Monday, March 06, 2006

And the Winner is...Jon Stewart

A few semi-related thoughts about the Oscars...

1) Like many, I found it hard to imagine Jon Stewart hosting the Oscars. Not because I don't think he's my generation's Johnny Carson, but because I also think he's my generation's Abbie Hoffman. He's simultaneously our voice, our humor and our moral compass. Without being one of us, he makes politics cool for all of us. He's supposed to be leading rallies or at least, as a friend of mine pointed out, smoking pot with liberals of equal intelligence---not parading Hollywood royalty down the red carpet.

But, after watching every minute of the 78 Academy Awards last night, I hereby stand corrected. Instead of taming his routine for the masses, as many feared, Jon Stewart brought his liberal minded wit to the masses, also finding time to slip in enough self-depreciative humor to make Woody Allen feel like a good Jew.

As American politics have slowly crumbed, I've heard more than a few people describe the Onion and the Daily Show as our country's only true news sources. Last night, I think a great American joke finally became a reality, and at the end of the day, I think Jon Stewart did our people a great service. And, to clarify, by our people I mean liberal, intellectual, Jews residing between 12 and 14th street in New York's West Village.

2) Its no secret that I've always longed for a screenwriting Oscar of my own. But, as I've grown, reality has hardened my dream. For instance, if by some miracle on 12th street I am able to turn my dyslexic suburban story into an Oscar-winning dramedy (ya know, the bastard child of Garden State and Almost Famous), I've slowly realized that most people in my immediate circle wouldn't notice. My Skidmore friends would likely forget to watch (but, be really bummed they missed it the next day, man), my RCDS-crew would too busy fighting over fantasy baseball to hear my speech and my mom's ulcer would fully explode when I no doubt walk onstage without tying my shoes. As for my co-workers, they'd most likely serve me a detention for being away from my desk long enough to sit through a four hour award ceremony.

3) Despite living a stone's throw from his real life brownstone, I've never met Jon Stewert. But, I have met his producer and head writer---a Wizard of Oz-like character who, according to reports, is responsible for the Daily Show's shift into politics post-Jimmy Kimmel.

I first ran into him at a Sirius Radio party my freshman year at Relix. I don't remember much about that night except that the bartender somehow managed to turn both my vodka and my skin blue and that a friend of mine started dating Jon Stewart's muse a few months later. The specifics of their breakup are a bit fuzzy right now, but I remember it having something to do with the way he treated her around his friends (and maybe stealing a line for his opening monologue, but I digress). Afterwards, I heard that she broke up with him after comparing the way he treated her to the way I treat my friends. At the time, I think it was one of the nicest things anyone had ever said to me, and I haven't been able to watch the Daily Show the same way ever since. Considering that he spent his weekend writing an Oscar monologue and I spent mine importing CDs to itunes in my boxers, she probably shouldn't have taken my advice. But, in some odd way, today the road to the Oscars became a bit more tangible, and a lot more neurotic.

No comments: