Jon Stewart blue pic
 

 Jon Stewart Intelligence Agency
    A n   u n o f f i c i a l   f a n   c l u b

We're fighting, apparently, with one of
Xena's web sites. It's a huge battle.

— Jon Stewart on the JSEB

 


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QUOTES
And Jon spoke.

 
We will eventually revamp this page. In the meantime, you can view the old SSS and JSEB quotes. They're messy since they haven't been reedited from their old formats, but they'll do for now.
On the Grammys:

-- I don't know what all the controversy is about, quite frankly. I've met Eminem, I met him backstage, and he's really gay. Grammy Awards, Feb 21, 2001.

-- Do you guys think they work out? On Destiny's Child, Grammy Awards, Feb 21, 2001.

-- I feel your scorn and I accept it. Grammy Awards, Feb 21, 2001.

-- I probably owe you guys, like, five bucks. On downloading music from Napster, Grammy Awards, Feb 21, 2001.

-- 'Cause we all know D flat would suck. On Mark Andre Kremlin's performance of Chopin's Etude in C Major, Grammy Awards, Feb 21, 2001.

-- I thought those two guys really vibed on each other. They seem to have a very respectful relationship. It felt really sincere. "I respect you, you respect me." And I'm not usually a big fan of sincerity. On eminem and Elton John at the Grammys, EW.com, Feb. 2001.

-- Q: When did you learn you'd be hosting the big show?
A: What time is it? The thing is, I hadn't checked my messages. And there must have been something wrong with my e-mail. When I clicked on AOL, it said, "You've Got No Time to Rehearse." They actually approached me for the first time two/three weeks ago, but they had two other people that had to say "no" first. L.A. Times, Feb. 2001.

-- Q: Any idea who those [other possible hosts] were?
A: I'm assuming it was the usual people that you would go to. Once Whoopi got ill, I imagine the first call went out to Mr. T. and from there the rest of the "A-Team." Then they went to the CBS family, but [Angela] Lansbury, I'm sure, said, "After what happened with 'Murder, She Wrote,' I'm out." L.A. Times, Feb. 2001.

-- Me, I'm 38 and could very much bare my midriff, but it may make some people nauseous. L.A. Times, Feb. 2001.

-- Q: Since we're on the subject of fashion, it's been a year since Jennifer Lopez wore that famous green dress to the 2000 Grammys. What will you be wearing?
A: The same thing Jennifer wore -- but made out of my own back hair. L.A. Times, Feb. 2001.

-- I will not be speaking. No one's ever done it in pantomime before. Mummenschanz all the way. Just watch out, it's going to be crazy! On how Jon will host the Grammy Awards, L.A. Times, Feb. 2001.

-- You opening up a new IHOP restaurant? I'll be there. On what jobs he'll accept if asked, Associated Press, Feb. 21, 2001.

-- I'm doing it because, quite frankly, when they blow through so many big show business names to get to you, they're so distraught you feel like you're on a suicide hot line. On why he accepted the Grammy hosting job, Associated Press, Feb. 21, 2001.

I know what I DON'T do to get ready. They've locked my hotel minibar and they won't let me in it. And I told them I just want the Toblerone candy. I don't want the little bottles of (liquor). On what he's doing to prepare for the Grammys, Associated Press, Feb. 21, 2001.

Other quotes:

-- You know, I've always wanted to be a young Charles Kuralt. I started in this business with just a Winnebago and a dream. Late Show News #215, Aug. 18, 1998.

-- Because sometimes ABC, CBS, NBC, FOX NEWS, MSNBC, CNN, HEADLINE NEWS, CSPAN, and CSPAN 2 just aren't enough. Ad for The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, Summer 1999.

-- You just have to keep trying to do good work, and hope that it leads to more good work. I want to look back on my career and be proud of the work, and be proud that I tried everything. Yes, I want to look back and know that I was terrible at a variety of things. Orange County Register, July 9, 1999.

-- All that stuff is very silly. I was in high school . . . one of the 50 most beautiful people in my German club. So I was used to that kind of attention. There was me, Klaus, GŁnther -- that was about it. Just the three of us. Small school. No one liked German Club. On being one of People Magazine's 50 Most Beautiful People, Movie Talk Interview, July 1999, Real Audio file still available here.

-- I celebrated Thanksgiving in an old-fashioned way. I invited everyone in my neighborhood to my house, we had an enormous feast, and then I killed them and took their land. GQ, June 1999, 75 Funniest Jokes of All Time, #60.

-- I'm "The Guy Who Seems to Be Ruining All Media." Comparing himself to Howard Stern, Creative Loafing, April 1999.

