Yes, that’s right, Jon Stewart is all grown up.
The news that Jon Stewart and Steven Colbert will stage their own satirical rallies at the National Mall in Washington D.C. on October 30 to countermand—or erase the memory of—the one held by Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin just a few weeks ago, is a fascinating twist in American politics and media.
Long trumpeting themselves as comedians only, Comedy Central’s (and perhaps the country’s) two funniest funnymen are finally taking themselves seriously.
Just the other day, TheWrap.com’s Dylan Stableford reported on the release of the biennial news consumption survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, highlighting the following finding: In terms of age, the “Colbert Report” (80%), “Daily Show” (74%) and New York Times (67%) have the biggest percentage of viewers and readers in the coveted 18-49-year-old demographic (Fox News’ Bill O’Reilly (35%) and Sean Hannity (33%) have the smallest—tear, tear).
Stewart, for all his humor and lunacy, has become a check-and-balance voice not only for the U.S. government but for the entire American media. On a light day, Stewart might point out hypocrisies stemming from news coverage on MSNBC, CNN, and his favorite source of folly, Fox News.
On his show last night, he touted his upcoming rally as “a clarion call for rationality”—“a million moderate march, where we take to the streets to send a message to our leaders and our national media that says, ‘We are here! We ... are only here until 6 though, because we have a sitter,’” he joked.
Being insanely ironic himself, Stewart knows crazy when he sees it. And unlike most media outlets today, he isn’t afraid to call it like he sees it. Of course, it helps not having powerful corporate interests determine your politics, but that’s what makes Stewart so good: he is truly an independent voice. And more than ten years in (Stewart took over “Daily Show” duties from Craig Kilborn in 1999), he has become one of the most honest and important voices in American discourse. Funny, serious, newsy or otherwise, you won’t find a more intelligent American (Jewish) commentator with the verve and wit to captivate audiences young and old.
I suggest finding your spot on the lawn.