Home / General / You Can Go Broke Underestimating the Intelligence of the American Public

You Can Go Broke Underestimating the Intelligence of the American Public



Seeing the Daily Show‘s typically unfunny and also sexist-missing-the-point reaction to the Supreme Court’s abortion rights decision Monday was…well, actually, I can’t fairly say “typical” because after a few tries watching Trevor Noah I don’t even consider watching it anymore, and subsequent reviews don’t suggest that I’m missing anything.

It seems worth noting that Samantha Bee was 1)never even seriously considered as a replacement for Jon Stewart by Comedy Central and 2)Full Frontal is not just destroying Noah’s Daily Show aesthetically but also in the ratings. Whether this explained by the sexism reflected by whoever runs the show’s Twitter feed or just garden-variety incompetence, I can’t tell you.

Meanwhile, in another example of the American public showing better judgment that might be expected of nation in which Donald Trump was a non-zero chance of running for president, Fox Sports’s attempt to compete with ESPN by hiring as many reactionary trolls as possible is failing miserably. Im sure adding Skip Bayless to All Takes Matter will turn things around, though!

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  • Cheap Wino

    Samantha Bee’s show is the best. It’s like a really excellent Stewart era Daily Show every single episode. She pretty much knocks it out of the park every Monday.

    • Amanda in the South Bay

      Bush era Stewart, or Obama era?

      • brad

        If you have to ask the question….

    • patrick II

      The once-a-week format for John Oliver and Samantha seems to strengthen the writing on their segments. If we could get a couple of other ex-Daily Show reporters to do their own once a week shows following Oliver on Sunday, Samantha on Monday, and take your pick on Tuesday and Wednesday, it might actually work out to be better than the Daily Show four times a week.

      • ColBatGuano

        I agree. The need to find daily content really puts it behind Bee and Oliver. Noah has not helped in that regard.

      • trollhattan

        Spot on. Both are doing long-form journalism (actual journalism from smart people) and zero time is squandered on celebrity and book author interviews. Will be interested to see what J-Stew has in store for HBO and here’s hoping its up and running well before November.

        • delazeur

          actual journalism from smart people

          When they tell us that they aren’t doing journalism, I think we should believe them.

          • Victor Matheson

            Well, when John Oliver did his segment on stadium subsidies last summer, the writers/producers called me 3 or 4 times, and I probably spent 3 hours fact checking their segment with them.

            Kind of sounds like journalism. Pretty entertaining segment, however.

          • patrick II

            Believe what they tell you, not your lyin’ eyes.

    • BobBobNewhartNewhartSpecial

      Yeah, I agree with the sentiment that it worked out better for both Samantha Bee and Jon Oliver that they ended up not getting the job.
      As for this:

      Whether this explained by the sexism reflected by whoever runs the show’s Twitter feed or just garden-variety incompetence, I can’t tell you.

      I would say it was more about Trevor Noah being the right race than it was about Samantha Bee being the wrong gender.

  • tsam

    Heh. Trevor Noah got corrected by Meghan McCain

    • marduk

      Well, she is the smarter of the two McMegans.

  • keta

    Even worse for The Daily Show, Jessica Williams is moving on.

  • Murc

    It’s a pity Jessica Williams didn’t want the job, although I have to wonder if she ACTUALLY didn’t want it or that was a PR thing. Although I suppose I should trust what she says.

    I’ve never quite liked Noah. He’s far from a bad comedian. But… well, two things. The first is kinda-sorta Stewart’s fault; Stewart maintained and still does that the Daily Show is a comedy show, not a news show. But some of that is wishful thinking on his part; Stewart did a hell of a lot things that look sort of like journalism.

    It doesn’t necessarily make what he said less true, but the Daily Show’s style of comedy requires more journalistic rigor than most and he absolutely didn’t convey that information to Noah. The Daily Show does stuff like pour through hours of archived C-Span footage to skewer Congress; more “pure” comedians don’t need to do that. I don’t think Stewart adequately prepared Noah for that part of it.