-- We were on about a year-and-a-half on MTV, and eight to nine months in syndication. I think I hold the record for the longest running late night talk show in syndication, hosted by a white guy. I'm very proud. On his old MTV/Paramount show, Creative Loafing, April 1999.

-- Originally we were going to title it "The Daily Show With Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays Off," but it was too long. Creative Loafing, April 1999.

-- It's been tough. They still call me "Craig" -- they're very set in their ways here. On hosting The Daily Show, Creative Loafing, April 1999.

-- The biggest difference is not being canceled, which is something I relish. On how his previous jobs compare with hosting The Daily Show, Creative Loafing, April 1999.

-- I've always liked Atlanta. And not just for the strip clubs, but the shopping and the food. Creative Loafing, April 1999.

-- News used to hold itself to a higher plane and slowly it has dissolved into, well, me. Just whatever we're doing, make it as funny as we can possibly make it. And believe me, if the show starts going down, we'll introduce a baby. We'll do everything that they did on "Family Ties." I'm not afraid of that. Ultimate TV, February 2, 1999.

-- There's always anxiety when you start a new job . . . you're the one guy who doesn't know where the ketchup is. Ultimate TV, February 2, 1999.

-- I think they thought I was the caterer. On his fellow actors during filming of Playing by Heart, Toronto Sun January 31, 1999.

-- Like everyone else, I want to sleep with Leonardo DiCaprio. But I guess I'd want to marry Tom Cruise, because he's much more responsible. I think Leo would play around on me. And I could never trust him on a cruise ship, obviously. You know me, I wouldn't go out with these guys unless I was going to sleep with them. I mean, if I'm putting up dinner and a movie for Leo, he'd damn well better put out. In response to question, "[W]ho would you want to sleep with, date, or even marry?" Cosmopolitan, January 1999.

-- My secret now is to try and make sure that my girlfriend, Tracey, is out of the house when I bring my dates home. That can be awkward. On dating secrets, Cosmopolitan, January 1999.

-- You wake up and you're still a little drunk and you can't believe that hot girl from last night actually has a beard and a penis. On embarrassing dates, Cosmopolitan, January 1999.

-- Douching. There doesn't seem to be a place for it. Are you sure that product is for us? That, and trying to explain yourself when someone catches you peeing sitting down. "Look, I was tired! My legs gave out!" In answer to the question, "What's the hardest thing about being a man?" Details, January 1999.

-- I'm Switzerland: I just want to hold their money and make them chocolate. When asked his preference for Letterman or Leno, Barnes & Noble online chat, December 16, 1998.

-- I have a lot of hostility. Newsweek, September 28, 1998.

-- When my syndicated show got canceled, the next day I still knew how to write jokes. That was a huge revelation. Because at first you think, "I won't have any shelter! What am I gonna do? The sun is hot. Very thirsty." Newsweek, September 28, 1998.

-- The self-righteousness is embarrassing. Maybe it reflects poorly on my upbringing, but we had interns running around my house since I was a kid. On the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal, Newsweek, September 28, 1998.

-- I know more about Bill Clinton's penis now than I do my own, which says something about the media or just something really sad about me. Larry King Live, February 20, 1998.

-- Here's the point -- you're looking at affirmative action, and you're looking at marijuana. You legalize marijuana, no need for quotas, because really, who's gonna wanna work? Politically Incorrect, November 7, 1997.

-- They create these rules and argue about things we don't even understand. It is like watching soccer. You sit there and you're sort of amused, but most of the time you're thinking, "pick up the ball!" That's what you're thinking. On politics, Politically Incorrect, July 24, 1997.

-- McVeigh's lawyer got him the death penalty, which, quite frankly, I could have done. Politically Incorrect, June 13, 1997

-- There is no such thing as an impartial jury because there are no impartial people. There are people that argue on the web for hours about who their favorite character on "Friends" is. Politically Incorrect, June 13, 1997.

-- I would like to be taller. Or perhaps get my breasts enlarged. On plastic surgery, online chat August 12, 1994.

-- She's adorable. I'm waiting for her to get fed up with this whole English accent thing and come home to Papa. On Helena Bonham Carter, People, April 4, 1994. (Thanks to Manda of JSEB for source information.)

-- When they stop calling me "Shithead," and when they quit going, "Stop ruining everything!" then I'll know things are going along good. On hosting The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, E! Online, The Hot Spot Q&A, date unknown.

On his book:

"The majority of the book is basically taking a kernel of an idea and pushing it to its most absurd limit."

"Martha Stewart was really nice. I told her she was 'honored' in my book, then I said, `Bye!' and ran off."

"It takes about 20 trips to the bathroom to polish the whole thing off."

