God Bless Jon Stewart
For any fans of the Daily Show (and maybe those non-fans), I urge you to listen to this clip of Jon's opening monologue from their first show after the attack. If you thought Dave Letterman's monologue was moving, then wait till you listen and see this. Very, very well said, very heartfelt, very sad, but very hopeful.
I urge you to listen and see him say it, but here's the transcript anyway.
Good evening and welcome to "The Daily Show." We are back. This is our first show since the tragedy in New York City. There is no other way really to start this show than to ask you at home the question that we've asked the audience here tonight and that weíve asked everybody that we know here in New York since September 11th, and that is, "Are you okay?" We pray that you are and that your family is. Iím sorry to do this to you. Itís another entertainment show beginning with an overwrought speech of a shaken host. TV is nothing, if not redundant. So, I apologize for that. Itís something that unfortunately, we do for ourselves so that we can drain whatever abscess is in our hearts and move onto the business of making you laugh, which we really havenít been able to do very effectively lately. Everyoneís checked in already, I know weíre late. Iím sure weíre getting in right under the wire before the cast of "Survivor" offers their insight into what to do in these situations.
They said to get back to work. There were no jobs available for a man in the fetal position under his desk crying, which I would have gladly taken. So I came back here. Tonightís show is obviously not a regular show. We looked through the vaults, we found some clips that we thought might make you smile, which is really whatís necessary, I think, right about now. A lot of folks have asked me, "What are you going to do when you get back? What are you going to say?" I mean, what a terrible thing to have to do. I donít see it as a burden at all. I see it as a privilege. I see it as a privilege and everyone here does see it that way. The show in general, we feel like is a privilege. Just even the idea that we can sit in the back of the country and make wise cracks, which is really what we do. We sit in the back and we throw spitballs, but never forgetting the fact that is a luxury in this country that allows us to do that. This is a country that allows for open satire, and I know that sounds basic and it sounds as though it goes without saying - but thatís really what this whole situation is about. Itís the difference between closed and open. Itís the difference between free and burden and we donít take that for granted here by any stretch of the imagination and our show has changed. I donít doubt that. What itís become, I donít know. "Subliminable" is not a punch line anymore. One day it will become that again, and Lord willing, it will become that again because that means we have ridden out the storm.
But the main reason that I wanted to speak tonight is not to tell you what the show is going to be. Not to tell you about all the incredibly brave people that are here in New York and in Washington and around the country. But weíve had an enduring pain here - an endurable pain. I wanted to tell you why I grieve, but why I donít despairÖ[has to pause to regain control] Iím sorry. Luckily we can edit this.
One of my first memories is of Martin Luther King being shot. I was five and if you wonder if this feeling will passÖWhen I was five, he was shot. Hereís what I remember about it. I was in a school in Trenton. They shut the lights off and we got to sit under our desks and we thought that was really cool and they gave us cottage cheese, which was a cold lunch because there was rioting, but we didnít know that. We just thought that ďMy god. We get to sit under our desks and eat cottage cheese.Ē Thatís what I remember about it. That was a tremendous test of this countryís fabric and this countryís had many tests before that and after that.
The reason I donít despair is because this attack happened. Itís not a dream. But the aftermath of it, the recovery is a dream realized. And that is Martin Luther King's dream. Whatever barriers we've put up are gone even if it's momentary. We're judging people by not the color of their skin but the content of their character. You know, all this talk about "These guys are criminal masterminds. Theyíve gotten together and their extraordinary guileÖand their wit and their skill." It's a lie. Any fool can blow something up. Any fool can destroy. But to see these guys, these firefighters, these policemen and people from all over the country, literally, with buckets rebuilding. That's extraordinary. That's why we've already won. It's light. It's democracy. We've already won. They can't shut that down. They live in chaos and chaosÖit can't sustain itself. It never could. It's too easy and it's too unsatisfying.
The view from my apartment was the World Trade Center and now it's gone. They attacked it. This symbol of American ingenuity and strength and labor and imagination and commerce and it is gone. But you know what the view is now? The Statue of Liberty. The view from the south of Manhattan is now the Statue of Liberty. You can't beat that.
So we're going to take a break and I'm going to stop slobbering on myself and on the desk. Weíre going to get back to this. It's gonna be fun and funny and it's going to be the same as it was and I thank you.
Well said, Mr. Stewart.
I just listened to it. That really was an incredible monologue. I first saw Jon Stewart when he had his own show in the mid 90s, when they had bands like Belly performing. I think it was on MTV. I didn't always like his humor, but he struck me as an intelligent and thoughtful guy and I would watch his show often.
His monologue was very insightful and did a great job of putting things in perspective. The thing that stood out for me was the great sense of hope with almost no bitterness. His fans may have different reactions to the jokes they hear on his show, but this is a perfect example of the need to feel a sense of unity that many people are talking about right now (even though it's not always there).
I don't want to compare it to what any other hosts have said; for me, the point is that they are saying it, and it is real emotion struggling to define why the freedoms that America and other countries have are so important. When they talk like this, a certain barrier is gone and they are not ashamed to show the world that they are a vulnerable human being just like everyone else. I'm sure some people think that these monologues are just an example of self-importance, but I think there is some real communication going on, and that is hard to find on tv.
"Talk to me
in your own language please."
Wow, that was a really moving clip. I've always like John Stewart, and now I know why.
Great monologue. Thanks for posting it for "lazy people" like me.
"Enough of this video bullshit, I'm going to give you some culture. Know what I mean?" -Larry
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I've always loved Jon Stewart's humor. He is truly one of the funniest men alive. Part of that humor though comes from his sincerity - and the above speech shows that.
Thank you for posting it.
OK, I'll be good in this forum. https://www.u2news.com/u2feedback/wink.gif
"I suppose I do everything in extremes-laugh a lot, cry a lot, fight a lot, make love a lot, eat too much, drink too much, try too much, cry too much. Pass the onion..." -Bono
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