    The second is… hrm. How to put this.

    Despite being the poster child for ironic snark, Stewart had a huge heart. Much of his humor was of the “I have to laugh about this, because if I don’t I’ll start sobbing.” It was that core of deep sincerity that drew fans to him and kept them there. Say what you will about Stewart, but you only had to watch him for a few minutes to realize how present and empathetic he was.

    I don’t think Noah has that. I think Noah actually is ironic. When he cracks wise about the insanity of the world around him, you get the impression of semi-detached nihilism, the kind of attitude you get from people who are like “if you engage in politics you’ve already sold out” and “if you believe one person can make a difference you’re a fuckin’ child.” It’s very… empty compared to what Stewart did, and more than a little off-putting. It isn’t precisely that Noah doesn’t care; it’s more like he believes nobody can do anything about anything.

    • Warren Terra

      It’s worth noting that all of The Daily Show‘s iconic moments depended more on journalism – or at least on truth-telling – than on comedy. Also that John Oliver has achieved critical success (I have no idea what his viewership numbers are like, though he’s wildly successful on YouTube) primarily through reporting, not comedy.

      • Murc

        It’s worth noting that all of The Daily Show‘s iconic moments depended more on journalism – or at least on truth-telling – than on comedy.

        I really think Stewart was torn about that, because he viewed the fact that so many people watched him to get actual information as indicative of a profound failure of the American news media, and didn’t feel competent (and, frankly, didn’t have the desire) to fill that hole single-handedly.

        I saw an interview with him many years ago, where he relayed a story that once he was at some media event, and this news guy from… I think it was ABC, I know he named the network but not the person… gushed over all those clips he had of Congressmen contradicting themselves in hilarious ways, and asked “How the hell do you FIND all that stuff?” And Stewart looked at him and said “From you. We find it from you. We get copies of your tapes, and we put a guy in a room with them with pen and paper, and he watches them, and then he reports on them.”

        It was also annoying to watch people like Anderson Cooper and Brian Williams fawn all over Stewart and say things like “he does what we only wish we could do.” And it’s like, what the fuck is stopping you, you assholes? I love Stewart too, but I didn’t have a perch in a powerful news organization.

        • scott_theotherone

          I’m sure I’m giving them too much credit—any credits for Brian Williams is way too much—but I’ve been assuming that even if they wanted to practice actual journalism, the people above them don’t want them to. Does that sound too tin-foil-hatty?

          • sharculese

            No I think that’s exactly it. The fact that The Daily Show is ostensibly a comedy program, and that while one night the guest might be Robert Reich, the next it’s Ludacris and Stewart discussing how to beat the final boss of a video game made it easier for politicians who got skewered by the show to feel comfortable going on it. It seemed cool.

            By contrast, if Cooper or Williams ever tried to pull that shit, I’m sure there were fifteen execs telling them “we can’t do this, we will lose access.”

            • John not McCain

              I wonder when the last time a tv journalist was allowed to ask serious questions of politicians. Linda Ellerbee was warned away from it when she was guesting on Meet the Press in the 80s. What happened between Murrow and then?

              • BigHank53

                Network news used to run at a loss. The original executives felt they had to do it because they got their chunk of the broadcast spectrum for (almost) free. In the 80s the retirement of the network founders (and, to be fair, increasing competition from cable) brought in a new crew of executives who saw no reason why the nightly news shouldn’t be a profit center. So it became a profit center, which meant it had to be advertiser-friendly. Advertisers being who they are meant it got a lot more conservative very quickly.

                • sharculese

                  This is definitely part of it, but I think the other half is that politicians disseminate their message has changed.

                  Once upon a time, if you wanted your message to go out to a national audience you had to put up with what the interviewer was going to do. Then cable news happened, and there were 24 hours in a day to fill and oh fuck, if Congressman Jackass wants to talk about this issue then that fills part of it. And then social media happened and you could get your message directly to the people who wanted it.

                  There used to be leverage. There’s not leverage anymore, so people to what they want to.

