Yes Jon Can.

Filed Under Late Night, Satire

The past couple of days have seen more than a few stories talking about how the new incoming Obama administration will not be great fodder for American’s comedians. But any one of those who talk about The Daily Show hasn’t been watching the show for the past eight years. Because while George Bush was a frequent target for the show, an almost equally bigger target has been the mainstream media which asks questions like, “Can ‘The Daily Show’ survive Barack Obama?”

Modern news, with its obsession with balanced punditry, data overload and technological tricks isn’t going anywhere. Anyone who watched CNN coverage last night where Wolf Blitzer talked to Dana Bash via “holographic projection” knows that the news media will give the Daily Show plenty of grist for building jokes in the future. The only question I have is if Comedy Central will give the Daily Show the budget to make fun of such brazenly inane technological innovation.

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Posted by JackSzwergold on 11/05  at  06:51 PM

Well, that hologram stuff was really the most jaw-dropping waste I have ever seen.  But honestly, that Stewart/Colbert election day special?  If that’s any bellwether of the future, my lord is that whole Daily Show franchise in trouble.  I can’t imagine anyone enjoying any of that on any level.  Sooooo bad.

Todd Jackson
Posted by Todd Jackson on 11/05  at  07:30 PM

Jack, I should say that I haven’t seen that special yet. It’s still on the DVR. Anybody else seen it yet?

Posted by d on 11/05  at  10:17 PM

From what I saw of it, they sort of just made jabs at the state as the results came in.  It was a live show that they couldn’t prepare too much of, I don’t think it was indicative as to how those shows are going to be now.

The Colbert Report should be verrrrry interesting now, but then again, the reaction from the Republican in the upcoming months is going to be very interesting as well.

I’m just wondering how this is going to effect American stand-up now.

Posted by John Barry on 11/06  at  07:59 AM

It wasn’t that bad. Live broadcast actually doing news. . . not the best they’ve done but not horrible. They both got choked up when they announced Obama’s victory.

Posted by Chase Roper on 11/06  at  10:55 AM

I flipped back and forth between CNN and the Comedy Central. The special was decent but I don’t think it was nearly as strong as when they pre-tape. Although to Colbert’s credit, he stayed in character during the live show while Stewart got to rest on his laurels.

Is that the proper use of that phrase?

The hologram was neat but I couldn’t figure out why it was the first time it had been used and why CNN bothered at all. I especially love the Magic Board with all the drawers labeled with demographics that you get to open up and see what kind of amazing pie charts hide within.

Posted by Ferguson on 11/06  at  12:18 PM

The election day special was disappointing, but last night they both delivered shows up to previous standards, though it’s true there were few jabs at Obama.  But Jon’s made fun of Barack before and he’ll do it again before long.

Posted by Darren on 11/07  at  12:12 PM

I liked it. It was fun to see Stewart and Colbert co-host such an historic election special. Plus, I’ll be able to tell my grandkids that I first learned Obama was going to be president from a fake news program.

Posted by katie schwartz on 11/09  at  08:28 AM

I agree with you completely. I also think JS will have free reign. Plus, the GOP trying to make a comeback and floundering will be hilarsquared and delicious fodder.

Posted by Andrew Dupont on 11/09  at  05:23 PM

I saw it and thought it was just fine. As a live broadcast, it had a different feel than the tape-delayed shows, to be sure. Lots of improv and riffing. But largely identical to the Indecision 2004 election night special. Jack’s entitled to his opinion, but it comes off as hyperbolic judging from what I saw.

By the way, TDS can survive indefinitely even if there’s nothing lampoonable whatsoever about the upcoming Obama administration. But that’s doubtful. Over the summer, as the late-night shows struggled to find the right “angle” for Obama jokes, TDS was getting great mileage out of mocking his “messiah” image. You’d think the mainstream media would recognize that past presidents didn’t have to be incompetent to be the subject of comedy routines.

Sam Vargo
Posted by Sam Vargo on 11/12  at  12:35 PM

Jon is one of the sharpest wits on TV.

I’m sure not worried about him too much. He just focused a lot of his energies over the past year on this very important, heated and historic election.

I mean the guy’s a comic genius. Did anyone ever worry about the wolf in the chicken coop? Do you ever lose sleep over that poor predator being pecked to death?

Case closed.

Sam Vargo
Posted by Sam Vargo on 11/13  at  08:35 AM

I just wanted to say, too, DF writers and fans, that in today’s world, we need more satirists like Stewart/Colbert. Today, the Joe McCarthy’s aren’t behind the mic, but in front of it. Ditto for the political bosses. One thing about Stewart/Colbert, they don’t pretend to run things like some pundits do. It’s a sad day in hell when journalism creates the news.

As for all those crying whiners out there who are complaining about getting their feelings hurt by satirists - look at W, for crying out loud. Here’s a guy who’s taken multi-tons of criticism, day in and day out and he’s never, ever complained. He’s stuck by his beliefs and whether or not some idiot typist, mouth or talking head believes those beliefs is immaterial.

I’ve made up my mind to be a First Amendment Soldier. Those guys dying in the desert for the American Way may be physically and probably mentally a lot tougher than me, but when they come home, I’ll be damned if they have to watch what they say. I’m not really a liberal and I’m not really a Republican. Like the old Don Henley song goes, “I used to paint the princes, I used to paint the frogs, now I paint mustaches on dangerous dogs…” If Jon and Colbert want to chime in, all the better - I know these two guys are not bashful, shy or afraid of the book banning boogeymen.

have a great day, VARGO

Posted by Dustin D'Addato on 11/18  at  10:06 AM

Political comedy doesn’t always have be about the president and doesn’t always have to be about the United States.  If you remember The Daily Show pre 9/11, they mostly had on tv stars and such.  Then they got serious and have on a lot more interesting and important people.  Maybe now they can look outside the borders a little bit.  Politicians in the US aren’t the only ones that are stupid.  The President was just the lowest hanging fruit for so long it started to seem like the only fruit.

I did a podcast for on this very topic.  You can find it here: or on iTunes (search for “The Comedy Nerds” if you are interested.

Sam Vargo
Posted by Sam Vargo on 12/05  at  09:10 AM

Good points, Dustin. I agree entirely. Comedy that spoofs a wide range of subjects - politicians and politics are only one facet of the comic fodder, as you say, have a greater chance of living large and living long. And though comedy really can’t be critiqued, the ways comedy is portrayed certainly can be analyzed for effectiveness and a better and more optimum of a success level - the broader the subject base the better. Political satire has a nasty way of biting back sometimes. Once in a while, straight comedy can work when nothing else really will do the job.

Excellent insight, Dustin. Thanks!

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