Thursday, August 6, 2015

Farewell to Jon Stewart on The Daily Show – Yet Another Show That I Never Watched

First appeared on Blogcritics.

stewart2 As much of the free world gets set to mourn Jon Stewart’s departure from The Daily Show, I can only sit back and wish him well with no idea what all the fuss is all about. I have seen Stewart on other shows, but I have never watched his show. This is not an isolated case, for I have never seen many of the “great shows” other people talk about and then mourn as they leave the airwaves.

So, while people are discussing Stewart’s impact on TV and on his presenting the best reporting of “the news” (which seems strange because I thought he was a comedian), I can only shake my head and wonder why I never watched the program for 16 years. The answer has to do with scheduling and my proclivity to limit TV viewing to about one or two hours a day.

The truth is that TV shows have to get on my radar and then I must feel motivated enough to sit down and actually invest time to watch them. I know, we are all busy people, but to put in thirty minutes or an hour doing anything means that it has to be truly worth it to me, and a TV series is not a one-time event – it requires me to come back again and again if I get hooked. Of course, I have to be motivated to give the show a chance, and that has to do more with my own interests.

Oftentimes I have watched the first episode of a series and then jumped ship. For example, I had been really sucked into AMC shows such as Breaking Bad and The Walking Dead from their first episodes, but I couldn’t watch more than one episode of AMC’s other offerings such as Hell on Wheels, Halt and Catch Fire, or Humans. I gave each sixty minutes of my time and realized that they were not for me.

The whole process is a bit painful, sort of like a bad first date that you wish could end as the appetizers arrive on the table. Being a gentleman, I always endured as graciously as possible through dessert and then took the young lady home as promptly as the situation would allow. Thankfully, I have no such limitations while sitting at home watching TV, and the remote control is the easiest way out of misery – I think I watched Halt and Catch Fire for about fifteen minutes before switching channels.

Getting back to our friend Jon Stewart, I only know about the end of his run on The Daily Show from other sources. From what I hear, he is the greatest thing since sliced bread, funnier than everyone from Jimmy Kimmel to Jimmy Fallon, and is like the country’s most esteemed newsperson since Walter Cronkite. If those who have watched the show have seen him walk on water, please let me know.

stewart4It has also been said that his show has spawned other “great” personalities, most notably Steve Carell, Ed Helms, and Stephen Colbert. Yes, I am at a disadvantage because I never saw their work on his show, but that doesn’t make me feel bad – I never saw their work on their own shows either.

While I have seen Steve Carell in some films like Get Smart and The Forty Year Old Virgin, I never watched one episode of The Office. This is another series I completely missed. I recall people mourning its loss as well, and during those conversations I just nodded my head and acted as if I had similar angst when I had absolutely no idea why they were crying. I know Ed Helms also appeared on The Office, but I am only aware of him from seeing The Hangover and its sequels.

stewart3As for Stephen Colbert, I understand that he is taking over for David Letterman on The Late Show, and even read a story about how the great Rupert Jee of Hello Deli has created a sandwich in Colbert’s honor, but that doesn’t mean much to me. I know nothing about Colbert – except that I saw him doing those “nut” commercials – but I will give him my usual attention and watch his first episode; after that, who knows if I will ever tune in again.

For now I join all those who bid Jon Stewart a fond farewell as he exits The Daily Show. Alas, I have never seen an episode and have no intention of watching the last one; however, Jon shouldn’t feel bad. The Daily Show joins a long list of other shows that I have heard about and never saw. If nothing else, he is in good company – at least from what I hear.

  Photo credits: salon, variety, latimes, wikipedia 

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