                • efgoldman

                  So it became a profit center, which meant it had to be advertiser-friendly. Advertisers being who they are meant it got a lot more conservative very quickly.

                  That, sure. But the big turning point was in the 90s. The network (radio and then TV) news departments were separate, run by journalists; the model was major newspapers, with bureaus all over the country and the world. In the 90s, one-by-one, the networks transferred news so it reported up thru the entertainment departments. The most notable change initially is that the morning shows transitioned from mostly news with some entertainment segments, to the current hodgepodge of People, National Enquirer, Entertainment Weekly, and Variety with some serious (and often badly-reported) news segments dropped in. Then they closed bureaus and got “leaner”, losing dozens of experienced, knowledgeable journalists. And the death spiral continues.

          • Brad Nailer

            Not at all, but it does make you wonder how that “wisdom” is imparted. Do you get a stern talking-to? Drinks on the boss after work? A book and a decoder ring?

            • Barry_D

              “Not at all, but it does make you wonder how that “wisdom” is imparted. Do you get a stern talking-to? Drinks on the boss after work? A book and a decoder ring?”

              Possibly a 1:1 discussing ‘attitude’ and whether or not you are a ‘team player’. Possibly a suggested vacation; possibly teaming you up with a potential replacement.

              And in the end, a couple of drinks after work in a crowded and noisy bar, where it is impossible to record things said mouth-to-ear.

              And if that doesn’t work, you spend more time with your family, and the smarter survivors look at the replacement, and get the messare.

    • That’s a good analysis. Personally, I started finding Stewart’s earnestness wearying, probably sometime during the darkest hour or thereabouts. But then I also started getting tired of the Colbert idea that you could just stand there and act like a conservative and it would magically be astute left-liberal analysis. So maybe I just don’t like comedy.

      • Matt McIrvin

        While Colbert’s current show doesn’t have anything like the bite that his old one did, his original act was probably approaching its sell-by date in any event–not least because the political world is changing.

        Would the Colbert character have become a Trumpist? It doesn’t seem like his niche, quite. He’d have been more of a Ted Cruz guy, I think.

        • “Stephen Colbert” is based on Bill O’Reilly, so his primary advocacy is for his own bloated ego. Shilling directly for a candidate is more a Hannity thing. I think that he would “endorse” both candidates with veiled insults, as per normal.

        • ForkyMcSpoon

          “Stephen Colbert” would’ve been a Ted Cruz guy, until Trump won.

          Then he would have an episode where he was in despair and despondent, before he pulls himself together and puts on a happy face and defends Trump no matter how nonsensical it becomes.

          Of course, there would be cracks in the façade, when Trump’s particularly hard to defend, or goes against conservative ideology, or when it looked like #NeverTrump might have something going.

          The number one thing for the “Stephen Colbert” character in a general election is being a party hack, because this is what you see “characters” like Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly do.

    • Crusty

      “It doesn’t necessarily make what he said less true, but the Daily Show’s style of comedy requires more journalistic rigor than most and he absolutely didn’t convey that information to Noah. The Daily Show does stuff like pour through hours of archived C-Span footage to skewer Congress; more “pure” comedians don’t need to do that. I don’t think Stewart adequately prepared Noah for that part of it.”

      I presume that staff and writers did that sort of thing and there isn’t necessarily any reason that it has to stop under Noah. But I suppose it stops if he isn’t pushing them in that direction.

      • Incontinentia Buttocks

        Elliott Kalan, the show’s head writer, left when Stewart did.

        • Kerans

          And went to the new MST3K.

    • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

      There may be an interesting generational divide. Although TDS ratings are down under Noah, he’s been very strong in the under-30 viewers. This budding audience may be why CC hasn’t pulled the plug yet.

      Meanwhile, I suspect most of those alienated by all those aspects of Noah’s personality you mentioned are over 30 – I may be projecting, but the earnestness/ “no really we have to fix this” that Stewart projects so well are things I valued more in my 30s than my 20s, when I just wanted somebody to make me laugh and hey Kilborn’s on!). It wouldn’t be surprising if most of those alienated viewers were over-30s migrating to Samantha Bee, John Oliver, etc. because they share that pedigree and outlook.

