Stewart and Colbert, unscripted

So The Daily Show and The Colbert Report have returned to TV — without writers (due to the Writers’ Guild of America strike). I watched both shows on the Web this evening.

Stewart:  funny even without writers.
Colbert:  not so much.

The crossover from The Daily Show to the Colbert Report was Colbert’s best moment. After that, I thought he struggled even to maintain his TV persona.

Stewart & Colbert; thumbs up, thumbs down

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. JewishAtheist
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 01:55:40

    Funny, I thought Colbert was better. Stewart looked lost sometimes.


  2. nebcanuck
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 10:24:25

    Do they not count as writers? Are they crossing the line to come back to the station, or were they exempt from the strike in the first place?


  3. JewishAtheist
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 15:38:55

    The Daily Show is being picketed, so the union at least thinks Stewart is doing something wrong. I don’t know enough about the situation to be sure, but I’m disappointed in Stewart and Colbert for not at least explaining carefully why they’re back at work. Colbert, in character, said it’s because he has never supported unions. The problem is, I can’t tell the difference between his character and his actuality here.


  4. Stephen
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 17:49:20

    • nebcanuck:
    I think writers, by definition, are people who don’t appear onscreen. Colbert and Stewart do write some of their own material, but their job title would be something other than “writer”.

    • JA:
    I was a little disappointed in Sullivan, too, for agreeing to appear on the show. The only thing I can say in his favour is that his goal was to promote Obama’s campaign, so I’m happy to see him do that.

    And actually I’m somewhat sympathetic to Colbert and Stewart. Their career is about having their face out there in the public eye. After two and a half months, with Letterman starting up again — at some point you have to think about your own interests.

    But, from the union’s perspective, it sucks. They can’t appreciate Colbert and Stewart bailing out management by getting the show back on the air.


  5. nebcanuck
    Jan 09, 2008 @ 22:53:37

    If the show is being picketed, it makes sense to assume that they are not on the same page. But having watched the first Daily Show back on the air, I wondered for a bit if Stewart hadn’t made a behind-the-scenes agreement with the union to push their case to the public. He was pretty heavy on cracking jokes at the owners, and I figured perhaps he had decided he could do more good on the air than off of it. One of the things that has to hurt the union’s case is that the news on it is simply nonexistent! When I heard that the shows were back on, I assumed that the strike had ended, when this was entirely untrue!

    Still, it’d be hard to see that logic, since unions are based on working together, not on being the sole voice. Pity that the situation happened at all — although, as you said, it’d be hard not to make a similar decision in their case!


  6. D
    Jan 12, 2008 @ 21:41:22

    Colbert was way funnier than Stewart this past week without the writers. His interview with Huckabee alone got more laughs from the audience than Stewart got all week.


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