This day will go down in history as the greatest debate in the history of CGB. That's right: Colbert v. Stewart!!!!!!!!
In this corner, coming in at 5 foot 7 and 46 years of age, The Hebrew Hammer, Jonathan Stuart Leibowitz!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
And in this corner, coming in at 5 foot 10 and a half, and 45 years of age, The Bear Hunter, Stephen Tyrone Colbert!!!!!!!!
Personally, I am a Jon Stewart fan. If somebody wants to give a piece on why Colbert is better, I would gladly add it to this DBD.
My reasoning for Stewart is as follows.
The Daily Show, and therefore Jon Stewart, is funnier because it does not rely on an act. The Report is about Stephen Colbert first, everything else 2nd. The Daily Show is about current events first. Stewart's jokes all come from the ridiculousness of current events, while Colbert's jokes just come from his act. While the act can be funny, it gets tiresome after awhile. The Daily Show doesn't get as tiresome because, since the news is always changing, the show's topics are always changing. Also, The Daily Show uses other contributors, because the show is about telling the news in a humorous way, not about the host.
The quality of the Colbert Report has dipped recently, a large part of that is due to the fact that its best asset, President Bush, is gone. The adamant Bush supporter role did wonders for Colbert and helped his show take off. Without it, they don't have any go to material to fall back on.
I can understand that you would prefer the Colbert Report if you love Colbert's character and never get tired of it. Colbert has a more hardcore cult following, but such a colorful character is bound to get that. However The Daily Show is funnier to a wider audience. For those who get tired of the faux shock jock act, The Daily Show is where we turn.
Wail away, Avinash.
Avinash: In the past, maybe a year or two ago, I’d have said Stewart. But Jon is having to reach back most of these days, make those painful New Yorker accents, like he’s in a bad mob movie. I wince whenever he does it.
Colbert? He brings it every night. Sometimes the stuff doesn’t work. Sometimes it succeeds big-time (like his recent tour of Iraq, a big hit with the soldiers). More importantly, he can still do some correspondence like he did back on the Daily Show, such as his occasional interviews of lobbyists/congressmen, etc. In other words, he's more versatile than Stewart. He can do more things well.
(It'd be like Jerome Randle and Patrick Christopher at their peaks. Jerome Randle does one or two things consistently well; beat you off the dribble, layups in traffic, pull up jumper 3s. But everyone knows Christopher is the one with NBA-ready talent if he lets it loose, since he can do many of those things, plus slash, work off the dribble, play solid defense, etc. If you had the choice of someone who could take you deep if they played to their respective talent levels, you take Christopher almost every time.)
Just as importantly, Colbert’s writing staff is really really good, kind of like the Daily Show 2002-2005; they find really clever ways to reach the punchline. TDS’s writing has been sometimes great, sometimes good, sometimes average, sometimes bad.
Also, they’ve been making Jon do a lot more and the correspondents do a lot less, which is a mistake. I know the correspondents aren’t as funny as the Colbert/Carell duo back in the day, but their segments are almost always the best part of the show. I’d prefer that way more to Jon talking to Elmo with a beard.
I’m not sure what rollonubears is talking about Colbert losing his best material in Bush when it’s clear it’s Stewart who’s been the one suffering the most. Even though he does it most of the time, his man-crush on Obama will come out whenever the President comes up. Whereas Colbert hides his biases quite well, burying them under his character.
I will say Jon does have an edge over Stephen as an interviewer, especially when he’s going up against people he disagrees with. But Stephen is again in a tougher position, having to play a faux conservative. The writing is really impressive here, really sharp, and Colbert plays fabulously through it.
So right now the edge is with Stephen. Not by much, but he has the conch right now. The Report is a platform where he can accentuate all his strengths. Jon is more a faciliator than a personality, and right now he’s trying to do too much when he doesn’t have to (and probably shouldn’t; let his army of correspondents do more).