      As for Noah’s “cynicism,” I wonder if it may be in part a reflection of his African background. There’s definitely a kind of bemused learned helplessness I’ve seen in a lot of Africans (sometimes expressed as “This is Africa” / “Welcome to Africa” when shit goes sideways) which Noah’s work, both with TDS and his standup, seems to reflect – he can mock bad things, but doesn’t expect them to change anytime soon. [takes off football helmet reading “Armchair QB”]

      • I think Noah’s show is better when they’re just trying to be funny, which is why it’s unfortunate that they keep on trying to go sincere with it.

        • ColBatGuano

          Yeah, the interviews with non-actors/musicians are painful.

      • BigHank53

        I’d call it fatalism rather than learned helpless. Protesting the government takes on a bit more heft when it’s only a forty-five minute drive to the mass graves.

  • Fighting Words

    I’m of the mind that not being Jon Stewart’s replacement on the Daily Show was the best (recent) thing that ever happened to Samantha Bee.

    If she had the Daily Show gig, she would constantly being compared to Jon Stewart (his funny era, and not the several years when the Daily Show wasn’t particularly relevant) and would be forced to use the Daily Show format – which wasn’t that great to begin with (the interview portion was usually terrible).

    Instead, in Full Frontal, she get’s to do her own show, in her own style. And she’s killing it.

    • Instead, in Full Frontal, she get’s to do her own show, in her own style. And she’s killing it.

      Her and John Oliver. I don’t think it’s a coincidence that both of them looked at the Daily Show template and made the exact same changes: lose the guests, lose the correspondents, and make it a weekly show so you’ve got time to make everything killer.

      They’ve made comedy shows truly about public affairs. It’s fantastic and both are must watch every week.

      • howard

        it shows what a cultural barbarian i am that i have barely ever sampled any of these shows (and most of what i’ve sampled has been in the form of viral videos, not, you know, actually tuning in or anything) but in the everything old is new again department, i am reminded of the early ’60s killer brit-tv (then imported to the u.s.) “that was the week that was,” a weekly comedy show about public affairs.

        • Hercules Grytpype-Thynne

          The U.S. version spawned some truly excellent Tom Lehrer songs.

    • Manny Kant

      Even better, instead of being compared to Jon Stewart, she gets to be constantly compared to Trevor Noah, with Noah the one found wanting. That’s tremendously helpful.

    • kped

      Totally agree. I still see some people lament that John Oliver didn’t get to replace Stewart, and I scratch my head. His work on HBO is so much better than what he would be able to do on TDS!

      And now the same is true of Bee. It’s actually better this way.

      • addicted44

        Except for the fact that John Oliver DID replace Stewart when he had taken a break to make his movie.

        And he was really good. To the point that many were hoping that Oliver would continue and Stewart would move onto something new.

        I think the combination of the change in writers, and Noah’s style of humor is just not a good fit for the Daily Show.

        I also think Noah suffered from not being mentored by Jon Stewart. The Daily Show has produced some terrific comedians, and most of them credit Stewart for their success.

        • kped

          I’m aware that he briefly took over for Stewart, and was very good. I’m saying, he has found his own show, his own voice, and I think it’s much better that he did.

    • JonH

      I agree. She’s also said that she didn’t want the grind of a daily show, what with having kids and all.

  • NonyNony

    As a non-regular reader of Deadspin and someone who only watches Fox Sports for baseball games[*] I was really confused by the linked article. Mostly because they kept talking about a show named “All Takes Matter” but everything in the article referred to a show called “Speak for Yourself”. I finally realized I was in the middle of a Deadspin in-joke reference that I, being an outsider, wasn’t expected to get, but it kind of reminded me of why I don’t read Deadspin.

