How the Fake Newsman Won Over America
This micro-documentary installment of the Bloomberg Game Changers series chronicles the early life and ongoing career growth of comedian and Daily Show host Jon Stewart and how he rose from being an alternative comic to one of the most respected newscasters of our time. Interviews with his friends, co-workers and journalists at the top of their fields highlight Stewart's passion and sincerity, which they credit for his ability to earn the trust of Daily Show viewers and audiences worldwide, despite the show's status as satire and the fact that Stewart himself is not technically a journalist.
Getting his start on the New York stand-up scene, Stewart went from emcee of the Comedy Cellar to co-host of comedic talk show Short Attention Span Theater, ultimately gaining his own short-lived late night vehicle, The Jon Stewart Show on MTV. During this time he continued to build connections throughout the comedy world with guest spots on several sitcoms, including the critically acclaimed The Larry Sanders Show. He often substituted for Tom Snyder of The Late Late Show and advanced to full-time hosting duties by replacing Craig Kilborn of the original Daily Show, a move that proved to be the defining moment of Stewart's career.
Coming to the show with a deep personal interest in politics and media and an ingrained sense of righteousness towards the overwhelming hypocrisies on display in both realms, Stewart's wry wit and sarcasm resonated with audiences who were hungry for relevant, reliable news delivered with a healthy dose of humor to balance their sense of frustration and outrage over current events.
Unlike most comedic talk shows, Stewart seeks out guests he deems important regardless of their pop culture or celebrity status, making the Daily Show a critical stop for politicians, political watchdogs and activists in addition to the standard mainstream media guests. Emphasizing the role of the 2000 presidential election in establishing Stewart as a political commentator who further solidified himself as a force to be reckoned during a distinctly non-comedic appearance on CNN's Crossfire, this film provides a thorough overview of Stewart's career peaks and how he his intellect and charm have made him one of the most trusted voices in American news.