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The Daily Show with Jon Stewart vs. Red Eye with… some other guy

November 13, 2011
English: President Barack Obama tapes an inter...

President Obama on The Daily Show. President Obama will never go on Red Eye. You be the judge. Image via Wikipedia

The upcoming presidential election is going to be intense.  Republican candidates have been debating way too many times for far too long, and the Democrat candidate has been campaigning nonstop since 2006.  With the next wave of political proliferation about to be pushed upon us, we dysfunctional literates need some relief, some levity.  And for that, we turn to shows like Red Eye and The Daily Show

The Daily Show is a political humor program on Comedy Central, a comedy network that really isn’t funny very often.  Red Eye is a political humor program on Fox News, a news channel that covers a lot more opinion than news. 

A lot of people claim to watch The Daily Show, but I’m not sure they do because when I ask them specific details, they can only talk about clips they saw on the internet.  Nobody that I know watches Red Eye or has even heard of it (though a couple people have mentioned with disgust a really horrible movie called Red Eye, so maybe that’s why they don’t watch the show).  When I mention Red Eye to people who watch Fox News, they look at me strangely, and then suddenly exclaim, “Oh, you mean THAT show.” 


Well, part of literacy is staying informed.  And supposedly a high percentage of young people (I didn’t research the ages and percentages of these ages because I don’t do research) get their news from comedy shows such as (and maybe only from) The Daily Show

As a dysfunctional literate (and a former college student, one who got a job right after college), I’m concerned by this.  When I was a college student, I got my news from a newspaper (whippersnappers, please don’t make me explain what a newspaper is).  Then, when I watched Johnny Carson (whippersnappers, don’t make me explain who Johnny Carson is) or a very young David Letterman (whippersnappers, don’t make me… aw, never mind), I understood the references that the comedians made.  Even at that age, I never would have thought of getting my news from a fake news program.  Then again, I knew some college students back then who would have, but they were the kind that didn’t get jobs after they graduated. 

If you’re going to be misinformed by watching fake news, at least watch the best show that does it. 


Humor is subjective, so there’s no fair and balanced way (an unfortunate choice of words) to measure it.  Therefore, we have to find more concrete ways to determine which show is better. 


Performers need an audience, so I don’t have a problem with a live studio audience.  I have a problem with the obnoxious live studio audience.  Oprah’s obnoxious audience cheers (or cheered) too much to make her sound more profound than she really is.  Ellen’s claps too much to make her look like a better dancer than she really is.  Judge Judy’s audience giggles too much to make Judge Judy sound wiser than she really is (Yeah, I’m taking on the judge.  You’re in my court room now!).  And The Daily Show’s obnoxious audience laughs too much to make Jon Stewart seem funnier than he really is. 

Whether you think Red Eye is funny or not, at least it doesn’t use a laugh track or a studio audience.  When something is funny, it’s funny.  And when the humor is flat, the host or the other guests can pile on whoever made the lame joke.  And that’s pretty funny. 

The Daily Show has an obnoxious studio audience.  Red Eye does not have a studio audience. 


On The Daily Show, Jon Stewart does a fake news monologue, maybe has a couple skits, and then does an interview.  On Red Eye, five people sit (well, four sit and one stands) around a table and talk about current events.  Then halfway through the show, another guy corrects everybody else’s mistakes (some of the mistakes are intentional).  Sometimes there’s an interview or a man on the street segment. 

The format favors Red Eye.  When Jon Stewart is (or his comedy writers are) having an off night, The Daily Show has an off night.  When Greg Gutfeld (the host of Red Eye… I guess I should mention that) has an off night (some would say every night is an off night), he has three guests and two co-hosts who can (and usually need to) save the show.  Because of this, Red Eye is more consistent. 


If you aren’t familiar with a “leg chair,” the concept is simple.  You have an attractive woman with nice legs sit in front of the camera during a panel discussion.  The panelists in Red Eye are seated in semi-circle fashion around a round table, and the leg chair is the near edge of the semi-circle with the camera at an angle to allow a clear shot of a woman’s legs.  It is the woman’s responsibility to have great legs and to display those great legs.  Insightful or humorous commentary is a bonus but not required. 

The only problem with the leg chair is that a couple of the regular leg chair guests don’t offer much in the way of leg and they don’t offer much in the way of insight or humor.  I won’t name those guests because that would be tacky of me. 

The Daily Show does not have a leg chair. 


If you are a liberal, or a progressive, or ever say Faux News (and still laugh), or ever say “tea bagger” (and still laugh), or still call George Bush “shrub,” or if you agree with the political leanings of people who say such things but don’t do it yourself, then you should probably choose The Daily Show

If you are a conservative, or ever say MSDNC (instead of MSNBC) or Communist Central (instead of Comedy Central)  or call President Obama “Obummer” or “Nobama” (and still laugh), or if you agree with the political leanings of people who say such things but don’t do it yourself,  then you might choose Red Eye

If you are a moderate (yeah, you know, you’re probably not really a moderate), then choose Red Eye.  It has a leg chair.  And it doesn’t have an annoying studio audience.  And you might think it’s funny sometimes.

From → Dysfunctileaks

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