This Guy Knows Funny and Stewart's No Longer Funny



Tucker Carlson — remember him?— thinks Jon Stewart has lost his comedic touch, and, in his words,

No one this earnest can remain an effective satirist, and at times Stewart seems like less a comedian than a courtier to the establishment.

     In a column in the Daily Beast, Carlson tries to take Stewart to task for playing it straight in his no-holds-barred interview with CNBC’s Jim Cramer. Carlson appears to still be reeling from the harsh criticism Stewart leveled at him in 2004, accusing Stewart of being a “prig” and then summing up his argument with this:

Like most sermons, Stewart’s showdown with Jim Cramer ended with a neat moral lesson. Once journalists who cover business regain their sense of responsibility and “start getting back to fundamentals on the reporting,” Stewart said gravely, “I can get back to making fart noises and funny faces.

But it’s too late. The great comedian is gone, maybe forever. Jon Stewart is stuck in lecture mode.”

Personally, I still find Stewart funny and effective as a media and punditry watchdog. He’s rightly satirized pandering disguised as journalism, but he’s also interviewed his share of reporters — NYTime’s Joe Nocero, John Bowe, Seymour Hersh, Christiane Amanpour — about their investigative work. Plus, he spotlights a number of books and authors that wouldn’t see the light of day if it weren’t for the Daily Show and The Colbert Report.

     But what do you think? Is Stewart still funny? Does satire require full detachment at all times without any moments of passionate sincerity?


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