The New York Times has an excellent profile of Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show” you can read here. (And hey, that gives me a good reason to post the above sketch of Stewart I did some time ago.)
The profile, written by Michiko Kakutani, is titled Is Jon Stewart the Most Trusted Man in America? It details the impact “The Daily Show” has on politics and media, even though it remains “a fake news show” that hasn’t lost its capacity to be silly and sophomoric at times. The author commends Stewart for being “Mr. Common Sense” and “a sane voice in a noisy red-blue echo chamber.” There are some interesting behind-the-scenes glimpses, and some thoughtful observations from Stewart and some of his colleagues (including Stephen Colbert, for once out of character).
Lately I’ve heard the complaint that ” ‘The Daily Show’ isn’t that funny anymore.” I suggest that’s at least partly a reaction to the departures of such stellar “correspondents” as Colbert, Steve Carell, Rob Corddry and Ed Helms. Certainly the field pieces aren’t as rich as they were a few years ago. And many recent “The Daily Show” segments suffer in comparison to Colbert’s best bits on “The Colbert Report.” (Has anyone ever been as drop-dead funny as Colbert is in his “Better Know a District” interviews?)
But I find Stewart as funny, engaging, passionate and relentless as ever — and a nice counterbalance to Colbert’s ever-winking persona. Stewart’s facial expressions, his double takes, his line readings and his admittedly feeble attempts at impersonations are enough to rank him as one of the great comic performers. Add those abilities to his fierce intelligence, and you’ve got something special. The Most Trusted Man in America? No, but for my money, he’s The Most Valuable Man on TV.