    [*] I don’t understand sports commentary shows. As in I don’t see the appeal at all. If I wanted to hear opinionated old white men blather on about what’s wrong with sports today I could either go to my fine neighborhood bar, buy a beer, and ask anyone around me what they think of sportsball team X and get more opinion than I would ever want, or I could call my dad.

    • They aren’t all white or men. Check out ESPN — Pardon the Interruption features Mike Wilbon, and Around the Horn has a totally diverse cast including women. All the commentators are also reasonably progressive, smart, and even funny.

      • Uh…

        features Mike Wilbon

        All the commentators are also reasonably progressive, smart, and even funny.


        • EliHawk

          PTI used to be really good back when Kornheiser and Wilbon were closer to being their actual reporter selves shooting the shit for a half an hour. Like so many scribes cum talking heads, the more you’re on ESPN, the less that you’re doing the reporting/watching that actually makes your takes informative/interesting.

          • elm

            Yeah, PTI used to be excellent and one of the best places (along with the King Kaufman’s Salon column on sports) to get commentary on sports and society. I haven’t watched PTI in years though as both Wilbon and Kornheiser became more and more caricatures of themselves.

        • I was referring to Around the Horn. And Wilbon is good on race and gender issues.

          • Turangalila

            Wilbon is good on race and gender issues.

            Is he now?

      • NonyNony

        Whenever I’m in a place that has ESPN running it’s always mostly white guys jabbering at each other, with the occasional person of color there but generally only if there are at least 3 white guys on the screen. Rarely is there a woman on the screen with them.

        Admittedly for some weird reason the only commentary show that seems to be on in restaurants with ESPN when I’m eating there is some abominable show called “Around the Horn” which is full of guys yelling nonsense at each other. (Oh – I see that you mentioned that one specifically. I’ve never seen a woman on that show but it’s been horrible whenever I’ve watched it so I don’t seek it out).

        • Around the Horn, for all its myriad faults, actually has a very diverse rotating panel, regularly featuring female reporters and analysts like Kate Fagan, Sarah Spain, Jackie McMullan, and occasionally Jemele Hill.

          • efgoldman

            Yup. In fact the worldwide leader has been pushing women very heavily on lots of shows, allowing them all the expertise and agency as their male panels. They have also not been at all bashful about women’s issues, including especially assault stories. And unlike here, for instance, early this week they led with Pat Summit’s death, with tributes all day long, unlike a certain blog that led with Buddy Ryan’s death and mentioned Summit at the bottom of the story, more or less in passing.

            • addicted44

              They’ve also added several female commentators for their college football coverage.

              Is sports commentary as equal as it should be? Not even close to it.

              But the WWL has actually been a force for good in this department.

        • Around the Horn regularly features several women, and not an “occasional person of color,” in fact the majority of their regular male commenters are African American, Latino or in one case Filipino. There is hardly ever a show that features 3 white guys. You’re just wrong.

    • But they used to have a monkey doing picks! A monkey!

      • efgoldman

        But they used to have a monkey doing picks!

        How good were the monkey’s picks vs the human’s?

        • I think they were about the same IIRC. I think they compared his picks with the humans’ each week.

    • Mellano

      Wait, “All Takes Matter” is satire? I thought Fox Sports had drafted some top prospects out of the Dartmouth Review editorial staff or something.

    • elm

      Same here. It didn’t help that I kept seeing it as “All That Matters” which sounds like it could actually be the title of the show. I was wondering if Fox had already rebranded the show two weeks in. It took googling to figure it out.

  • E.Garth

    I still like The Daily Show, and I do not think that it is ‘worse’ since Stewart left. It is not the same as it was, but that is not the same thing as ‘worse’. Samantha Bee’s show and John Oliver’s show are both extremely good, but their goodness does not demonstrate that The Daily Show is ‘bad’. Also very good in my opinion is ‘The Nightly Show’, it is not the same thing as ‘The Colbert Report’, but that characteristic does not mean that it is ‘worse’. They are all different shows, and I find them all to be worth watching.

