The Barack Obama/Jon Stewart One-Sided Bromance
Posted by KingShamus on February 23, 2012
Skip to about 6:00 to see Daily Show Stewie figure out that, darn it, Barry just isn’t that into him.
But forget Stewart’s kvetching for a tick.
One wonders what the hell the audience is laughing at here. What’s really funny about this bit? “Haha, the President finds us tedious and stupid! What a knee-slapper!”
Its impossible to know for certain, but David Letterman’s audience isn’t likely to be overly conservative. Over the last decade or so, Letterman has tried his damnedest to alienate anyone to the right of Nancy Pelosi. At this point, the folks who make up the crowd at a Letterman Show taping are either apolitical low-information independents or pro-clap humor leftists who couldn’t get seats to The Colbert Report. The people yukking it up at Stewart’s gags are by and large Obama supporters. Do they hate themselves?
Beyond the audience’s self-loathing, Jon Stewart doesn’t come off all that well either. Homeboy might’ve been a comedian back in the day, but his nebbish self-deprecation act is pretty much completely played out. Its one thing to work the ‘I-hate-myself’ bits when you’re a struggling comic doing the warm-up gig at a dive club in Duluth. When you’re a prominent well-paid member of the Viacom Corporation, it’s hard to keep selling the same jokes you’ve been using since the Clinton Administration.
Speaking of jokes, besides a few throwaway lines here and there, where was Stewart’s mad comedy skillz? Jonnie’s adoring fans at MSNBC and the New York Times insist that he’s a comic genius. Yet here is Stewart riffing on the some of the most clichéd material imaginable. Unless you think ‘Say, ever notice how Jewish people aren’t known for their athletic prowess’ jokes are cutting edge. It’s amazing how much sharper Stewart is when he’s got his raft of Daily Show writers and editors setting him up. Without that crutch, Stewart is little more than a hammy Borscht Belt throwback.
The wounded puppy dog undertone in Stewart’s joke is fairly pathetic too. It has the stench of a man who realizes that his political idol views him as little more than a means to an end. Stewart probably didn’t think the Age of Obama wasn’t gonna end up this way. After 2008 everybody was supposed to head on out to the dance floor and get with the socialist slide, with Stewart as the line-dance leader. The only issue left to debate was just how fast America was going to hurdle towards the warm bosom of the nanny-state.
Instead the Tea Party sprang up and shit the punchbowl with all their buzzkill talk about entitlement reform, stopping runaway spending and embracing the Tenth Amendment. Then the 2010 midterms rolled around and the reich-wing raaaaacist GOPers went and ruined what was supposed to be Stewart’s Democrat-saving rally by actually winning the House. Now its 2012 and Stewart’s BFF isn’t exactly cruising to a 45 state landslide.
Worse, Jon Stewart has been reduced to being just another grunt in the President’s palace guard. That’s not awesome. Who the hell wants to be the ideological equivalent of an end-table in the Barack Enablers Club? Seems like Stewart is starting to realize just who is the very junior partner in his relationship with President Obama.