“One anchor, five correspondents, zero credibility.” Now that’s a tagline that speaks to me.
“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” celebrated its 10th anniversary this week. What? You’ve never watched “The Daily Show?” You don’t know what you’re missing. Being the “One News Organization with No Credibility to Lose” has worked well for this fake news show, which takes political players, Hollywood actors, major news stories as well as funny minor ones and gives it that special “Daily Show” satirical touch.
“The Daily Show” has slogged on for 10 years with the very funny Jon Stewart at its helm, and a look at this week’s guests explains its rooted popularity with those of us tired of CNN and Fox News’s spin: Attorney General John Ashcroft, comedian and author Amy Sedaris, and actor Kirsten Dunst all sat in the show’s “hot seat” this week.
Recent episodes also saw Pakistan’s President Pervez Musharraf subject himself to Stewart’s spot-on, hilarious and squirmingly uncomfortable questions. No one and no story–with the war in Iraq and any aspect of George W. Bush’s presidency as favorite fodder–is spared on this show. Politics, religion, Middle America, terrorism, Muslims, Christians, Jews, and Hollywood starlets all get deftly skewered. If you can’t laugh at this, then you don’t have a healthy sense of humor.
Take Wednesday night’s bit, when new correspondent Rob Riggle (who quickly needs to get out of his Steve Carell mode and find his own groove) traveled to Arcata, California, to interview Tom Kubbany, a regular ole American who happenes to share the middle name of Hassan with the former Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein’s second son. Kubbany discovered he was tagged as being the “son of Saddam” on his credit report when he his home loan application was rejected.
But how did “son of Saddam Hussein” get on Kubbany’s credit report? Riggle turned to Shirin Sinnar, a member of the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (and a friend of mine), who told him that credit bureaus are getting names from the U.S. Treasury Watch list, names of people who are in no way terrorists.
Only “The Daily Show” could take an obscure story like this and run with it. Why should you care about Kubbany? Because it’s a funny and ridiculous story that speaks volumes about a serious subject like national security. It’s vintage “Daily Show.”
This show is a total joke, and yet it isn’t. Ten years and numerous Peabody Awards and Emmy wins later, it’s the show that keeps remind us that life’s better when we laugh at ourselves.