"I really enjoyed doing the book, but you don't get any reinforcement. You just sit in a room being yourself for a long time, and it's hard to get comfortable with that. The idea of getting back in there in a room with a bunch of funny people and just cranking out jokes is just really appealing to me."

On his time out of the spotlight:

"I've spent the last few years getting some things out of my system [the movies and book]. Now I want to get into the rhythm of being able to respond to things. The other night I was in bed when Mary Bono was questioning the Democratic counsel, asking should she tell her children about the president. I wanted to run to the studio and say, "Tell them he was addicted to pain killers and skied into an intern!"

"As long as I don't end up hosting a skin care commercial with Cher, I'm happy."

"I'd not had a regular TV gig in three years. I realized when I was on Sanders that the ability to comment in sort of a timely fashion is terribly important to me, and while I still comment on it, I usually do it in my living room, and you begin to think of yourself as perhaps that creepy, bitter guy who sits on his couch and says, `Can you believe this!?'"

On his movies:

The Faculty-

"Sci-fi with hip lingo. Dawson's Creek gone mad!"

"Hosting a talk show is very similar to that . . . and learning that pacing is helpful to acting."

"I play the guy who gives the scientific explanation in every sci-fi movie [so] you know pretty much I'll get killed almost immediately. It's like being a black guy in an outer-space movie."


Big Daddy-

"We haven't told him yet. He still believes the movie hasn't opened yet." ...on Adam Sandler's success.

Playing By Heart-

"I think they thought I was the caterer." ... on his co-stars.

When asked about the film, which hadn't opened at the time of this interview, he was shushed by a Miramax representative not to give away the plot -- or his character's fate. Stewart acquiesed, but gave a hint: "Let's just say this: full-frontal nudity."

It took [David] Duchovny five years to kiss her - I did it in two weeks."

"I just thought that the script was a really interesting exploration of relationships [in] different generations. It wasn't trite. It wasn't 'Listen, we've seen that on Love Boat every weekend.'"

The First Wives Club-

"When I got the part, I told everyone, `I'm in this movie, I'm Goldie Hawn's boyfriend!' Then it's released, I'm not in it, and I'm more embarrassed than anything."

On Elmopalooza!-

"Kermit was not there, I think he's in rehab."

"Just recently, I learned to read, and they were instrumental in helping me. I guess they ran through a list of other people they wanted to do it and those people said no. I said yes. And it was a ball. You remember them from when you were a kid. It freaks you out. You're standing there singing a song with Bert and Ernie."

On Being a Star:

"I don't have a sort of Amway-esque chart up on my refrigerator or anything."

"I always get that cautionary warning right before I get off the phone with an interviewer. It's: `Good luck with the show. I really like it, and if this goes wrong, you'll be hearing from my attorneys.' "

"When you're accustomed to doing stand-up, so often you're the only person onstage and it's all your thing. It's very gladiatorial. Obviously, when you're in a scene with somebody, you're supposed to listen and react -- and that's a bit of a transition."

"I'm doing everything I can to sabotage my career. It's a little thing called `fear of success.' Seriously? Those [regular talk] shows become your life - I mean, for 10 years, it's your life. That is what you are and what you do."

"This guy comes up and says, 'Are you Jon Stewart?' And I'm thinking, 'Oh, he's seen me on TV and wants my autograph.' But he asks me, 'So, do you have a beach badge? You need one if you're going on the beach.'"

"I think he just wanted to see if I had the $7 it took to buy a badge so he could have a story to tell years from now at the badge-checkers' bar."

On Growing Up:

"At 8 years old, it had to be Ed Kranepool of the Mets." ... on his favorite sex-symbol.

"I'm a Jersey boy; had to be Springsteen, or you'd get you ass kicked." ...on his favorite band.

"[We] grew up in the good old days before kids had these damn computers and actually played outside."

"Body hair. You know when you're swimming as a kid and you want to crawl on your dad? None of us went anywhere near him. 'My god, a beaver! Everyone out of the pool!'" ... on his father's worst physical trait.

"I remember having a grade-school teacher I thought was a hard-ass. When you're that age, you think the guy is Himmler. Then you visit him eight years later and he's wearing polyester pants, he's four foot eight, you think he's gay, and you're like, 'Are you the guy I was afraid of?'" ... on his favorite teacher.

"My life was typical. I played a little Little League baseball. I never wanted for food. I always had shoes. I had a room. There were no great tragedies. There were the typical ups and downs but I wouldn' t say it was at all sad. We were Jewish and living in the suburbs so there was a slightly neurotic bent to it, but I can't point to anything where a boy overcame a tragedy to become a comedian. As my grandmother used to say, `I can't complain.'"

