THE DAILY SHOW WITH JON STEWART: INDECISION 2004 (DVD) Image

I hate newscasters who look so serious that even the cute stories at 11:33 p.m. (just before Leno) don’t elicit a smirk from them. Granted the news is important, but whether these personalities actually have personality is still unknown. Secondly, the pundits. A lot of people deal with enough yelling in their own homes. Like some presidential candidates, they don’t always get to the heart of the issue before being sidetracked by the sound of their own rising voices. It must be an aphrodisiac. Give me a news show where “anchors” cut through the bullcrap of the day-to-day workings of the news. Politicos, the average dope, and religious extremists should not be exempt. Hence, “The Daily Show”, which gives the news the kick in the a*s that’s required. No newscasters giving inane comments on various happenings around the country or stating the obvious which is so easily stated already by correspondents that were actually on the scene! I’m still tuned into the L.A. newscasters, especially since Hal Fishman’s deadpan commentaries are just as funny as Stephen Colbert looking strangely at Jon Stewart.

What better way then to give “The Daily Show” the ultimate attention besides the actual broadcasts by a DVD set presenting “Indecision 2004”. Kerry. Bush. Kucinich. Wesley Clark. Al Sharpton. And of course Howard Dean since he’s got that faux serious look that makes him so gosh darn amusing. “The Daily Show” covered the Democratic National Convention which didn’t have much to say at all, but featured some horrifying dancing by women loaded with money and other women who would most likely take off their shirt for little money. This was America’s future? This was how to get issues off the ground that mattered to the American people? Fortunately, in that particular episode, the first one of the Convention, Stewart deflates it when, after a shot of Janet Reno just standing there, exclaims, “Janet Reno dances for no man!” Leave it also up to Stewart’s band of correspondents. Samantha Bee, Steve Carell (on the “Prelude to a Recount” special), Stephen Colbert, Rob Corddry and Ed Helms have their own brands of comedy to marvel at. Corddry, during the Democratic National Convention, has a report in which he went to all his old hometown haunts in Boston, eventually going batty over past memories. Colbert gets what is basically close to a rock star’s welcome when he’s introduced by Stewart. And Samantha Bee calls for more expensive shrimp and champagne at the Republican National Convention. It gets even better.

This is exactly that type of comedic show where each episode has its own classic moments. These DVDs will likely be burned to death in your player, causing you to go out and buy more copies, possibly storing some in your closet as spares. Who could ignore Colbert pre-taping reports on the precept that the DNC will be so predictable that there’s no need to be there? One moment in “Prelude to a Recount” finds Corddry playing “Halo” on the monitor reserved for the electoral map, shouting, “Where’s your alien plasma guns now, bitch?” It’s in the timing and it’s also coated in the fact that these men and woman have faces for comedy. Stewart has it, Colbert has it, everyone has it. They can contort, look shocked, and time themselves at just the right moments.

A lot of their reports make a hell of a lot of sense to the tune of you finding yourself asking (those with minds open enough), “Why the hell can’t these politicians and human lemmings understand the simply underlying facts of why what they’re doing doesn’t work?” Bee interviews the head of “Rock the Vote”, pulling out a list to rattle off the reasons why “Rock the Vote” isn’t bringing in as many voters as it would like. The list contains Hootie and the Blowfish, Coolio, and Donnie Osmond. Class. Lots of great names for the future voting (or not) youth. The extras on this set are outstanding also. A “Schoolhouse Rock” parody about mid-term elections is dead on, while each correspondent has their own section for reports such as “Minority Retort” where Stephen Colbert rounds up a Jew, a Native American, an Indian, a lesbian, an environmentalist, a black guy, a hippie, and a few others, and puts them in a room to discuss with them their pressing issues, which pricelessly frustrates Colbert who thanks every kind of God that the RNC is coming up, which will have no words from any of these minorities.

Think of any DVDs or multi-disc sets which give you herniated guffaws constantly and then add this one. Now all that needs to be done is to release the show properly, season-by-season, though only for the Stewart years. Craig Kilborn? Who remembers his time anyway?

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