About (Late) Last Night: Jon Stewart chides endless, unfunny media puns


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The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon - Thurs 11p / 10c
You’re Not Punny

Sometimes ‘The Daily Show’ really is just comedy. Amid protracted arguments about real news versus fake news and Jon Stewart’s worth in the talking-head economy, it can go overlooked that the man makes a mean montage. Last night, the target was failed humor, specifically the news media’s continued use of corny puns. Here, Stewart is unarguably an authority.

‘Do we put puns on this show? Yes, yes,’ Stewart admitted. ‘We hate ourselves when we do them even more than we usually hate ourselves. But when you do them, it’s different. They are not just painful and unpleasant, they take us out of the newscast.’


‘You’re Not Punny,’ they called the segment on ‘lame news wordplay.’ It was at least chuckle-worthy.

‘The freedom grope, others call it gate rape,’ went one clip Stewart highlighted about the Transportation Security Administration. ‘Oh, I get it -- ‘gate rape’ because it sounds like ‘date rape,’’ said Stewart. Then he put on his I’m-not-amused face.

‘The point of reporting the news is not to make one recliner-bound old man smile for half a second,’ he said. ‘For God sakes, you are the news, not Ziggy!’

Stewart’s lecture was sharp enough so as not to be smug. ‘Imagine if you had a friend who did this all the time,’ he offered. ‘’Last night, I stayed in with the cat. It was a purrrfect evening.’ That’s you. You are that friend! Everybody hates that guy.’

And so Stewart, comedy arbiter that he is, settled the matter ‘officially’ with a quill and some old-fashioned paper. ‘Because where there’s a quill there’s a way.’

-- Joe Coscarelli