"The traditional age of 13 when you [look at the bar mitzvah gifts and] say, `hey, I got the payout.'" ... on attending Hebrew school.

"I realized it was a way of getting attention pretty early on. There was a sense that this feels good, to say something that made everybody laugh. It was a rhythm that made sense to me." ... on humor.

Jon's first joke: "It's lunch time in the Diamond District. All the stores close down and the street is filled with chasidim, who suddenly find themselves caught in Yidlock."

On College:

"The night I turned twenty-two, I drank a shot for every year. I was so drunk, I'd just walk up to people in the bar and hit them in the balls. My friends drove me home and left me propped up on the couch holding a bucket. I woke up with vomit all over me. The bucket was clean as a whistle." ... on his worst hangover

"In 1982 I was playing soccer at William and Mary, and a kid from Randolph-Macon called me a kike. I ran after him. 'I'm not a... well, yes I am.'" ... on the last time he was in a fight.

On Craig Kilborn:

"One of the nice things for me on this is here's a guy who did a great job and got a great opportunity and moved on. So I don't have that creepy feeling of being sort of named as Johnny Deathwatch standing in the wings waiting for a guy to get tuberculosis."

"Craig Kilborn is on assignment in Kuala Lumpur." ...his first night on The Daily Show

On Love and Sex:

"Not Playboy. I don't need stereo advice. Hard to say. I mean, Beaver Shot is so similar to Anal Monkey. I guess it's Penthouse. Because I'm a man of letters." ... on his favorite porno mag.

"The first time I got to second base, I was driving and my friend was in the backseat getting tit. I considered that scoring -- the rearview mirror was just a technicality. I didn't have sex until college -- and even then, it's not like the floodgates opened. When I finally had a girlfriend, she ended up scoring with the goalie of the lacrosse team, so that didn't work out."

"This is gonna sound pathetic, but I think it was Dinah Shore. MTV wasn't on the air. All we had was Dinah Shore." ... on his first dream girl.

"I wasn't that young -- I was seventeen and in college. I was just glad the girl didn't know it was my first time, despite my going, 'Yes, score!'... But the floodgates didn't just open after that. I didn't come out of the door with a pipe and a smoking jacket saying, 'Next!'"... on losing his virginity.

"I had what the French would call a menage a trois, but what I would call two-ladies-I-met-in-a-bar. It was incredibly awkward. I had enough trouble with one and then there was another person sitting there going, 'Uh-huh.' I was also still not too in tune with... well, let me just say, walk before you run. Boy, this is going to be one ugly piece of journalism!" ...on fantasy.

On The Daily Show:

"You feel kind of weird cheering for chaos. There is that sense that the crazier it gets, the better off we are. Before, when I was part of the American public, I was hoping for a reasonable and quick solution [to the impeachment process]. Now, I'm hoping for partisan bedlam and chaos. It's really what serves me best."

"This is a different kind of hosting than I'm accustomed to. It's a little less free form. But we'll find out what I can do well and start tailoring it to that... It's less driven by me than the Paramount show was, but it will be ultimately driven by a certain comedic point of view that's different."

"Whenever you take over something that is popular and has a fanatical following that loves it, you're never going to please everyone. The trick is to have enough wherewithal to follow through with what you want to do with it and give it time to evolve."

"At first the difference will be in whatever atmosphere I bring into it. It's not going to be like, 'I really want to do The Daily Show and I'd love to turn it into an abstract musical.' I like the format and the chance to satirize the news."

"It'll be five days of being like a biohazard drill team: We'll just be working on logistics. In the meantime, everybody gets a break to get straight and sober."

"The currency of this show is your own head. They've established a certain structure here, but it's still in evolution.''

"We spent four months designing that show, and the first week we were on the air it was evident that 75 percent of the stuff we thought would work didn't. "The news is the currency of The Daily Show. I can't write a show on Jan. 4 and run it on Jan. 11. You've got to write it on Jan. 11."

That's the beauty of television, you can be terrible and still be accepted. If it doesn't work, we can call it Three Guys, a Desk, and a Pizza. Or we'll hire a pixie girl to spit out sarcastic wit. Or having a baby on the show has saved many a show, like in the later years of Family Ties. Or an alien baby -- how can you not win with that? One that used to be a rapper."

On Starting the Daily Show:

I don't have Craig's Aryan diction. Also, I'll be writing, so there will be more arguments in the writers' room.... It's a different kind of writing than I'm used to. I'm used to more monologue-type jokes. Here, there's no setup at all. It's "Today in Montana..." not "Anybody here from Montana?"

"I think the first two to three months are gonna probably be a little shaky, until we get our stride."

