Key job interview point: if you could pull off a one liner or otherwise make me giggle, the chances that we’re going to connect significantly increases. Adept comedy shennanigans are not a prerequisite for good interview, but, chances are, if you’re going to make it to the Rands Monthly Poker Game… you can tell a joke.
Wit. A Sense of Humor. Whatever you want to call it — to me, it’s a sign of a higher functioning mind.
The Daily Show has been a staple in the household for many years now. It is the longest season pass on the Tivo and, on a daily basis, it’s the most likely chosen show if I’m planting myself on the beanbag and wondering “What to watch?”
For those of you who don’t know, the Daily Show is Jon Stewart. He’s a comedian. The show is fake news and Stewart is a fake newscaster. Like real news, there are brief segments on current events combined with indepth longer pieces focusing on a particular story, and, finally, an interview usually with some topical political or entertainment type. All of this is wrangled by Stewart who has a significant depth chart when it comes to comedy writers because every show is funny.
I mean it, you will laugh/giggle/smirk at least once in every single show.
The Daily Show’s importance in the political landscape changed significantly in the past year. It started with a couple of Emmys and was followed by an increasing prominent guests. To me, it started with The Daily Show landed Howard Dean as a guest followed quickly by presidential candidate John Kerry and then former president Bill Clinton.
Other news shows have taken note of The Daily Shows increased role in a public discussion… in fact, they’re probably jealous. First, OReilly called the demographic “stoned slackers and, just recently, Stewart was taken to task on Crossfire in a heated exchange that resulted in Stewart saying “Dick“.
If you’ve never watched the show, you are scratching your head thinking, “Didn’t Rands say it was fake news? Uh, what’s the big deal? Why do real news shops care what Comedy Central is doing?”
The deal is this.
My generation has no use for the regular news. We were first desensitized to news with the onslaught of 24 hour news channels which reduced the top stories delivered to us by taking heads in 22 second blips. Then, conveniently, the Internet showed up which gave us CNN.com, My.Yahoo.com, and Drudge. This berrage of media has given the ability digest the news for the entire planet in seconds. Local news is campy and dull, Sunday news shows are longwinded, and newspapers are really only kept around because they handily travel to the bathroom.
We’re the weblog generation. If you want to get our attention, you’d better not sound corporate, political, or stupid because we vote daily with our clicks. You better have a unique voice otherwise your information is no different than that news ticker scrolling across the bottom of every single cable news channel right this second. You want my attention? Engage my brain. No, better yet, respect my brain.
The Daily Show’s voice is Jon Stewart and Jon Stewart is funny. I’m not talking chicken crossing the road funny, I’m talking wit. The ability to discern original truths for daily events and to convey them in way that I’m going to listen. I listen to comedy because I respect the brain power it requires to land that zinger at the right place and the right time. Moreover, I’m convinced that it takes, at least, a basic understanding of what is going on in the world to make comedy topical and relevant.
A joke, witty repartee, laughing… this is not the answer to the world’s ills. The answers begin when informed people starting debating what the hell is going on. In my network of friends, we’ve remained curiously silent about current events until today… at lunch… we were all fired up and I blame Jon Stewart.