Is Jon Stewart ready for his closeup?
February 28, 2006 7:39 PM Subscribe
At this Larry King interview and in other places, Jon Stewart is getting ready for his very big "before and after" moment. In one week he will go from hosting a sort of anti-establishment "basic cable" talk show to hosting the very establishment (of some sort at least) Oscars viewed by usually at least 40 million people. Despite what most of us me-fiers might think, Stewart is sort of unknown outside his core devotees and especially for a Oscar host -- unlike Bob Hope, Billy Crystal, Whoopi Goldberg, and even Chris Rock -- he has never been responsible for a hit movie. Moreover, his ratings (at 1.1 -- or about two and half million people a night) would place him at about the sixth most seen cable news "show" -- behind Greta, Shepard Smith, Hannity, Larry, and, of course, the factor. Now, that's a very wealthy, influential 2-3 million viewers that policy makers and advertisers love, so it's not chicken change but you can still understand what the Oscars might mean for fans of Jon. For people who believe Stewart is the only effective keeper of a liberal flame, you can only hope he will continue to impress on the bigger stage. However, some people are getting worried -- a la the NYT and the New Republic which is already claiming Stewart is losing his bite in order to please Hollywood and that he might not be so funny in the first place.
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