Stewart insists he belongs "on the dial somewhere between Animal Planet and the guy in the bee costume on Sabado Gigante."

"I really like to put my name on everything, so my roommate doesn't steal it. It's really a throwback to that." ... on an explanation of the name change.

"It's kind of like a starter kit, but the key to the impeachment process is finding the right joke. You can make the joke that Monica Lewinsky isn't very attractive. But the real joke is Rush Limbaugh calling Monica Lewinsky unattractive."

"If you watch the news and don't like it, then this is your counter program to the news."

"We're probably just going to try and get me up to snuff at first. It took me a while to get to know how to read, so for the writers to learn how to write everything down phonetically for me, it's going to take a while."

"That gives us a week to put this together. That's enough time, isn't it? They won't even be able to hem my pants in time."

"Yeah, and Snyder's going to Friends. He's replacing David Schwimmer."

"I am probably more neurotic, [and] I will probably be drunk for the first month."

"Prayer. I have breakfast every morning with my ministers. They try and keep me from temptation. Jesse Jackson comes over and says, 'Don't have the ham.'" ... on prep. for the start of TDS

"The focus right now is getting up to speed on the show and taking two or three months to get my bearings. It's going to be like The Jerk: [the staff] knows [its] rhythm and I'm Steve Martin on the porch, trying to clap and keep up."

"My feeling is, basically, the show's identity is going to have to evolve once I get in there through what I want to do. You wouldn't want to take over for Letterman and start doing `Top 10' lists either."

"You'll see enough to be sick of me by the time I start doing the show."

"The whole thing for me is just trying to fit into the groove. I mean they've had a good thing going for a couple of years and they really know how to run it. So I'm trying not to be the fly in the ointment. It's going to take me a while to djust to them and of course for them to adjust to me."

"On paper it is the exact same show. It's the natural evolution of the show. It will end up being different."

"Hey it's not like getting the Patriots, but it's still a nice gig."

"The real difference is the speed in which entertainment has to occur. They have to fill it with a shiny light... or someone from Baywatch. The atmosphere of the shows have changed."

"There's really only five of these jobs available." ... on being an anchorman

"I'll watch NYPD Blue, whatever. But I find the news, for me, I watch it like a program. I can't wait to find out what's happening with my favorite characters. Like, 'Oh, I'm so sorry they dropped Saddam Hussein from the show. Oh, they're bringing him back!'"

"It's exciting for me because if you want to be in New York and be in show business, there are only two open jobs -- this, and being a Knicks City Dancer. Guess which tryout went badly."

"I signed up for what? I thought I was just ordering cable." ... on signing his contract.

On his height:

"I'm too short to host a late-night talk show. It's like the bar at an amusement-park ride. You have to be six foot two or over."

"It's like those worlds that you see at the Coney Island freak show. The World's Smallest Man had an apartment, but all the furniture was really miniaturized."

"So our studio -- you won't be able to tell on TV -- will be that way. We're going to miniaturize everything so that I look enormous."

"I'm like Bobby on The Brady Bunch when he hangs from the chin-up bar to make himself taller."

"They're shrinking the decor, because Craig is, like, 6'8" and I'm officially listed as 28 inches tall."

"I can't reach the light switches or controls."

On Letterman:

"You can't help but feel, 'Omigod, nothing will be the same,' It's, like, the first time I [appeared on Letterman's show], I came back and thought my apartment was going to be bigger. It wasn't."

"I am incredibly flattered by the opportunity to work with Dave and Worldwide Pants. I can't express how much I admire his accomplishments. It happened so quickly I barely had time to tell the manager at Houlihan's I was quitting."

"He said something that stayed with me `Never confuse cancellation with failure.' I didn't get into this business to play it safe. I know I can always go back to law school."

"It was like a shotgun marriage. I was on the show one night and David called the next day about joining forces. But the more we got into it, the more I realized there were other things I still wanted to do. There was talk of a sitcom around the same time The Daily Show came up, and I decided this made more sense for me. "

"Never name it after yourself. Maybe we'll throw a "with" in there. That seems to work. Like Late Show With David Letterman. " ... on how to name your talk show.

"Sanders had his time, but Letterman is forever."

Words of Wisdom:

"The value of holding a grudge. And to always refer to my father sarcastically as Mr. Wonderful." ... on what his mother taught him.

"If you don't get it right with your first family, you can always do it again with another. He's a very scientific man, and we were the control group." ... on what his father taught him.

"You never hear a woman say, 'Hey, lets go to balls.'"

"Let me get this straight. You chuck a frisbee at my head, I fetch it for you, and in order to have the right, the honor, to give it back to you, I have to sign it? Okay, sounds reasonable enough." ... to a girl who threw a frisbee on stage.

