The Daily Show
— Jon Stewart on (every single episode of) The Daily Show“I once worked for the Daily Show as a correspondent. Behind enemy lines. Know your enemies.”
— Stephen Colbert on The Daily Show
A flashy 3D news logo flashes toward you, threatening to blind you with swirling incomprehensible messages, which can only be interpreted by the announcer:
Cut to a studio filled with cheering disenfranchised politically-anti-involved teenaged voters surrounding a news desk, at which sits America's most trusted newsanchor, scrawling unknowable mysteries on a piece of paper. He completes his mystical scroll with a few elaborate scribbles, then turns to the camera
STEWART: WOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!1111!1!!!11!!1!!11 WELCOMETOTHEDAILYSHOW I'm Jon Stewart MAN have we got a show for you tonight. Tonight I'll be interviewing... um... Important Celebrity, who's an expert on obscure economic theory! Our president drafted him to be the only economist on his board of corporate advisors, so he's all that's standing between us and never ending class warfare!
Audience cheers wildly again. Then cheer themselves for caring about the important shit that's too unsexy for CSPAN. Can you feel the love?
STEWART: It's gonna be a great show, you're gonna love it, it's just your type, honestly. *Imitates Jewish grandmother* 'You should want to make children with it. A show like this doesn't come along every day.'
- Audience pity laughs, which was what Jon Stewart was going for. Yes! He's on fire! Mediocrity achieved, plus, honestly, his blush when he has to use bad material is so cute that many of the women and some of the men want to adopt him. Sexually. This eats away at noted playboy Bill O' Reilly's insides each and every minute of his life, as he watches from high atop his lonely castle. Why can't he fail, and be loved too? Who will be there to catch him when he falls?*
Anyway, our first story of the day: Republican Pundit does something silly in the gravitas-laden arena of politics... with a twist!
Initial News Story
The image next to Stewart changes to that of a familiar looking marshmallow bulldog smiling as he shakes a firefighter's hand, with a caption of "CROSSFIRE!.
STEWART: Early last morning, Mr. Pundit announced his plans to not only run for president, but also to run OPENLY for Grand Imperial Dragon of the KKK. Quoth Mr. Pundit:“I feel it's time we had an honest dialogue on race, and while I realize that's going to be uncomfortable for our chairman, and cost us the minority vote, as well every man, woman, and child who likes their racism to come with a built in legal defense, the fact remains that a white sheet without underpants on can't be matched during the summertime. I mean *lifts robe and shakes the material* WHOO-WEE Jesus Christ with spurs, that's some great airflow!" *In the background, you can see three radical Islamic Fundamentalists go out of their way to cross the street, suddenly confused about their sexuality. "See how they fear me?! I'm reclaiming the power that it is the birthright of all white Americans! Sieg Heil motherf*ckers!" ”
— Republican Pundit on presidential candidacy of 2008
The crowd boos emphatically. Stewart starts to speak, but lets them get on with their booing before starting, shaking his head and chuckling to himself.
STEWART: Uh... wow. What do you even say to something like that? Maybe something like... unnecessary punchline?
The audience collectively laughs madly at this coup de grace. Kicking a man while he's down is the one issue that unites both sides of the aisle.
Footage airs of every single other Republican candidate denouncing the guy. This is the most they will do for Civil Rights the entire year.
STEWART: (Begins to sing some obscure song and dance in his seat. Audience laughs merrily at his banter)
STEWART: I think I just sprained/twisted/pulled a muscle in my leg/neck/back/shoulder. (Tries to stretch where it hurt him. Audience is laughing teary eyed at his self-sacrificial attempt to make them laugh)
STEWART: No wait it gets better. To support his campaign, he opened, get this, a CHARITY organization for black people, where for every 20 dollars you donate, you get a severed head of a quote-unquote "Gay, Jew, or Kike". I'm not ma-
He is once again interrupted by the crowd's laughs
STEWART: I'm not making this stuff up, people! This is the first white racist who supports black racism. Man, those wacky politicians, you know? To find out more about this, we sent in Senior Madeupwordologist LUNATIC REPORTER!
Pan to a tied up Reporter swinging before an obvious green screen. This time, it pretends to be what looks like a racial lynching. The crowd cheers madly once again
STEWART: So, if I can get this straight, you've gone and applied for a job at this black-racist supporting charity organization to find out more about it, correct?
REPORTER: That's right, Jon, and let me tell you, this is the most fun I have ever had in my entire life. *He's then hit by a foam club from offscreen.*
The audience chortles over the implicit irony of the situation.
STEWART: Uh... but, Lunatic, isn't hunting, killing, and decapitating a group of people for the purposes of a political campaign, you know, a BAD thing?
REPORTER: No, Jon. See, that's racist. As a white guy, you don't get what I'm getting out of this situation!" *Is hit again*
STEWART: ...It looks like you're being savagely attacked and murdered."
REPORTER: Oh no, Jon, that's only if I lose! You see, this is a game of strength, of muscle, of my ancestors vs. theirs. I'm willing to put myself on the line, because really, this trial by fire is OW! OW! Okay! Forget the politics, it's candy Jon, they filled me up with their delicious candy! They can't have it back!" *Footchokes a Klansman.*
The audience has nearly wetted themselves collectively with laughter by this point.
