the academy of motion picture arts and sciences, ever eager to try to prove that they're not a bunch of out of touch millionaires who have no clue what's going on outside los angeles, have managed to show that they're a bunch of out of touch millionaires who occasionally find out what the world outside los angeles is doing, by signing jon stewart to host their annual love-in, aka, the academy awards.
honestly, there was a fair likelihood i was going to watch anyway, since i feel that this year has had a better share than most of decent films (although i'm deeply disturbed that jarhead hasn't been receiving nearly the award buzz it deserves), but now it's a definite. i have a certain amount of trepidation about this, because i hated seeing the "chris rock lite" on last year's show, but i have my fingers crossed that jon will find a way to shine through.
i don't make a secret of how much i admire stewart, and i admire him for a lot of reasons, not just because we're politically synchronous (although it helps). strangely, the first few times i saw the daily show, i hated it, but, like mold, it grew on me and now i rarely miss an episode. i think the change came upon the realisation that, rather than just making the same standard-issue political jokes at the expense of both parties, this show actually pays attention to what's going on. here are a few more reasons he's on my noteworthy list:
1. he doesn't play partisan politics, and slams the democrats as hard as the republicans (because they deserve it).
2. columbia university ranked him 4th out of 20 on their list of the best reportage on the election and 69% of americans polled identified him as the newscaster they most trust... and, technically, he doesn't host a news program.
3. he is the only person ever to be justified in the using the word "dick" in broadcast media. (ok, ignore the dick comment and just listen to what he's saying about media in america. brilliant simplicity.)
4. he says that he doesn't want david letterman's job (despite persistent rumours that he's next in line for it) because cbs wouldn't give him the creative freedom he has on the daily show (here's hoping that continues).
5. in a year and a half of watching his show, i have only ever heard him mention his wife to say that he loves her. smart, funny, respectful to the wife... ain't no woman in the world can resist that trifecta.