DAVID BIANCULLI

Founder / Editor

ERIC GOULD

Associate Editor

LINDA DONOVAN

Assistant Editor

Contributors

ALEX STRACHAN

MIKE HUGHES

KIM AKASS

MONIQUE NAZARETH

ROGER CATLIN

GARY EDGERTON

TOM BRINKMOELLER

GERALD JORDAN

NOEL HOLSTON

 
 
 
 
 
The Writers Are Back: Wow! Wow! Wow!
February 14, 2008  | By David Bianculli
 
At first, it appeared that Comedy Central's The Daily Show with Jon Stewart hadn't gotten the memo that the writers were back. Otherwise, why start the show by calling it A Daily Show, Stewart's personal show of support for his missing staffers, rather than the non-strike title The Daily Show?

It turned out, though, to be only a tease. Stewart led his show by welcoming the writers back, leading with the fact that the strike was over. He then changed the A back to a The, and The show was on.

On other shows, in their own ways, Stephen Colbert, Jay Leno, Jimmy Kimmel and Conan O'Brien - the other late-night programs doing without writers - all did the same thing, but to varying degrees of success.

Stewart got an A. Colbert and O'Brien were close behind... and the others, on this first night back, weren't.

daily-show-dog-show.jpg

After welcoming the writers back, Stewart led the show, to his increasingly obvious distaste, with a report on the Westminster Kennel Show, describing the beagle's surprise win as "a decisive victory in the war on terrier."

Stewart shuddered, sneered and scowled.

"Really?" he asked, obviously addressing his writers. "You've been gone 100 days, this is the (BLEEP) you're gonna pull?" It was the funniest bit, on any talk show all night, dealing with the writers' return.

colbert-wow.jpg

Colbert, on The Colbert Report, welcomed his writers back by having them run on camera individually, accept a handshake and a pencil, and keep on moving. Some of them were real writers. Others were ringers, such as Kevin Bacon. And when Colbert enthused about finally having words to read in the prompter again, we were shown the words as he said them.

"Wow. Wow. Wow. Wow."

Leno, too, noted that the writers were back, but the monologue didn't seem stronger as a result. Leno's biggest laugh came when he mistakenly said "Osama" when he meant "Obama," and blamed "a disgruntled writer" for the mistake. A bit later, Leno also got excited noting one obvious change, now that the picket lines are down.

"Tomorrow night, what's this?" he asked, announcing an upcoming guest. "An actual star? Russell Crowe is coming here tomorrow!"

Jimmy Kimmel started Jimmy Kimmel Live, over on ABC, by announcing, "After 100 excruciating days, the writers strike is over." Then, by presenting jokes about Carrot Top and Oliver North, he offered some excruciatingly tired punch lines by writers who should have been more rested.

Conan O'Brien started Late Night by saying of his writers, "It's great to have them back. In fact, they wrote that. It's the first thing they wrote."

And now, finally, back to business as normal... and to a Happy Valentine's Day.

 

3 Comments

 

Hoppy said:

Dave:
Just wondering...how come critics never go on strike?
Hoppy
(Can't. Work stoppage would be crippling and universal... because everybody's a critic. -- David B)

Comment posted on February 14, 2008 9:43 AM


Marlark said:

Now, last night was TV WORTH WATCHING! Jon Stewart's joke about a joke that was actually a good joke. Oh my god. Genius.

Comment posted on February 14, 2008 12:48 PM


monkeebiz said:

Damn.
I was hoping the strike would drag on long enough for ABC to be forced to air the remaining "Cavemen" episodes.

Comment posted on February 14, 2008 1:20 PM

 
 
 
 
 
Leave a Comment: (No HTML, 1000 chars max)
 
 Name (required)
 
 Email (required) (will not be published)
 
XYJUV
Type in the verification word shown on the image.