Friday, October 29, 2004

Jon Stewart Used To Be Funny

Jon Stewart used to be funny, but like many other celebrities who take a step into politics has fallen to the wayside. The key to staying funny in politics is ironically to try and stay out of it. The reason that shows like South Park and Family Guy are able to take pot shots at politics is because you never see Stan or Kyle with Kerry '04 T-shirt. Nor does Peter Griffin share a beer with George Bush.

Instead, what makes the shows clever is what they don't tell you. The key is to be funny without imposing your opinion on your audience. Stewart has crossed the line. A now clear ally to John Kerry, I can't watch his show without thinking "This guy is being facetious, he pretends to dislike both candidates, but has an obvious agenda in getting Kerry elected."

Take South Park's recent episode "Douche and Turd." The school holds an election to choose the new mascot, either a douche or a giant turd sandwich. The parody is obvious, (Stone and Parker are not known for their subtlety), but they never tell us if they want the turd or douche elected. They stay above the fray, instead using the episode to point out the stupidity of Sean Combs and his "Vote or Die" campaign. (If you're interested I've been writing about that subject for a while on my other site.) Even though they aren't as high brow as Stewart pretends to be, they never stoop to his level by taking sides.

That's a shame, because the Daily Show has a history of non-partisan hilarity. I wish Stewart would have kept his mouth shut.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

greg, the reason that things arent funny once someone abandons their ironic distance is because they have actualized an ideology. while the daily show always had a form political standing, it was never expressed, so that we could maintain that distance from the real world and exist in a dream world where things dont really matter. only once someone points out that things wont get better until we take a firm, dogmatic stance do they lose their appeal to lazy people. like you. hippy.

12:32 PM  
Blogger Powerfunk said...

I totally agree with Greg on this one. I know this is mad old; I just stumbled upon it by Googling "Jon Stewart used to be funny." He's even worse this time with the '08 election. There's nothing amusing about someone rubbing their opinions in your face, whether or not you agree with them. Only Colbert now has room on my DVR.

7:52 PM  

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