kottke.org posts about The Daily Show

Exercises in unnecessary censorshipAug 28 2013

Building on yesterday's "The dirty BLEEP," here are a few more great moments in the artful use of censorship (or its illusion):

  • Neven Mrgan and James Moore have an iOS game called "Blackbar" that involves playful use of blacked-out text. (If my last name were missing an expected vowel, I'd be interested in intentional omissions too.) It's described as "serious," "artsy," and "texty," all adjectives I hope I will one day earn.
  • Jimmy Kimmel has gotten a lot of mileage out of "Unnecessary Censorship," a recurring sketch that uses bleeps and blurs for comedic effect. A proprietor of a popular internet site named J--n K----e confided in me this week that "Kimmel's... skit always makes me laugh until I pee my pants," a pretty stirring endorsement if I've ever heard one.

Also, besides using the appearance of censorship to remix existing text, audio, and video like "Unnecessary Censorship" does or fully scripting the bleep ahead of time like Arrested Development or South Park do, there's been a real rise in a mode that's in between, something that's deliberate but has the feel of being off-the-cuff. This is probably best exemplified by The Daily Show and The Colbert Report. Check out Ashton Kutcher's "surprise" experience on Colbert:

Here the tension isn't just between what you've heard and what you know was said, but also between the live experience and that of broadcast. It used to be that if you heard a bleep of an event that was recorded live, someone had gone off the rails, like Madonna on the David Letterman show.

Now, TV mostly just lets anything and everything rip for the people in the room, knowing it will amp up the energy in the crowd, but can be bleeped for broadcast later. Then sometimes (like with The Daily Show or Chappelle's Show on DVD or Netflix), you can catch the uncensored cut at home.

So we get the live, the censored, and the edited-but-encensored experiences, and we're always mentally bouncing between all three. We know it's not really spontaneous, but knowing is part of what lets us in on the joke, even though we can't be in the room.

Jon Stewart in profileSep 23 2010

From New York magazine a couple of weeks ago, a profile of serious funnyman Jon Stewart.

Stewart made himself into the leading critic and satirist of the media-political complex, starting with "Indecision 2000," The Daily Show's parody of that year's presidential campaign. His comedy is counterprogramming-postmodern entertainment but with a political purpose. As truth has been overrun by truthiness and facts trampled by lies, he and The Daily Show have become an invaluable corrective-he's Cronkite, the most trusted man in America, although in keeping with the fragmented culture, he's trusted by many fewer people, about 1.8 million viewers each night. Years ago, Stewart lost out to Conan O'Brien and Jimmy Kimmel for late-night network jobs, but the shifting media fortunes have made him the long-run winner, with vastly more job security and cultural influence than his conventional talk-show competitors-and most conventional journalists.

Holy crap, the ottoman humping video madeMay 17 2007

Holy crap, the ottoman humping video made it on to The Daily Show. (via waxy)

Creators vs. lawyersJan 30 2007

Here's a fun rumor. I heard that the staff of the Daily Show and Colbert Report upload the shows to YouTube as soon as they can after the shows air and then the next day, lawyers from Comedy Central hit YouTube with takedown requests for the uploaded shows. Which makes total sense...sort of. The people making the shows want them to be seen while the lawyers want to ensure that people are paying to see them. It's a crazy media world we live in.

Bill Clinton on the Daily Show.Sep 21 2006

Bill Clinton on the Daily Show.

Good new series of ads for Apple; "May 02 2006

Good new series of ads for Apple; "Get a Mac". I'm pretty sure the chap playing the PC is John Hodgman (author, Daily Show correspondent, This American Life commentator, former literary agent, monthly readings holder, hobo expert). Can anyone confirm? (via df)

Update: According to MacRumors, the Mac is played by Justin Long.

Update #2: Yep, seems to be Hodgman.

I must be living in a caveSep 17 2005

I must be living in a cave because I hadn't really heard of the Daily Show's America the Book (more here) before today's presentation by Paula Scher and Ben Karlin.

Tags related to The Daily Show:
TV books The Colbert Report video

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