As far as both Kyra and I are concerned The Daily Show is about as close as it gets to required viewing. We have no interest in watching actual news programming because there is nothing more asinine than serious discussions of Miss Teen Delaware’s porn career or the current coverage being given to Obama combining a reference from Star Wars and Star Trek. Seriously, that story has the subtitle that it ‘leaves sci-fi fans befuddled.’ Fuck you Salon.
Obviously, that’s where Jon Stewart comes in, and why it’s big news for us that he’s taking a sabbatical from the show for 3 months this summer to direct (what seems to be) a serious movie about Iran. Correspondent John Oliver will be filling in as the substitute. We’ll still be watching even with Stewart out, but as much as we like John Oliver, having him as the permanent fill-in seems like a bit of a missed opportunity.
First of all, even if John Oliver is the “top” correspondent on The Daily Show, he’s arguably not even the funniest. Aasif Mandvi, Jason Jones, Samantha Bee, and Al Madrigal could carry the show just as well as Oliver, if not better. Wyatt Cenac just left the show in December, but his Michael Steele muppet was never not hilarious. (note: we are not big fans of Jessica Williams who consistently fails to be funny in both her field and ‘on air’ segments).
And those are just the people who work on the show itself. Who wouldn’t enjoy Brian Williams’ presence during a humorous discussion of current events? Number one, his impression of Regis is sublime. Number two, if he hosted The Daily Show for a week, there would actually be people in America under the age of 84 watching Brian Williams deliver the news. Number three, he can’t take himself that seriously, or why else did he host Saturday Night Live that one time (and was kinda funny!). Number four, his daughter is smoking hot! That really matters, ok!
What’s Tina Fey doing now that 30 Rock is off the air? She’s got some romantic comedy about college admissions coming out and while that certainly sounds like an Oscar-winning idea, why not ask her if she wouldn’t mind making some funnies about how John Boehner is orange? After all, she did Weekend Update for like 7 years, right? Plus, if you listen to the hipsters at Slate and Grantland, after the Golden Globes this year Tina Fey (and Amy, obvi) seems to be the only acceptable host for anything, ever.
Again, nothing against John Oliver, but what’s wrong with spreading the love around a little bit? Have Oliver host for a week or two, but let’s get a little creative with the other 5+ weeks. There are so many good options out there, and it’s not like making fun of Wolf Blitzer is rocket science.