monday, Youssef said the show had been cancelled due to pressure on its broadcaster, MBC Masr. “The present climate in Egypt is not suitable for a political satire program… I’m tired of struggling and worrying about my safety and that of my family,” he said according to reports. A daring public voice and equal-opportunity offender who used comedy to poke fun at the government and state of affairs in Egypt, Youssef’s cancellation will be seen in many circles as a blow to freedom of speech in the region. At the top of last night’s Daily Show, Stewart addressed the turn of events surrounding his friend in a segment titled “A Farewell to Egyptian Satire.” In the clip (see video below), Stewart said in part, “Bassem Youssef and his team did a tremendous show under harrowing conditions, and while they’re not on the air for now, their work will continue to inspire us all here at this show. Congratulations to them on a job very well done.”
Youssef first made international headlines in April 2013 when he was summoned for questioning by Egypt’s public prosecutor after an arrest warrant was issued on accusations he insulted then Egyptian President Mohamed Morsi and … Read More »
Rich Blomquist, who with wife Kristen Schaal, Phil Lord & Chris Miller created the ABC pilot American Monster, has closed a two-year overall deal with the show’s producer 20th Century Fox Television. Under the pact, the longtime writer on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart will develop new projects for the studio. “Rich is one of those rare voices — hilarious, irreverent, completely unique and fiercely intelligent,” said 20th Century Fox TV president of creative affairs Jonny Davis. “We loved him from The Daily Show and knew we wanted to be in business with him exclusively. We loved working with him on American Monster and we can’t wait to develop with him again.”
Blomquist was a writer for The Daily Show for 10 seasons, sharing in seven Emmy variety series writing wins and a WGA Best Comedy/Variety Series win 2010. Before that he was a contributing writer on Saturday Night Live. He also co-wrote The Sexy Book of Sexy Sex in 2010. He is repped by UTA.
Late-night hosts last night warmed up the audience for today’s televised news conference, in which new-ish NBA Commissioner Adam Silver reveals how he will punish Clippers owner Donald Sterling for racist comments caught on audio tape made public by TMZ.
Fast-rising New York comedian Michael Che is joining Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart as a new correspondent. Che is currently a staff writer on NBC’s Saturday Night Live, which he joined full-time in September after a guest-writing stint last season. He will join The Daily Show in June, after wrapping SNL. This is a rare talent move from SNL to another late-night show as up-and-comers who get their break at the venerable NBC series tend to stay there for a long time. Che made his late-night debut in 2012 on CBS’ Late Show With David Letterman and became the first stand-up comedian to perform on NBC’s Late Night With Seth Meyers after the SNL alum took the helm of the show. At Comedy Central, Che has appeared on @midnight and John Oliver’s New York Stand-Up Show and recently taped his first stand-up special, which is scheduled to air June 6. Here is a glimpse at what Che could do on The Daily Show with a bit he did for MTV as well as a sample of his stand-up.
For years in the 1990s, Comedy Central was considered nothing more than an incubator for late-night talent. Its first notable weeknight late-night show, Politically Incorrect With Bill Maher, originated there and ran for three years — from 1993-96 — before ABC snatched it to get into the late-night talk-show game. Maher’s successor at ABC, Jimmy Kimmel, also is a Comedy Central discovery, having gotten his start as host on the network’s Win Ben Stein Money and then The Man Show. Before Politically Incorrect left Comedy Central, it helped launch The Daily Show, which premiered behind PI at 11:30 PM before moving to the tentpole 11 PM slot. Back then, the Daily Show had Craig Kilborn as a host. In 1998, he was poached by CBS as a host of the Late Late Show. Sixteen years later, CBS once again is reaching out to Comedy Central’s Daily Show franchise to replenish its late-night ranks, this time drafting the former Daily Show regular and current host of spinoff The Colbert Report to succeed David Letterman on the Late Show.
A lot has changed over those 16 years. Since Jon Stewart replaced Kilborn at the helm of The Daily Show in January 1999, the show has risen to become a late-night leader. It became a top late-night choice for younger viewers and, with the addition of spinoff The Colbert Report in 2005 to form a 11 PM-midnight block, Comedy Central evolved from a late-night poaching ground to a force to be reckoned with. The two shows became pop culture phenomenons and strengthened their hold on the younger crowds by embracing the Internet and social media before most of their late-night competitors. They have enjoyed buzz as well as critical acclaim, with their Emmy dominance nothing short of staggering. The Daily Show won the best variety series category for a record 10 consecutive times before its streak was ended last year by The Colbert Report to give Comedy Central 11 consecutive victories. (It’s worth mentioning that it was the man Colbert is replacing, David Letterman, who ruled the top variety category before Comedy Central’s dynamic duo kicked off their dominant run with five consecutive trophies.) In the variety series writing category, The Daily Show and Colbert Report have won 10 of the past 11 years.
“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:
Upright Citizens Brigade’s Jordan Klepper has been tapped as a new regular correspondent on Comedy Central‘s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart. He will make his first appearance tonight, reporting “live” from Ukraine. He joins fellow correspondents Samantha Bee, Jason Jones, Aasif Mandvi and Jessica Williams. Daily Show‘s Best F*&#ing News Team Ever! has been short a correspondent following the recent exit by John Oliver who got a weekly show on HBO. Klepper has been a regular performer at the UCB Theatre in New York City for three years and has had multiple long-running shows, several with his wife and frequent collaborator, Laura Grey.