STEWART: Ohhkay, then, Lunatic. You have good luck with that, then.
REPORTER: I don't need luck, Jon. I'm good.
STEWART: All right, don't go away we have more coming up next!
If you bought this on iTunes you can skip this. Seriously, they're under ten bucks, it's a great deal. Or you can TiVo it and just fastforward past the commercials. Cheaper that way in the short run too. You hate commercials too, don't you?
The spinning logo has vanished: instead it just zooms straight in to Stewart. He has stashed the scroll elsewhere, presumably to chant its dark invocations upon an unsuspecting anti-Semite.
STEWART: Welcome back to the Daily Show. For a new, exciting, caffeine-free look into international security, we go now to this report by Female Journalist.
Pan to any of the following: an ocean, a busy street, or a pub. The name of the report flashes below briefly: "Stupid People Incriminate Themselves, by Female Journalist".
JOURNALIST: For many Americans, the word "Muslim" conjures up images of screaming suicide bombers blowing up kids and women imprisoned in mobile circus tents. It's the face they see on the news every single day, that of President Barack Hussien Obama, reminding them that the War On Terror has been lost. But what of the other faces of Muslims? Those who stand out of the spotlight, those who...*off camera conversation* Okay, it turns out we don't see any. So we're going to talk to white people about Muslims instead.
Pan to Journalist conducting on-the-street interviews with passers-by. The first person is an average guy with a demonic goatee. He should look evil as hell, but the demonic goatee on that awkward apple pie smile instead makes him look like the world's nicest Radio Shack employee.
JOURNALIST: (whispers) So, it's just us ...tell me, precisely, why you hate Muslims so much?
The man looks at her skeptically for a few seconds, then the view pans away before he leaves...
JOURNALIST: "WAIT, SIR, CAN'T YOU MAKE SOMETHING UP?! It's just for television! Sir! Think of it as improv - "
She looks at the camera, and makes a cutting gesture across her throat. Cut to -
JOURNALIST: I'm sorry, just need to ask a quick question, but why do you loathe the very existence of Islam?
WOMAN: Wait, you're the Daily Show, aren't you? Man, I LOVE you guys! Can you hang on a second?" *Calls her friend* "Yeah, you're not going to believe this, but the Daily Show is here, c'mon over, yeah, bring Sara, we're going to be on TV! I can't believe it!"
Man: "I hate ISLAM." *The camera covers him almost instantly.* "Almost as much as I hate Christianity. My ancestors were Byzatinians; where's our justice!?"
JOURNALIST: So this hatred has nothing to do with 9/11?
MAN: "No, they do their job as best they can. I'm just grateful to have the service, you know?"
A kid tugs on her shoulder: "Muslims stole Momma's potroast!" This starts up a near riot as people realize they've all had the same experience.
WOMAN ON PHONE: "You're not going to believe this, but remember that potroast that went missing...? You owe the dog an apology..."
Pan to Journalist walking through an office building, bugging random people
JOURNALIST: My investigative reports weren't turning up anything conclusive, save for a lot of stolen pot roasts, although I wrote that off as just the usual Afghani refugee need for warm homecooking. I decided to ask the local Head of International Security, Swarthy Xenophobe.
This segment has the camera going back and forth between Journalist and Xenophobe. Xenophobe talks over the whole thing, while Journalist studies him intently.
XENOPHOBE: Well, it's really fucking simple, see. If I see a guy who's five six, has a scraggly beard, and a large *makes a motion over his head in a spiral, turbanesque pattern* woowoowoo on his head, I'm gonna fuck him up, straight up.
JOURNALIST: ( In awe of this raw action packed adventure. Truly, this is a real man. ) Um...can you repeat that? *Airs out her bra* It must be getting hot in here. *Looks up hopefully* Do me?
XENOPHOBE: Yeah, lemme just close up the fucking office and we'll get to it.
Journalist nods, in a very businesslike fashion. Cut to Journalist studying in a dark room, hair messed up a bit.
JOURNALIST: Although the interview proved very informative, I still was missing one piece to the puzzle... what, exactly, constituted a woowoowoo? Then, it hit me.
A bottle of wine flies in from off-camera, striking Journalist in the back of the head.
XENOPHOBE: GET ME A FUCKING SANDWICH!
JOURNALIST: Everybody hates Muslims...
Cut to the poster for the movie Coneheads.
JOURNALIST: ...because of Coneheads. (She's bleeding from where the bottle struck her. Is she okay?)
Cut back to Xenophobe's office.
XENOPHOBE: What the fuck are you talking about? I'm not talking about fucking Coneheads, I'm talking about a woowoowoo! *does the motion again*
JOURNALIST: But that's precisely it! The woowoowoo is the iconic cone of a Conehead, and using their bizarre alien technology, they have instilled a paranoid fear in the American populace of Islam for some inscrutable reason.
XENOPHOBE: Fuck, why do I always get the crazy ones?
