Jon Stewart: Sanity, Sarcasm, And The Safety of the Peanut Gallery

He seems to be equal parts Will Rogers and Johnny Carson, and if there were any questions about the pop culture influence of Jon Stewart and “The Daily Show” … well, they were answered this week with a visit from the leader of the free world.

It was almost surreal, President Barack Obama taken to the hipster woodshed by one of his most ardent supporters.  Stewart is no sycophant, he’s clearly irked by what he considers fundamental failures by the administration, and the president.  Strange how the leader often compared to a college professor .. came off  looking like a stammering student.  Amazing.

The Obama/Stewart encounter was the lead story on ABC’s World News on Thursday night … and you know what, rightly so.  It pretty much defined the mood of the current election cycle: promises of change against a backdrop of lowered expectations.  Stewart challenged Mr. Obama, calling the administration “timid” in the wake of its bold campaign agenda.  The President’s response, “Yes we can … but” fell pretty flat.  It was almost like he was pleading, can’t you see how hard we’re trying?! I half expected Stewart to say in his best Yoda voice, “Do or do not … there is no try.”

This weekend Stewart and his Comedy Central counterpart Stephen Colbert will hold dueling rallies on the Washington Mall.  Stewart’s is The Rally To Restore Sanity, Colbert’s The March To Restore Fear … if the weather holds it should be a good time for college kids and the smarty pants set.  I confess, I thoroughly enjoy Stewart and Colbert, but I also realize that poking fun at politicians is a heck of a lot easier than being one.  Stewart and Colbert hold their rightful place in the media peanut gallery, but I don’t see them suiting up for the Washington arena.

Does Al Franken look like he’s having any fun?!


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