    • gratuitous

      Yeah, different strokes for different folks and all that, but I will make two observations that probably mean less than nothing: (1) Folks on the websites I frequent don’t post nearly as many Daily Show clips as they used to. It used to be three times or more a week, you could count on a post of a clip where Jon Stewart was making some jerk look like a jerk, in a hilarious fashion. I don’t see nearly as much re-posting of Daily Show stuff since Stewart left.

      And (B), Full Frontal is on one night a week, instead of the Daily Show’s four. It’s not that difficult to figure that when a show has to put together only one-quarter of the air time, it’s going to put out a superior product. You get to be a little pickier about the stories you cover and have a little more time to get just the right balance of snark and skewer.

      In any case, I’m more than happy to watch the good stuff from any of these shows, and laugh even more heartily at feeble conservative efforts to duplicate their success.

    • Murc

      I do love me some Nightly Show.

      I also love me trolling the racists who hate Larry Willmore. Good times.

      • Matt McIrvin

        I only really watched the early weeks of Wilmore’s show, when he seemed to be struggling with how to balance the scripted and panel segments, but I’ve heard it’s found its footing to some extent. Might check it out again.

        • DW

          It’s worth taking another look at, I think. Wilmore’s more comfortable with being the host, and more comfortable with the format. Also, too, Noah being the new “new guy” probably takes off some of the self-generated pressure.

  • NickFlynn

    I think the first segment of Larry Wilmore’s show is pretty good on a daily basis.

  • sleepyirv

    It’s incredible that of all of the amazingly talented alumni of The Daily Show, Comedy Central handed it over to one of the least deserving.

    I’m genuinely curious why they did it. Noah was not the obvious choice. He had very limited experience without having an outsider’s perspective. The Daily Show’s success was clearly about Stewart and not the format, so the show would need a real talent to replacement. So why Noah?

    • Warren Terra

      He’s not really an alum of the show – he became a contributor three months before he was named the successor (in turn, six months before he took over, so nine months on the show).

    • Murc

      Stewart hand-picked Noah.

      Late-night comics used to be people who were hustling their asses off in clubs, hoping to get noticed and get their big break. Conan O’brien got tapped that way. So did Stewart himself. Letterman made a brief detour through writing but him as well. Many others.

      When he went to retire, Stewart looked around and realized that things had changed and, in his opinion, were becoming very incestuous. He was like “the only people who are getting shots are people who were fortunate enough to start working for me or Colbert or O’brien back in 2005.” He wanted to do it old-school, so he picked a foreign guy who was hustling his ass off in clubs.

      This isn’t necessarily a good reason for doing it that way.

      • brad

        Conan was never a standup. He wrote for SNL, then the Simpsons. Lorne Michaels is largely credited with pushing him for the slot.

        • EliHawk

          Yeah. Conan was hustling (and a complete unknown) but it was a different kind of hustle.

          • Matt McIrvin

            Also, I recall that Conan was regarded as a complete failure by most TV critics for the first couple of years of his 12:30 show. Since it was at 12:30 and Letterman was still on CBS, nobody particularly cared much.

    • SIWOTI

      Why Trevor Noah? Because John Stewart decided to retire a year too late, and John Oliver had his own show on HBO.

      There were two ways Stewart’s retirement could have gone – he could have groomed his successor so they were ready for it when he decided to step down. Or he could help pick someone who he believes has the talent to grow into the position.

      Option one left, so he ended up having to go with option two.

      I’m pretty sure that Samantha Bee would have been considered if it was just Stewart picking, but it’s Comedy Network’s show, and it’s clear the CN executives just passed her by (even though they were considering Amy Schumer and Amy Poehler). Pretty big mistake on their part.

  • cleek

    we watch TDS out of habit. we DVR it and then watch it as our first show in the evening. just like we have since the invention of the DVR.

    but i can’t stand Noah. i hate his comedic style. i hate the way we laughs at his own jokes. i hate the way he only halfway pays attention to his guests.

    the writing’s become much more childish and broad. and so the correspondents are just wasted doing cheap jokes.


