If you've never watched an episode of The Daily Show, you are missing out. Jon Stewart is an incredibly funny, witty broadcaster. He has very intriguing guests on his show, and isn't afraid to ask them tough questions. (If you don't believe me, just get up to speed on the Jim Cramer interviews). He's also not afraid to poke fun at the stupid things going on in the world. If this is where your cynical side comes out ("He's such a Liberal and all he does is make fun of Bush") - you're wrong. He is equally critical of anything and everything, if the situation calls for it. Still don't believe me? Watch this clip. It's well worth 5 minutes of your time.
The initial motivation behind writing this post came after reading an interview he did with Sojourner's Magazine. The transcript can be found here. Here are some of my favorite excerpts from that interview:
"One of the things that’s very important to everybody here is to write jokes about the subjects you actually care about, because it makes going to work worthwhile....there are very strong emotions that fuel the comedy for us, and that’s what makes it exciting for us—and hopefully makes it interesting for the audience."
"Religion makes sense to me. I have trouble with dogma more than I have trouble with religion. I think the best thing religion does is give people a sense of place, purpose, and compassion. My quibble with it is when it’s described as the only way to have those things instilled. You can be moral and not be religious, you can be compassionate, you can be empathetic—you can have all those wonderful qualities. When it begins to be judged as purely based on religion, then you’re suggesting a world where Star Jones goes to heaven but Gandhi doesn’t."
"Like anything else that’s that powerful—that is touching that deep into the epicenter of the human psyche and our fears, it can be misused. I’m probably much more responsive in a bad way to dogma and to extremism than to religion. When people say things like, “I found God and that helped me stop drinking,” I say, “Great! More power to you. Just know that some people stop drinking without it.” It’s when it gets into the realm of “This is the only way to salvation”—that’s when I think, “Okay, now we’re getting into a problem.”"
All in all I think Jon Stewart is a very insightful, intelligent person who has found a way to get me interested in politics, and national and world-wide issues. If you can educate me and make me laugh at the same time, then you're pretty kick-ass. Just sayin'.