What’s Wrong With The Daily Show? (from 2013)
(Originally appeared as a guest blog on the Marc Kayne website on 7/16/2013. It was very prophetic as The Daily Show with Trevor Noah is the singularly least funny show on Comedy Central. Ever. Now we see the problem with making humor PC. Weaponize comedy, limit free speech and make certain topics taboo, and eventually cities burn. I feel very vindicated.)
You have to wonder what George Carlin would make of the new direction “comedy” is taking. Nowhere is this new product more glaringly on display than weeknights on the Comedy Channel in the 1-2 punch that is The Daily Show and The Colbert Report.
Everything that is wrong with humor boiled down to one hour.
I know Bill Hicks would agree with me when I say comedy is supposed to be corrosive to institutions. The laugh comes when you shine a light on something, not attempt to cover it up. John Stewart (whether he’s at the desk or not) has become nothing more than a shill for the Democratic party. Relentlessly attacking their perceived enemies, marginalizing their scandals and trying to make Obama and the rest of the gang appear as anything but the lying scumbags they are.
He is using humor the same way that Pat Robertson and Rick Warren would if it were physically possible for them to be funny.
Whether it’s Bill Maher on the left or Dennis Miller on the right, somehow these comedians now think they are intellectuals because they managed to have a room full of people clap at anything that comes out of their empty heads. When a comedian goes from mocking things to believing that they have some answers there is no going back. I would as soon look for political insights from the guy who collects the shopping carts down at the local supermarket.
I think John Stewart needs to sit in a room and watch Death To Smoochie again.
You’re not a bright man John, you just play one on TV.
There is no denying that The Daily Show and The Colbert Report have the best writers in the game, but at some point they have to realize that if they are taking a side in politics, whichever side that might be, than they are on the wrong side.
In Washington they are all crooks. All of them. There is no side to be on and as comedians they should be the first to recognize that if they are not impartial then they have left the reservation.
Look at the bleating sheep that make up their audiences now. It’s terrifying to watch them. Imagine a Greek chorus that walks into the studio with their thumbs already down. Watching John and Stephen throwing them the same safe platitudes every night is hugely disappointing. If ever a group of people was ripe for being torn apart it’s these path-of-least-resistance morons.
I can only imagine, let’s be fair and admit I have no idea, how intoxicating the Kool-aid is, but I implore these shows not to drink it. Once a comedian chooses a side they become nothing more than a pawn. The men and women at The Daily Show should be ashamed of themselves. Once you think you know what the hell is up you are doomed. Comedians need to be equal parts brave and stupid. They can’t worry about consequence or even the state of the world. Their job is to attack the status quo. Provoke. Offend.
Everyone, not just those that they disagree with.
And they can’t believe that they are the smartest person in the room. Ever. The smug, self-satisfied look that now seems seared onto the face of John Stewart is troubling. What was it the Joker said … you either die young or live long enough to see yourself become the bad guy? Or, even worse, a sacred cow. It is no coincidence, by the way, that his name happens to be The Joker. I can’t help but feel that these writers have taken the original spirit of the program and turned it into a grotesque parody of itself.
They went from fighting the power to becoming the power. The Ministry of Humor. Belittling anyone who disagrees with their agenda. The fool has picked up the crown and found it to his liking.
And because of that I’m forced to say the unpopular thing. I’m forced to stand against the show that everybody loves. To hoist the trembling fist in the direction of Comedy Central and say …
Death To Smoochie!
Death To Smoochie!