    • kped

      Well, he shares the laughing at his own jokes with Stewart. I hated that more than anything, only because it often seemed forced and fake.

    • ColBatGuano

      I’m afraid you’ve written my exact opinion as well. Stewart was a decent interviewer, especially if the topic really interested him. He looks 10x better when compared to Noah.

      • trollhattan

        I don’t get the sense that Noah really grocks American politics. He’s utterly aware of the absurdities but I don’t sense a deeper connection with the material he’s delivering. Dunno, but it’s not working for me.

        Similarly, Larry Wilmore’s show is badly organized in how it uses his considerable talent. The panel should have been spiked week #2.

  • The Temporary Name

    Seeing the Daily Show‘s typically unfunny and also sexist-missing-the-point reaction

    It’s stupid and mean, I can’t see how it’s a joke, it’s addressed to the presumably all-male Daily Show audience. That’s a lot of fail.

    • Origami Isopod

      This. The poor-taste part of it doesn’t bug me, although it seems to be bothering a lot of people on Twitter.

  • A Rising Ape

    My understanding was Sam Bee didn’t want the job at TDS, for pretty much the same reasons as everyone else who’s left the show. A new show offers creative freedom and a chance to escape the massive expectations attached to the TDS name. Not that he’s exactly blown me away with his tenure, but Noah was basically doomed from the start.

    • Murc

      Oliver could have handled it. Hell, he did.

      Really, if Steward retires a year earlier I think Oliver gets the show and I don’t think Stewart stands in his way.

    • elm

      Bee says she thought about taking the job but quickly decided she wanted to do something else. Jason Jones once said that the thing that Tipped her into wanting to do something else was that Comedy Central never considered her for the job.

      • A Rising Ape

        Ohhhhh, welp, fair play to Bee on both counts then, what a bunch of twits.

    • SIWOTI

      I’m not so sure that Bee didn’t want the job. Her husband, Jason Jones, was quoted in a NYTimes piece on Bee’s new show. “The fact that she wasn’t approached was a little shocking, to say the least,” he said. “But I think she is much happier where she ended up.”


  • pseudalicious

    I actually have been really enjoying Trevor Noah and find the show essentially identical — it’s written exactly the same — but yeah, that tweet was… not good.

  • piratedan

    a case of you want to be the guy who replaces the guy who replaces a legend. Myself, I got tired of Stewart’s attempts to show that both sides do it in his mantra of trying to be even handed. Sure, maybe that was applicable in the 80’s but lets face it, it seems that ever since Nixon was found to be an evil manipulating bastard (and hell, you could go back to 1968 and the southern strategy days if you want) the GOP has been slowly eaten from within with some sort of brain virus and is no longer a party of ideas, or perhaps a party of rejected ideas. Guys like Stewart still lent them some cover indicating that they weren’t all batshit insane, while they still voted down basic things like taking care of vets, emergency care for 1st responders, a basic fear of anybody else who wasn’t in the white guys club that illustrated that they were no longer functioning adults.

    I don’t envy Noah’s gig and I don’t know how much of that falls on Noah himself or the folks that produce and write for him. I imagine that Ms. Bee and Mr. Oliver also took some quality folks out the door with them.
    I also echo the sentiment, how often do you see the TDS clips being shared around on the web these days… and in comparison, what you see from Sam and John’s shows…

  • Crusty

    Samantha Bee is really great. I wonder if there’s a chance she’d get more days of the week. Its a different kind of thing. The strength of John Oliver’s show is that it isn’t let’s talk about what happened earlier today (a daily show, if you will) but it has time to ruminate on something for a week. Samantha Bee’s show sort of has that going but I’d also like to see more of it.

    • sharculese

      I wonder if there’s a chance she’d get more days of the week.

      I seriously doubt it. TBS started out as a local broadcast channel that you could also get in your cable package, and it’s programming outlook has always reflected that – a mix of syndicated re-runs and Atlanta sports.