"Everyone just needs to get over themselves."

"As we approach the millennium with sort of the idea that society is going to start spiraling into chaos, I'd love to be making jokes about that. Who wants to miss out on that? If the world is going to end, I want to be there the night before, goofing off."

"The best-laid plans of mice and comedians usually wind up on the cutting-room floor."

"Insomnia is my greatest inspiration."

"It's still style over substance. That's been it's earmark since the beginning. I remember being in college [William & Mary] when it came out, thinking, `Yeah, I'm hungry like the wolf, Duran Duran is right!' Look, you're never going to turn to MTV like the way you turn to The Discovery Channel: `I watched MTV today and I swear to God I learned a lot.' That's not the point."

"Hopefully the only things off-limits are [crummy] jokes, but being a standup comedian, I know that's not always the case... You know it when you have to take a shower afterward."

"I like not to be good at anything, so I keep hopping around."

"If you are in a movie you are an actor but you are not an actor. I could be in 20 movies and I would not be Rip Torn. Whatever I'm in I want to be competent."

"Don't cross Lorenzo Lamas. Ever."

On his syndicated show and other disappointments:

"The kind of show it was, the creative environment, being in New York. All those factors made it so obvious that even a dunderhead like me couldn't f--- up this decision, and believe me I tried. It was clear that it was a great and fun thing to do. I could have looked that flank steak dead in the eye and said, "I want rump roast.""

"Working on Larry Sanders brought back how much I liked going to work every day. But I felt like I had to get some of the other stuff out of my system, like doing some of the smaller film stuff. If I had an idea as strong as what Garry (Shandling) started with, maybe I'd be more hell-bent on going in that direction. It was like I was deciding between an egg-salad sandwich and a tuna-salad sandwich and they walked in with flank steak. Did I really just use that analogy? I apologize wholeheartedly, I just ate lunch."

"Um, that was a little something called fiction. Next you'll be asking me if I can twinkle my nose and make Darrin disappear."

"I never felt I had the right idea. I'd say to the networks, 'Imagine Mary Tyler Moore with a penis.' And they would, and I couldn't get their attention back."

"I knew them cats. We'd all worked together before at MTV on the old talk show."

"Although, it remains the longest-running, late-night nightly syndicated talk show hosted by a white man. And I cling to that distinction, my friend!"

"Everyone had the foresight not to put themselves into an After MASH situation. Everybody sort of understood this was a gold-standard show."

"But luckily, unlike the people who created After MASH, we had the sense to go, `You know, maybe they wouldn't be that interested in what happened to Klinger and Radar when they got to Iowa."

"It meant, basically, I would sit there and go `Gary, you're a winner, wear the blue sweater.'" ... on his role on The Larry Sanders Show.

"A guy brought trained condors and one flew out in the audience, and we stood there dumbstruck while it bit an audience member's back. I was staring at this huge bird gawking in the audience. The trainer's sitting there, `Hey, man, maybe you should go to commercial.' And I said [angrily], `Hey, maybe you should get your bird.' The next night, Marilyn Manson was on and they ended up lighting the stage on fire. I really thought somebody was going to be killed that week.'"

"I'd rather host a show in a concentration camp than first-run syndication

On his social life:

"I go out on weekends. I try not to have any personal time whatsoever. I try to make it so I'm never sitting in a hotel room saying [thoughtfully] 'Who am I'? I try to constantly stay out on the road, then you never have to face yourself. [scary voice] You hear me? Make this a dark article."

Miscellaneous:

"There are a hell of a lot of jobs that are scarier than live comedy. Like standing in the operating room when a guy's heart stops, and you're the one who has to fix it!"

"I mean, I'm not hoping for the apes and the monolith. I'm hoping for controlled chaos to assist us."

"To me, that's where a lot of satire lies. News used to hold itself to a higher plane and slowly it has dissolved into, well, me."

"Remember that guy who got gored by a bull and the bull pulled his underwear off and he had to run around the ring naked? If that footage comes out, I'll run that."

"Look at MSNBC, I actually heard that they gave Monica Lewinsky's dress its own show."

"A half-hour show almost doesn't do it justice. There is so much material out there. The 24-hour news networks are talking about news analysis when they have no vested interest in news. They have vested interest in fanning the flames of conflict because that's what gets them ratings. That's what keeps them on the air."

"MSNBC, they must be saying, `Thank God for Monica Lewinsky.' Because otherwise MSNBC would have Brian Williams and a slow flatline on the EKG. When O.J. went away, they had something to fill the void."

