Angry Optimist: The Life and Times of Jon Stewart

Apparently there’s a right and wrong answer in chemistry, whereas in psychology, you can say whatever you want as long as you write five pages,

As a professional comedian, it’s my theory that people get into comedy because there’s something missing in their own personal life, and they need that void filled through laughter and acceptance onstage.

As the show continues, it will get uglier. Eventually it will just be this raging little Jewish man screaming into the camera.

Comedian David Feldman worked as a writer on The Daily Show and his memories of Stewart are anything but warm and fuzzy. “In my opinion, Stewart is very manipulative,” he said. “He’s a crowd pleaser and [only] gives the illusion of taking chances. I’m a staunch member of the Writer’s Guild of America and Jon Stewart fought his writers when they wanted to go union [in late 2006]. They went union and [he] has been punishing them ever since. If you watch the show, he doesn’t really do well-crafted jokes.

In general, comedy just isn’t an environment that lends itself toward happiness.

I think that [cynicism] exists because of Jon’s show,” he said. “I think it becomes a feedback loop that’s corrosive. Congressmen do dumb things, then they’re highlighted for doing dumb things, and people watch it and say that congressmen do dumb things, and so then when another congressman does a dumb thing, [Stewart says], ‘Well, my audience wants to watch a congressman do a dumb thing.’ So when the audience laughs at the congressman doing a dumb thing, Jon says, ‘Hey, I got a great scam here, lemme go find another congressman doing a dumb thing.

People that worry about where they’re going next generally don’t end up where they think they’re going. I just worry about what I’m doing now and try to make it good. When you’ve got too much of a master plan, it’s going to fail.

Stewart and his producers put their heads together and handpicked a roundtable of first responders to appear on a panel to tell their stories. A few days later, Congress ferried the bill through a vote and passed it. The local firemen were so thrilled that they threw a birthday party for Stewart’s daughter at the firehouse—complete with a fire truck–shaped birthday cake—and Robert J. Thompson, a professor at Syracuse University, instantly vaulted him to having the same status and influence as both Walter Cronkite and Edward R. Murrow, veteran newsmen who used their influence to turn around, respectively, a war and a government witch hunt.

The job requires a difficult and rare set of skills: a host must entertain both the Hollywood big shots in the auditorium and regular folks at home.” He explained, “They can poke fun at the huge egos in the room, but can’t deflate them with too much snark, and they can’t be too inside baseball. Most of all, they have to think quickly on their feet, since there’s no telling what will happen during a live show broadcast to hundreds of millions around the world.

The press can hold its magnifying glass up to our problems, bringing them into focus, illuminating issues heretofore unseen, or they can use that magnifying glass to light ants on fire and then perhaps host a week of shows on the sudden, unexpected flaming ant epidemic,” he told the crowd. “If we amplify everything, we hear nothing. The press is our immune system. If it overreacts to everything, we actually get sicker … and perhaps eczema.

The psychology degree comes from the fact that I was a chemistry major and they kept wanting the correct answer, whereas in psychology you basically write whatever you want, and chances are you get a B.

There’s a huge discrepancy between the Jon Stewart who goes on TV every night and the Jon Stewart who runs The Daily Show with joyless rage,” said an anonymous former executive. It was something that Bob Wiltfong witnessed

though actor Gael García Bernal, who starred as Che Guevara in the 2004 movie The Motorcycle Diaries, had already agreed to play Maziar Bahari in Rosewater, shortly before filming began he had asked for more money.

We hear every damn day about how fragile our country is, on the brink of catastrophe, torn by polarizing hate, and how it’s a shame that we can’t work together to get things done, but the truth is we do,” he

We work together to get things done every damn day. Most Americans don’t live their lives solely as Democrats, Republicans, liberals, or conservatives. Americans live their lives more as people that are just a little bit late for something they have to do, often something they do not want to do. But they do it, impossible things every day that are only made possible through the little, reasonable compromises we all make.