      Like their close relative, WGN, they’re slowly dipping their toes in the water of original content, but doing so very, very cautiously. One show a week is probably what they’re comfortable with and what they will be comfortable with for a long time.

      • Phil Perspective

        TBS started out as a local broadcast channel that you could also get in your cable package, and it’s programming outlook has always reflected that – a mix of syndicated re-runs and Atlanta sports.

        TBS Atlanta sports? I think you mean the Atlanta Braves. They haven’t been the local Braves TV carrier in ages now.

        • sharculese

          I know Phil. I grew up here. I was generalizing for people who didn’t.

          • efgoldman

            never mind. all bullshit

    • Turangalila

      Maybe she could get a lead-in that’s not a 10-year-old Family Guy rerun first…

      • I imagine most people watching her show are watching online at this point.

        • Marek

          Or DVR (raises hand).

    • DrS

      Moving to more days a week can be real tough. I really liked W. Kamau Bell’s show on FX, and it suffered tremendously by jumping to 4 days a week from just one, and was no small part of why it was cancelled soon after.

  • Crusty

    Another thing. I really like Larry Wilmore and I hope Noah’s poor ratings aren’t hurting him. Presumably they are.

    Regardless, if I’m up at 11 and watching tv, its Conan.

    • wengler

      Wilmore’s ratings have been very low, from before Noah to now.

  • wengler

    I don’t know how long a lot of you have been watching The Daily Show with Trevor Noah, but stylistically it is very similar to The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. Noah has done a good job of continuing what it was while changing up parts of it to suit his voice.

    That Variety piece reads like clickbait garbage. Leaving TDS to go develop your own show isn’t exactly a step down.

    • Origami Isopod


  • Ugh, the tweet was dumb and unfunny.

    That said, I’m enjoying Trevor Noah A LOT more than I thought I was going to. I was NOT HAPPY about his being hired and I stopped watching the show for months. But I’ve tuned back in and mostly been impressed–with both the tone of the show and even Noah’s hosting.

    That tweet seems…out of sync with the show’s current mood.

    That being said, why have I not been watching “Full Frontal?” Will DVR immediately.

    • Turangalila

      I’m not as enamored of it most here, honestly. To me the tone of Full Frontal couldn’t be more different from TDS, or even Last Week Tonight. The anger is really really out front. Honestly some weeks it’s hardly even a comedy show, it’s just Sam screaming at the camera “WHAT THE ALMIGHTY FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU FUCKERS?!”. The fact that she’s always right doesn’t necessarily make it funny.

      • N__B

        It’s similar in tone to late-stage Carlin, which is a little worrying with regard to Bee.

        • BigHank53

          Well, that may be a reason why it’s sticking with one night a week: six days to recover from that bout of apoplexy.

      • Full Frontal has too high an advocacy to humor ratio for me. I do enjoy Bee’s remote work, which is as good as it was on TDS. But the monologue portion tends to lean too hard on “I am so exasperated by you crazy people” as a source of comedy.

        This is a flaw in Last Week Tonight as well, but Oliver’s graphics team turns out funnier work and the reporting is more interesting.

        I also, frankly, just don’t like the standing aspect. I don’t like it on Noah’s TDS either, or on a lot of news shows. It makes me uncomfortable.

        • Joe_JP

          I also, frankly, just don’t like the standing aspect. I don’t like it on Noah’s TDS either, or on a lot of news shows. It makes me uncomfortable.


    • sharculese

      I’m shocked you’re not watching it. It feels like a show specifically made for you.

    • Dr. Ronnie James, DO

      If you can tolerate Maria Bamford (I can, my wife can’t) run don’t walk to watch Lady Dynamite on Netflix. Holy crap is it good. Best comedy I’ve seen in years.

  • Rusty SpikeFist

    OK but Samantha Bee commented publicly at the time that she didn’t want TDS

    • Scott Lemieux

      As someone said above, saying that after the fact when you have another successful show and after you weren’t offered the job means less than nothing.

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