Pan back to the studio: Stewart is evidently stoned off his ass as he stares at the now-active camera.
STEWART: Wow. I can't believe we actually left so much of the original article in here for you to read. Coneheads? We're so fucked. I can kiss that front page goodbye. *He's toying with a gun. He puts it in his mouth. Pulls the trigger. Too bad it's only a child's toy left by one of the staff. "Pssh." He says whistfully, imaging the bullet taking his head off.* "Pssh.. Huh? *Notices red light on camera* We're back? Oh, right, the show, hang on... FEMALE JOURNALIST, everybody!
The camera goes back over the audience: all of them are applauding, although in a somewhat erratic fashion while they wait for the high to end.
Another commercial break
Ah, to hell with this. I'll just fast forward to the end. Unlike some people, I Tivoed this whole thing.
Pan back to the studio. The drugs have been hidden and cleaned up, as have the bodies from the impromptu meth lab explosion.
STEWART: Hey everyone, welcome back to the Daily Show. Our previous guest is dead, the victim of a guerilla attack by reactionist free market forces led by Joseph Schumpeter, also dead. The result, as anyone who's studied his teachings can tell you, is the destruction of Wall Street. It's burning. As we speak, China is sending in troops to collect what we owe them. Our replacement guest tonight, counter insurgency free market leader, and noted neo Objectivist author, has just been appointed to Obama's new presidential advisory board. He's here to tell us why we shouldn't panic- let's give him a big round of applause, ladies and gentlemen, here he is - IMPORTANT B LIST POLITICAL CELEBRITY!
CELEBRITY: "It's good to be here, and be given a chance to explain my very important economic policy that will affect the lives of each and everyone here. You know C-Span wouldn't let me do it. How much time do we have?"
STEWART: "Eight minutes."
CELEBRITY::"Oh. In that case, my plan involves spending lots of money to keep us out of Great Depression Land."
STEWART:"If I may say so sir, that sounds like a game for 4 year olds. Where are we getting the money from? How are we going to pay it back? Isn't this going to hasten the devaluation of our currency in the eyes of the world, and by extention, ourselves? What happens if our currency is no longer the default universal currency the next time we approach "Great Depression Land"? The euro - "
CELEBRITY:" All very good questions, but if I was going to answer them, I wouldn't be here, I would be on CSpan. I still can't believe the bastards don't appreciate my brilliance... You've only got 5 minutes left, don't waste it."
STEWART:( realizes he might not be able to book future VERY IMPORTANT CELEBRITIES. "I apologize."
CELEBRITY:"Prove it. Give me a softball."
STEWART:"Okay, how's this? We often hear about the American people losing faith with the president. With this president, I get the opposite vibe. He's so smart...do you ever get the feeling he's losing faith with the American people?"
CELEBRITY:"Yes, Jon, yes he has. Anything else?"
STEWART:"May I say that I appreciate you sitting here. With me. I mean, I'm just a comedian, but important people like you still talk to me. It's all that keeps me alive, you know. I can pretend I'm making a difference in the world."
CELEBRITY:"HAHAHA! Well, being on your show helps us too. I've got a meeting I've got to attend to.We're taking questions from Fortune 500 companies about how we can more readily serve the financial sector. (whispers) We're trying to teach them not to fear Democrats in power."
STEWART: Well, that's a worthy cause if anything is. So, one last question which I'm sure a lot of people here are anxious to know... boxers or briefs?
The audience whistles and catcalls for a bit.
CELEBRITY: You'll just have to find that out in my new Comedy Drama Involving Personal Growth...
STEWART: A private showing that's no doubt going to be buried in newspapers this weekend. IMPORTANT CELEBRITY, everyone!
The camera zooms away slightly, showing Celebrity and Stewart still talking, presumably trash-talking.
CELEBRITY:'So you're going to be there, aren't you?"
STEWART:"Oh sure, Viacom can't afford to miss out. We know the other media empires talk about us when we're not in the room."
One last commercial break
JINGLE: Let's all go to the lobby
Let's all go to the lobby
Let's all go to the lobby
And buy a bloody TiVo already
The end of the show
The audience tries to cheer here, but between the inhalants and the already strenuous cheering they did before, can do little more than muster a sort of echoing noise.
STEWART: Hi everybody welcome back before we go, we're going to check in with our good friend Stephen Colbert at the Colbert Report STEPHEN!
The camera splits between Stewart and Colbert, who looks up from his own counterspell to Stewart's incantation
COLBERT: Jon, those were some pret-ty harsh comments about Republican Pundit you did early in the show.
STEWART: I didn't know you supported his charity.
COLBERT: Jon, it's not that I support his charity, it's that I support Pundit. Pundit has been a unique figure in my life: father, uncle, priest, stranger with candy, Amy Sedaris: he has been all of these things and more to me, so regardless of my beliefs on the matter (and they are all extremely right-wing, let me tell you), I support Pundit through all of his endeavors.
STEWART: That sounds great. You have a good show coming up right after The Daily Show, all right?
COLBERT: Witty one-liner!
STEWART: Okay, that's it our show for today. Here it is, your Moment of Zen.