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Personal Essays Now That Books Mean Nothing by Nell Boeschenstein When you’ve long been identified as a “literary type,” how can it be that receiving books as get-well gifts leaves…
LENGTH: 2 minutes (576 words)
Stewart isn't just being a bully here. He is being disingenuous, and he knows it. Worse, he's tapping into the collective fantasy without knowing it. He's the gunslinger saying he's going back to the farm while at the same time putting notches in his belt. More precisely, he's the presumptive Edward R. Murrow saying that he'll go back to comedy once he cleans up journalism. But he can't go back. He can't go back to the pleasures of fart jokes and funny faces — the pleasures of comedy — because he's experienced the higher pleasure of preaching to weirdly defenseless stiffs like Jim Cramer. He's saying once again that he's outgrown comedy and is no longer a comedian. But he's not saying what he actually is, because then he'd be judged. And Jon Stewart, to a degree unique in the culture, exists outside the realm of judgment.
Told of Seth Meyers's admiration for his comic instrument, the anchor replies, “That’s odd, because we’ve never belonged to a health club together, and we’re both in successful long-term relationships.” It’s a classic Williams line: suggestive enough to shock—did Brian Williams just tell a penis joke?—yet veiled enough that it doesn’t seem untoward coming from the man my grandmother trusts to keep her up-to-date on rising health-care costs.
PUBLISHED: April 27, 2011
LENGTH: 14 minutes (3695 words)