Last Week Tonight With John Oliver will premiere on April 27, HBO announced today. The new weekly satire show from the former Daily Show With Jon Stewart correspondent and stand-in host will air at 11 PM. Last Week Tonight will be produced for HBO by Avalon Television, with Oliver, Tim Carvell, James Taylor and Jon Thoday serving as EPs, and Liz Stanton producing. HBO first announced Oliver’s move over from Comedy Central on November 14 last year. The British comedian took over the desk on The Daily Show last summer as Stewart was away directing his first feature film. Oliver took his final Daily Show bow on December 19 to start work on his own show. Not that Oliver will be straying far from the tested and true – Last Week Tonight will, like The Daily Show, be taking a satirical look at news, politics and current events.
It’s safe to say that finally losing out on the Emmy last year didn’t ruin anyone’s career. Quite the contrary. Amid a flurry of promotions on Comedy Central’s late-night staple, The Daily Show With Jon Stewart has given three series veterans their executive producer stripes. Steve Bodow, Jen Flanz and Adam Lowitt are the new EPs alongside host Jon Stewart. All three of the Daily Show’s new exec producers were with the show throughout its entire 10-year run as Emmy winner for Outstanding Variety, Music or Comedy series. Bodow started as a writer in 2002 and worked his way up to co-EP in 2011. Flanz joined the show as a production assistant in 1998 and also was named co-EP in 2011. Lowitt came aboard as a postproduction assistant and makes the jump to EP from supervising producer, a job he landed in 2012. The show also said today that Tim Greenberg and Hillary Kun have been upped to co-executive producers, Justin Melkmann to supervising producer and Elliott Kalan to head writer. Meanwhile, over at the “rival” Colbert Report, Emily Lazar – who has been with the defending Emmy champ since its 2005 launch — has been named co-executive producer. Here’s the Daily Show release: Read More »
“As a student of history one of the things we’ve learned is that the mightiest dynasties eventually crumble,” Jon Stewart said last night on Comedy Central’s The Daily Show With Jon Stewart, launching into a report on the “trouble for the preeminent dynasty of our age” after A&E Network put Duck Dynasty patriarch Phil Robertson on hiatus for incendiary remarks in a GQ interview. “I think what the guy said is ignorant but I also have an inclination to support a world where saying ignorant shit on television doesn’t get you kicked off that medium,” Stewart said of Robertson (watch the segment below). “I guess I stand with the free speech absolutists of Fox News who don’t believe we should pressure people to have to adhere to cultural norms of speech.”
“This is a terrible day for Americans although admittedly a great day for ducks,” Stephen Colbert chimed in on his show, reading some of the quotes from the interview and adding, I’ll admit it’s not he eloquent speech you’d expect from a backwoods Louisiana duck murderer.” He added: “He’s taught us so much, like like this little bit of eternal wisdom: ‘If you catch squirrels for your woman, your woman will never cut you off in bed’.” The real party to pity, Colbert said, is A&E. “With this controversy, they may have just lost Duck Dynasty’s massive black and gay audience.”
“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. Read More »
The fake news show host took Jeff Zucker’s cable news network to the journalistic woodshed last night over their persistent use of the question “is that a good thing or a bad thing?” From politics to the Jody Arias trial to the economy and seemingly everything in-between, The Daily Show’sJon Stewart called CNN out on grindingly reducing complex topics to a very simple equation. “The beautiful thing about Good/Bad is that, like beige, it goes with everything in an equally unsatisfying manner,” Stewart said. Amidst the critique, Situation Room host Wolf Blitzer got special mention from Stewart for an interview where he was trying to get Rep. Michelle Bachman “to dumb it down” on healthcare reform. Seriously. Check out the segment here:
CBS Eyes Reboot Of The WB’s ‘Charmed’ By Nellie Andreeva – CBS shows have migrated to younger skewing sibling the CW — CBS pilot Ringer became a CW series, and defunct CBS vampire drama Moonlight got a second run on the sister network.
EXCLUSIVE: I’ve learned that three veterans of The Daily Show With Jon Stewart– co-executive producers Adam Lowitt, Jennifer Flanz and Steve Bodow — are being tapped as new showrunners for Comedy Central‘s long-running late-night show. They would succeed Rory Albanese, who last week left to move to Los Angeles for primetime comedy development under a two-script deal with Warner Bros. TV. Lowitt, Flanz and Bodow, all multiple Emmy winners for their work on the show, are expected to be upped to executive producers. Lowitt has been on The Daily Show for eight years, having started in 2005 as a segment producer; Flanz has been on the program for seven years, having started as a coordinating producer in 2006; Bodow has been a writer on The Daily Show for a decade, including a stint as head writer.
EXCLUSIVE: The Daily Show With Jon Stewart executive producer/showrunner Rory Albanese is leaving Comedy Central’s popular late-night program to pursue a career in primetime comedy. Albanese, who also is a standup comedian, has signed a double blind script development deal with Warner Bros TV and has sold one project under the pact — a father-son multi-camera comedy — to CBS. Albanese’s last day at the Daily Show will be Thursday. The departure had been in the works for a while, with Albanese preparing for his cross-country move from to Los Angeles and the Daily Show working on a succession plan. I hear the show will promote within in naming a new showrunner. Albanese spent the past seven years at The Daily Show, the past five as executive producer, sharing in nine of the show’s Emmys for best variety series and best writing for variety series. Daily Show‘s 10-year streak as best variety series came to an end last month. Read More »
Once again last night, The Daily Showhost went after CNN for its coverage of a breaking news event — this time it was the fatal shootings on Monday at Washington D.C’s Navy Yard. Similar to the way he nailed Jeff Zucker’s cable news network and others back in April over their on-air announcement of an arrest that hadn’t actually happened in the Boston Marathon bombing case, Jon Stewart Tuesday went after the confusion and randomness of CNN’s handling of the September 16 tragedy. And when someone uses the term “abusive relationship” to…well, you know we’ve got a problem Atlanta. Watch here: