Archive for Daily Show with Jon Stewart

Demetri Martin – Jon Stewart’s Latest Spin-Off Guy

There’s something not quite right about Demetri Martin.

Martin’s brain seems to be routed through the non-sequatur with a side trip to crazy town. The comic’s roots clearly dig down to stand-up star Steven Wright and “Far Side” creator Gary Larson.
He may look like a typical board boy with his cute little cereal bowl hair cut down to his skater shoes, but that brain’s constantly churning with odd little takes on life.

The former Late Night with Conan O’Brien and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart staff writer gets his own sketch show Important Things with Demetri Martin at 10:30 Wednesdays on Comedy Central. Martin, who would need to chug an entire Starbucks inventory to get excited, serves up his cool observations in a deliciously level manner. And speaking of coffee, he can make a drawing of coffee spin off in a variety of comic directions just by adding a few lines making it hot coffee or speeding towards you hot coffee.

Guess you’d have to see it.

Important Things come from Stewart’s Busboy Productions company. This is only the second series picked up through Stewart’s agreement with the cable channel. The first resulted in a show called The Colbert Report.

Martin should be pounding out his own distinct comedy path soon. The series was set to air last year, but the writer’s strike and a starring role in Ang Lee’s upcoming film Taking Woodstock put Important Things on hold.

First off, Martin wants people to know a few things about him.

“Some stats. I’m 5’11, I dropped out of law school. I have extensive food allergies, seafood, poultry, nuts. It’s pretty serious, anaphylaxis, it could kill me, but I’m still pretty tough despite that,” Martin, 35, says. “If I avoid those foods, I can hang with anybody. I’ve got a lot of stamina.”

The son of a Greek Orthodox priest, who died of cancer when Martin was 20, grew up in New Jersey knowing that he probably wasn’t the kind of person who was going to become gridiron star.

“My grades, coupled with my inability at team sports, would probably put me in the nerd category,” he admits.

He almost opted for a traditional career as an attorney after graduating from Yale with a degree in history, but dropped out of New York University law school to take a shot at comedy. The funny guy found his spot in the world of stand-up and in comedy, and even gets a big screen premiere in the upcoming Lee film where he plays concert promoter and gay-rights pioneer Elliot Tiber.

“What a weird, unbelievable opportunity. I’m just trying to get some small parts in movies, to get some chops, to see if I can hold my own in a scene with a trained actor,” Martin says. “And I get the call (from Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon Lee). This guy made people run on the tops of trees. This is a talented person.”

Lee cast him as the lead in the film, which freaked Martin out just a little bit.

“I didn’t really act much before, so my first thing was you’re going to be in the ’60s and you’re Jewish and you’re gay, so just know that you’re going to make out with a guy,” Martin says. “So, wow, that’s a crash course in acting. That’s a triple. But it was cool.”

His new show, Martin explains, is a “thing show.” He chooses a thing, and then chats about it. Some people wouldn’t be able to pull of a show about, say, power. But Martin’s got it covered.

“People are arrogant,” Martin says about power.

Like they see a bird in flight and decide to toss it into a cage “and make it crap on old information.”

“Bears like honey. So what do we do? We serve honey out of a bear,” Martin observes.

Yes, Martin has the power. And he’s not opposed to using it.

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Pre-Valentine to TV Viewers: Writers Strike is Over

It looks as if the picket signs will be taken down and the writers will be back to work on Wednesday. You can check out the details on Nikki Finke’s fine blog Deadline Hollywood or the most recent Bloomberg report.

That’s just two days before the “drop-dead deadline” to preserve the remainder of the season and allow some bit of a pilot season. The fact that it also saves the Oscars is just an added bonus that makes the writers and actors happy. It’s one thing to miss out on the Golden Globes, that bloated tribute by a small group of foreign press. It’s quite another to miss out on your Uncle Oscar.

Jon Stewart won’t have to cross any picket lines when he hosts the 80th Academy Awards on Sunday, Feb. 24. This is the second time Stewart has hosted the Oscars. Photo: Bob D’Amico/ABC

Oddly enough, on the eve of the strike vote three months ago, I was in the middle of e-chatting with Bryan Fuller of “Pushing Daisies” and again today we spent part of today e-talking.

Bryan’s a fabulous person. But as noted in an earlier post, even with the strike being over, some shows won’t be back on the air this season. And that includes “Daisies.” In fact, this coming fall season looks more like a restart of this past fall. Shows like “Daisies,” “Chuck” and maybe even “Reaper” could get a second shot this fall.

There are a lot of shows on the fence, but it looks like lights out for shows like “Bionic Woman” and “Friday Night Lights.” “FNL” was the passion project of NBC’s former entertainment president Kevin Reilly, who is now Fox’s entertainment honcho. He was replaced by veteran producer Ben Silverman. (“The Office”) and Marc Graboff.

While there has been talk of “FNL” going to one of NBC’s cable siblings like USA or Bravo, that hasn’t been announced, nor does it seem likely. Last March, the series aired unspectacularly on Bravo.