"Well, I don't know about a softer side. I do have a feminine side. As you've been talking to me, I've been making an afghan with the producers. But if you saw the HBO special that I did, I think my Pat Buchanan butt****ing jokes speak for themselves."

"But the main thing I don't want to be is un-funny. That's really the mandate. Just whatever we're doing, make it as funny as we can possibly make it. And believe me, if the show starts going down, we'll introduce a baby. We'll do everything that they did on `Family Ties.' I'm not afraid of that."

And many familiar faces, including correspondents Beth Littleford and Stephen Colbert, remain alongside some new personnel. "And did you ever hear of a little man named Bryant Gumbel? That's right. He's back."

"What happened was everything that I've been working on for the past year and a half all came out the same weekend. So now I'm talking about all the things that happened a year and a half ago, much how Charlie Sheen must feel all the time."

'"Simplicity is the essence of vogue,' and I would have to agree. I know how to wear a suit, I just don't own 20 of them... and I never wear anything double-breasted -- takes too long to button."

"I think he's taking it very well. I haven't asked him yet because the guys that carry him on the litter don't slow down. They run right by."

"That puts me in an uncomfortable position. 'Are you hoping for the dissolution of our government?' Yes, and I hope O.J. presides over it. I'm in the uncomfortable position of cheering for chaos because that's where I can make the most muck. But, you know, if it's not that, I'm confident I can make it something else."

"I think I'm coming down with something." ... his supposed first words.

"I'm a little bit too obsessed with the news. I find the news easier to follow than narrative entertainment programs."

Not Jon, but funny: "I think if you take The Daily Show and add Jon Stewart, whatever comes out of the microwave at the end of a minute will be tasty," says Smithberg. "I'm just not sure whether it's a taco or a pizza."

"Most likely, I'm going to plunge my head into an ice bucket." ... on celebrating after his first show.

"I think of them as something of a genetic anomaly. Who knows? Next year the trend might be models with gigantic chins. They don't really have an impact on people's lives." ... on society's fascination with tall supermodels.

"Same place I've always seen myself. OK, I may never be Woody Allen, but at least I'm not that other [guy] I saw the other night. " ...on where Jon sees himself, comedy-wise.

"Not really. It was something we'd talk about at 2 in the morning and giggle about it." ... on taking over The Larry Sanders Show.

"How can Washington criticize Hollywood when they use Hollywood principles to design campaigns? There are no leaders anymore, only studio executives. Our country's chief executive runs focus groups every four years and tries to make sure his movie opens bigger than the other guy's." ...on hypocrasy in Washington.

"You read Hollywood's 30 most powerful people under age 30, or People's 50 Most Beautiful People. What drivel! The extreme would be: 'Five People to Watch Under 5.'"...on the media's obsession with lists.

"no idea, and counting would take all the fun out of it." ... on the number of butts are in his ashtray/beer bottle at the end of the day.

"I used to bartend at a rock club in Trenton, New Jersey, at the height of the new-wave scene. One night, Martha Quinn came to watch Stiv Bators and the Lords of the New Church. He vomited onstage, and later I saw them making out in a dressing room. I just thought, 'Martha Quinn, MTV pixie, girl of my dreams, is eating vomit out of the mouth of Stiv Bators.' This, my friend, is disillusionment." ... on when he lost his innocence.

"Douching. There doesn't seem to be a place for it. Are you sure that product is for us? That, and trying to explain yourself when someone catches you peeing sitting down. 'Look, I was tired! My legs gave out!'" ... on the hardest thing about being a man.

"Imagine the loneliest singles bar in the world, a singles bar for 15- to 18-year-olds with the occasional 44-year-old accountant from Des Moines. Chatting online reduces communication to grunts and giggles. They say chat rooms are bringing back literacy because people communicate with the written word. It's bull." ...on the internet.

"Washington is considered 'inside the Beltway.' You know what the place outside the Beltway is called? The United States!" ... on politicians

"Get a sense of humor. If you don't, it'll be incredibly frustrating." ... on surviving the milleniumn.

"I look at it and say, `boy, this is exactly the way I want it.' It's a good feeling. Whether or not people think it's funny is out of my control. All I can do is execute it the way I want." ... on being funny.

"How old do you have to be when you can no longer get into rabbinical school?" ... on what he'd do if he had to pick one job.

"They actually have things to say, then I just jump in there with... 'and my pants are on fire.' Try and ruin the moment." on being on Politically Incorrect.

"I'd like to see some political guests. Somebody like George Steponopoulos. And hopefully he's enough of a media whore that we can get him on."... on his fantasy guest.

"I feel like I should give the lottery answer: 'I'm still gonna be a regular guy in the neighborhood.'" ... on his $1.5 million dollar salary.

