Filed underMan Up
Gathering and following the news has been a national past time in America since before we were even technically a nation. Few journalists have had the honor of forever changing the face of American news, and so has one comedian.
Jon Stewart and his Daily Show News Team of comedians, yes, but that doesn’t mean that they slack off or take their jobs any less seriously than “real” journalists. After all, you don’t win 14 Emmys and a Peabody Award in 2005 by just making jokes about George W. Bush’s dancing or Anthony Wiener’s wiener.
The Daily Show started out in 1996 and was hosted by Craig Kilborn. When Jon Stewart took the helm, the show became more focused on satirizing politics and the national media rather than pop culture and celebrities. With talented contributors like Stephen Colbert and Steve Carell, The Daily Show With Jon Stewart quickly gained favor with younger viewers.
Stewart and his team have transformed a half hour nightly news spoof into a media juggernaut. The Daily Show is now the premiere show for political figures to appear on if they wish to court the youth vote. Major celebrities from politics, movies, sports, and even the news media itself have all been featured as guests on the show.
During the 2004 election, the Columbia Journalism Review published “A Campaign Desk Honor Roll, of Sorts.” The purpose was to feature “reporters who consistently rise above the superficial to do original and often insightful work.” Jon Stewart and the Daily Show team were listed at #4 on the list of 20 journalists. This well deserved recognition reinforces the notion that The Daily Show is much more than a comedy program.
So, for taking a struggling celeb-comedy show from near cancellation and turning it into Comedy Central’s longest running show, and an institution to rival Saturday Night Live or The Tonight Show, for rising above the noise of a 24-hour news cycle and inviting us all to join you, and for turning the watchful eye of the media back on itself, Jon Stewart, you’re the man!