On the season, or series, finale last Friday, Kyle Chandler as Eric Taylor, Connie Britton as Tami Taylor and Peter Berg as Morris “Mo” McArnold — NBC Photo: Bill Records

And the jury is still out on “Jericho,” which returns this week after fans threw mountains of nuts at CBS execs, causing them to rethink the show’s cancellation.

But last summer, viewers tuned out in droves to a repeat of the series. We can only hope that they will come back on board with the slate of new episodes.

Things heat up in the kitchen when “Jericho” returns on Tuesday. Emily (Ashley Scott) tries to make Jake’s (Skeet Ulrich) mother feel better mourn the loss of her husband by baking her favorite cake, on the second season premiere of “Jericho” at 10 p.m. Tuesday on CBS. Photo: Mitch Haddad/CBS ©2007 CBS Broadcasting Inc.

Meanwhile, it’s all good news about Hollywood getting back to work. Now that sure beats candy and flowers, doesn’t it?

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Let the Emmys begin

Well, at least you can’t say Fox didn’t use their turn at bat to flog their new fall line-up.

I’ll admit I laughed at parts of the opening song, “If you want it you can find it on TV’,” with animated “Family Guy” stars Stewie and Brian.

Loved the slam on “Cavemen,” but no one left unscathed. The hit on “Sopranos” when they same “and you never know how it’s going to (black screen).” Host Ryan Seacrest kept things moving along nicely, giving shots out to the crowd both in the audience and viewers.

The thing I like the most about Ryan hosting is that he doesn’t do a lot of it. Ellen DeGeneres is the best, so if Fox had to put “American Idol” in the spotlight, at least they let Ryan have as little airtime as any host in recent history.

The bang-bang we get four big awards: the Supporting Actor in a Comedy/Drama then Supporting Actress in a Comedy, followed by Supporting Actor in movie/miniseries before the first half hour has passed.


We’ll talk winners after the West Coast portion airs. But I can say that so far, my predictions have flopped miserably. Now I know why I don’t go to Vegas.

Wow. About 50 minutes in and it’s moving right along. Now we’ve got Tony Bennett and Christina Aguilera singing “Stepping Out with My Baby.’ X-tina shows what happens when you do things right in your career, Britney. Oh, and there’s def a baby bump there.

What I like is we have some serious moments that work, like the “Roots” tribute with the regal Queen Latifah, then some chuckle moments with “The Office.” Still, the acceptance speeches have left a bit to be desired.

Oh boy, Jersey Boys coming up…This is the first time in memory I haven’t looked at my watch after the first 90 minutes of an Emmy show and wished someone would put me out of my misery…I’m not saying this is a fantastic show, but at least it seems to be moving along at a fairly brisk clip and not taking itself too seriously.

But is that a good thing?

The Jersey Boys are here. “Walk Like a Man,” “Can’t Take My Eyes Off Of You,” and OK, I don’t know the title to the next song…“Who Loves You Baby?” Maybe. Help me out.
The songs come with clips from “The Sopranos.” An hour and 45 minutes and I’m actually tapping my toes. Maybe I’m just going delirious.

Now the “Sopranos” cast is on the stage. That’s one big cast. Lots of applause. Then commercial…that’s it? Just a bow? Odd little filler that….and when we come back, everyone seems a little surprised. I’m just wondering what it was all about.

Resident ranger Louis Black on my favorite topic _ those horrid promo crawls telling you what show is coming on next that ruin our viewing experience of what’s going on NOW.

There have been a lot of awards handed out, yet I repeat that in respect to no spoilers, I’m not going to start posting the winners until after they are announced on the West Coast…like you couldn’t get them early….

Oops. Bad sign. Ryan just showed up in a period costume. As Wayne Brady says, “looking like a medievel pimp.” Oh, now Wayne has selected Rainn Wilson and Kanye as the “randomly selected” participants to see who will win the opportunity to give out an Emmy. The category: “Songs of Kanye West.”

Fox keeps on flogging its shows. This is starting to look more like amateur night as things roll along.

Stephen Colbert and Jon Stewart, together again. Gotta love it. They’re talking about the “Green Emmys.”
“This baby runs on alternative fuel…Al Gore tears,” says Stephen with his leaf blower in hand.
Is bastard allowed on broadcast television? Guess we’ll find out on the West Coast broadcast. And the boys? Not as funny was we thought…

The roll of those no longer with us always gets to me.
Wow, only 10 more minutes until we’ve hit the three-hour mark. Will they bring it in on time?

OK, the guy I never thought would win, just won Outstanding Lead Actor in a Drama, but by golly he gave great speech….It’s now 8 our time, 11 back east. So much for an early curtain.

Hey. Only 11 minutes over. Must be a record.

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Fake News goes to Iraq

Yep, it had to happen.

“The Daily Show with Jon Stewart” never, ever, claimed to be a real news show. But it has spurred more interest in real news than Couric, Williams and Gibson combined.

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Most of the fake news has gone on fake locations. But this week, “The Daily Show” actually took us to Iraq with comic Rob Riggle. Code name: Operation Fluffy Bunny.

Turns out all the good adjectives/noun combinations had been used.

If you didn’t catch it last week, here’s a quick rundown of what you missed click here

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