"We're not litigious people," Herzog said. "I think you have the new slogan for Comedy Central, `We're not litigious people!'"

"That puts me in an uncomfortable position. 'Are you hoping for the dissolution of our government?' Yes, and I hope O.J. presides over it. I'm in the uncomfortable position of cheering for chaos because that's where I can make the most muck. But, you know, if it's not that, I'm confident I can make it something else."

"But I worked 14 hours a day on the old show. The Daily Show is easier in the sense of knowing the parameters of the gig. The fuel is not pure celebrities and whether they come on with a great story -- the fuel is the news.'

"If you're going to give people 20 minutes of news satire, you've also got to give them Tiffany-Amber Thiessen or you're going to have rioting in the streets."

"Oh. How about slanderous late-night funnyman? Litigious? Pensive? The only one with an active case of the mumps? I'm just happy to be included in the category of late-night funnyman. Now I can go to their brunches."

"every fifth show I get a free sundae. So there are perks."

"Just to get really good at stand-up. I try not to think too much about it."

"At William and Mary, I earned a degree in making bricks out of straw and water in Colonial Williamsburg. Not many people know it, but cheap student labor was used in the Williamsburg restoration."

The record shows he graduated in 1984 with a degree in psychology. "And immediately proved how unemployable a person can be who comes out of William and Mary with a degree in psychology."

"I drank beer, met some nice people, made some good friends, stared at the desk where James Madison once sat, played soccer. If I had known myself better at that age, I could have saved time and tuition money. After college, I knew there was no way I would be doing anything in the field of psychology."

"There was some talk about me doing a show at 1:30 after Tom signed off, but I decided I wanted to do other things such as write a book. I had a late-night talk show and saw it canceled. I'm on that list of late night losers with Pat Sajak."

"I'm cheering for chaos - something like O.J. Simpson presiding over the disillusionment of the world as we know it. I could make something of that. When Monica decides to get that dress laundered, I'd like to bring on her dry cleaner. I could do something with that, too."

"I can be in 20 movies. But I'll never be an actor."

"Do you know what writing a book is? It's sitting alone in a room for weeks without making contact with another human. I felt like Howard Hughes."

"Sitting around with funny people, banging out jokes and creating a television show. I have no hobbies, no outside interests. I'm fine with spending 14 hours a day putting a show together with tape and string."

"When I decided to leave New Jersey to go to school in Virginia, I tried the University of Virginia first, but got lost on campus. Then I visited William and Mary, where I found brick walls that I liked. I stayed four years but never learned anything I would use later in life."

"I know change can be painful," Stewart told us with mock sincerity. "But from change comes growth."

"I felt like I was oddly NOT gone," said Stewart, wearing a mischievous smile. "Being a TV host is very much the same as not being on TV, except there's no camera and I didn't get to talk to the guys from Wings. Besides, I was working straight through, so I didn't even do the David Hartman thing and go out to Montana for fly-fishing."

And, even with his chain smoking, he seemed carefree. "Oh, I have psychoses," he argued, "but they're about other things. Like, I want to buy a biosuit so the Super Bug can't get me. It's that sort of thing that keeps me awake.

"I'm looking forward to doing the show, to that feeling of daily reinforcement. You get up and you know that whatever stupid idea you have that morning you're going to get to put out that night."

"The real focus at first is to just become a good stand-up [comedian], and then when you get to a certain level, then they allow you to do other things. You feel if you're overwhelmed by something or if you're not."

On Personal Goals:

"The goals for me have changed somewhat. There's a bit of seduction to the idea of being on network, but it got to the point where that wasn't important. What's important is doing something worthwhile. Which is why I've always avoided being on a sitcom. Yeah, it's high-profile and it's on a network, but you know what? You could be on Suddenly Stewart.''

"There was a French reporter who stormed out after I started yelling about Catherine Deneuve in a car crash. I was saying something like, 'Those French movies are always about two beautiful people and they always die in a car
crash,' and she stood up and walked out. But at least she was giggling."

On Rejection:

"High school. (laughs) You know, people say, 'I'll never do so-and-so again' - then they do it. So what? Sometimes somebody has crack, and you're looking to stay awake." ... on the thing he'll never do again.

"If I could be really competent, that goes such a long way toward things, because the majority of things are not [competent]. If I can be competent, and have moments of originality, that's all I would ask for."

"The disasters build a sort of odd Diacid feeling. When my syndicated show got canceled, the next day I still knew how to write jokes. That was a huge revelation. Because at first you think, 'I won't have any shelter! What am I gonna do? The sun is hot. Very thirsty.'"


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