토요일, 7월 13, 2024
HomeHealthcareA Hail Mary to Save ‘The Every day Present’

A Hail Mary to Save ‘The Every day Present’

Jon Stewart’s return to the present he popularized isn’t a mere nostalgia ploy—it’s a pointy spin on an outdated system.

Matt Wilson / Comedy Central

Jon Stewart hosting “The Daily Show” in 2024

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For me, the expertise of watching The Every day Present belongs to a unique, bygone period of TV. Both I flipped my cable field over to Comedy Central at 11 p.m. if I occurred to be channel browsing that late or I caught up on my DVR the following day, eagerly fast-forwarding by the advertisements to get to Jon Stewart’s monologue. In 2024, I don’t even have cable, and I haven’t watched a Comedy Central present in years; my familiarity with The Every day Present in the course of the Trevor Noah period, which lasted for seven years earlier than internet hosting duties have been handed to a rotation of visitors, was restricted to catching the occasional clip on-line. However Stewart’s return on Monday night time was greater than a nostalgia ploy—it was an truly humorous piece of broadcast tv, the rarest of throwbacks.

In one thing of a Hail Mary, Comedy Central has introduced Stewart again to host its Monday-night reveals by the autumn elections, clearly hoping for a bump in relevance as its model fades within the face of elevated cord-cutting. Although Noah did discover a area of interest for himself as host after a cautious begin—his tone was chipper however laced with the cynicism of a extra worldwide perspective—he correctly departed earlier than the grueling weekly schedule utterly sapped his ardour for the gig. Certainly, that’s partly why Stewart had known as it quits in 2015, following a few years of award-winning success. After leaving, Stewart directed a film, hosted an AppleTV+ present known as The Downside that centered extra on journalism than on jokes, and began to look out of step with modern-day comedy punditry. The earnestness of his jabs didn’t jibe with the post-satirical age ushered in by Donald Trump’s surreal presidency, by which youthful, left-leaning audiences have gravitated towards extra caustic humor.

Nonetheless, I absolutely understood the attraction of a reboot for each Stewart and Comedy Central. Regardless of some protestation in any other case, The Every day Present’s model by no means actually escaped Stewart, and its format appeared incapable of real change—it’ll all the time have a monologue, a comedy piece with a correspondent, and a visitor interview, because it has for the reason that Craig Kilborn days. The community has by no means discovered an excellent streaming setup for its reveals, both—episodes repeat on Paramount+, which has but to achieve the recognition of Netflix or Disney+. Stewart’s return is finally most attention-grabbing from a meta perspective: Can he recapture the sensation of his broadcast-hosting work of yesteryear? If not, what is going to his new on-screen persona be in a media age that’s much more antagonistic and splintered than the Bush/Obama years throughout which he made his repute?

The reply, at the very least from his efficiency final night time, is surprisingly refreshing. Stewart’s grumpy and quizzical model on The Downside, fueled by sharp questioning and a noticeable lack of humor, was nowhere to be seen. Because the Every day Present opening credit rolled and the digicam swooshed across the cheering viewers, a visibly extra wizened Stewart did the standard desk routine he’d carried out for 16 years as host: He scribbled madly on his notes, regarded up on the digicam, after which launched into an impish however incisive monologue on the week’s information.

His targets have been acquainted: Joe Biden, ripped within the headlines and in a latest Division of Justice report for his age and failing to beat that critique in a creaky press convention, and Trump, who Stewart dutifully (however gleefully) identified has had loads of his personal reminiscence lapses on digicam over time. The format was the identical outdated Every day Present, with Stewart supplying context over cut-up cable-news clips earlier than shelling out an extended ramble concerning the necessity of investigating Biden’s weaknesses as a candidate that felt neither mean-spirited nor softball. Briefly, he didn’t miss a lot of a step, and the bouncy persona he appeared to have deserted after his preliminary departure instantly rejoined him behind that desk.

Will that return to kind matter a lot on this media panorama? The straightforward truth is that The Every day Present hasn’t been appointment tv for some time, and in summoning previous glories somewhat than making an attempt to forge one thing new, its viewership will in all probability stray farther from the youthful demographic all cable networks crave. However there additionally aren’t a variety of pundits providing what Stewart is placing on the desk. Seth Meyers and Stephen Colbert each present loads of political commentary—Meyers usually fleshes out points in a Stewart-ian method along with his “Nearer Look” segments—however they’re each nonetheless main with punch traces about bread-and-butter matters. Maybe Stewart’s tendency towards a direct deal with will really feel a bit of more energizing in 2024. And, because the election approaches, his bluntness might higher acclimate voters—at the very least those who’re listening to him—to the looming stakes.

Or perhaps the nostalgia will put on off shortly, his former viewers will proceed dissolving, and Stewart’s desk bits might be consigned to the large swirl of YouTube clips, TikToks, and different chopped-up comedy segments that floats across the social web. The influential thinky comedian who might host a big rally in Washington, D.C., calling for sanity might by no means regain the sort of sway he wielded again within the day. However Stewart’s return had a bit of extra instant juice than I may need predicted. Positive, the discourse is extra fractured than ever, however he at the very least has a shot at refocusing our consideration.


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